Mercedes-Benz W210 is First Produced
The Mercedes-Benz W210 is a mid-size luxury car–executive car which was produced by the German automaker Mercedes-Benz from 1995 through 2002 (production of the wagon variant (codenamed W210) carried over to the 2003 model year). The W210 replaced the W124 model. They were sold under the E-Class model names in both sedan (saloon) and station wagon body types. The W210 E-class heralded a brand new design idiom for the Mercedes 'face', which would continue until the C209 CLK. This idiom was the mainstream fashion used by Mercedes-Benz for a long period, and it made it on the SL, C-class, CLK, CL and S-class of the time. When the new CLK replaces the current model it will have been 13 years since this characteristic twin-headlamp design was used. The W210 quickly became the biggest seller in MB production.
The final W210 production included E320 special edition, and E430 special edition released in two exterior colors - quartz silver (limited edition), obsidian black, and with Xenon lights, 17-inch alloy wheels and black maple walnut trim.
In the 2000 model year, a new multi-function information system was incorporated into the instrument cluster below the speedometer, and the use of a fiber optics system for the audio/navigation/phone system was introduced, all accessed by steering wheel controls. In addition, the 5-speed automatic transmission introduced "Touch Shift," which used the +/- gate positions for manumatic control (similar to the VW/Porsche "Tiptronic" system). Exterior changes included a revised front with a steeper rake, similar to the CLK, and restyled bumpers and lower body trim.
This was the first time a V6 engine was offered (1998) to replace the straight-6 configuration (1996-1997). This new Mercedes-Benz M112 engine produced 221 hp (164 kW) and 229 ft·lbf (310 N·m) of torque and offered a 0-60 mph (98 km/h) of 6.9 seconds. Other offerings were the E420 (1997), E430 (1998-2002), and E55 AMG (1999-2002) with 354 hp (264 kW) and a 5.4 L normally aspirated engine. In North America, the range also features two E300 diesel engine models, including both non-turbocharged (1996-1997) and turbocharged (1998-1999) 3.0 litre straight-6 units. In 2000, Mercedes-Benz discontinued diesel powerplants in the E-class in North America. In Europe, the diesel engines were superseded by more advanced Common Rail (CDI) units (2000-2002). The CDI engines were not offered in North America until the E320 CDI in the newer W211 model.
The 1996 model W210 E-Class carried over the 4-speed automatic transmission from the previous W124 generation E-Class. In 1997, Mercedes installed in the E-class its electronically-controlled model 722.6 5-speed automatic transmission that first saw duty in 1996 in the V8-powered W140 S-class models. The 722.6 transmission is now used in a number of Daimler-Chrysler vehicles. The 5-speed transmission was marketed as "sealed for life" however Mercedes dealers now recommend changing the fluid at regular intervals. A 5-speed manual is also available, although during facelift in 2000, it was replaced by a 6-speed manual.
The 1996 to 2002 Mercedes-Benz E-class, dubbed internally by Mercedes as the W210 model, represents one of the best values in the used midsize luxury car market. The W210 marked a radical — and initially controversial — shift in Mercedes-Benz design philosophy. Mercedes waved goodbye to the slab sides of the 1980s and 1990s, and with the W210, ushered in the sleek, yet still timeless, styling that continues to direct Mercedes-Benz design today. Many styling cues of current Mercedes models — such as ovoid headlamps — were patterned after the W210 E-class. The W210 E-class still looks like a brand new Mercedes, but costs less than than a new Honda Civic!
The W210 Series
The Mercedes-Benz W210 Series was manufactured from 1995 through 2002 and offered a saloon or station wagon body style. With a new dramatic styling, the wheelbase and length were made larger than its predecessor. In 1996, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year.
Features of the Mercedes-Benz W210
Much more practical than its predecessors, the W210 Series was manufactured with a 4 or, for the first time, a 6-door option. The engine options of the practical E-Class were 2.0, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.7, 2.8, 2.8, 3.0, 3.2, 3.6, 4.2, 4.3, 5.0 or 5.5 liters with 10, 16, 18, 20 or 24, 32 Volts and 94 to 349 hp.
The transmission options were 4 or 5-speed automatic with no option for a manual transmission, another first. In 1996, 5 and 6-speed manual transmissions were reintroduced into the line. The manufacturer's cylinders were the I4, I5, I6, V6, V8, or S6. The 3rd generation E-Class cars were assembled with a double wishbone suspension and rear multilink system.
In 1997, Mercedes offered a sport package with 17-inch wheels, Z-rated tires, and fog lights. In the same year, a front passenger presence sensor was added to all models. In 1998, the 4matic all-wheel drive system was reintroduced into the American market.
Mercedes-Benz manufactured four AMG engines for the W210 series; the E36, E50, E60 and, in 1998, the E55. In 2000, exterior and interior upgrades were introduced on the AMG models. The E55 was the last AMG model that was hand built strictly at the Affalterbach, Germany plant.
The options of the AMG models included a 5-speed automatic transmission, an Electronic Stability System (ESP), a Brake Assist System (BAS), heated front seats, xenon HID headlamps, sport steering wheel, leather upholstery and shift knob, and metallic paint.
The Mercedes-Benz W210 Series was assembled in Austria, Vietnam, and Affalterbach, Bremen, Sindelfingin, and Zuffenhausen Germany.