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2014 E350 vs. E550 RIDE QUALITY

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

2014 E350 vs. E550 RIDE QUALITY

 
Old 08-13-2014, 08:18 PM
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2014 E350 vs. E550 RIDE QUALITY

We are going to get my wife a new E sedan. We would prefer a 550 with AirMatic, but we just HATE that this vehicle ONLY comes in the sports trim, as opposed to the luxury trim. Anyway, wanted to know if anyone has first hand knowledge of the ride quality of a 550 equipped with AirMatic, vs. a 350. Even though they all have the sports trim, do the 550's still have a cushy ride, or are they "tuned" to have a sportier, harsher ride? We are looking for the softest, most comfortable ride: A 350 in the "luxury" trim or a 550 with AirMatic and the "sports" trim. Would appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:08 PM
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Mine: 2014 E550 4matic; Hers: 2008 E350 4matic
It all has to do with the wheel size - if you want a comfy ride I am betting an E-class luxury edition with the 17 inch wheels will be your best bet. I have an E550 sports package and the ride is quite similar to the E350 sports package I test drove. It is probably very hard to find an E550 with the airmatic. The airmatic is a special charge option and I am not sure how many were ordered with it. Test drive both. The E550 is a divine ride.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Munich77 View Post
I have an E550 sports package and the ride is quite similar to the E350 sports package I test drove.
That is because it is exactly the same.
An E550 with Airmatic however rides completely different.

Any E class with springs (Lux or Sport) will not match an E550 with Airmatic in comfort.

I would suggest that the OP test drive an E350 with Lux suspension back to back with either an E550 with Airmatic (if you can find one) or a CLS550. The CLS550 is tuned to be a little more sporty than the E550 but you will get an idea of how the Airmatic in the E will feel.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:11 AM
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Do not get the 550 if u want cushy... I had 2014 550 with springs and it was tight and sporty but I like it that way

My best friend with a 2011 airmatic 550 has a very luxurious ride in comfort but it's not like a luxury 350 with 17" rims... Definitely drive both
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Old 08-14-2014, 01:55 PM
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The E550 with Airmatic will be the BEST ride comfort you can get in an E sedan. Even the E550 being a 'sports' edition has two settings of Comfort and Sports for the suspension and the Comfort mode is an incredibly plush ride.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:15 PM
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You can order the new 15 E400 now. They offer the air suspension as an option on this model. The E550 will no longer be available in the US for model year 2015. Expect the price to compare with the current E350.

The new E400 will not perform like the E550 but with air suspension it should have a comparable ride. Furthermore the new E400 will be a more fuel efficient car compared to the current E350 because the new engine is a 3L tt V6 with 329hp and 354 lbs of torque. You can also expect moderately better performance.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffy View Post
The E550 with Airmatic will be the BEST ride comfort you can get in an E sedan. Even the E550 being a 'sports' edition has two settings of Comfort and Sports for the suspension and the Comfort mode is an incredibly plush ride.
+1. My E550 can tear down the road and feel it with the 18s, or float on it like a boat in water with the Airmatic. It's the best of both worlds..for me at least.

Last edited by stale-bread; 08-15-2014 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:42 PM
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The suspension between 350 and 550 is different anyway, even without the airmatic. The 550 has a switch for the drive to change it's characteristic.

