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Seeking Opinion on planned purchase

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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

Seeking Opinion on planned purchase

 
Old 09-29-2004, 02:06 PM
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2005 E320
Seeking Opinion on planned purchase

Greetings. I'm a new poster, although I've been lurking on this board for quite some time. I'm a middle aged female who has always been a bit of a car buff. In Oct 2000, I purchased a 2001 C320...my first MB. Although I basically like the car a lot, it has been nothing but problems and finally, yesterday to be precise, Mercedes Benz agreed to buy the car back from me. Here is my dilemma: I've driven a Lexus (really boring), an Infinity G35 (quick but bland) and a BMW 530i (handles well but not nearly as luxurious as the MB). Thus, the car I'm most drawn to for a replacement is the E320...preferrably a 2004 if it's not too late to find one that meets my specs, since it still has maintenance and I can get a good price. My friends all think I'm crazy to buy another Mercedes. Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

SL
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Old 09-29-2004, 02:53 PM
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'08 AM Vantage V8 - '03 E500
Looks like you've done your homework by driving a cross-section of car alternatives. You didn't say what kind of Lexus you drove, but it doesn't much matter - with one possible exception, they are indeed all boring.

Since you mentioned driving a G35, you might also look at an Acura TL if you haven't already - another car at that particular price point and market segment that has been very well-received. If you're not in a huge hurry, you could also wait for the new Acura RL that is due out in October. Its base price will be in the same ballpark as the E320, except that the RL's price will include a lot of stuff (e.g., navigation and all-wheel drive) that adds thousands to the price of an E320. Early reports on the RL are very positive. The styling is generic, though, and of course the Acura name lacks the cachet of the M-B name.

I would infer from your comments that you're looking for a car that is luxurious, reasonably reliable and with some "fun to drive" factor. The current E320 should meet the first and third requirements nicely, although you will arguably be paying a premium price for the M-B name. The E320 won't handle as well as the 530i but it has other charms to recommend it. Statistically, the W211 has had some reliability "issues", although individual results are the luck of the draw. Our W211 is an early-production '03, but so far it has been reliable, with very few problems.

Last edited by DWP; 09-29-2004 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 09-29-2004, 03:03 PM
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My '04 E 500 has been absolutely perfect (almost), and a joy to own. If I hadn't known about any "quality problems" MB had been having, I would say outside of paying a premium to have the MB name on the car, the MB choice would be a no brainer.

I think they have had some problems, but they are largely in the past. My car needed a software upgrade to the Comand Audio system & it had a rear axle seal leak. The leak has not been a problem with any other cars, so it has to be considered a defect on my car, not a design flaw. The audio software upgrade... well, it fixed all the Comand problems in 1 shot, in minutes. It happens... & it was an early-ish built '04, with the revised Comand head unit.

I have not added a drop of any fluids to the car, and love the hell out of it! You must make your own choice, but I would definitely buy one again. The car is beautifull to look at & a joy to drive. (Age 54)

Last edited by Barry45RPM; 09-29-2004 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 09-29-2004, 03:21 PM
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2004 E500 4MATIC
sl561, welcome aboard.

I bought a new 2004 E500 earlier this year, and absolutely love it. Like Barry45RPM, I too needed a software update, in addition to an alignment and wheel balancing. No other issues, and I'm very happy with it.

Since you call yourself something of a car buff, you might consider the E500 rather than the E320. The power difference is significant. More expensive, of course.

This is my first Mercedes, but it won't be my last.
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Old 09-29-2004, 03:35 PM
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2015 C300
Welcome! I would own no other car but my E320 and would buy it again in a heartbeat, even after the glitches that I encountered in the first few months (command and audio gateway issues). Since then it has been trouble free and is one awesome car. I can't see anything else out there in the market that I would rather have (except maybe the CL500!) - you won't be sorry with an E Class!
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Old 09-29-2004, 03:50 PM
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Sorry to hear about your problems with your C class. You will love the E and I agree with the others who are advising you to go for an E500 if you can swing it. The power, suspension and amenities are worth the stretch. I've had 7 E class cars over the past 14 years and I loved 'em all but the new 211s are by far the best of the bunch. LOL with your decision. Drive MB!
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Old 09-29-2004, 04:15 PM
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'18 E63S; '10 Audi R8 V10; '16 Acura RDX; '14 Acura MDX; '04 E500
I love the car. Anyway, check this thread where more people actually praise the car than the thread title would indicate.

https://mbworld.org/forums/e-class-w211/83338-w211-disappointment.html

Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:05 PM
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17 E220D, 11 E350 CDI(sold), 06 CLS320 CDI (sold), 05 Cadillac DeVille (gone), 04 E320 CDI (sold)
I love the car. I have driven mostly Jaguars in the past and also a few BMWs but the MB is by far the most satisfying car I have had. Just get it, you won't be disappointed.
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:18 PM
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09 E350 wagon; '14 E350 wagon; BMW F10 535 (14); BMW E61 (08)
Having driven BMWs for years with the latest a E39 540, I have been surprised in a nice way by the handling of the new E's. My E500 is a terrific car. Has it been perfect? No. Its needed a new tire pressure sensor for one wheel. That's not exactly earth shaking.
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:40 PM
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2004 E500
My E500 is the best car I've ever owned and I've owned a lot. Not a single problem after 4 months and 3800 miles.
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Old 09-29-2004, 05:58 PM
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2005 E320
Thanks so much for the welcome and the responses.

Re the Acura RL mentioned by DWP (I'm in Sacto too, btw)...I doubt I will have time to wait for that because at some point in the next couple of week MB is going to hand me a check and take away my current wheels.

