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

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Old 01-26-2010, 02:08 AM   #1
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E350 vs E550

Hello I am Ken. New member here, hope to learn more from the MB world.

My family and I are checking out the 2010 E-class for a weekend cruiser. We were looking at the E350, the price is pretty reasonable, way under $60k out the door for a loaded one. However, i read neg reviews on E350's power output. If we upgrade to a equally loaded E550, it's about $7k more. Not sure if it's worth for a weekend car.

This is going to be our FIRST Benz, kinda excited!!!! Planning to pick up one within this month.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:19 AM   #2
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IMO, there's a big difference between the two. The 350 engine in the 4000lb+ body won't be anything spectacular, but it'll be pretty average, IMO. The 550 is a great engine. It can make the heavier, larger S-Class seem pretty quick and powerful so I'm sure it does even better in the E. If it's just going to be a weekend cruiser, it might not be worth it, but the power is always nice to have on tap. I'd suggest test driving both and see which one you like more. Maybe you'll find the E350 just fine. It's really up to you and what you like most, and also what you'll be using the car for.
Either way, good luck in getting your car! Don't forget to post pics once you get it. You're still getting a great car either way you decide to go.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:24 AM   #3
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for a family weekend car, the 350 should be adequate. i mean, it's no slouch, way better than the 320 i have. test drove a 350 and it was a world of difference.
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:36 AM   #4
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I heard the E550 is a better bargain than the E350. One question i always have in the back of my mind. Does the airmatic suspension worth it? Or is it just a fancy spring that most people can't even tell it's there?

I personally prefer 550, but i also love that $7000. We aren't planning to replace this anytime soon, not for another 7-8yrs. We come from a 3 series and G35 family. This is our first true full size luxury sedan.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:52 AM   #5
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I heard the E550 is a better bargain than the E350. One question i always have in the back of my mind. Does the airmatic suspension worth it? Or is it just a fancy spring that most people can't even tell it's there?

I personally prefer 550, but i also love that $7000. We aren't planning to replace this anytime soon, not for another 7-8yrs. We come from a 3 series and G35 family. This is our first true full size luxury sedan.
the airmatic has the positives of allowing suspension adjustment from comfort to sport 1 to sport 2. I drive on sport 2 all the time (for 03 - 06, V6s had option for airmatic). You can also raise the car a little if needed. Downside is the replacement cost for airmatic on the 550 sedan compared to the conventional system on the 350 is WWWWAAAAAYYYYYYYY higher (just do a search in the W211 or W220 forum and you'll see what I mean). Most people can't tell it's there, but I don't care, that option is all for me to enjoy
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:47 AM   #6
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I heard the E550 is a better bargain than the E350. One question i always have in the back of my mind. Does the airmatic suspension worth it? Or is it just a fancy spring that most people can't even tell it's there?

I personally prefer 550, but i also love that $7000. We aren't planning to replace this anytime soon, not for another 7-8yrs. We come from a 3 series and G35 family. This is our first true full size luxury sedan.
The Airmatic suspension is definitely noticeable. It feels very different compared to a standard spring suspension. The main benefit is being able to control how the ride is at any given time. You're able to choose whether you want a nice soft ride, or to ride a little rougher and corner a little better/harder. Another benefit is the ability to raise the car which comes in handy with certain driveways or parking blocks (not sure if that's the right term). The newest version of Airmatic is pretty much solid. It doesn't have as many issues as the system did when it first came out. Our S500 and ML63 haven't had any issues with Airmatic going out and neither did our previous vehicles except for our GL. Any issues with the system going out on these newer vehicles is pretty rare and is usually under warranty (our GL was fully covered and our ML had an issue where the shock kept squeaking and making odd noises and it was replaced free and it's a $1400 part), although a member here has already had an issue, but his car does seem to have issues overall so hopefully it's not a widespread issue.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:53 AM   #7
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The 350 sure is under powered when it is compared with the 550, but the station wagon for even the 350 does not seem like a lot of weight for a small engine.. The 550 sure stands out though... I have a 350 and so am loyal to it :p
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:31 AM   #8
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Ken,

Before buying my 550, I test drove both engines and put them through their paces. I found the 350 to be a wonderful car with an adequate engine, but the 550 was simply amazing -- an easy decision for me.

I don't know where you live, but if you frequently merge onto crowded freeways or travel in the mountains, the 550 engine makes a big difference. I also preferred the airmatic ride and thought there was a noticeable difference.

Have fun with your decision and purchase.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:55 AM   #9
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Since the engine in the first generation W212 is the same as the one used in the 2009 W211, I can honestly say that the E350 engine is enough for most people's needs (like 90%).

My 2009 E350's are more than adequate to get me up-to-speed to merge on SoCal's notorious freeways, and feels like it has enough power to move the car with some "oomph" (especially in "S" mode). It makes for a very good daily driver, and I feel that the E350 is definitely enough for me.

