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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

211 vs 212

 
Old 03-23-2010, 04:05 AM
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Question 211 vs 212

Since the W212 has been out for some time now, what do you guys think of it compared to the W211?

I personally don't think it makes the W211 look dated and I really appreciate the design in the W211 that I think was taken away in the W212. Do you like the direction Mercedes-Benz is going with the edgy look and plastic-abundant interior?
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:49 AM
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NO comparison....
There'll always be a demand for newer and 'better' designs outer there....

And for those who prefer 211 design cues will always think its the best, and for those dont care will think newer designs are always 'better'...

So, in the end, people into 211 wont care about 212, and vice verse.
Lastly, for some reason, I spotted three 212 sedans were all driven by female.

Last edited by Maddic; 03-23-2010 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:34 AM
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To put it simply, I think the 211 looks nicer, and has/will age FAR more gracefully than the trendier, more contrived 212, which IMO will look fully tiring to see in 5+ years. I think the 212 has a bit more of a "cooler" look, while the 211 is more simply "nicer".

Also, I think the interior is a huge step down, forget subjective stylistically (which I personally prefer the 211's), but the HARD plastic, and cheap headliner, etc. materials around just don't give it as rich, and refined a feeling as the 211. Attention to detail and "care" put into the inside isn't there with the 212 IMO, it's pretty hard, cold, and "unloving" IMO, although there are its good points of course. I could name numerous areas where the 211 has carpeting and/or quality materials, where the 212 puts in utilitarian/durable/even in some ways, industrial-y, yet at the expense of questionable "cheap feeling" materials.

Driving wise, the 212 continues the 211's (and prior's) winning formula, just improves on them. And we all know the Tech is better, etc.

The 212 is a let-down to me for an E-Class and a Benz, but M-B isn't the same brand anymore, unfortunately, their styling is going in a different direction and doing away with their classic ideals ("blame" new designer Gordon Wagener perhaps). Some will love it, some won't, and the world continues to turn.

All in all, both are nice cars in their own right, but are so different, the 212 doesn't "date" the 211 at all IMO (fortunately), just completely different cars.

Interesting outcome from Consumer Reports, who said they prefer all in all prefer the W211:



Last edited by K-A; 03-23-2010 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:54 PM
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212 has an ugly rear end. Even AMG and Brabus versions of the rear end don't look good.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:58 PM
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In my parking garage there are now at least 10 w211 and w212 (we should have gone in for a group discount)

the coupes are beautiful much nicer than a CLK in appearance
the sedans are handsome but the tail-lights look like they came off a Hyundai Sonata

All new luxury cars have become more boxy/edgy than the curved shapes of the 2000s.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:25 PM
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There are some technological advancements in the W212 that are worthwhile. And that should be expected with any new model (otherwise what's the point.) And there are some omissions in the new model that are unfortunate.

The price was reduced at least at the MSRP sticker level. But the price was actually increased in respect to profitability by some obvious cost cutting. Manufacturers cannot maintain or increase profit with price reductions. So it's either labor cost reductions or material cost reductions. Somehow production costs have to be reduced (Daimler AG is a publicly held company.)

The technological improvements are welcomed, but it's unfortunate to have such cost cutting, too. I would have preferred a modest increase in MSRP (as would be expected with all new models) and no cost cutting of materials. Daimler was no doubt concerned with the economy and the consumer's mindset. It'll be interesting to see what happens when the new motors are introduced and/or the face lift.

ps, not all luxury vehicles have become boxy. There's Aston, Jaguar, Porsche (Panamera), Maserati, etc.. But the W212 is extremely sharp-edged in comparison to its predecessor; it more resembles the new Cadillac/GM design and most Japanese cars for sure.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:16 PM
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Well it has been awhile since I logged in and checked everybody out. So I'll chime in on this topic because it is a dear one with me. I ordered my W211 in 09 just as the photos were leaked for the W212. It looked like a bloated Accord mixed with a Sonata. The AMG options for the car are particularly disappointing. I don't like the cheap looking LED lights (The Saab and Audi R8 have the best I've seen) and I think the double FOG lights state that MB had over-produced them and decided to double them up to get rid of them. I will go out on a limb and say the coupe is far more appealing than the sedan but I am completely happy with my decision to go with the 09. I'll be looking forward to the new S class in a few years . I still like the cars with curves and the E-class has simply lost it's most coveted distinction.

MB is classically losing ground by trying to keep up with competition instead of leaving them looking as you drive by in a smooth luxury-sport machine. BMW is coldly kicking their a$$ in the small coupe department i.e. the 1 and 3 series here in Europe as far as American buyers are concerned and MB had better do something about mid-sized power because every 5th BMW here is an M3 coupe. BMW is turning up the heat with great deals and even better service plans. It pains me to say that but I will remain faithful even if the wife does not!
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by werewolf34 View Post
In my parking garage there are now at least 10 w211 and w212 (we should have gone in for a group discount)

the coupes are beautiful much nicer than a CLK in appearance
the sedans are handsome but the tail-lights look like they came off a Hyundai Sonata

All new luxury cars have become more boxy/edgy than the curved shapes of the 2000s.
Friggin' SoCal and their E-CLASSES! Jeez.

