During the course of buying my 2001 BMW 740iL I had seriously considered buying a 2002 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG with teal paint and black leather. That car was fully loaded with navigation, parking sensors, and I believe ventilated active comfort seats. I never had a chance to proceed with that car as I fell for the E38 before.
But the opportunity came up to drive the E55 and I jumped at it. One of the great aspects of AMG vehicles from the 90s and early 2000s was their inconspicuous design over their 'average' stablemates. The E55 looks virtually identical to an E430 sedan, with badging and light bodywork being the only major visual differences. That subtleness is what draws me to a car like this.
Today we drove back our C36 AMG through Hamilton, and I saw at least a dozen W210s parked in driveways or driving past along our route. It just goes to show that despite the issues Mercedes-Benz had with rust during this period, these cars are still on the road serving drivers faithfully. There's certainly some things to look out for if you're in the market for a W210, such as that rust, but also harmonic balancer issues, the front shock mounts can rust under the engine bay, the cluster computer pixels on facelift models can fail over time, engine mounts can degrade, and window regulators are a troublesome area.
For more information and our full thoughts, tour, and what to look for, you can watch our episode of TestDrive Spotlight on the 2002 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG.