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W210 AMG Discuss the W210 AMG's such as the E50, E55, and E60

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Old 03-17-2005, 04:01 PM   #1
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W210 E55 and E430 (Sport) Ownership?

I would genuinely appreciate any assistance in evaluating the practical, as well as any "intangibles" associated with W210 E55 and E430 (Sport) ownership. I have the cars picked out, essentially negotiated market deals, but now it's decision time.

I am in corporate real estate, and although I don't live in my car, I will be using the car a great deal for business. I drive +/- 15,000 miles a year, mostly on expressways and surface roads as I conduct property tours.

E55 and image, and yes it is important to me in my business. Is it reasonable to assume that the E55 makes a better impression than an E430? What have been the experiences on this board in business situations, will my clients even know the difference?

As far as an E55's maintenance goes, I am concerned that E55 owners may be “up-charged” for owning a high performance vehicle, is this fact or fiction? On routine maintenance, i.e., oil, filters, fluids, tires, etc., is it the same cost for an E55 owner? As far as tires and low end torque are concerned, am I buying new rubber every 5, 10 or 15K miles, or are there compounds that are a good trade between performances and wear that I should consider?

Also, what is an E55's daily "drivability"? I truly enjoy the ride as the pilot, but what is the overall passenger comfort, is the suspension conspicuously harsh? Do people bounce around with normal driving and speeds, is the back seat comfortable, what can my passengers expect?

What are the other criteria’s and considerations have fellow members used in choosing their own W210 E55's i.e., was it specific features, a Starmark warranty, aftermarket modifications, a color, a price…?

Any additional information or thoughts is appreciated.

VANSMAC
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:41 PM   #2
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I just purchased an 01 E55 in December, happened by accident since I was really looking for a used ML55 (to tow my boat with). The only reason I ended up with it was I couldn't believe how much the W210 AMG's had depreciated from new - I basically got the car for less than 50% of it's original price.

I drive 60 miles roundtrip for my commute and can't say enough about the ride, performance, comfort, etc. Not one thing wrong with the car and after looking over the service history this car hasn't had much in the way of repair except for regular service.

Your clients won't know the difference but some people might. I rarely have people staring at the car, it's very inconspicuous, but given the limited number produced each year it's not something you see every day either.

Service guy said all things for the AMG would be roughly the same as a standard E except brakes more expensive which I knew going into it. I usually drive with the traction system off to keep from overactivating the brakes otherwise it lights up constantly - this car is powerful and the torque is amazing.

My fiancee loves the passenger seat, and has even driven it. She was only offended once when the salesman said to me "we call this one the Panty-Dropper" when I was originally looking the car over, and she said "I heard that!"

Depending on where you are I recommend QUALITY snow tires, the ones I purchased were a compromise since tirerack was out of stock on what I wanted and the ones I have contribute to a floaty unsettled feel at highway speeds. I'm confident with better snow tires the car would be more planted. I'll be buying a 2nd set of rims soon for summer use, and keeping the stock ones for winter tires only.

FYI I'm averaging about 22mpg by the computer and my own calculations which is simply amazing for a big car like this with this much power.

Favorite things: Nav, torque, active seats, quiet interior

Not so much: Brake dust on wheels, teleaid light always on - not a subscriber

Last edited by X55; 03-17-2005 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:11 PM   #3
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Hi Vansmac...

At this point, I would go for the E55. Prices have dropped to the point where a sport package E430 is worth only pennies more than a non-sport E430, and will drop significantly more compared to the E55 down the road. The 55 is very extremely driveable everyday and complaint on all but the harshest roads. In fact, if you are driving long distances, you will appreciate the better seats, better brakes, and massive torque advantage that the 55 will give you for highway passing.

As for as impressions...i think this one can go both ways. Some clients may see you as driving such a nice car that you must be making way too much money. I know it sounds kind of silly, but I remember seeing this article in Harvard business review. But to the average person, he/she would be hard pressed to see the external difference between an E55 and E430 sport which has most of the AMG bodywork.

Here is another thought...I'm not sure if you'd be willing to drive an SUV, but since most of your driving is for your real estate business, you can take advantage of IRS section 179. Get a Cayenne, Range Rover, or BMW X5 4.8is and write most of it off.

http://www.selfemployedweb.com/suv-tax-deduction-6.htm

-Chris
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Old 03-17-2005, 08:12 PM   #4
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Having owned both, here are my impressions:

The E55 rides considerably stiffer than a 430, even a 430 sport. That's not to say the 55 rides bad, but it definitely feels more like a sports car than the 430, and handles a little better. Visually, they are nearly identical. Wheels, tires, and the 55 exhaust and they would be the same on the exterior. The 55 uses slightly more fuel on the highway, noticeably more around town. The 430 will be demolished by a 55 in race. It's not even close. My 430 with a low boost supercharger was barely faster than a bone stock E55. Forget resale. Niether car is going to be worth much in another 5 years. The 55 is pretty rare in the States. Anything other than a silver or black one is even more rare, so that will help the value of the car in the long run VS a run of the mill 430. I doubt a single customer would know the difference unless they are a Benz enthusiast. In that case, they would obviously be more impressed by the 55. Both cars will share the same maintenance and repair issues, very little difference there. Insurance costs aren't radically different either. Tire life is up to you on either car. Being in Cal. stick with a performance tire like a Pilot Sport, F1, or SO3. A mileage tire on these cars is a sin, as are the stock Continentals (on a sport 430). Driven hard, you could evaporate a set in 10K, but I've heard members go 30K on a set driven "normally"
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:39 PM   #5
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Thanks!