Another issue I have with the W212, you can't get one that looks unique from another, and they're whoring out the AMG Package, which kills the "cool-factor"/specialness of it. With the 211, especially the Pre-F.L, you could get the standard, the Appearance Package, then the AMG Sport Package, made for nice diversity, and kept you feeling like you have a relatively "special" version when you get something more than the Elegance one.

Yeah, boxy is the new thing, sucks for me as I've always hated boxy. Wait 'till the next gens start rolling out, starting with the new 5-Series (and the 7-Series before it), they're starting to go back to smooth styling, once this happens, the boxy cars of today will look tired, IMO hard-lined styling always gets dated faster, however gets a far more popping-smoke effect when it launches.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by n-yo-dreamz View Post
MB is classically losing ground by trying to keep up with competition instead of leaving them looking as you drive by in a smooth luxury-sport machine.
Exactly, I've been saying this for so long. M-B's designs don't have the unique confidence they once did, and I don't mean the gimmicky "angry face/"bold sharp edges everywhere" thing, I mean in that they stuck to their classic ideals.

They seem to be desperately trying to make their cars fit in, and are trying to show that they are playing ball with everyone. Just look at how many M-B Official Video's have been released on how they're utilizing LED technology, which they were late to the game to, and ripped straight off of numerous other manufacturers who were using them as styling gimmicks far beforehand.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:27 PM
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One thing I am not a fan of is the steering wheel in the 212. Looks way to "plasticy" to me and does not look like it belongs in a luxury car.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:58 PM
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I don't lke boxy cars either. The car may have the latest technology inside, but if the outside does not appeal to me, I'd be hard pressed to give up my 211.

I will until the next redesign to find out if MB is listening to everyone's feedback on the 212 styling.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:01 AM
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I think the w212 difinitely has a more aggressive look, but the w211 has more of an elegance look.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:31 AM
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I hate to admit this, but the W212 is slowly growing on me.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:37 AM
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To me, the fact that a car has to grow on me means that it wasn't a good design to begin with. Once something becomes the new and norm, we tend to allow ourselves (re: force ourselves) to accept, and/or like/love it.

That's just me though, I usually either love a car from the second I see it, or just find it to be flawed. I'm much warmer on the 212 now than I was before, and even though I do like it in a few ways, no doubt I'll always acknowledge its flaws I've felt its had since the beginning.

It's like a human, you don't want to have to wait 'till someone "grows on you" do you?
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:35 AM
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You're absolutely correct, K-A. Even though someone may eventually "like" the car (or person to use your analogy), that first impression will always remain if not in the forefront, then somewhere close.

Maybe when I said it is growing on me, it is that I am being desensitized from exposure to its ugliness lol

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Old 03-24-2010, 12:14 PM
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i remember when my neighbor got the 1st w211 e55 in our area when it came out. when i saw it, it left my mouth open. loved it from the start.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 220S View Post
ps, not all luxury vehicles have become boxy. There's Aston, Jaguar, Porsche (Panamera), Maserati, etc.. But the W212 is extremely sharp-edged in comparison to its predecessor; it more resembles the new Cadillac/GM design and most Japanese cars for sure.
Which makes me wanna
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:39 PM
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For me, I really dislike the looks of the W212 (especially the rear). Seriously, if I wanted a car that looked like a Japanese/Korean/GM car, I'd buy a Japanese or Korean or GM car... for SIGNIFICANTLY LESS MONEY!

That being said, I think the E-Coupe looks noticeably better than the 2010 E-Sedan, and the E-Wagon looks much much better than the E-Coupe. Thus, if I HAD to upgrade to another E-Class, it would be the current E-Wagon (if they EVER bring it to the U.S.).

However, the W211 looks still beat out any current redesigned E-Class vehicle!
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fortlaudsummer View Post
You're absolutely correct, K-A. Even though someone may eventually "like" the car (or person to use your analogy), that first impression will always remain if not in the forefront, then somewhere close.

Maybe when I said it is growing on me, it is that I am being desensitized from exposure to its ugliness lol
Yup, agreed.

Originally Posted by gaazmon View Post
i remember when my neighbor got the 1st w211 e55 in our area when it came out. when i saw it, it left my mouth open. loved it from the start.
Same, I remember in '02, my friend had an S500, which to me was such a fresh and classy design after all the boxy M-B stuff, he wanted to get a W210 as his DD, I protested, the 210 was SOOO tired looking, when the 211 came out, I instantly was in love and saw beauty. The 210 is kind of like the 212, both came during the "revolution" stage of the E styling, and both are polarizing, they come across as "bold" for their respective time periods.

