Mercedes’ E55 AMG was a game-changing super-saloon. And at under £20k, a used one offers incredible value. Here, we reveal what to look out for when buying one used, and we also look back at the car's original road test from 2002.
Discs and pads are reasonable, totalling around £450 for a set. Fitting will add quite a bit, especially if the fluid is being changed. This generation of E-class has a complicated SBC brake/stability system that requires you to plug it in to a computer while you change the fluid. No jam jar and length of hose here.
A high-spec E55 (and many of them do have the kitchen sink) contains lots of gadgets. Many of these systems — the infotainment unit, for example — are costly to fix and are therefore sometimes ignored by owners. Quality is better than on the W210, so there should be no squeaks or leaks.
Mercedes has always built cars that have very tough chassis components. There are no weak bushes or joints on the W211 E55 that are likely to fail within a few years.
Very reliable, hand-built, and you can see the name of the person who put it together. The V8’s supercharger, squeezed between the cylinder banks, should give you no trouble.
Your choice is really limited to saloon or estate, as gearboxes and engines are fixed. The estate will be easier to sell on and you’ll get a premium price for it. We’d always choose the wagon.
Wheels and tyres
Tyres will cost you around £200 a corner. Avoid aftermarket alloys if possible because of doubtful quality. A nice set of chip-free originals indicates a careful owner who either had good judgement when parking or was willing to spend cash keeping the car in fine fettle.