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Mercedes-Benz E-Class vs. Ford Explorer Sport Trac Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Mercedes-Benz E-Class or Ford Explorer Sport Trac reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Ford Explorer Sport Trac truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Ford Explorer Sport Trac reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Ford Explorer Sport Trac were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Ford Explorer Sport Trac have been recently.

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Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   19 E-Classes, 3.9 months of data per E-Class, average 4100 miles

* Small sample size.
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2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 28 E-Classes, 9.3 months of data per E-Class, average 26700 miles42
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 29 E-Classes, 9.5 months of data per E-Class, average 33300 miles

Redesigned for this model year.
78
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   15 E-Classes, 10.0 months of data per E-Class, average 52600 miles

* Small sample size.
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2008 Ford Explorer Sport Trac   20 Explorer Sport Tracs, 8.8 months of data per Explorer Sport Trac, average 58300 miles

* Small sample size.
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2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 26 E-Classes, 8.9 months of data per E-Class, average 51100 miles83
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac 27 Explorer Sport Tracs, 7.9 months of data per Explorer Sport Trac, average 88000 miles

Combined sample is mostly comprised of the related Explorer SUV.
56
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 34 E-Classes, 8.7 months of data per E-Class, average 67600 miles

Repair frequencies for the 2006 and 2008 have increased in the past year, but that for the 2007 has not. No specific problems common with any of these years, so no obvious explanation.
53
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 30 E-Classes, 8.4 months of data per E-Class, average 91300 miles90
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   19 E-Classes, 8.5 months of data per E-Class, average 88800 miles

* Small sample size.
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2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   11 E-Classes, 7.6 months of data per E-Class, average 84000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   14 E-Classes, 9.4 months of data per E-Class, average 94700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2002 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   10 E-Classes, 9.3 months of data per E-Class, average 126500 miles

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2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac   10 Explorer Sport Tracs, 9.5 months of data per Explorer Sport Trac, average 144400 miles

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2001 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   16 E-Classes, 9.3 months of data per E-Class, average 145200 miles

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2000 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   11 E-Classes, 9.1 months of data per E-Class, average 118800 miles

* Very small sample size.
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1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class   17 E-Classes, 8.0 months of data per E-Class, average 126100 miles

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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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What Our Members Are Saying about Mercedes-Benz E-Class Reliability and Durability

Reliability and Durability of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2008 4dr Sedan 268-horsepower 3.5L V6
7-speed shiftable automatic RWD
The 2008 E-Class is far more reliable than previous E-Class models, many of which are plagued by quirky electronic issues. No such issues with this model. Perhaps the most reliable model thus far.
2007 4dr Sedan 268-horsepower 3.5L V6
7-speed shiftable automatic RWD
They are not known for being inexpensive to maintain. While the scheduled maintenance trips are not cheap, so far I have had virtually no problems with the car. trips that are not but they are known for having
2005 4dr Sedan turbocharged 201hp 3.2L I6 Diesel
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Mercedes has long been known for reliability
2003 4dr Sedan 302-horsepower 5.0L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
The car still drives like a solid new car at 94000 miles
Reliability and Durability of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2008 4dr Sedan 268-horsepower 3.5L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Poor reliability in the past 5-10 years
2008 4dr Sedan 268-horsepower 3.5L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Driver side mirror cracked in the cold in the first 2 months. Piece of driver door trim came loose after a couple of months.
2007 4dr Sedan 507-horsepower 6.2L V8
7-speed shiftable automatic RWD
It never works right. There is always some sort of other problem. Problem after problem after problem, it never ends.
2005 4dr Sedan supercharged 469hp 5.4L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Materials look & feel great, and seem well put together, but durability is questionable. E.g., glovebox door soft close craps out, as do the tweeter "triangle" housings in the forward door corners). Airmatic suspension is known problem area.
2004 4dr Sedan 221-horsepower 3.2L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
My repairs are mostly for simple things that should last longer. Engine and Trans are stellar.
2003 4dr Sedan supercharged 469hp 5.4L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
The second major issue that owners of the W211 can expect to have is the SBC brake system. This was implemented on the '03 - '06 W211 and it was changed on subsequent years in 2007. The SBC unit, pressure reservoir, and the other parts of the brake system can alert you to a fault and minutes later leave you without brakes. This is unacceptable. Mercedes did put out a 10 year unlimited mileage warranty on the SBC unit itself, but I'll give you one guess as to when the fault will happen! If the pressure reservoir goes out, you won't even be able to get the car out of park, even just to get it in to neutral to get a tow. The brake sensors seem to be finicky and the brake switch as well. Knowing what I know now about the failed application of SBC, I'd never purchase an E class Mercedes between the years of 2003-2006. If I were to ever look in to purchasing a Mercedes again, I would do my homework on the types of systems in place. I have had to do this repair and others on the brakes, so I speak from experience.
2003 4dr Sedan 302-horsepower 5.0L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
TOO many !@#$# trips to the dealer for ball joints, ignition key failure, Total brake failure of EBS, and $1000/visit oil change
2003 4dr Sedan supercharged 469hp 5.4L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
The W211 E class is just a mess of problems waiting to happen. Probably the biggest is the tendency of the fuel tank and two fuel senders (underneath the back seat, by the way) to leak with no fix other than to replace them at a high cost (over $3,500). The fuel sender leak happens to be right around some electrical connections as well, so it is a wonder there haven't been any notable fire incidents. This is a known issue and there is an NTSB ongoing investigation (PE12001, which has been upgraded to the next level of action) because of the high number of vehicles affected. The fact that Mercedes doesn't own up to this issue after several iterations of re-engineered parts and continued failures is the main reason I will never buy another Mercedes. I have had to have this repair done, so I speak from experience.
2003 4dr Sedan supercharged 469hp 5.4L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
The W211's, and many other models of Mercedes, have two batteries. One main batter for starting, and an accessory battery for running convenience features, your brakes, etc. This is a definite source of trouble. When you have certain functions fail, the obvious place to look at a secondary battery isn't the first thing that comes to mind. A secondary battery that is slightly low on voltage can start to create havoc in your electronics. I have faced this a number of times, and actually, it is now one of the first things I check when something odd is occurring.
2003 4dr Sedan supercharged 469hp 5.4L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
The third major issue the W211's have is the airmatic system. A common fault is for the airmatic struts to leak, which requires replacement. One replacement cost is $1600. If you aren't under warranty, the bill could add up quickly if more than one goes out. The airmatic system is nice in principle, but in practice this is a common ailment. I had my left front go bad, so I speak from experience.

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What Our Members Are Saying about Ford Explorer Sport Trac Reliability and Durability

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