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E-Class (W212) 2010-present: E 350, E 550

1 in 1000 E-Class, Distronic

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Old 09-06-2017, 10:37 PM
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1 in 1000 E-Class, Distronic

I drove a 2014 E250 for 18 months, but sold it to Carmax last week in preparation of buying another E250 --- with Distronic this time. After driving a car with an adaptive cruise control for 3 weeks, it's hard to go back!

As you know, E250's are relatively rare, but finding one with Distronic can be a challenge! I just worked out some numbers from Autotrader data that you may find interesting:

There are 5077 total W212 facelift (2014 to 2016) cars for sale on Autotrader. 162 of them have Distronic (that's 3.2%).

Out of those 5077, only 139 are E250 Diesels (2.7%). Out of those 139 Diesels, only 5 have Distronic (that's 3.6%).

If you do the math, it makes an E250 with Distronic a "one in a thousand" car (i.e. only 1 out every 1000 used E-class vehicles would be a Diesel with Distronic).

I stopped at San Diego MB last week and they told me that out of about 300 cars on their lot, probably only 10 have Distronic. That number roughly matches what I'm seeing on Autotrader.

Anyone on the forum have an e-class with Distronic? Did you go to great lengths to find it?
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:17 AM
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Ive had my E250 with Distronic+ for over 1 year now. Bought it new in 2016. Best decision I have made so far. After working a night shift its nice to be able to pull up on the stalk and cruise along home. I would highly recommend it.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:10 AM
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Distronic is the bomb. Love it
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:52 PM
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Yes, distronic is rare and that's always been the case. Of the 3% with distronic, how do the models break down with that feature? I have no data to support this assumption, but I would think it might appear more on E550 and possibly the diesel models. This is based purely on the assumption that diesel owners may have ordered their cars for highway driving and distronic appealed to them more. And E550 ordered cars tend to be more loaded. But when I say it may appear more on those cars it would only be slightly more.
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Old 09-07-2017, 02:13 PM
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I'd agree with the consensus that it's normally only present on special order or fully loaded 550 cars.

At my MB alignment training class, we had a pair of 2016 E250 cars that were fully loaded with distronic, and it stood out to me as being unusual to see on an E class. Cool car though, with the little diesel 4 banger and all the nice E class trim. Very efficient highway cruiser and very luxurious without going to an S class.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by thefisch View Post
Yes, distronic is rare and that's always been the case. Of the 3% with distronic, how do the models break down with that feature? I have no data to support this assumption, but I would think it might appear more on E550 and possibly the diesel models. This is based purely on the assumption that diesel owners may have ordered their cars for highway driving and distronic appealed to them more. And E550 ordered cars tend to be more loaded. But when I say it may appear more on those cars it would only be slightly more.
165 E550's on Autotrader right now -- 23 of those have distronic. That's 14% with Distronic, so you are correct that the percentage is significantly higher for the 550s.

For E63's the percentage jumps to 27.

For E350's it's only 1.9%.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:19 PM
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Those numbers are surprising to me. I guess having had adaptive cruise in numerous vehicles dating back to like 2006 has me thinking (incorrectly) that most luxury vehicles have the option equipped.

I knew our E350 wouldn't have it, but I bought it for my daughter's first car so I wasn't looking to get a loaded one.

Our Escalade's adaptive is pretty good. I think our first vehicle with it was a Toyota Sienna in 2006...back then I think they called it "Laser Cruise Control"...not sure if Toyota still has that Back To The Future name for it!
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by E250_92101 View Post
I drove a 2014 E250 for 18 months, but sold it to Carmax last week in preparation of buying another E250 --- with Distronic this time. After driving a car with an adaptive cruise control for 3 weeks, it's hard to go back!

As you know, E250's are relatively rare, but finding one with Distronic can be a challenge! I just worked out some numbers from Autotrader data that you may find interesting:

There are 5077 total W212 facelift (2014 to 2016) cars for sale on Autotrader. 162 of them have Distronic (that's 3.2%).

