We are 108,000+ car owners sharing real-world car information.

Join Us

BMW 5-Series vs. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Reliability by Model Generation

Results are for year ending December 31, 2016. Only successfully completed repairs are currently included in the analysis. Routine maintenance, most wear items, recalls, and problems fixed with just a reflash or warning light reset are not included.
Year and Model Percent of Average  
2014 - 2016 BMW 5-Series
33.4285714286% Best 96% Worst
See problems for this generation
2014 - 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
95.1428571429% Best 204% Worst
See problems for this generation
2010 - 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
50.5714285714% Best 126% Worst
See problems for this generation
2011 - 2013 BMW 5-Series
72.8571428571% Best 165% Worst
See problems for this generation
2004 - 2010 BMW 5-Series
86% Best 188% Worst
See problems for this generation
2007 - 2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
58.5714285714% Best 140% Worst
See problems for this generation
2003 - 2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
61.4285714286% Best 145% Worst
See problems for this generation
2000 - 2003 BMW 5-Series
40.2857142857% Best 108% Worst
See problems for this generation

Return to top


What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the BMW 5-Series

BMW 5-Series Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2008 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Tremendous warranty which includes annual oil change and inspection paid for by dealer. ANY problems are fixed at no charge to customer. full 2008 BMW 5-Series review
2008 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Full service for first 4 years. full 2008 BMW 5-Series review
2007 4dr Sedan 360-horsepower 4.8L V8
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
No problems in 15,000 miles full 2007 BMW 5-Series review
2007 4dr Sedan 215-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
Very good reputation. full 2007 BMW 5-Series review
2005 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Tried and true inline 6 cylinder engine. full 2005 BMW 5-Series review
2002 4dr Sedan 184-horsepower 2.5L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Very little rust after 8+ years coupled with top notch materials lasting quite a long time. Replacement parts were very costly but performed for long periods. Current owners offer great advice on what and when to perform preventative maintenance. full 2002 BMW 5-Series review
BMW 5-Series Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2011 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
8-speed shiftable automatic RWD
- accelerator response (hesitation) - engine issues (check engine light requiring three service visits in two months) - engine malfunction light (part of turbo came disconnected) - faulty fuel sensor (recall first three months of new model year) full 2011 BMW 5-Series review
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Terrible reputation for poor reliability and absurdly high repair costs as early as 50,000 miles. full 2010 BMW 5-Series review
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Unbelievable maintenance after 50K miles, cost and effort. full 2010 BMW 5-Series review
2005 4dr Sedan 325-horsepower 4.4L V8
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Over 80K many systems were beginning to break down full 2005 BMW 5-Series review
2004 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
Had several repairs the first month of ownership that were covered by CPO warranty...love that BMW CPO full 2004 BMW 5-Series review
2002 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
This car is known to have a plethora of problems. I have yet to see if it will hold up well for me. full 2002 BMW 5-Series review
2002 4dr Sedan 290-horsepower 4.4L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
I picked the above "reason" because it's the worst feature of an otherwise perfect vehicle. The durability of the interior is quite frankly an embarassment. I've lost the buttons for max for the heater, up for the driver side temerature, and the top button for the airflow direction .... don't ask me where they went, they just disappeared! I've broken the drivers side cup holder (and come on ... how pathetic are those cup holders!), and once it breaks, it no longer clicks back into the closed position so now I have a half a cup holder sticking out. One other grievance relating to interior durability ... the plastic footrest (left foot) down below the hood lever also fell apart. The plastic just broke away in full 2002 BMW 5-Series review
2001 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
dealer ship as a mess full 2001 BMW 5-Series review
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Reliability And Durability: 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. full 2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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 full 2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
2005 4dr Sedan turbocharged 201hp 3.2L I6 Diesel
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Mercedes has long been known for reliability full 2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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 full 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2008 4dr Sedan 268-horsepower 3.5L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Poor reliability in the past 5-10 years full 2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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. full 2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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. full 2007 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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. full 2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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. full 2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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 full 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
2003 4dr Sedan 302-horsepower 5.0L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Not reliable at all. Close to 100K miles and have had to replace the pump that raises the car up and won, wheel bearings and engine mounts. Very expensive. Steering wheel fluid is $30 for a quart full 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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. full 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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. full 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review
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. full 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class review