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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

W212 vs M37.

 
Old 05-16-2014, 05:48 PM
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W212 vs M37.

Hello MBWorld! Please convince me that I need a W212 instead of an M37 for a highway cruiser.

I drove Mercedes for the first part of my life. I've since driven Infiniti for the past 19 years. Iím torn as to which direction to go. Neither the W212 nor M37 immediately grabs me by the shirt and says ďbuy me!Ē The Infiniti dealers have generally treated me very well. I still get loaner cars for oil changes @ 202k. Iím hoping hearing from owners will sway me one way or another and maybe get into the nuances that I wouldnít pick up on in a test drive.

A little HX:
'79 240D
'85 280CE
'87 190E 2.3-16v
'94 Infiniti Q45
'04 Infiniti M45
'14 ???????

Currently driving the 2004 Infiniti M45, which I've had since it was new. 202,000+ miles, an F1 tornado, and driving through several tropical storms/hurricanes later, I'm starting to look for a replacement. Thatís 202k miles with me sometimes not driving it for months at a time when Iím across the country. I like the car too much to trade it, but I'm also acknowledging that its increasing oil consumption and repair costs mean its time to stop pounding it like I have been day-in, day-out.

I still enjoy the car and would buy it again in a heartbeat. If anything it would be my first choice for a new car. The car hasnít been flawless, but the dealerships have generally made up for it, even when Nissan was being useless. The dealership helped initiate a few recalls to force Nissan to pay for obvious design flaws in the car. That alone saved me >$6k in repairs.

M45 Likes: Interior has toys and is comfortable and pleasant to look at. Full voice control over everything including HVAC, not bad for a 2004 car.

AC is ridiculously cold (39F air from the vents even in Florida summers) and the stereoís quite enjoyable after a few mods and tweaks. Despite being Bose, it has very detailed mids. It's not the Bowers & Wilkins I have at home nor Meyer Sound gear, but very enjoyable.

Styling is classic and timeless. The 2004 M45 is actually a 1997-2004 Nissan Gloria rebadged as an Infiniti. For being a 17 year old design, it still shows well.

Engine is quite nice Ė Iíve never wished I had more power yet is quiet enough that I almost never hear it.
Brakes are ďmushyĒ, as I like it. First portion of the brake pedal doesnít do much so you can feather to a completely smooth stop, but if you stand on the brakes the car will stop exactly when you need it to.

M45 Dislikes: Cheap interior materials. Squeaks and rattles plagued this car for the first 70,000 miles. Also not a fan of the fake chrome/plastic controls nor ultra-thin plastic panels which are found in the interior. The bonded leather on the seats have held up reasonably well for bonded leather, but it should be real leather at this price.

High repair costs and long delays for parts. Just had to change another headlamp on the car. $400, with most of it in labor due to having to practically tear apart the front of the car to get to the bulb. Long delays Ė 4-6 weeks at times for parts. Itís not always a bad thing as even with 185k on the odometer, the dealer still had me in a loaner car for 4+ weeks, and I didnít even buy my car from them.

Minor, but oil changes every 3750 miles. Not bad, but it felt like I was seeing the dealer more often than seeing family.

I also dislike Nissan's attitude towards owners. They pretty much told me to pound sand every single time we were hitting a major design/safety flaw of the car. They also told me to pound sand when the one dealer tried to screw me over on a repair the car didn't need and didn't fix the problem. My experiences in the past were that MB would stand behind their products.

So there you have it. I'd love to hear from people who've owned both or have had a lot of experience with both. I'm also open to people who've just owned / driven one of them as well. As you can see the interior of the car is where I'll be spending a lot of time over the next few years, so this isn't a decision I'm taking lightly. I'd love to find another car which can do 200k that's worth driving.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:29 PM
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There is a good chance where you'll great deals on leftover 2013 M37 still sitting on the Infiniti dealers. The whole renaming system has turning lots of customers away from the "new" Q70 3.7

W212 engine will be much more refined than the high rev VQ37HR engine. Mind you that Infiniti usually offer existing Infiniti owners $1000 loyalty.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:51 PM
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I had a 2007 M35 prior to getting my E550. Going from a 6 to an 8 cylinder engine was a big change for me that you wouldn't have. From a gas mileage perspective I get 21 mph with my normal commute versus 19 for the M35. Better gas mileage and more power, although poor gas mileage was one of the major complaints for the M35.

The E is a much quieter car with much less engine and road noise.

The fit and finish is much better in the E and I agree with some of your thoughts on the M interior. That being said, I think the seats are more comfortable on the M and I had heated and cooled seats in the M just like my E so it is an apples to apples comparison.