Out of those 5077, only 139 are E250 Diesels (2.7%). Out of those 139 Diesels, only 5 have Distronic (that's 3.6%).

If you do the math, it makes an E250 with Distronic a "one in a thousand" car (i.e. only 1 out every 1000 used E-class vehicles would be a Diesel with Distronic).

I stopped at San Diego MB last week and they told me that out of about 300 cars on their lot, probably only 10 have Distronic. That number roughly matches what I'm seeing on Autotrader.

Anyone on the forum have an e-class with Distronic? Did you go to great lengths to find it?
Yep I have it, and yes I was a very patient shopper and waited until I found exactly what I wanted.
Originally Posted by E250_92101 View Post
165 E550's on Autotrader right now -- 23 of those have distronic. That's 14% with Distronic, so you are correct that the percentage is significantly higher for the 550s.

For E63's the percentage jumps to 27.

For E350's it's only 1.9%.
Wow, So I guess for my car, it is even more rare than the E250's (1.9% vs 3.6%).
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:32 PM
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I wish we could get Marti report-style breakdowns for these cars.

I have an Indigo on brown leather E250 4matic with pano, parktronic, lighting, keyless-go, lane tracking, ventilated seats, etc. Has to be pretty uncommon, but no driver's assist.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:25 PM
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my E250 has distronic and another rare option, split screen in the nav system. I have yet to use this split screen but it is cool plus wireless MB headphones
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:33 PM
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Autonomous cruise control was my #1 must-have when I purchased my car 4 years ago. Definitely had to really hunt for it. But I couldn't be happier with my E350 Bluetec with Distronic!
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:31 PM
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I wanted the V8 with all the safety options including distronic and when I was looking a year ago the pickings were definitely slim - just a handful of options nationwide for all of the packages I wanted.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fintail View Post
I have an Indigo on brown leather E250 4matic with pano, parktronic, lighting, keyless-go, lane tracking, ventilated seats, etc. Has to be pretty uncommon, but no driver's assist.
You definitely have some rare options... It's almost impossible to find one with everything you want without special order (and Diesel is no longer available anyway and in my opinion is never coming back to the U.S.).

The wife and I are flying out Thursday morning to pick-up a 2016 E250 with Distronic Plus. It has 8K miles, leather, ventilated/dynamic seats, adaptive LEDs, but NO keyless-go and NO parktronic. Not having keyless-go will take some adjusting after our previous E250... however, I value the distronic over everything else. Compromises, compromises... will have a 2100 mile return trip home.

Hoping to keep this one for a long time!
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by E250_92101 View Post
You definitely have some rare options... It's almost impossible to find one with everything you want without special order (and Diesel is no longer available anyway and in my opinion is never coming back to the U.S.).

The wife and I are flying out Thursday morning to pick-up a 2016 E250 with Distronic Plus. It has 8K miles, leather, ventilated/dynamic seats, adaptive LEDs, but NO keyless-go and NO parktronic. Not having keyless-go will take some adjusting after our previous E250... however, I value the distronic over everything else. Compromises, compromises... will have a 2100 mile return trip home.

Hoping to keep this one for a long time!
I think someone added distronic to a W211 and it didn't seem like it was that bad. Of course adding any option after the fact to any MB usually isn't worth it, does nothing to the value of the car and usually cost a bit more. Might still be the same type of mod on a W212 though. Never really heard of keyless go being added afterwards, the cost of the handles, antennas and all the other parts probably makes it cost way more than just distronic. I see people with after market parktronic all the time. Usually looks horrible because the sensor aren't flush with the bumper and sometimes you just see it on the rear, but not the front. Still they're somewhat generic now, even the aftermarket you have to look closely because they at least paint them so it matches the bumper.

