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E Class or BMW?

 
Old 11-29-2014, 09:39 AM
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E Class or BMW?

So I'm new to luxury cars and want to replace my trusted Volvo wagon with a new E350 wagon. My very well off friend is trying to turn me away from MB. He drives a 750 IL along with a Maserati, his brother had a Maybach and GL550. Both had major issues and the GL went died on a NJ expressway that was later bought back by MB.
Granted some cars are lemons but they really want me to look at BMW as they claim fewer problems but the 3 series wagon is to small.
What should I do? Look at the X-5 or continue my dream of owning a MB! Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:20 AM
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Which one do you prefer to drive? Base your decision on a long test drive or several long test drives. Car Max is a good place to drive different brands back to back. You can also get a real sense of how they hold up walking the lots there and looking at the older ones that have higher miles.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:33 AM
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wanderflake, thanks I really prefer the MB. We did a test drive on a 2015 wagon and it took a week to get the smile off my face!!!!! Looking at high milage cars is a good idea. My thoughts are to keep this 6-8 yrs. bob
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:43 AM
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An X5 is no wagon. If you are looking for reliability from the X5, thats almost laughable.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ph350 View Post
An X5 is no wagon. If you are looking for reliability from the X5, thats almost laughable.
Glad you said it instead of me. i though I would pass in case the OP went that direction. Now it is out there.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:01 AM
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2010 E350 Luxury Sedan
Considering the X5 opens up the whole SUV range. And that adds all the super dependable (compared to European) Japanese makes. Of course, only Lexus has the "cachet" of MB or BMW.
A lot of people don't like it, but if reliability is a concern (and it seems to be), check out Consumer Reports 2015 Buying Guide. Also, truedelta.com.
Good luck on your search, but it is going to be a difficult one.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:07 AM
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E,E,CL,C,CLK,ML,S,GLK,others...
You are all over the place. You can get a lemon in any car. My W212 has been fine with no issues. Get out there and drive all the cars you are considering(Not just the E) and report back to us! Personally if you plan on keeping it around for a while I would build one on MBUSA to make sure you get exactly what you want.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:16 AM
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I seem to oscillate back and forth between MB and BMW. Based on my experience, I don't think either brand is that much better or worse in the reliability department. The previous poster was right on in that any vehicle from any brand could end up being a 'lemon'. There's a little luck involved. However, if you want to play the probability game and reliability is important to you, then use the major surveys as your guide. Test drives are a good idea also for additional seat-of-the pants data.
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Old 11-29-2014, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by f350bob9 View Post
wanderflake, thanks I really prefer the MB. We did a test drive on a 2015 wagon and it took a week to get the smile off my face!!!!! Looking at high milage cars is a good idea. My thoughts are to keep this 6-8 yrs. bob
Regardless of what your buddies are recommending nobody is buying a BMW over a Mercedes for reliability.

Your test drive gave you your answer. These a really nice cars.

If you still have concerns about the reliability you should be able to buy an extended warranty during the first year of ownership (mayde as long as it is under the original factory warranty, not exactly sure).

In any event the W212's have been pretty reliable though not flawless but you are getting into the latter part of the model cycle so that helps.
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Old 11-29-2014, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MBNUT1 View Post
Regardless of what your buddies are recommending nobody is buying a BMW over a Mercedes for reliability.
Absolutely correct! I left MB for BMW because I liked the car better. My wife will not follow me because she feels the opposite. I hope my BMW is as reliable as my prior MB was! This comes down to a metric popularized by Bob Lutz when at Chrysler and GM....the ratio of:

Things Gone Right/Things Gone Wrong

If there are enough of the first, people are more willing to overlook more of the second. That is why folks still buy cars which excite them instead of everyone heading for a Lexus. MB has nothing close to what I just got at BMW, so I went for it...with fingers crossed!