Compared to the E550 you will be able to tell a difference between power. You may be able to accelerate 1 second faster in the E550 (guesstimate), but the question is whether that 1 second is really worth the extra cost to you. Most people on this forum are MB affectionados and hardcore fans, hence they will always recommend the biggest and best (which is fine if you can afford it). However, for the other 90% of the population, the more affordable E350 is more than adequate for their needs.

Ultimately, it's YOU buying the car, so the best advice I can give you is to go to a dealership, test drive both cars, and see what you think.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:01 PM   #10
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test drove both and E550 definitely had more oomph and pickup speed. but didn't think i would use the extra hp other than merging and racing Ms (jk). thought E350 was adequate and didn't want to pay $200 more per month on the lease for the E550 that didn't have the color i wanted. oh there's the gas savings of v6 vs v8.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:43 PM   #11
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test drove both and E550 definitely had more oomph and pickup speed. but didn't think i would use the extra hp other than merging and racing Ms (jk). thought E350 was adequate and didn't want to pay $200 more per month on the lease for the E550 that didn't have the color i wanted. oh there's the gas savings of v6 vs v8.
on the hwy, the gas mileage is pretty much the same. on the city streets is were you will notice it.

again, i think the 350 is pretty quick for a heavy car like this (and i'm a young guy who likes fast cars). however, once the direct injection version of the 3.5L V6 that is in the SLK350 comes out for the E, it will make things much better (it has 300hp).
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Old 01-26-2010, 02:16 PM   #12
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I am getting around 21mpg in the city with my E350. I traded in my 03 E55 AMG so I know what power is and for a V6 the 350 does the job.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:57 PM   #13
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All my E-Class cars have been 350s (I'm on my third now). The 550 is wonderful but I find it to be a waste for my daily driving. I sit in bumper to bumper traffic every day and the 350 is plenty powerful for me. The 350 is by no means a slow poke. Plenty of power on tap for passing or merging even with 4 adults in the car and a trunk full of gear. Drive both and see which one would suit your needs.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:03 PM   #14
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the lowest quote:

E350 steel grey, P2 and sport is $58k OTD
E550 steel grey, P2, sport, rear air bag, chair is $66k OTD

$8000 different at least
Not sure what to do yet.....only a few more days before Sunday come
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:26 PM   #15
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No one can make the decision for you. For me there was no question. The extreme power difference between the two cars combined with the totally different suspension was all I needed. I can say there is far more than one second difference in the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times, the 550 is a rocket ship. The suspension is almost perfect, it is soft when you want to cruise and it firms up when needed to beat the hell out it. I posted recently a drive back from the city where I drove my car like I hated it's guts and I can officially say it loved me for it. The more you drive it like a bat out of hell the better the car feels.

If you are thinking about the cost, then yes the 550 will cost more but will also have a higher residual value in a few years. There are far fewer 550's available compared to 350's. Considering the 350's engine will be replaced in a few months I would stay away for now (then again so is the 550- but the car is wicked fast as it is).
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:28 PM   #16
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You'll do fine...

The anxiety will come to rest :^_^: Once you drive both of them, you'll know for sure.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:30 PM   #17
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the lowest quote:

E350 steel grey, P2 and sport is $58k OTD
E550 steel grey, P2, sport, rear air bag, chair is $66k OTD

$8000 different at least
Not sure what to do yet.....only a few more days before Sunday come
Where are you located? The numbers seem very high. What msrp's are you looking at.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:37 PM   #18
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Where are you located? The numbers seem very high. What msrp's are you looking at.
Really???? High? I thought they are the lowest already. When come to shop car, i am hella cheap but picky.

I live in CA, E350 has PS2 + 18" AMG sport, $57295MSRP, I thought $58000OTD is a cheap *** good deal.

E550 has PS2, message chair, rear airbag. $65755MSRP. The latest sale told me she can do $66250OTD.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:49 PM   #19
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I spoke to my dealer this morning, they are doing $5.5k off on 350's and $6-6.5k off 550's. That is the sale price, not including your taxes etc (since that varies). I did not know you are quoting taxes in the cost.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:38 PM   #20
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I spoke to my dealer this morning, they are doing $5.5k off on 350's and $6-6.5k off 550's. That is the sale price, not including your taxes etc (since that varies). I did not know you are quoting taxes in the cost.
yea....haha, i like to look at my OTD price when i shop for car. It's the price I end up have to pay.

If so, then my price matches your dealer's. I guess i didn't get a cheap *** price after all. Maybe I need to try harder
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:19 AM   #21
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The 350 is really a great motor, and has more than enough power if you need it. Having a 550 for me, in L.A, would be pointless really, and to be honest, every time I need to "mash" for whatever reason, I'm always pleasantly surprised with the V6's pull, plus, for a 6'er, it sounds pretty wicked when opened up, and I'm a "V8 only" guy when it comes to sound.

