Mercedes-Benz has delivered some spectacular vehicles.
Some of these have become legendary for their resilience, while others, well… they’ve had their moments.
But today, we’re not here to dig into controversies or technical issues.
Instead, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most reliable Mercedes-Benz models!
And trust me, a car’s reliability can be as much of a status symbol as its logo.
List of the 10 most reliable Mercedes-Benz models and years
Before we begin, here’s how we compiled this list:
- Real-world experiences & owner reviews: There’s nothing quite like hearing it from first-hand experiences. Mercedes-Benz owners aren’t shy about sharing their love (and sometimes frustrations) with their cars. So, we’ve read forums, scanned reviews, and even had a few talks.
- Reliability studies: We analyzed reliability studies from J.D. Power, iSeeCars, CarComplaints, and RepairPal.
With that out of the way, let’s start!
10. W210 Mercedes E-Class (1996-2002)
You might still remember when the W210 E-Class was first introduced with those distinctive dual headlights – almost like a seasoned pilot with aviator goggles. They became iconic and were quickly dubbed the “four-eyed” look.
The W210, in its time, was the face of modern luxury. It took over the baton from its predecessor, the W124 (which we’ll discuss later, so hang tight!). And boy, did it run with it.
Though it had its issues, it’s like an old movie star, never really fading away, just gracefully aging.
The car’s longevity is a testament to its craftsmanship; many still swear by it as one of the best they’ve ever driven.
Fun fact: Did you know that the W210 was the first Mercedes to introduce curtain airbags?
While the W210 had a few engine variants, the M112 engine in the W210 E280 was arguably the most reliable.
While it puts out 201 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, its longevity has gained respect among Mercedes enthusiasts.
Another solid contender is the bulletproof 4.3-liter M113 engine found in the W210 E430!
However, as much as we adore the W210, it wasn’t without its quirks.
Some owners reported rust issues around the wheel arches and lower body panels. Also, the electronics may cause some issues from time to time.
9. W203 Mercedes C-Class (2000-2007)
Ah, the early 2000s. It was a time of pop culture upheavals, Y2K, and baggy jeans.
Amidst all that, Mercedes rolled out the W203 C-Class, and what a statement it made!
The W203 C-Class had a colossal task – to redefine the brand’s identity in a rapidly evolving world.
With sharper lines, a more compact profile, and a youthful appeal, it looked towards capturing the hearts of a newer, younger audience.
For instance, the W203 introduced the first-ever coupe version for the C-Class.
While some purists raised eyebrows at this fresh approach, many others applauded the boldness.
The most reliable engine on the W203 C-Class is the 1.8L Kompressor inline-four. Compact yet capable, it will hold its own and then some.
Yet, to be honest, here, the W203 did have a few issues. Some owners are talking about some electrical glitches and occasional suspension issues.
8. W222 Mercedes S-Class (2014-2020)
The S-Class is seen as the crown jewel of Mercedes-Benz, and with the W222 iteration, it’s no different.
Launched in 2014, the W222 immediately set new standards in design, comfort, and innovation.
From the advanced driver assistance systems to the AirMatic suspension, every journey feels like you’re sitting on a cloud.
The W222 even was one of the first cars to use extensive LED lighting. No traditional light bulbs, just LEDs everywhere.
Plus, it was one of the pioneers in autonomous driving tech. It had features that could drive the car semi-autonomously under certain conditions.
The most reliable engine on the W222 S-Class? It must be the M276 from the S450.
This 3.0-liter V6 turbo puts out 362 horsepower and a torque of 369 lb-ft, which means you’re looking at smooth accelerations and overtakes, even at higher speeds.
While the W222 is nearly an automotive masterpiece, some owners have pointed out issues with its electronics.
Sometimes, the infotainment system could go out. But given the sheer number of tech features it’s packed with, an issue here and there is somewhat understandable.
7. W166 Mercedes GLE (2015-2019)
The Mercedes GLE has a reputation for being the jack-of-all-trades in Mercedes’ lineup.
It offers the luxury one expects from a Mercedes-Benz while providing the rugged capability one desires from an SUV.
When the W166 rolled out with its facelift in 2015, it brought a fresh appeal, keeping the SUV modern and right in the mix with its competitors.
The facelifted W166 GLE was the first to drop the ‘ML’ model name.
Mercedes decided to give it a fresh identity, aligning it closer to the E-Class. Hence, GLE – Geländewagen (off-road vehicle) E.
When it comes to the most reliable engine, the M276 in the GLE 350 stands out. Much like its counterpart in the S450, this V6 engine is all about delivering consistent performance.
Fun fact: The GLE is not just about the drive; it’s also about the experience. The ambient lighting inside? It offers a whopping 64 colors!
6. W212 Mercedes E-Class (2010-2016)
The W212 Mercedes E-Class, which was produced between 2010 and 2016, feels like a timeless classic.
The E-Class has always had a reputation for being the workhorse of the Mercedes lineup.
It’s the reliable go-to, the all-rounder that manages to strike a balance between luxury, performance, and practicality.
For the W212, the engine you should be looking for if you’re concerned about reliability is the 3.5-liter V6 (M276) from the E350.
As you might have noticed, it’s the third time we mentioned this engine in this list already, simply because it was one of the best engines Mercedes put in its models in the 2010s!
