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High Performance Luxury Sedans



  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Color - Silver with dark grey/dark grey

    How long did I wait for it - I waited a long time as I ordered it a year ago, well before anyone has heard about the car.

    I was offered a 2003 in May 2003 but I declined as I rather have the DVD navigation Mine was built in the 2nd decade of September 2003 as the first batch of the 2004 E55.

    I paid sticker.

    I really like the dynamic seats. The side bolsters in the W211 E55 give much better support, even at the widest setting, compared to the W210 E55.

    I'm 6 foot 1 at 185 lbs and find the seats perfect. For those who are really overweight, they may find the seats a bit too narrow.

    When you corner with the dynamic seats, they do give gentle support, very cool and 'civilized'.
  • I'm seriously deciding whether to get the E55 or to wait for the new M5. Historically I've driven BMW's and I absolutely love feeling the car and the road. I hate driving my wife's caddy because it is like floating on air, and I feel like I'm not even in control of the vehicle. I'm afraid of waiting for the M5 given the recent designs out of Munich. I've never driven an MB and my local dealer said they typically make custys test drive an E500 if they are considering an E55 AMG.

    Tell me more about the car... How much do you like it vs. other cars? Acceleration is obviously unbelievable. How does it corner? What do you love, dislike about the interior?

    Should I go out and order one??
  • And what about the brake by wire? A lot of people say it is overly responsive.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I took delivery of the E55 but have also kept my order for the M5, just in case it turns out to be better than expected. However, I definitely do share your dislike over the new direction BMW is taking. BMW appears to want to try too hard to be different. Not very user friendly and the interior looks cheap in my opinion.

    About the W211 E55, it is very different from the E500 as it is much tighter with a firmer ride. If you do test drive an E500, look for a model with the sports package, and do remember to set the AirMatic suspension to the firmest setting.

    The E55 corners very well although you can feel that it is a heavy car, very solid and stable. It is a luxurious sedan with a killer engine. It does not corner as well as the R230 SL500 although it feels a lot more substantial and solid.

    Let me cut and paste some notes I posted on another board:

    + Throttle very smooth, meaning you can drive it very gently in city. Believe it or not, even my wife commented on how user friendly it is. It is surprisingly easy to slowly accelerate from stop, unlike my old W210 E55, which begged me to step on it.

    + Truly excellent view of the road ahead. Hood slopes down sharply reminding me of the 1993 Saab 9000 CSE.

    + Brilliant headlights. I ordered the active bi-xenons. Simply the best headlights I have ever used, much better than the R230 SL500 and W210 E55. Yes, these lights swivel when you corner as well, a subtle improvement.

    + I enjoy the dynamic seats and rear automatic trunk - very civilized and neat options.

    + Huge trunk and very supportive front seats.

    + Very smooth ride, far better than the R230 SL500 (with standard wheels) and the W210 E55. The W211 E55 (in the sportiest suspension II setting) has marginally more lean than the R230 (with ABC set on firm), but perfectly acceptable for a sedan. Excellent trade off considering the smooth ride.

    + Very rigid body no creaks and rattles like the R230 SL500.

    + DVD COMAND is CD Text compatible! Now I want to copy all my CDs adding the CD Text feature so that the CD title and tracks will be displayed on screen. CD Text works not only in the single dash player but also in the changer (where it would also display the CD title). (For those who are familiar with the R230 CD COMAND, the W211 COMAND does not allow one to program and name a CD on screen but the CD Text feature is even better, well at least for those who can burn their CDs).

    + Brake by wire is fine, a huge improvement over the R230 SL500, for street use at least, as I do not late brake and will have little idea how the brakes behave on the track.

    + In dash CD changer is nice and I would recommend going for the Pro-logic 7 with the improved sound.

    + So is the double sun visor.

    + Very luxurious interior with the nappa leather, the climate controlled ventilated seats are useful for long trips. I read some others concerned with the seat width, for me at 6 foot 1 and 185 lbs., it fits me very well.

    + I did not go for the double glass moon roof as I just have enough head room.

    - Did not order distronic as I find the option too expensive for what you get.

    - Glove box is smaller than I expected.

    - As far as ease of use, I find the DVD COMAND not as good as I expected. The CD COMAND on the R230 SL was actually a bit more user friendly, with more marked buttons. In the W211 DVD COMAND, one has to press one of the blank buttons before one can magnify the map. However, obviously the DVD is miles ahead as far as content goes with North America in a single disk.

    - Marginally less rear seat room than the W210.

    - The car sounds like a muscle car, a bit too noisy for my taste but no where as bad as the R230 SL500 with the annoying whine at 1,500 rpm. Most enthusiasts would enjoy the engine sound. I enjoy the speed more than anything, and would prefer Lexus like quietness for my music.

    + And have I mentioned the immense power reserve? It’s simply amazing. You can pass most cars in traffic like a reckless crazy driver before hitting 3,000 rpm!