That said, if I were in the market for a 2010 E-Class, I'd avoid the 350. It's going to be a 1-year only model for the new body style, which will make it extremely undesirable. Like the W211 E320 is IMO, although the 320 isn't even as bad of a story, as it lived in the W211 for a few MY's.

For a 2010, I'd try and go 550, as even though it will be a 1-year only run in the W212, it's a marvelous N/A V8, which will actually be desirable to some in the future, as it'll be M-B's only N/A V8 (aside from the '10 E63) in the W212, and it's powerful as heck to boot.

If I were keeping the car for a short time, I'd be thrilled to have the Airmatic, however if I were keeping it for a long time, I'd actually prefer steel springs, as I don't trust Airmatic all too much yet, for long term/$$ stuff.

Problem I've noticed with V8's nowadays, is the desirability is going down and down, as Gas Prices and the new MPG-seeking era are up. Although M-B's V8's are extremely efficient, and you will probably see almost the same Highway MPG from an E550, as you would an E350, minus 1-3 or so.

I bought mine in '08, when the economy was just starting to scare the hell out of people, and Gas Prices were through the roof, at that time, W211 E500's were selling for almost CHEAPER than E350's, as lots couldn't get rid of them, I was one of those who actually chose the 350 because I wanted to save $$ in the case Airmatic would fail, and Gas, knowing I could get a 500, for the same price (or cheaper with certain cars I was looking at). As Gas Prices are rising again, if you're concerned with Resale, I find the V8 E-Classes depreciate even more.

If I could do it again, I would have just went with the E55 to be honest, love my car, but we live and learn
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:32 AM   #22
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The 350 is really a great motor, and has more than enough power if you need it. Having a 550 for me, in L.A, would be pointless really, and to be honest, every time I need to "mash" for whatever reason, I'm always pleasantly surprised with the V6's pull, plus, for a 6'er, it sounds pretty wicked when opened up, and I'm a "V8 only" guy when it comes to sound.

That said, if I were in the market for a 2010 E-Class, I'd avoid the 350. It's going to be a 1-year only model for the new body style, which will make it extremely undesirable. Like the W211 E320 is IMO, although the 320 isn't even as bad of a story, as it lived in the W211 for a few MY's.

For a 2010, I'd try and go 550, as even though it will be a 1-year only run in the W212, it's a marvelous N/A V8, which will actually be desirable to some in the future, as it'll be M-B's only N/A V8 (aside from the '10 E63) in the W212, and it's powerful as heck to boot.
What engine will they have after this? Sounds like the E350 engine will be out of date soon. What about the E550?
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:39 AM   #23
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They're gonna have a TT V8 replacing the current N/A V8, probably making around 430 or so HP, and the V6 is either going to be replaced by a TT V6 which will make well over 300 HP (probably mid 300's), or there's going to be a "low-end" V6, making in the low 300's HP (I think the Direct Injection motor currently in the SLK's), AND the TT V6 as a "mid-level" version. Am not clear if M-B will have two V6's, but I doubt they will put the lowest end 6'er as a TT model, so that probably will be the case.

All I know is, the 2010 E350 will be the b*stard child of the W212's, and tank in resale, while the E550's will be affected, but those, like me, who appreciate an N/A V8, and the added dependability of not going F/I, would probably find them desirable.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:56 AM   #24
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They're gonna have a TT V8 replacing the current N/A V8, probably making around 430 or so HP, and the V6 is either going to be replaced by a TT V6 which will make well over 300 HP (probably mid 300's), or there's going to be a "low-end" V6, making in the low 300's HP (I think the Direct Injection motor currently in the SLK's), AND the TT V6 as a "mid-level" version. Am not clear if M-B will have two V6's, but I doubt they will put the lowest end 6'er as a TT model, so that probably will be the case.

All I know is, the 2010 E350 will be the b*stard child of the W212's, and tank in resale, while the E550's will be affected, but those, like me, who appreciate an N/A V8, and the added dependability of not going F/I, would probably find them desirable.
it's kinda like a sad news for a soon to be owner like me. When will they do this switch?
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:49 AM   #25
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I know, it sucks. Obviously the 2010's were in a way half-assed IMO, including the E63 (carry-over drive-train from the W211 model), as M-B was due for a new body, and the W212 could enjoy a year in the lime-light as a brand new model, while BMW's 5-Series is on it's final and 7th Production year.

In a way, they had too, and it's smart marketing, as next year (2011 Models) the brand new 5-Series launches, so M-B needs a trick up their sleeve to keep their E's competitive, so they will try and curb the hype surrounding the new F10 5-Series as much as they can.

The new powertrains will be coming out this coming model year (2011), I highly recommend you holding off for just another 5-6 months (they'll be out by then I think), at the same time, you can scout the new 5-Series to compare the two.
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