Thank you, this is exactly what I have been looking for.

I've read the tea leaves and read your responses, so it looks like an E55 is now in my future. I will send pictures to the board as soon as I complete the deal.

Aftermarket tuning or idea's anyone?

Thanks again.
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Old 03-18-2005, 04:48 PM   #6
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Blower. Nothing else will approach the performance/dollar ratio. Still have a few issues with my HPS setup, but it's almost there. Kleemann and Renntech are much more expensive but thoroughly worked out. The car will then be as fast or faster than a stock W211 E55.
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:15 AM   #7
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Vansmac, it is obvoius that you want the W210 E-Class, however, if you are routinely carrying around many clients and making a good impression on your clients is important, perhaps you should consider a 2000 S430. Clients/people are now more on the plump side (obese) and ferrying around some fat azzes in a E-Class may not be the way to go. If you take clients to dirt roads or muddy new home sites then maybe a ML430 or ML55 is a good idea.

If cushy comfort is more important stay away from the E55 AMG.
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Old 03-19-2005, 07:00 PM   #8
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E55 all the way. I had a '99 E320 before that, and the difference is day and night. Even between my dad's 00 E320 and mine, his feels like a cheap low end model because of the lack of options (rear sunshade, heated seats, multicontour seats, leather steering wheels w/ the "power grips," nicer leather, etc...).

You won't regret going in the AMG trust me
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E55 KEV
Vansmac, it is obvoius that you want the W210 E-Class, however, if you are routinely carrying around many clients and making a good impression on your clients is important, perhaps you should consider a 2000 S430. Clients/people are now more on the plump side (obese) and ferrying around some fat azzes in a E-Class may not be the way to go. If you take clients to dirt roads or muddy new home sites then maybe a ML430 or ML55 is a good idea.

If cushy comfort is more important stay away from the E55 AMG.
Kev, Nothing personal about your ML suggestion...

But based on my ownership of an ML 55, it's a terrible riding vehicle...I know...it's a truck, but it was terrible. I hope the new ML is better...If you value ride quality, stay away from the ML-series.

A W220 S-class is a good idea...the prices for the pre-facelifted cars are dirt cheap. S500 for $40k...very smooth car!
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Old 03-20-2005, 02:46 PM   #10
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Gotta agree on the ML. The ML350 loaner I had a couple months back was a POS and rode the same. Many better SUV's available if that's your thing. The 320/430 210's ride pretty good IMHO and the E55 isn't too much worse. I like the S class, but the "sport" is pretty much gone in the big MB.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:58 AM   #11
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Insurance

Gentlemen,

What about the practical matter of insurance premiums? I live in california and have a clean DMV record, at least for now...what are the typical adjustments from providers for the AMG designation and 350+ hp.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:57 PM   #12
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The difference between my 430 and the 55 was only $200.00/yr. Both are 2002's.
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:01 AM   #13
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What a relief, I was expecting a lot more of a hit. Anyway, It's a done deal, as long as she passes the "safety" inspection at the local mercedes dealership, I will pick up the car on the 2nd of April.
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Old 03-22-2005, 08:19 PM   #14
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Congrats, and welcome to the AMG club.
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vansmac
What a relief, I was expecting a lot more of a hit. Anyway, It's a done deal, as long as she passes the "safety" inspection at the local mercedes dealership, I will pick up the car on the 2nd of April.
thats great vansmac - welcome to the club, indeed!

I won't bore you with my comments, except for these:
be prepared to down-play the AMG... your business is more understated that this marque implies! Play up the BIG value you got, and your clients will be impressed!

insurance won't be that big of a deal - and I'm sure you'll find realibility generally a non-issue (you should definitely check the motor mounts and the MAF, prior to purchase - 2 notorious, and generally accepted repair issues on pre-'03 models).

remember one thing: you bought this car for yourself and your interests... not your clients'. enjoy the ride - every mile of it! [just try to restrain yourself when you've got others along for the ride...!]

congrats - W.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:48 PM   #16
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I have to admit, I am damn excited about driving this car.
I don’t know why it took so long long for me to realize this, but it seems that the E55 is the perfect combination of raw power, performance and civility. And, so while I have had a lot of different vehicles, Range Rovers, Dianan tuned BMW's, S class Mercedes etc., I always ended up sacrificing one quality or another, and eventually "fell out of love" bigtime with the vehicle.
Thanks everyone, this forum is a great place to learn all about what a specific vehicle's ownership is all about, I sincerely look forward, as a young “weed hopper,” to contributing to the forum in anyway I can.
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:48 PM
 
 
 
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