While the mileage on a diesel is appealing, the real reason I'd stay away from one is because very few are sold and if you have any questions or problems with one, you hear crickets on the forums and you're stuck with the MB dealer as very few indys will know how to fix it. Same deal with parts too, only OEM. When there's enough volume, the aftermarket steps in.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:53 PM
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I have a wagon...luxury trim, with distronic.

Dealer says he thinks it may be the only one in the USA so equipped.

LOVE distronic -- can't see owning another car without it.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:33 PM
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If the car had Distronic, it might be a keeper as a "forever car", optioned exactly as I might build it (OK, I'd rather have Diamond Silver, but the darker blue is nice too). Even so, it might be a long termer. Picking up a car as a leftover sitting on a dealer storage lot limits your custom option choices, and the gasoline cars just don't tempt me as much - the 4cyl diesel is a gem of an engine.

No keyless is really weird on a leather and drivers assist car, I wonder who spec'd that. I can deal without Parktronic, but I am really used to keyless-go now, and I think it would irk me to be without it. But if someone isn't into it, it might not be a problem. I just got in from a little road trip - 46.1 mpg per the computer, and that was with a couple stops. No complaints.

I think the ultimate rarity would be a full option luxury trim E250 with Distronic. That could be a real keeper.


Originally Posted by E250_92101 View Post
You definitely have some rare options... It's almost impossible to find one with everything you want without special order (and Diesel is no longer available anyway and in my opinion is never coming back to the U.S.).

The wife and I are flying out Thursday morning to pick-up a 2016 E250 with Distronic Plus. It has 8K miles, leather, ventilated/dynamic seats, adaptive LEDs, but NO keyless-go and NO parktronic. Not having keyless-go will take some adjusting after our previous E250... however, I value the distronic over everything else. Compromises, compromises... will have a 2100 mile return trip home.

Hoping to keep this one for a long time!
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by fintail View Post
If the car had Distronic, it might be a keeper as a "forever car", optioned exactly as I might build it (OK, I'd rather have Diamond Silver, but the darker blue is nice too). Even so, it might be a long termer. Picking up a car as a leftover sitting on a dealer storage lot limits your custom option choices, and the gasoline cars just don't tempt me as much - the 4cyl diesel is a gem of an engine.

No keyless is really weird on a leather and drivers assist car, I wonder who spec'd that. I can deal without Parktronic, but I am really used to keyless-go now, and I think it would irk me to be without it. But if someone isn't into it, it might not be a problem. I just got in from a little road trip - 46.1 mpg per the computer, and that was with a couple stops. No complaints.

I think the ultimate rarity would be a full option luxury trim E250 with Distronic. That could be a real keeper.
We definitely think alike! I love the 4-cyl diesel. It is absolutely fantastic and gives me a smile every time I drive it. I've been looking for the "real keeper" and this is the closest I can get. The car is Diamond Silver (like our old E250). Really the only thing missing is the keyless-go; no parktronic is not a big deal. I could always add the 360 camera system which seems to be doable and integrates seamlessly, but I probably won't bother. I even spoke to Mid-City Engineering since they offer push-button start kits for other models, but they are not planning on one for W212 since not having it from the factory is rare! I think someone purposely ordered this one without it. My dilemma was that everything else about the car was perfect (color, distronic, active LEDs, leather, active/ventilated seats, 2016 model with traffic sign recognition, only 8200 miles, 4matic in case we move back to Scandinavia) and I kept thinking how many more cars with such rare options are gonna be on the market with such low mileage. So I pulled the trigger and decided that I'll have to learn to live without the keyless-go.

Just arrived in Indianapolis tonight and will see the car in the morning for the first time. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep since I need to do at least 600 miles toward San Diego tomorrow. The gas engine guys are wondering what's wrong with this guy who is so excited about a "lousy" 4-cylinder diesel car!
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:19 PM
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Nice color, yes, you have good taste

In my car, which seems to have virtually everything save for Distronic, I would probably do without leather and Parktronic to compensate (price would be about the same, I think). I don't think it would be feasible to retrofit, so I will have to make do or find another car someday, maybe when it is further along in the term. I won't give up keyless-go though. But if the driver doesn't mind, that's all that matters - as you say, you may never find another one as close to perfect, and low miles to boot. Did it turn out as well as hoped?


