Mercedes-Benz has a long-standing reputation for producing high-performance luxury vehicles, and the Mercedes E430 is not an exception. Though it is considered to be one of the more
affordable Mercedes-Benz autos, the E430 does have that mix of comfort, performance, and vault-like solidity many expect from the illustrious German automaker.
1998: Taking the reins
Part of the storied Mercedes E-Class line of executive cars, the Mercedes-Benz E430 was introduced in 1998 to replace the dated Mercedes-Benz E420. Like other cars in the E-Class, the E430 is built on the tried-and-tested W210 chassis and is powered by a 4.3-liter 275-horsepower M113 V8 engine, making it the second most powerful Mercedes E-Class autos (next only to the E55 AMG). However, despite its high-performance output, the E430 had decent fuel mileage with EPA fuel economy rating of 19 MPG for city driving and 26 MPG for highway driving. But what really set the E430 apart from its counterparts in the industry is its Electronic Stability Program. The program compares the driver input with the vehicle response, enabling the front and rear brakes to grip the wheels and the engine to reduce power automatically to prevent plowing or fishtailing.
Like other W210s, the E430 also features an exterior and interior design that's meant to attract younger, more progressive drivers. The E430 had a distinctly sleeker appearance than its E420 predecessor as well as a larger silhouette that gave it a more luxurious appearance. But unlike other earlier W210 variants, the E430 had four headlights instead of two. The E430's interior, meanwhile, features plush seating for 5, with 2 in the front and 3 in the back. Both front seats and headrest also come with a 10-way power seating feature and three memory settings. Other interior features include the 6-CD changer, Bose premium sound system, power side mirrors.
The start of the millennium saw some drastic changes on the E430. The front of the hood was lowered for better aerodynamics and the rear fitted with a sleeker, more rounded tail light housing. The instrument panel was updated with a trip computer as well. The 2000 versions of the E430 also had an overall body color, leading a more substantial appearance than earlier models who only had black paint along the bottom few inches of the body.
2002: Curtain call
In order to make way for the newer W211
E-Klasse platform, Mercedes-Benz decided to discontinue the production of vehicles under the W210 platform, including the E430. In commemoration, special editions of the E430 were released in two exterior colors - quartz silver and obsidian black - and outfitted with custom Xenon lights, 17-inch alloy wheels and black maple walnut trim.