I did read the thread referenced by CalBenzo and was surprised by the person who was rejecting Mercedes because of the condition of the used cars he looked at. I can confirm what most of you said in response, i.e., My 4 year old C320 still looks and feels exactly like new. Now, the 17 shop visits and 74 days out of service during the first 18,000 miles, mostly for new and recurrent electrical problems is another matter. By comparison, one or two trips for software upgrades such as you folks have described, would honestly be a piece of cake from my perspective. ;-)

For those of you who urged me to consider the E500, it's VERY tempting but truthfully, it's just a tad out of my range...or perhaps more accurately, a tad more than I'm willing to spend on a car. I would like to get the 320 with the premium package and probably keyless go. As for color, I like Pewter a whole lot, with charcoal interior, although I have some concerns about that in the Sacramento heat. Stone would be my second choice. Before making any commitments I will probably drive the 530i one more time, but there certainly is no comparison in the appearance of the two. MB is a really beautiful car. The new BMW is growing on me a little bit, but it's certainly not a beauty, and the interior leaves a lot to be desire.

SL
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Old 09-29-2004, 06:07 PM
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Whichever one is available (1 of 5)
Get a new 2004 Mercedes. I bought a pre-owned E500 in August, thinking I could save some money. I had it for three days, had big problems, and returned to the dealer for a full refund. I then went my MB dealer and found out that the 2004 MB has FREE scheduled maintenance, and the price was only a few thousand more than the pre-owned. The dealer give me about $5000 right off the MSRP, I drove this brand new one home the following morning. I have been so happy with this 2004 E500, I spent a few thousand more on upgrades. This is my 3rd MB, and this is the most enjoyable one.
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Old 09-29-2004, 07:35 PM
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2005 E320
I will definitely get a 2004 if I can find one that I like, but at this point I don't think there are many of them around. I know my local dealer only has one and it's not a car that I would want. I'm willing to go to Southern Calif if necessary and have already sent an email to Marcusbenz, but haven't heard back yet.
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Old 09-29-2004, 07:59 PM
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04 E55
My E500 has been trouble free compare to my other E. Other than command crashing on me from time to time (this occur on both of my E), my car has been perfect. (well other than the famous SBC squeak).

As far as inside material goes, I really do not think it is that better than BMW. It looks more classy on the design, but material use is only so so. I don't really like the normal steering wheel (i.e. non-wood). It felt quiet cheap.

I would suggest you to really look into E500. The E320 V6 is a tad rough and loud when pushed. The 530i's inline 6 is much smoother. You can find a lot of good deal on 2004 (if you can still find stock).

If you are interested in the 6 cylindar model, I actually would recommend 530i over E320. Go back and test drive the E320 again and don't be afraid to rev it. E320 is too weak and rough.

I think E500 is a better choice if you can afford it.
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Old 09-29-2004, 08:17 PM
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W211 E320 4Matic
Over 7,500 miles on our 320 4matic and it has only been seen at the dealer for a couple of hours as it was transferred from the boat to us coming from a European delivery. I am very satisfied with the smoothness and power of the 320 (previous engine was a flat 4 Subaru - perceived power and acceleration are especially subjective and could be reported with wild deviations by all).

Stephen
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Old 09-29-2004, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sl561
Re the Acura RL mentioned by DWP (I'm in Sacto too, btw)...I doubt I will have time to wait for that because at some point in the next couple of week MB is going to hand me a check and take away my current wheels....

.... As for color, I like Pewter a whole lot, with charcoal interior, although I have some concerns about that in the Sacramento heat. Stone would be my second choice. Before making any commitments I will probably drive the 530i one more time, but there certainly is no comparison in the appearance of the two. MB is a really beautiful car. The new BMW is growing on me a little bit, but it's certainly not a beauty, and the interior leaves a lot to be desire.

SL
Hi SL

Welcome onboard. FYI, I believe the RL will be released in mid-Oct and as mentioned by DWP, it is really loaded with a lot of standard features with price point that will give the E a run for the money. But like what others here had mentioned, Acura doesn't have the ring of MB.

As for comparing between the BMW E60 530 and the MB E320, the exterior and interior look is very subjective. For me, BMW lost me as a customer because of their current design standards. IMHO, MB W211 is a very classy car and will maintain her beauty for many years to come.

Interior wise, go with the darker color (Charcoal). Stone looks very desirable (I have one) but it is a real pain to keep clean. Whenever my kid rides in the back seat, I have to clean up after her as the Stone interior is a real magnet for dirt and stains.

GL in your decision
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Old 09-30-2004, 12:19 AM
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I've been a W211 skeptic since it's debut. The visual style is nice but I thought the car was too disconnected from the driver for my likes. MB ESP is way too obtrusive. It interferes too much. Also, the SBC brakes offer no pedal feedback, the steering is too light on center and the suspension is a bit soft for spirited driving.

On the other hand, after buying one for my mom, I am liking the car more and more. The brakes are still blah and the steering is annoyingly light for my taste but the car is an efforless joy to drive at 8 tenths. However, quality control leaves much to be desired. So far, I have found almost 10 items that should have been fixed prior to delivery. Nothing is earth shattering but for $60k, it should be better than this.

If you choose the W211, go for the 500. The transmission is worth EVERY penny. Power delivery is instant and smooth. The AMG Sport package might address some of the suspension softness and it looks better IMO. The included maintenance of the 2004 might save you about $2000 over the life of the car plus the lower up front cost of about $800. I found a 2004 last week in San Jose but other than the sunroof and sound system, it was stripped. Perfect for mom's grocery getter but unaceptable for most of the rest of us.

There may be better values in the Acura RL and other Japanese makes but there is nothing better than driving a Benz.

Good luck,
Greg
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