Related article: Is A Mercedes E-Class Worth It In 2023? (10 Pros & Cons)
5. X156 Mercedes GLA (2017-2020)
The Mercedes GLA, since its inception, has always aimed to offer the best of both worlds – the versatility and ruggedness of an SUV coupled with the agility of a hatchback.
Despite its compact size, the GLA has a surprisingly roomy interior. Mercedes engineers ensured that the cabin felt spacious.
For the X156 GLA, the most reliable engine to go for is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo (M270) found in the GLA 250 variant.
It puts out 208 horsepower and a torque of 258 lb-ft. In short, punchy performance combined with smooth power delivery.
4. W204 Mercedes C-Class (2012-2015)
The Mercedes C-Class is where many of us have had our first taste of what the brand truly offers.
Throughout its iterations, the C-Class has maintained a solid reputation for being a well-balanced offering in the luxury sedan market.
It has the sophistication one would expect from a car wearing the Mercedes badge yet retains a youthful charm.
The facelifted W204 particularly stands out for blending the old-world Mercedes charm with many modern touches.
And in terms of reliability, the W204 C-Class is like that trusted old friend you can always rely on.
But as much as we love the facelifted W204, it’s essential to discuss some reported issues.
A few owners have noted some minor interior wear and tear over time, especially with the leather surfaces. But considering the vast number of these vehicles on the road, these cases are relatively isolated.
3. W211 Mercedes E-Class (2002-2009)
Taking a step back into the early 2000s, we arrive at the W211 Mercedes E-Class.
The W211 feels like a time capsule.
It’s a beautiful blend of the early 2000s aesthetics with features and tech that made even the more recent cars look twice.
The design, complemented by the unmistakably Mercedes front grille, gives it a presence that’s both imposing and elegant.
If you’re looking for a reliable engine, try to find the 3.0-liter V6 diesel (OM 642) in the 320 CDI. This engine stood out for its durability and the sheer consistency of its performance, making long drives feel like a breeze.
2. W124 Mercedes E-Class (1984-1995)
Whenever someone brings up “they don’t make them like they used to,” the W124 E-Class is often the first name to pop up in the conversation.
Produced from the mid-80s through the mid-90s, this model is synonymous with an era where craftsmanship took over everything else.
A time when cars were built to last.
The W124 is not just another car; it’s a legend in the automotive world.
For many, it’s the epitome of German engineering. Known for its almost tank-like durability, it has built a reputation of being one of the most reliable and long-lasting vehicles ever to roll off an assembly line.
However, due to its age, we couldn’t justify putting the W124 E-Class as the number one most reliable Mercedes-Benz. Still, we wanted to include it in the top three!
Fun fact: During its time, the W124 was one of the most aerodynamically efficient cars in the market. Mercedes engineers were obsessed with reducing drag, which eventually led to its unique design, especially that sharply raked rear window.
The crown jewel of the W124’s engine lineup was undoubtedly the OM606 in the E 300 Turbodiesel.
It’s not uncommon to find a W124 taxi with miles that could take you to the moon and back!
1. W205 Mercedes C-Class (2019-2021)
And now, we come to the most reliable Mercedes-Benz model, the W205 C-Class (particularly its facelifted version from 2019 to 2021).
Why the facelift version?
Well, the W205 C-Class is already a reliable vehicle to begin with.
However, generally, whenever a new model (or generation) is released, it always has a few quirks that hurt its reliability.
With the facelift model, Mercedes has had the time to notice and fix these quirks, making it even more reliable!
The most reliable powerplant in the W205 C-Class is the 3.5-liter M276 engine, particularly in the C400.
It’s the kind of engine that promises to last a long time, all while putting a smile on your face from its performance!
What are the most reliable Mercedes-Benz engines?
You see, while the body and interiors might be the face and personality of a Mercedes-Benz, the engines form their very soul.
But what are the most reliable Mercedes-Benz engines?
Let’s take a look!
- M113 Engine: A V8 powerhouse, the M113 was placed in various Mercedes models from the late ’90s to the mid-2000s. This engine wasn’t just about raw power; it blended performance with impressive durability. A true jack-of-all-trades!
- OM606 Engine: A blast from the past, but what a glorious past it was! Mainly associated with the W124 E-Class, many old-timers swear by this engine, and it’s not hard to see why. It was built like a tank!
- M112 Engine: The M112 was introduced in 1997 and is an all-aluminum alloy V6 petrol engine. It’s found in various Mercedes-Benz models, including the C-Class, E-Class, and even the ML-Class SUVs, with displacements ranging from 2.6L to 3.7L.
- OM617 Engine: Introduced in the 1970s, the OM617 is an oldie but a goodie. It was primarily installed in the W123 and W126 models, and it has gained a somewhat cult-like following due to its near indestructibility.
- M104 Engine: The M104 stands out thanks to its robust construction. The engine block is cast iron, while the cylinder head is made from aluminum, which ensures durability and longevity.
- M276 Engine: When you think of a modern-day workhorse for Mercedes, the M276 is the name that resonates. Found in many recent Mercedes-Benz models, including the C400 and the E350, it’s a testament to balance, power, and, above all, reliability.
If there’s one thing that jumps out, it’s how Mercedes has always been super dedicated to making awesome cars that last.
We hope your Mercedes brings you countless happy memories and safe adventures.
Any more questions? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!