    +The greatest asset of this car is how well it can handle the power, its smoothness in comfort setting and overall civility. I thought the W210 E55 was a balanced super sedan, the W211 E55 manages to be just that much better.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87
    Thanks for the detailed review, a couple of questions:

    • Isn't the Logic 7 system standard on E55?

    • Can you confirm that the radio station select buttons on the steering wheel do NOT allow for preset selection. In other words, you can't surf radio presets from the steering wheel controls.

    • Any XM or Sirrus radio capability or AUX connector allowing for iPod hookup?
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    1. Pro Logic 7 may be standard in the US, but it is actually an option for Canadian E55s. Bi-xenon on the other hand, is an option in the US while a standard feature in Canadian E55s.

    2. You are correct, unlike the W210 or R230, the W211 steering wheel buttons do NOT allow one to surf radio presets.

    3. On Canadian cars, we do not have SAT or XM however, for those with DVD COMAND, there is an Aux input for iPod, in the glove box. In the Audio menu, you can select Aux. I am quite sure this is a feature in the US COMAND equipped cars as well.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87


    I am amazed that a car that is so advanced and filled with computerized engineering cannot allow you to change a radio preset using wheel controls.

    I know it sounds picky, but when an entry level compact car has this you would think an $80K plus car would also. Sounds like a slip up as opposed to a planned design "feature". Then again maybe I should just stick with a song for the entire song ;-)
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Yeah, it's a definite an overlook but luckily for me, I usually play my own CDs in the car and had never been pleased with the FM reception of most modern cars anyway so it's not a big deal.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87
    You mentioned "another board" in an earlier post. If it is the same one I think it is, do you know why it has been down now for a week.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I have no idea but you know where I am these days.

    Have you made up your mind about the E55?
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87
    Still E55 or used 996TT. Way different cars, but close is price.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Seems to me that E39 M50's are going for more than Blue Book values and CERTAINLY more than Edmunds TMVs. Anyone have a take on this... any info that is more definitive? Thanks.
  • Thanks for everyone's posts. Finally ordered a 2004 E55 AMG, Obsidian Black with charcoal/charcoal, Navigation, Ventilated, Phone (not with VCS), Xenon.

    They estimated 5-10 months. While I was there I saw someone picking up their Mocha Designo edition E55 AMG. It was the nicest car I have ever seen. It looked black in the garage but when it was taken out into the sun you could see the hints of deep chocolate at certain angles.

    I have time to change any options so I'd like some input. (1) Is the tire pressure monitoring system only if I plan to use runflats? (2) Does anyone have experience with the ventilated seats and are they worth the money? (3) Most importantly, I'd love to hear anyone's experience with the different colors, i.e. Black vs. Opal Black vs. Obsidian vs. Jade Black. Kind of hard to tell which was the best...
  • Test drove one yesterday. Beautiful car. The only thing that shocked me was the size of the sport seats. I'm 6'1'' 200 pounds, medium build (i.e., not a big [non-permissible content removed]) and I found the side buttresses of the lower part of the seats EXTREMELY confining. Otherwise, the interior was amazing. Perfect luxury. This model had the 20" wheel upgrade (for $4500) and I would certainly not recommend that. However, hard to argue that the XKR convertible (2003 model, haven't seen the new one) is not one of the most beautiful exterior designs in the auto world...
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    Hmm, I am 6'3" and 215 lbs and I love the way that the my '04 XJR's seats fit me.

    Is it possible that you are just not used to a firm sport type seat with side/theigh bolsters? My XJR seats keep me "in the pocket" when I am driving my car hard.

    I agree that the 20" wheels are not necessary. In fact I think that they create an in increased ride harshness. They are also a very costly $$ add in price.
  • Not sure why it felt this way Don, each of my last two BMW's (330xi and M3) had sport seats with side/thigh bolsters and I loved them. Would only order sport seats. Oddlly, my brother-in-law who is 6'1" 240 said it felt fine!
  • goody4goody4 Posts: 55
    The tire pressure monitoring system will warn you of a significant and sudden decrease in a wheel's pressure, no matter which type of tire you have.

    Run-flats simply allow you to get to the nearest repair center.

    The system is worth it, with or without run-flat tires.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I ordered my 2004 E55 with the ventilated seats and love them. While you definitely do not feel the draft, your seat will stay cool even after long rides (45 minutes or longer).

    Keeps me fresh and alert. I wish they put these seats on airplanes.
  • My dealership has a 2004 CL55 available. I haven't had that much fun driving in quite a while--lots of power and easy to drive.

    I am considering trading my 2003 911 TT on it. I rarely drive the Porshe, and I think that I would get a lot more use out of the CL. If an E55 were available, I would be even more tempted because of the price.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87
    Am intrigued by your posting which seemed to say the CL55 was more fun to drive than your '03 996 TT. Can you be more specific? (If you do decide to trade the turbo, email me first!)
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