Originally Posted by E250_92101 View Post
We definitely think alike! I love the 4-cyl diesel. It is absolutely fantastic and gives me a smile every time I drive it. I've been looking for the "real keeper" and this is the closest I can get. The car is Diamond Silver (like our old E250). Really the only thing missing is the keyless-go; no parktronic is not a big deal. I could always add the 360 camera system which seems to be doable and integrates seamlessly, but I probably won't bother. I even spoke to Mid-City Engineering since they offer push-button start kits for other models, but they are not planning on one for W212 since not having it from the factory is rare! I think someone purposely ordered this one without it. My dilemma was that everything else about the car was perfect (color, distronic, active LEDs, leather, active/ventilated seats, 2016 model with traffic sign recognition, only 8200 miles, 4matic in case we move back to Scandinavia) and I kept thinking how many more cars with such rare options are gonna be on the market with such low mileage. So I pulled the trigger and decided that I'll have to learn to live without the keyless-go.

Just arrived in Indianapolis tonight and will see the car in the morning for the first time. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep since I need to do at least 600 miles toward San Diego tomorrow. The gas engine guys are wondering what's wrong with this guy who is so excited about a "lousy" 4-cylinder diesel car!
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by fintail View Post
Nice color, yes, you have good taste

In my car, which seems to have virtually everything save for Distronic, I would probably do without leather and Parktronic to compensate (price would be about the same, I think). I don't think it would be feasible to retrofit, so I will have to make do or find another car someday, maybe when it is further along in the term. I won't give up keyless-go though. But if the driver doesn't mind, that's all that matters - as you say, you may never find another one as close to perfect, and low miles to boot. Did it turn out as well as hoped?
The car was in better shape than I expected. It is absolutely flawless. I've been looking for a small scratch somewhere, but I'm yet to find one. The original owner must have been as "****" as me! Before leaving, I sprayed the whole front end with clear Plasti Dip. My last E250 got "sand blasted" in a storm driving through Arizona. Now I have a huge blister in my thumb after I removed the Plasti Dip last night!!

The drive home was 2300 miles. Had Distronic engaged the whole way. It makes driving so amazingly relaxing. I though the Steering Assist feature was going to be a gimmick, but at times I drove hundred miles or more by only holding the wheel with one hand without making any major, or really even minor, steering inputs. Obviously it's not going to keep up when the curves get more aggressive like between Denver and Southern Utah, crossing the rockies. It is really awesome in slow stop-and-go traffic. Below 20 mph, you don't even have to have your hands on the wheel. Above that, you'll get a graphic warning followed by a slightly delayed aural warning if it doesn't sense your hands on the wheel.

Gas milage (per trip computer) was 39.2 including some city driving in Indianapolis, Omaha, Denver, and Las Vegas.

This is definitely the "keeper" for me. I'm starting to get used to the lack of Keyless-Go. Of course, I would have preferred it, but finding a car with a flawless exterior and interior far outweighs the lack of keyless-go for me (thanks to my OCD!).

My previous E250 was the sport model and I had the AMG wheels on it. Will put them on this one on Thursday. I'm not sure how they'll go with the luxury trim. BTW, I do like the luxury trim and suspension. I personally think this car will age more gracefully than the sport model.





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Old 09-20-2017, 09:32 PM
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Awesome. I never thought of the plasti-dip route. That car has to be a 1 of 1, at least in the US. As MB design seems to be swinging back to less creases and faux-aggression, I think the luxury trim will age well, too. Nice score, I hope I am so lucky when I start looking again.