From a maintenance and a reliability standpoint I had not one warranty repair on my M, it was flawless. I hope the Mercedes is as good.

Both are good cars but I like the E better overall.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:59 PM
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I would be worried about the renaming hurting resale value later, but since you keep cars for so long it won't matter.

I compared/test drove the 2011 M37 to the 2011 E350/E550 so keep in mind my impression is not from the styling or features of the current models.

The cabin of the E is superior in my opinion in quality of materials and fit/finish; however, since you are already familiar with the M/Q layout you may find that more pleasing . From what I understand, the tech in the 2014 Q models is way ahead of the outdated MB comand still around in 2014. That wasn't the case when comparing earlier models, but the Q models have stepped up the look and feel. Also, the seat coolers in the M blow chilled air, not cabin air like the E if you get that option. They will freeze you rear off.

I find the M drives much sportier. Like other Infinitis, it is just ready to go with a hair trigger throttle and brakes that grip at the slightest touch. Of course the M is a harsher ride, but more fun. The E floats by comparison which fit better with my aging bones. If you want something fun to drive, I would pick the M over the E350. If you are willing to spring for the E550 then the extra power beats the M unless you go with the M56.

Honestly, I would probably have gotten a 2011 M37 if I didn't get an E550 at a competitive price.

Last edited by thefisch; 05-16-2014 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:06 PM
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If you are going to keep your next car for 10yrs again and spending high dollar on Maintenance is not favorable then I would suggest the M.
If you don't plan to keep it that long or money spent on maintenance will not be a concern then absolutely pick up a W212.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:57 PM
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A somewhat different class of car as well. The m37 is a tweener size vehicle. The e is bigger in all dimensions. The m competes a bit more with the bmw 3 class and is more similar to it in driving and ride, sportier, noisier, zippier and harder ride. The Mercedes is a true luxury sedan, one of the best ever, IMO. So if you want more of a great value proposition alternative to a bmw 3 series get the m37. If you want a change to a top quality luxury sedan, the e is hard to beat. And if you shop hard, you can find great deals. If you go used make sure you go with 2012 or later for the newer engine. Regards. Ned.
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ngerstman View Post
A somewhat different class of car as well. The m37 is a tweener size vehicle. The e is bigger in all dimensions. The m competes a bit more with the bmw 3 class and is more similar to it in driving and ride, sportier, noisier, zippier and harder ride.
You are misinformed! Either that or you are mistaking the G37 for the M37.
This discussion is about the M37, now known as the Q70
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tjdehya View Post
You are misinformed! Either that or you are mistaking the G37 for the M37.
This discussion is about the M37, now known as the Q70
I stand corrected! I was thinking of the g37. Thanks. Regards. Ned.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:15 PM
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Being new to the MB world and having been part of the high end Japanese car world there is just no comparison IMO. Often this sort of topic comes down to preferences but my E550 is truly a remarkable car!! My most recent cars were a 2009 Lexus GS350 and 2010 Acura TL Type SH-AWD. The M37 is a pretty decent looking car w a well designed interior but it's just not in the same league. Go with the W212, I'm quite sure you will not regret it!!
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:19 PM
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Get the m... I had an '09 g37xS and have an 08 g35x... These cars are easy to maintain and keep beyond the warranty period... Not so much with Benz
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tjdehya View Post
If you are going to keep your next car for 10yrs again and spending high dollar on Maintenance is not favorable then I would suggest the M.
If you don't plan to keep it that long or money spent on maintenance will not be a concern then absolutely pick up a W212.
Great advice!!
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:00 AM
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The M is probably a better buy for total cost to own, especially if keep more than three years. The "E" will be very expensive to maintain during warranty and especially once past warranty. Lot of "required" maintenance on MB's that Asian and American cars do not require.
The MB will probably have higher costs to get comparable equipment - and COMAND is dated. It appears you have a great dealer relationship and you would have to start over with MB.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:19 AM
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Have you considered Acura or Lexus? Both offer a better looking option with even better reliability. As far as treatment goes I cannot really speak for Acura but from past experience Lexus treats their customers very well.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:31 AM
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Based on your driving, your miles, my best advice is not to buy a new MB
If you buy a new MB, you are going to blow through the extended warranty before the seven years are up, based on your driving I'd say between years 5 and 6. Sooner if you average closer to 25000 a year.

If you don't mind buying a used car get a CPO benz that is as new as possible there are many 2014 models and get the unlimited extended mile warranty, and drive as much as you want for the next 6 - 6.5 years depending on how much warranty is left.

