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2006 E350 (101K Miles) OR 2007 E550 (135K Miles). Which one to choose?

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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

2006 E350 (101K Miles) OR 2007 E550 (135K Miles). Which one to choose?

 
Old 08-13-2018, 04:19 PM
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2006 E350 (101K Miles) OR 2007 E550 (135K Miles). Which one to choose?

Hello!

It has been long 10 years since I owned MB. Now I am looking at 2 decent vehicles:
a) 2006 E350 Wagon with 101K miles Black / Black
b) 2007 E550 Sedan with 135K miles Silver / Black

Both cars have 1 owner and have been taken care of really well.
Clean title on both.
Seems like both fully loaded (for their model).
Both are from California.

My question is: which one would you recommend?
I know there is engine difference. But otherwise which one would be considered "bulletproof"? (if such term can apply)?
Are both have high maintenance costs? Anything specific I need to look for when inspecting vehicles?
Price is the same as well (Under $7K).

Appreciate your feedback & drive safe!
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:17 PM
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2008 E350 4Matic Sport
I would stay away from the 06, as ALL of the 2006 engines are affected by the balance shaft problem. Not every engine will develop the problem, but if you're unlucky enough to get one that does it's a 5-8k repair due to the engine having to be removed. The design of the balance shaft was changed fairly quickly, by mid-2007. The 550 engine doesn't have a balance shaft, but instead has a balance gear that's susceptible to the same issue, and again was corrected by mid-2007. If you post the VIN of the car you're looking at someone can pull the data card and see if the engine is outside the affected range.

The 2006 will also have SBC brakes, which at some point will require a pump replacement. If it's been done recently and has paperwork to prove it it might not be a big deal, but the pedal feel is different from a traditional brake system and you may or may not like it. SBC went away with the facelift in 2007.

The E550 has airmatic suspension, which can be costly to service depending on where you get it done. At the dealer with OEM parts, you're looking at 1k per corner for the shocks, plus labor. Aftermarket replacements are available from Arnott with a lifetime warranty for about half the price, and a coil spring conversion kit is also available from Arnott if you choose not to repair the air suspension system. The compressor is usually reliable provided the car isn't driven too long with leaks, causing it to run all the time. When looking at the 2007, try to go see it when it hasn't run for a while, and make sure the car is sitting level and at normal ride height. The suspension should NOT drop if it isn't leaking.

The V8 is good for a 2-4mpg hit over the V6, depending on driving habits. Maintenance cost is about the same for both engines, but the V8 takes up more space under the hood and makes things a little tighter to work on, the V6 has plenty of room to work. You may go through rear tires faster with the V8, again depending on driving habits and choice of tires.

Are these cars RWD or 4Matic?
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Andre91 View Post
I would stay away from the 06, as ALL of the 2006 engines are affected by the balance shaft problem. Not every engine will develop the problem, but if you're unlucky enough to get one that does it's a 5-8k repair due to the engine having to be removed. The design of the balance shaft was changed fairly quickly, by mid-2007. The 550 engine doesn't have a balance shaft, but instead has a balance gear that's susceptible to the same issue, and again was corrected by mid-2007. If you post the VIN of the car you're looking at someone can pull the data card and see if the engine is outside the affected range.

The 2006 will also have SBC brakes, which at some point will require a pump replacement. If it's been done recently and has paperwork to prove it it might not be a big deal, but the pedal feel is different from a traditional brake system and you may or may not like it. SBC went away with the facelift in 2007.

The E550 has airmatic suspension, which can be costly to service depending on where you get it done. At the dealer with OEM parts, you're looking at 1k per corner for the shocks, plus labor. Aftermarket replacements are available from Arnott with a lifetime warranty for about half the price, and a coil spring conversion kit is also available from Arnott if you choose not to repair the air suspension system. The compressor is usually reliable provided the car isn't driven too long with leaks, causing it to run all the time. When looking at the 2007, try to go see it when it hasn't run for a while, and make sure the car is sitting level and at normal ride height. The suspension should NOT drop if it isn't leaking.

The V8 is good for a 2-4mpg hit over the V6, depending on driving habits. Maintenance cost is about the same for both engines, but the V8 takes up more space under the hood and makes things a little tighter to work on, the V6 has plenty of room to work. You may go through rear tires faster with the V8, again depending on driving habits and choice of tires.

Are these cars RWD or 4Matic?
Thanks a lot Andre91 for providing your feedback.
2007 E550 VIN is WDBUF90X37X211954
And it is 4-Matic.
2006 E350 is not 4-Matic.
VIN WDBUH56JX6A773437
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:21 AM
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2008 E350 4Matic, 2011 E350 4matic
Time to keep looking. The safe range for the E550 is 088611. The one you mentioned is 30 057893.

Mentioned in this post here:

https://mbworld.org/forums/e-class-w...ml#post4646893

Vin decoder here to figure out engine number:

https://www.datamb.com/

As mentioned before, the E350 is cheaper to own, no airmatic which is 1k per corner to fix when it fails, about $500 per corner with aftermarket Arnott. Forget 2006 due to balance shaft issue and SBC although I suppose if you find one that has had the balance shaft replaced and the SBC updated, it's ok, but that information is hard to find, most don't state so.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:02 AM
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2008 SL55 AMG; 2006 BMW 325i; 2006 BMW 530xiT
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:01 PM
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E500 4matic
The E550 4matic (as all the AWD W211) is still equipped with the older 5-Speed automatic and revs much higher at highway speed. With the RWD model you get the sportier 7G-tronic and better fuel economy.

I was quite disappointed after changing to the E550 (here in Europe: E500) 4matic from my previous Jaguar S-Type (ZF 6-speed).

Last edited by AUTOdidact; 06-11-2019 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:04 AM
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2009 e550 4Matic
Originally Posted by AUTOdidact View Post
The E550 4matic (as all the AWD W211) is still equipped with the older 5-Speed automatic and revs much higher at highway speed. With the RWD model you get the sportier 7G-tronic and better fuel economy.

I was quite disappointed after changing to the E550 (here in Europe: E500) 4matic from my previous Jaguar S-Type (ZF 6-speed).
I have an 09 e550 4matic and still have no problem getting 22-24 mpg on the interstate at 80mph.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:14 AM
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E500 4matic
Originally Posted by rodneypierce View Post
I have an 09 e550 4matic and still have no problem getting 22-24 mpg on the interstate at 80mph.
Mine (2007 MY) reaches max. 20 mpg at steady speed (130 km/h = 80 mph) at 2.800 rpm...

Fuel consumption of my 2003 S-Type 4.2 was 26-29 mpg at same speed and only 2.100 rpm.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:21 AM
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2004 E500 & 2012 E350 4-Matic Wagons
Here's a video by the Car Wizard on what MB's to avoid and which ones are more reliable. E-Class starts at 4:50. He works with Hoovie on a lot of projects and has some good insight about luxury and sports cars...

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Old 06-15-2019, 11:15 AM
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E500 4matic
Originally Posted by Sleeper Benz View Post
Here's a video by the Car Wizard on what MB's to avoid and which ones are more reliable. E-Class starts at 4:50. He works with Hoovie on a lot of projects and has some good insight about luxury and sports cars...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDJQa0VGMho
He really suggests the pre-facelift W211? The timing chain issue effects only a certain VIN-range (my car is within that, but still no problems...) while the SBC-brake is a money+safety issue AND has to be changed in EVERY car after a programmed number of braking cycles...
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:20 PM
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2009 e550 4Matic
Yeah, that surprises me. I would buy a post facelift car before a pre.
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