As to the data, be careful drawing conclusions. MB had a bad year with the launch of CLA and S Classes. But, our C and E have been close to bullet-proof for the 5-6 years we had/have them. Launch years are still risky, but MB seems to have long term durability well figured out now, once in the second or third year of production. BMW has improved as well, so 3 year old data from JDPower Durability Study may be obsolete information. Skip the Consumer Reports road tests and check out the subscriber surveys for quality...probably the most helpful information at this point.
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Old 11-29-2014, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by f350bob9 View Post
So I'm new to luxury cars and want to replace my trusted Volvo wagon with a new E350 wagon. My very well off friend is trying to turn me away from MB. He drives a 750 IL along with a Maserati, his brother had a Maybach and GL550. Both had major issues and the GL went died on a NJ expressway that was later bought back by MB.
Granted some cars are lemons but they really want me to look at BMW as they claim fewer problems but the 3 series wagon is to small.
What should I do? Look at the X-5 or continue my dream of owning a MB! Thanks for your thoughts!
If you don't get the MB wagon you should look at the Audi Q7 with the diesel engine rather than X5 bimmer. Much better car in every way.

And it drives like a car, not like a big SUV or a truck.

Last edited by Arrie; 11-29-2014 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 11-29-2014, 03:03 PM
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I'd go with your gut, as well off friends can often live in worlds of their own
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by El Cid View Post
Of course, only Lexus has the "cachet" of MB or BMW.
Yikes. A 4WD Camry is far from enjoyable to drive or look at, let alone having luxury brand credentials. Reliable and cheap, yes, absolutely.

To the OP, the E-Wagon is a great car to drive, and while I like the X5 style-wise better than the ML, it drives like a SUV. The beauty of a wagon is in the driving dynamics IMO.

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Old 11-29-2014, 06:09 PM
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I had 3 E Classes and in the last month with my current 535i.

I prefer the 5 Series, and it's actually been more reliable as well, though had/have a few "glitches" that kind of work themselves out, so I haven't had to take the car "in" once except for service (and to top off oil once). But you don't get a BMW for reliability, you get it for drive and engagement, then there's the subjective and other factors that could appeal to you. Many current BMW's are kind of a middle ground between BMW's of yore and Mercedes, however. My 5 is certainly sportier than my E350's, but I wouldn't call it "sporty". Now that the initial "wow" factor from switching between both has settled and I've gained increasing perspectives, and being that I've increasingly wanted sportier cars, I find myself echo'ing BMW "purists" who I initially didn't level with so much, in wishing BMW made all their products to the code of "sport" that they used to. Though they've come a very long way in luxury and refinement on the 5-and up chassis models (not so much at all on the 3 Series chassis models).

If M-B is what your heart wants, then there's your answer. When I was getting my first luxury cars and was working with what I was, I wanted a Benz only (helped that it was the tail end of the so called "Bangle design gen" so BMW wasn't even considered), so I did it, and then eventually you might find yourself exploring elsewhere to gain more perspective (i.e "bouncing back and forth" like many do).

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Old 11-29-2014, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by El Cid View Post
Of course, only Lexus has the "cachet" of MB or BMW.
Perhaps, you meant to say that 'only Lexus has the cachet' of Hyundai ???

At least for the Canadian market, Lexus is considered a 'wannabe' and its sales are way below MB, BMW or Audi. The Lexus SUVs like the GX460 are amongst the ugliest vehicles on the planet !

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Old 11-30-2014, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DerekACS View Post
Perhaps, you meant to say that 'only Lexus has the cachet' of Hyundai ???

At least for the Canadian market, Lexus is considered a 'wannabe' and its sales are way below MB, BMW or Audi. The Lexus SUVs like the GX460 are amongst the ugliest vehicles on the planet !
them and the inifinity QX things
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:50 AM
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Lexus is NOT Camry

[QUOTE=YYZ-E55;6247000]Yikes. A 4WD Camry is far from enjoyable to drive or look at, let alone having luxury brand credentials. Reliable and cheap, yes, absolutely.

