Mercedes E320cdi Avantgarde Estate 7 seater.
£1,100 Berwick Upon Tweed

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This is my Mercedes E320cdi Avantgarde diesel automatic estate finished in Travertine Gold with beige leather. First registered in June 2000, this three owner car is actually the seven seat version (an extra two seats in the boot).

I have a large collection of cars and I simply need to thin it down: I’ve just sold my beloved Jaguar and this one needs to go next even though it’s a very useful and versatile car. So this is one of those good news/bad news stories. The good news is that the car drives well and the specification is really comprehensive. The bad news is that the car is slightly tired in places and will need various small jobs sorting out. There’s more bad news: the MOT is due on February 11th. Looking for an easy life, I’m advertising it as it is right now BUT if I have to re-MOT it, I will do so and re-advertise the car but at a higher price. I don’t think it will require much – if anything – for the MOT. We had it on a four-post lift recently and couldn’t spot anything horrific. I’m quite happy to be utterly honest and tell you everything about the car – good and bad: I’d rather you buy with your eyes open anyway and have a clear idea as to what you are buying.
Yet more bad news: its covered around 169,000 miles (it will increase as I’m still using this every day) followed by good news- its just nicely run in as the Mercedes 3.2 diesel engine lasts pretty well forever. And even more good news: it has a full service history (Mercedes main dealer up to 116,000 and independent garages after that).

As mentioned, the specification is terrific. Obviously it has leather seats along power steering, electric windows and mirrors, park sensors, climate control with air conditioning, electric seats, an auto-dipping rear view mirror, automatic rain-sensing wipers and headlamp wash/wipe. It has its original Mercedes Audio 30 stereo system along with uprated and factory fitted speakers. This has a superb radio (even receives Shortwave signals) and has a cd changer. The sound quality would put most home systems to shame. Which is a good thing as it means you won’t have to listen to some of the weird and wonderful noises the car makes in other areas - more on that in a minute. More about the gadgets and goodies: it has a built in load cover and a built in dog guard/cargo net thing and it has roof rails. The extra seats are actually hidden under the boot floor and very cleverly fold out when needed, along with seat belts and matching cup-holders. It has a tow bar fitted along with single electrics. Really handy is the trip computer which shows all sorts of info such as fuel consumption, radio station, etc. This is controlled by buttons on the steering wheel and the stereo can also be controlled in the same way. It has cruise control fitted but this only works when it feels like it – and it rarely feels like it anyway.

Its fitted with Mercedes rather superb 3.2 diesel engine giving 194bhp and 347lb/ft of torque. What that means in plain language is that goes like the proverbial clappers. It is properly fast with quite ridiculous mid-range acceleration – there are not many cars that can scare all seven occupants at the same time but this is one of them. It has the five speed automatic gearbox with winter and standard settings and this works beautifully with lovely smooth changes and its fitted ESP Stability Control. Its sitting on 16” alloys (all in good condition) and fitted with good 215/55/ZR16 tyres all round.

Out on the road, it drives really well. In fact if I had to drive down to the south of France tomorrow, I know I could jump in this and get there in complete comfort. Trouble is, I don’t actually know anyone in the south of France so I’d have to turn around and come back but it would be a very smooth and comfortable journey anyway. Its also reasonably good on fuel: I regularly see 40mpg on a smooth run. The trip computer shows that its averaged 30mpg over the last 1300 miles but that includes lots of city driving.

I mentioned weird and wonderful noises. There are actually two that are worth noting. The first is a noise from the front offside brakes and it sounds like something occasionally catching the brake disc. I know that the car stood unused for three or four months before I bought it and the front brake pads on this side had partially seized onto the disc. I reckon the disc surface has been damaged slightly by this and hence it makes a noise. It may well clear as the disc wears down but in the worst case scenario, it will need a new disc. It just hasn’t annoyed me enough to actually do anything about it yet and it actually brakes and stops just as it should. The second noise you’ll occasionally hear is a thump/knock from the rear end and I’ve had a Mercedes specialist take a look at it and he’s pretty certain that it’s a rear subframe bush. Not too bad to replace and quite cheap but again, it hasn’t irritated me enough to do anything about it. Another issue worth noting is the usual Mercedes one of rust. There’s nothing horrific here but there are minor rust bubbles appearing on the driver’s side doors, the rear wheel arch, passenger door and tailgate. Its not raging corrosion and its still at the stage where it could be repaired easily. Otherwise the body looks good with no obvious dents or scratches – in fact it’s a very smart looking car. The same goes for the interior: the leather is good and all trim, wood and plastics etc are all in good condition – in fact the interior is a very nice place to be. In the photos, you might notice the very high tech device holding the tailgate up – it’s simply a long piece of wood as the struts are stuffed and I got fed up with being whacked on the back of the head by the tailgate.

I’ve carried out a few odd jobs such as having the underside professionally cleaned and undersealed and I have replaced the viscous fan coupling. The big expense occurred just before I bought the car and was the replacement of the EGR valve at £700. The car was last serviced at 160484 miles and I will service it before its sale.
As mentioned, the MOT is due soon and is taxed until the end of March. A check on the HPI register shows that it is clear from any previous accident damage or suspect history. This was originally a demonstrator for the Mercedes main dealer in Stockton on Tees and I have the original owner’s pack complete with service book, owner’s manual, radio book etc and I also have two keys for the car. Make no mistake, this is far from perfect (what 169000 mile, 13 year old car is?) but its strong, reliable and lovely to drive. I’m looking for a firm £1100.
I’m in Berwick upon Tweed and I’ll happily answer any questions you may have.

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