[QUOTE=E250_92101;7267697]The car was in better shape than I expected. It is absolutely flawless. I've been looking for a small scratch somewhere, but I'm yet to find one. The original owner must have been as "****" as me! Before leaving, I sprayed the whole front end with clear Plasti Dip. My last E250 got "sand blasted" in a storm driving through Arizona. Now I have a huge blister in my thumb after I removed the Plasti Dip last night!!

The drive home was 2300 miles. Had Distronic engaged the whole way. It makes driving so amazingly relaxing. I though the Steering Assist feature was going to be a gimmick, but at times I drove hundred miles or more by only holding the wheel with one hand without making any major, or really even minor, steering inputs. Obviously it's not going to keep up when the curves get more aggressive like between Denver and Southern Utah, crossing the rockies. It is really awesome in slow stop-and-go traffic. Below 20 mph, you don't even have to have your hands on the wheel. Above that, you'll get a graphic warning followed by a slightly delayed aural warning if it doesn't sense your hands on the wheel.

Gas milage (per trip computer) was 39.2 including some city driving in Indianapolis, Omaha, Denver, and Las Vegas.

This is definitely the "keeper" for me. I'm starting to get used to the lack of Keyless-Go. Of course, I would have preferred it, but finding a car with a flawless exterior and interior far outweighs the lack of keyless-go for me (thanks to my OCD!).

My previous E250 was the sport model and I had the AMG wheels on it. Will put them on this one on Thursday. I'm not sure how they'll go with the luxury trim. BTW, I do like the luxury trim and suspension. I personally think this car will age more gracefully than the sport model.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:09 AM
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Another e250 owner here. This one may be a keeper for me also. I was expecting some problems here and there as this is a German car (compared to my Lexus wagon). So far it's been rather good. Small problems do exist - pano roof popping noise, parking brake cable not releasing fully, Bluetooth audio skipping. But the powertrain has been solid. I have another 15k miles to make a long term judgement on the true keeper status (when my CPO warranty runs out).

Congrats on the purchase.
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mellonc View Post
Another e250 owner here. This one may be a keeper for me also. I was expecting some problems here and there as this is a German car (compared to my Lexus wagon). So far it's been rather good. Small problems do exist - pano roof popping noise, parking brake cable not releasing fully, Bluetooth audio skipping. But the powertrain has been solid. I have another 15k miles to make a long term judgement on the true keeper status (when my CPO warranty runs out).

Congrats on the purchase.
I think those problems should be covered under your CPO warranty. The popping noise is the bolts, make sure they use loctite or it will come back. Bluetooth audio skipping is also common. Some of it may just be the nature of bluetooth, but a firmware upgrade might help. Basically you go in and tell them bluetooth skips and if they can update the firmware/Comand. Normally they won't update the firmware unless there's a problem associated with it.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:25 PM
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Thanks! Let me know when you start looking for your next one and I'll be happy to do a daily search to help!

Originally Posted by fintail View Post
Nice score, I hope I am so lucky when I start looking again.
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mellonc View Post
Another e250 owner here. This one may be a keeper for me also. I was expecting some problems here and there as this is a German car (compared to my Lexus wagon). So far it's been rather good. Small problems do exist - pano roof popping noise, parking brake cable not releasing fully, Bluetooth audio skipping. But the powertrain has been solid. I have another 15k miles to make a long term judgement on the true keeper status (when my CPO warranty runs out).

Congrats on the purchase.
Like cetialpha5 said, hopefully your issues will get covered under the CPO warranty!

This summer I took a ride in a E220 diesel taxi (W212) in Helsinki. It had 160,000 kilometers on it. I asked the driver about its reliability so far. He said there has been zero problems. He also said he could buy the car from the taxi company owner when it hits about 320,000 km in about another year. He had just asked his friend who is a Mercedes mechanic specializing in taxi cars whether he would be a total fool if he bought it with 320,000 km on the clock (i.e. 200K miles). The mechanic said the late model W212s are so trouble free that it would actually be a good buy. It seemed that he is seriously considering buying it for himself. That really spoke volumes to me about these cars!
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