While Lexus may be a division of Toyota, only the ES is comparable to a Toyota and then to the Avalon. Naturally they do share some corporate components.
BTW, Lexus doesn't sell "cheap" cars, especially once you get past the ES. One reason why I got an "E" was because Lexus wouldn't deal on their LS models.
As for "driving enjoyment," depends on what you are looking for. Lexus is famous for most comfortable and quietest riding vehicles. Not sporty though.
Will agree that the new Lexus Spindle grilles are awful, but so are the new front ends on the MB "C" and "E" classes.
I don't think the OP said anything about wanting a 4WD, did he?
Not sure about the Canadian market, but Lexus has been kicking MB and BMW's butts in US since the make was introduced - and MB and BMW know it.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:08 PM
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I have noticed that fitment and alignment (e.g. panels/doors, plastic parts/bumpers, etc.) seems to be more precise in MB's I've owned compared to BMW's. I've also found the MB paint to be less susceptible to chipping from pebbles, etc. MB has been leading in the design department for several years in my view but that could shift. It's great to have so many choices, especially as I find my needs changing as I change.
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Old 11-30-2014, 01:32 PM
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And of course, the RX is a Toyota Harrier, or was.

In terms of US market sales anyway, least since 2007 or so, MB (and BMW) has been kicking Lexus butt.. Latest check on goodcarbadcar had MB ahead by 40K or so units for 2014. And I won't even get into global sales - spend time in a large city of other first world nations, you'll be lucky to see more than a few.

Most Lexus are fine cars which will be very reliable, comfortable, and easy to live with, but the recent styling is a lot more brash than the simple awkwardness of some MB traits. That seems to be a Toyota thing in general lately. But if you want to look different instead of a parallel universe MB as the brand was for so many years, I guess you have to be bold.



[QUOTE=El Cid;6247573]
Originally Posted by YYZ-E55 View Post
Yikes. A 4WD Camry is far from enjoyable to drive or look at, let alone having luxury brand credentials. Reliable and cheap, yes, absolutely.

While Lexus may be a division of Toyota, only the ES is comparable to a Toyota and then to the Avalon. Naturally they do share some corporate components.
BTW, Lexus doesn't sell "cheap" cars, especially once you get past the ES. One reason why I got an "E" was because Lexus wouldn't deal on their LS models.
As for "driving enjoyment," depends on what you are looking for. Lexus is famous for most comfortable and quietest riding vehicles. Not sporty though.
Will agree that the new Lexus Spindle grilles are awful, but so are the new front ends on the MB "C" and "E" classes.
I don't think the OP said anything about wanting a 4WD, did he?
Not sure about the Canadian market, but Lexus has been kicking MB and BMW's butts in US since the make was introduced - and MB and BMW know it.
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by El Cid View Post
Will agree that the new Lexus Spindle grilles are awful, but so are the new front ends on the MB "C" and "E" classes.

Not sure about the Canadian market, but Lexus has been kicking MB and BMW's butts in US since the make was introduced - and MB and BMW know it.
You have placed yourself in a tiny minority by describing the "new front ends of the MB 'C' and 'E' classes" as "awful". Most automotive reviewers have given both the facelift E Class and the new C very strong ratings for exterior design. The new E (sport version) has been described as "the best looking car in its segment", whilst the new C has also received glowing praise from many reviewers.

You do realize, I'm sure, that the current E Class is available with a traditional 'luxury' style grill. I have yet to see one on the road or on a dealer's lot, which suggests to me that this version does not sell very well.

As far as Lexus kicking the butt of MB or BMW, I'm not sure to which country you are referring ? It hasn't happened in the USA where both BMW and MB outsell Lexus by a very large margin. Worldwide, Lexus is less than 1/3rd of BMW sales. In Canada, Lexus sales are #5/5 amongst the five luxury car brands: Acura, Audi, BMW, Lexus and MB. So much for Lexus being a strong contender !

To get back to the OP's question, E Class or BMW ? Test drive both an E Class and a 5 Series, then decide for yourself which one meets your needs. In the end it becomes a very subjective decision after weighing the pros and cons of each car.