If MB hadn't uselessed up their website I could link to it.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Streamliner View Post
We are going to get my wife a new E sedan. We would prefer a 550 with AirMatic, but we just HATE that this vehicle ONLY comes in the sports trim, as opposed to the luxury trim. Anyway, wanted to know if anyone has first hand knowledge of the ride quality of a 550 equipped with AirMatic, vs. a 350. Even though they all have the sports trim, do the 550's still have a cushy ride, or are they "tuned" to have a sportier, harsher ride? We are looking for the softest, most comfortable ride: A 350 in the "luxury" trim or a 550 with AirMatic and the "sports" trim. Would appreciate your thoughts.
Where do you live that airmatic is required? I have a 2012 E550 that was custom ordered with the luxury suspension. It floats like a boat but is a wonderful on long highway drives. Your dealer may be able to custom order it for you.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GoBlando View Post
Where do you live that airmatic is required? I have a 2012 E550 that was custom ordered with the luxury suspension. It floats like a boat but is a wonderful on long highway drives. Your dealer may be able to custom order it for you.
2014 ... Cannot get a steel luxury suspension for e550... Either sport steel springs or airmatic
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:18 PM
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E550 Sport with Airmatic is great. Sporty and comfortable and adjustable with a lowering module. As someone mentioned earlier, you have a button to select "Airmatic Sport" or "Airmatic Comfort" whenever you want. E550 FTW
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:03 AM
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I don't understand why Airmatic is now available for the C class but not available for the E350.
E350 has Airmatic available for other countries but not for North America...
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:53 PM
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I have a 2010 E550 with Airmatic and a 2014 E550 without Airmatic. Both cars have a very nice refined ride in the comfort mode, I hardly notice any difference in the ride quality between the cars. With Airmatic however, you can push a button and raise the front end about 2 inches to avoid hitting those nasty concrete parking bumpers.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TwinCam View Post
I have a 2010 E550 with Airmatic and a 2014 E550 without Airmatic. Both cars have a very nice refined ride in the comfort mode, I hardly notice any difference in the ride quality between the cars. With Airmatic however, you can push a button and raise the front end about 2 inches to avoid hitting those nasty concrete parking bumpers.
I had two 2014 e550s with the springs, ie no airmatic and no option for "comfort" it was a fixed system and it was nice for me but definitely sporty and not Lexus LS luxury ride
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:31 AM
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If nobody has mentioned it yet you should definitely take into consideration the significant reliability history and maintenance when equipping your E with airmatic. Excellent suspension setup but will cost more to maintain and could have you in the shop with warranty issues at some point.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GoBlando View Post
Where do you live that airmatic is required? I have a 2012 E550 that was custom ordered with the luxury suspension. It floats like a boat but is a wonderful on long highway drives. Your dealer may be able to custom order it for you.
It's not that I don't believe you, but I think you are mistaken. Please post a copy of your window sticker, as I think we would all be interested to see this "COPO" E550. COPO? Google COPO Camaro.
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:27 AM
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hi guys ,am buying 2010 or 2011 e550 4matic ,can anyone shed some light where to find front air suspension just in case.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:44 AM
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Like everyone said, if feeling sporty at will but silky comfortable in other cases is important, airmatic cannot be beat. When I was searching for 14 E550, I just did not look at ones without that option.

Some sporadic reports on potential reliability issue is not easy to hear. But Lexus GS or Hyundai Genesis should the logical choice for anyone who considers reliability more important than comfort. In my view, you get E550 for its ability to coast very comfortably and punch away from the crowd at will.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:51 AM
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Airmatic will have the best sporty / comfort compromise compare to a coil spring. The price of the extra maintenance is well worth it in my opinion.

Last edited by The G Man; 02-28-2017 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by A.D.S.MANN View Post
hi guys ,am buying 2010 or 2011 e550 4matic ,can anyone shed some light where to find front air suspension just in case.
ebay , car-part.com , arnott , hook ups , dealer? lol

good luck , and enjoy , its a nice car.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:10 PM
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I have a 2011 E550 and I've driven 2014 E350 as a loaner when my car was in for service.

The E350 felt like my E550 in sport mode which is the least comfortable of the airmatic settings. If I set it to comfort or comfort + lift it's definitely more comfortable than the E350, hands down.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cc16177 View Post
I have a 2011 E550 and I've driven 2014 E350 as a loaner when my car was in for service.

The E350 felt like my E550 in sport mode which is the least comfortable of the airmatic settings. If I set it to comfort or comfort + lift it's definitely more comfortable than the E350, hands down.


I think the advantage of the airmatic is that when it is in sport mode, it ride similar to the coil spring suspension comfort wise but handles much better on turns.
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by The G Man View Post
I think the advantage of the airmatic is that when it is in sport mode, it ride similar to the coil spring suspension comfort wise but handles much better on turns.
Sounds about right! I am always so impressed how noticeable the difference between the three settings.

I have never driven a car with an adjustable suspension so it's kinda neat
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by The G Man View Post
I think the advantage of the airmatic is that when it is in sport mode, it ride similar to the coil spring suspension comfort wise but handles much better on turns.
maybe its just me , or its been too long , and i barely drove on stock height suspension setting , but i didnt really feel that big of a difference between sport and comfort modes , now on the other hand when lowered , i do feel more of a difference between these modes.
but i still think no matter how low it is airmatic is made for comfort ride , and not to be taking sharp turns.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:00 PM
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I have a 2010 e550 with airmatic. Smooth as day at 60 mph as it is at 100 mph but if you are driving slower you can raise it up and put it into comfort mode for a even smoother ride
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