Owning an MB will be more expensive, but it is well worth it IMO

Last edited by kash2014; 05-18-2014 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:56 PM
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I agree with kash2014 about the CPO option, especially if you drive a lot of miles. Any luxury car costs a lot a depreciates quickly and the first two years are the worst. You can get a good value on 1 or 2 year old car and have the piece of mind of a long warranty.

My boss just bought a 2014 Astin Martin DB9 for $165K and it had a $235K MSRP. The guy that wanted to drive the first 2,800 miles paid dearly for it. Makes the drop on an E class in one year seem like nothing.
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:14 PM
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just be careful with the very new CPO cars, remember e class' are discounted brand new 8 - 15% depending on your region from MSRP, so keep that in mind when looking at the prices as I've seen some outrageous prices for used 2014 e class, where it would make more sense to buy new
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:46 PM
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I think the new unlimited miles cpo is a great buy. I drive 35k mi a year and will be covered till my estimated 160k miles in 3.5 years from now. For $36000 with the extra 2 year CPO add on warranty. A 30mpg 2011 diesel and distronic plus. It's hard to find anything else with such value and useful tech. A m35h would be a good option for high miles too.
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Old 05-18-2014, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SolidGranite View Post
Have you considered Acura or Lexus? Both offer a better looking option with even better reliability. As far as treatment goes I cannot really speak for Acura but from past experience Lexus treats their customers very well.
I cross-shopped the Infiniti M and Acura RL in 2009 before getting the 2010 "E." I drive less than 5,000 miles per year and would not go near a European car if I drove more than that. Truth be known, the star on the hood had a lot of influence on my getting an MB.
M seemed tighter inside to me and not a fan of their center stack, but you are used to it. The best buy would have been an Acura RL. Smaller than an "E" but very nicely equipped. 2014 Acura RLX is totally new, so a lot different. Biggest advantage to an RL is that nobody buys them, so they are hugely discounted as new cars.
Lexus is very pricey both to purchase and to service. Right up there with MB and BMW. Far more reliable though and the GS is new.
Just to confuse you, might want to check out the Audi A6. Very highly recommended for 2014.
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Old 05-18-2014, 03:52 PM
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I rented an M37 not too long ago, for a Houston-San Antonion-Houston trip.

After two hours, I could not WAIT to get out of those seats, they were so uncomfortable.

YMMV but had I not spent decent time in that car I never would have known that.

Can sit in My E-350 for a 10 hour drive and I'm fine.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:21 PM
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OP, did you decide on the car? I am in the same boat, my 03 m45 getting old, but I don't think I will be giving Infiniti another try. Maybe the example I had was not treated well before me, but I had quite a few problems with it.

IMO it was the best looking M that Nissan released to date, dont think the new M look that good. The new Q50's are nice, but fully loaded Q50S is 53k.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by shak View Post

IMO it was the best looking M that Nissan released to date, dont think the new M look that good. The new Q50's are nice, but fully loaded Q50S is 53k.
Since they are not moving out of dealers' lot that 53k sells for 46k
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:13 PM
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The q50 has quite a few electronic gremlins not yet worked out ... I hope things are getting better as I know it drives very well
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Old 05-31-2014, 12:50 AM
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w212 will be much cheaper for lease and close to purchase. I do not believe you can get $12K off MSRP for M37.
I tried to buy it 5 times and all times stuck with E class, damn.
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Old 05-31-2014, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by PeterUbers View Post
The q50 has quite a few electronic gremlins not yet worked out ... I hope things are getting better as I know it drives very well
The car is loaded with electronics, but I read bad reviews for their new steering system. Q50 is a nice car, but IMO not the same league as E class.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:51 PM
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I leased two M35's and then an M37 in 2011. I kept that M37 11 months and sold it back to the dealer (cost $1000 to get out of the lease). The car was unsafe, in my opinion. The problem was the lag if you accelerated to pass someone on an interstate...the car would slow for many seconds before it found the right gear, after hunting a bit. I turned the Infinity in, went to the MB dealer and leased an E350 blutec for less than I was paying for the M37. The E350 was a better car in almost every way except the nav system...much better drive, comfortable seats, etc. When that lease was up, I leased a 2014 e350 gas and it's another terrific car, although I would have prefered the e550 but the dealer couldn't find one on the east coast at the time.

If you get a new infinity, take it on an interstate and make sure they've fixed that lag.....try passing someone when you're going 60 and want to accelerate to pass..
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