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Old 11-30-2014, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by f350bob9 View Post
So I'm new to luxury cars and want to replace my trusted Volvo wagon with a new E350 wagon. My very well off friend is trying to turn me away from MB. He drives a 750 IL along with a Maserati, his brother had a Maybach and GL550. Both had major issues and the GL went died on a NJ expressway that was later bought back by MB.
Granted some cars are lemons but they really want me to look at BMW as they claim fewer problems but the 3 series wagon is to small.
What should I do? Look at the X-5 or continue my dream of owning a MB! Thanks for your thoughts!
I know someone who had a 740 iL that was a complete money pit.

I recently sold my BMW for my new E Class after the BMW had a total transmission failure at 22,000 miles.

I would not buy any BMW again.
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Old 11-30-2014, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by beshannon View Post
I know someone who had a 740 iL that was a complete money pit.

I recently sold my BMW for my new E Class after the BMW had a total transmission failure at 22,000 miles.

I would not buy any BMW again.
There are cars in BMW's line that are fairly reliable. I think if you want a wagon, then just look at Mercedes or stay with Volvo. If you are considering the BMW X5, I would take a good look at the new CX90.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:28 PM
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Not talking just numbers

Originally Posted by DerekACS View Post
You have placed yourself in a tiny minority by describing the "new front ends of the MB 'C' and 'E' classes" as "awful". Most automotive reviewers have given both the facelift E Class and the new C very strong ratings for exterior design. The new E (sport version) has been described as "the best looking car in its segment", whilst the new C has also received glowing praise from many reviewers.

You do realize, I'm sure, that the current E Class is available with a traditional 'luxury' style grill. I have yet to see one on the road or on a dealer's lot, which suggests to me that this version does not sell very well.

As far as Lexus kicking the butt of MB or BMW, I'm not sure to which country you are referring ? It hasn't happened in the USA where both BMW and MB outsell Lexus by a very large margin. Worldwide, Lexus is less than 1/3rd of BMW sales. In Canada, Lexus sales are #5/5 amongst the five luxury car brands: Acura, Audi, BMW, Lexus and MB. So much for Lexus being a strong contender !

To get back to the OP's question, E Class or BMW ? Test drive both an E Class and a 5 Series, then decide for yourself which one meets your needs. In the end it becomes a very subjective decision after weighing the pros and cons of each car.
Lexus sales have come out of MB's hide for the most part. Before Lexus, people in that market purchased MB with a few going the BMW route. MB does outsell Lexus in pure numbers, but look at how many models MB has compared to Lexus.
I see a lot more Lexus' on the road than MB's and I live in the largest (and wealthiest) SMSA in my state. That's one reason why I bought an MB. Also, many of the MB's I see are older than Lexus has been around.
BTW, OP's question was not about E vs. 5, but what type station wagon or maybe an SUV.
As for the Luxury grille on new E, it's not as good as the one on the previous versions. Regardless, many people have commented negatively on the lower fascia of the current E and C, not the grille itself.

Last edited by El Cid; 11-30-2014 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by El Cid View Post
As for the Luxury grille on new E, it's not as good as the one on the previous versions. Regardless, many people have commented negatively on the lower fascia of the current E and C, not the grille itself.
I agree with your first statement. But as for the new front end on the E Class and new C front end, the vast majority of comments seem to complimentary toward the new styling.

Frankly, I like both the pre and post facelift front ends, with perhaps a slight bias toward the latter. However, the post face lift rear quarter panels are a big improvement over the previous ones.

Yes, you are correct in reminding me that the OP was looking for wagon or SUV options !
Volvo has abandoned station wagons in favour of SUVs. The X5 is a ponderous beast that drives more like a truck than a car. If the OP wants a mid-sized wagon configuration in a vehicle that drives like a car, there is only one choice: Mercedes E350/400.

Last edited by DerekACS; 11-30-2014 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:26 PM
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One thing MB's never got criticized for is their fronts. Based on my observations, the new cars get criticized at a much higher proportion for their fronts than ever before. MB making the Star grill the corporate norm means that they're trying to fit it into so many different models that it naturally yields some awkward results. Especially cars where they have two totally different grill and front options (a recent thing), there's no designed way to get them both right and proper. It can be haphazard.

BMW have the same problem. Some cars just look dumb with applying what was originally a design feature for totally differently proportioned designs.
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