The 211 has aged remarkably, and I think in 5+ years, the 212 will also be hard to look at, like the 210 became. I always like designs that are easier on the eyes, partly due to their longevity, I can always look and appreciate them, although they might not be as challenging.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:13 AM
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When I started car shopping late last year, I compared the W211 with the new C300, and what I can get for the relatively same price. Fell in love with the lines inside and outside the W211. "This was a substantial car"! The C300 has too much of a plastic look. Sitting at the wheel, I felt like I was in any Mitsubishi with flashy lights and hard surfaces. Sitting in a new 2010 E, I felt the same as with the new C. Hard lines and surfaces.

This leaves me with one question for my future......"what would I get in 4-5 years after the W211?" I will probably never be a new MBZ owner. Possibilities for 2014 are, W212 Coupe, C300, maybe a 4-5 year old S? I am lost. I am still analyzing whether I love driving this car more than I fear what it could end up costing me. So far, its all good!

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Old 03-25-2010, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
Yup, agreed.



Same, I remember in '02, my friend had an S500, which to me was such a fresh and classy design after all the boxy M-B stuff, he wanted to get a W210 as his DD, I protested, the 210 was SOOO tired looking, when the 211 came out, I instantly was in love and saw beauty. The 210 is kind of like the 212, both came during the "revolution" stage of the E styling, and both are polarizing, they come across as "bold" for their respective time periods.

The 211 has aged remarkably, and I think in 5+ years, the 212 will also be hard to look at, like the 210 became. I always like designs that are easier on the eyes, partly due to their longevity, I can always look and appreciate them, although they might not be as challenging.
The W210 was the one that really got me looking at Mercedes-Benz products. I recall when the W210 was released in 1996, I really liked the new appearance and details in the car. I feel the W210 represented Mercedes right before the significant cost cutting took place in the development of the vehicle. The W210 introduced some really nice features - Xenon lighting for 1996, rain sense wipers (not sure the first year of those) SmartKey, Flex Service, Tele-Aid (in 2000), ventilated seats, COMAND in 2000, and no "blanks" anywhere inside the car (something I can't stand). If the W210 did not have that option, it had the appropriate wood panel that did not have a hole for the switch/button. The W211 and newer generation cars have many of these things. A stripped W211 has several on the CD-Changer door.

I am looking for a W210 as a DD right now. I think the ride is as good as the W211, and the comfort is as close too. Overall I think the W210 is probably the better built car of the two, mainly because the W211 integrates more technology in the car than the W210, so more things to go wrong.
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Polar Bear View Post
The W210 was the one that really got me looking at Mercedes-Benz products. I recall when the W210 was released in 1996, I really liked the new appearance and details in the car. I feel the W210 represented Mercedes right before the significant cost cutting took place in the development of the vehicle. The W210 introduced some really nice features - Xenon lighting for 1996, rain sense wipers (not sure the first year of those) SmartKey, Flex Service, Tele-Aid (in 2000), ventilated seats, COMAND in 2000, and no "blanks" anywhere inside the car (something I can't stand). If the W210 did not have that option, it had the appropriate wood panel that did not have a hole for the switch/button. The W211 and newer generation cars have many of these things. A stripped W211 has several on the CD-Changer door.

I am looking for a W210 as a DD right now. I think the ride is as good as the W211, and the comfort is as close too. Overall I think the W210 is probably the better built car of the two, mainly because the W211 integrates more technology in the car than the W210, so more things to go wrong.
Don't get me wrong, I loved the 210 too, in fact I think it was the most revolutionary M-B in modern times, it was the first one to incorporated the newer design ideals that continue in the brand today. However, simply because it was the first, to me the design wasn't so refined, and a bit much to the point of it looking dated rather "quickly", hence my comparison of it with the 212 somewhat.

I still love the 210 BTW, I was thinking of getting one as a DD too, preferably an E55 . I just put the thought away due to my being afraid of costs. I find older M-B's to have more passion and pride, like you said, things like "no empty spaces" show a lot, and the newer the M-B, the more plastic, and "mass-produced" vibe you get, which is why I can't stand the W204's interior, and find the W212's interior and cost cutting to be a disappointment.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:35 PM
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i love the w208 CLK55. such a nice car. i'm very tempted now to buy one.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:59 PM
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211>212
the only thing i like about the exterior of the 212 is the front. the sides & rear dont look good imo. the interior is very cheap looking. i had a choice of either getting a 211 or 212 and opted for the 211.
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:07 AM
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i535
1. Look exterior - 211 winner
2. Look interior - 212 winner
3. Driving impression - tile
Since you have look of interior most of time, I would prefer driving 212 and see 211 around of me. It is exactly what happens every day.
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