The E-Class has long been established as a major player as one of the definitive contenders on the executive car market. All oozing with quality, a silky smooth engine and a luxurious creamy ride, the long-lived W210 was worthy of the badge and is often referred to as the last ‘true’ Mercedes-Benz . It offers a discreet car fully loaded up with practical equipment propelled by a 279bhp engine capable of exceeding the national speed limit.
This 2002 E430 is a UK-specified car with the Avantgarde equipment package, which adds the sport suspension, maple interior trim, 5 hole alloys to the already luxurious standard equipment. This facelift model is also kitted out with useful driver aids such as rain sensitive wipers, speedtronic cruise control and leather trim. In short, the E430 is the best equipped V8 estate car available to UK buyers at the time. With just 2 registered owners on the V5, the car has an almost complete service history and comes with a year's ticket.
The current owner singled this car out fairly recently, as a project to conduct a minor overhaul and to use, but they were persuaded by the comparative rarity of the car and the fact so few late V8 Mercedes estates come on to the market.
Swayed by the car's solid foundations, service history, two actual owners and comparatively rust-free body, he decided to take the car on. Several minor issues were resolved for the MOT, with the main focus being new paint on the front of the car.
The car comes with its original wallet with owner manuals, including the .command' booklet and evidence of a healthy servicing schedule. There are main dealer stamps with a later mix of specialists and local garage stamps up to 134K miles, with a suggestion of further servicing to 2019. It has a new MOT which lasts until August 2022.
The initial positive impression of the interior is only let down by the wear on the seats, particularly the driver seat, with the bolster requiring repair. The other seats would benefit from a refurb but do not have any significant rips or scratches. The carpets and mats are complete throughout out and while they show some signs of age, they’re in good condition with no major flaws. The door cards are complete and in good condition, with some evidence of age and damage on the leather section and armrests. The electrical elements are operational. The headlining is decent, with no major flaws and still fits nicely.
The dashboard has resisted the ageing process well, with no significant damage noted on the leather and plastic elements of the facia or maple wood finish. The controls, dials and switches are in good condition, with the electrical functions in a working state, with the exception of the air conditioning. The electric windows, electric tilting/sliding roof, memory seats/mirror/steering functions have all been tested to function. A couple of the console cluster pixels have suffered the ravages of time somewhat, although the core instruments are still legible. The leather steering wheel is intact, with some suggestions of wear but no damage. The gear stick also shows a small amount of wear but retains its lustre.
The capacious boot area presentation still impresses, with no major evidence of load damage, just a little wear in places. The loading compartment folding seat bench is fully functional and in good order with minor seat indentations observed. The pull-out boot blind is in good condition and functions well. The first aid kit and jack are present.
The overall body panel fit is good with no issues in terms of panel gaps, with the doors hanging well and opening and closing with no issues. The bumpers fit well and are flush. The body has a handful of minor dents scattered around, mostly small ones on the doors - a specialist dent puller can get these resolved easily.
The car has a handful of minor rust bubbles, which on a Mercedes of this era is to be expected, but the good news is that the car is structurally sound. It has seen some level of repair carried out underneath, but inspection in the inner wing, sills, engine bay and chassis rails all suggest that the car is in good shape and there are no advisories on the MOT to suggest any immediate issues. It might be prudent to keep an eye on the rear offside underside section, behind the rear wheel as there is a patch of surface rust. A scan across the body reveals a handful of issues, but nothing that distracts the presentation of the car. The inside bottom corners of the doors and bubbling coming through on both of the front door window pillars panel being the most notable issues. There is also a minor repair noted on the lower off-side rear arch. The arches look good, with no significant bubbling coming through.
The tanzanite blue paint finish has lasted well, with a good lustre throughout and displaying no significant scratches. The front of the car has had a paint blow-over, with minimal signs of masking on the headlamps, but the front of the car is clear of serious paint chips and scratches as a result. The doors edges, particularly the driver's door, have seen small touch-ups. There is some minor lacquer damage around the car, but overall it has been well looked after and the car presents very nicely.
The plastic trim is generally good, although the fit is slightly out in places. There are a few minor blemishes observed on both bumpers, most noticeably on the off-side of the boot lip but overall they are free from parking scuffs and knocks. The sill covers show signs of slight misfitting.
The Event Potentem UHP tyres all date 2019 and all in good condition, although one has been flagged with outside edge wear but all display legal tread. The alloys are in decent condition, with minor scuffs noted on the front items but nothing beyond repair.
The lights and lenses are in decent condition with no damage, with no significant clouding. The heat-insulating glass is in good order, with no issues with damage, no cracks or chips or laminate blemishes. The glass rubber trim is good, with no significant perishing. There is a little wear noted on the driver's door rubber but it is still intact. All other door rubbers are in good condition.
The lusty V8 starts up immediately with no issues upon idling. No excess smoke or blowing coming from the exhaust. The engine is said to pull well, with no excess play in the steering or suspension knocking noted by the owner. The engine sounds good, with no significant unwanted noises. The car was subject to some suspension bush replacements around a year ago, with some pipe replacement too. The front pads may need attention in the future, but the braking system is fully functional with no drama or effort needed to stop the car. The automatic gearbox functions well and is said to provide seamless and smooth changes.
There are not many options for those looking for a V8 estate car that can transport a family of seven with the same pace, convenience, and safety as the Mercedes E430. The brand's legendary reputation for build quality, reliability and robust engineering is entirely justified. As previous generations of E-Class continue to rise in stock, it's logical to consider the newer W210 models. With many experts agreeing that it is the last of the ‘classic’ Mercedes wagons, this is a superb opportunity to grab one while you can.
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