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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans

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  • there is some discounting on rear-wheel drive models, 3-5k i think. but none whatsoever on the 4matic, long wait list even w/ MSRP. i'm from NJ, ordered in mid aug., still haven't seen my new car yet.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "there is some discounting on rear-wheel drive models, 3-5k i think. but none whatsoever on the 4matic, long wait list even w/ MSRP. i'm from NJ, ordered in mid aug., still haven't seen my new car yet."

    Hmmm, I find myself wondering if one wouldn't be better off getting the car now, taking the discount and buying a winter wheel tire set for about $1,000. A car magazine (C&D, I think) a couple of years ago did a lot of winter driving testing and determined that a RWD car shod with winter tires was easier to drive and safer (better acceleration, braking and handling) than an otherwise identical AWD car with all-season tires. FWIW, they actually used the E-Class both in RWD and AWD as one of their test mules.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • We have had a heinous winter here in Cleveland. I agree with shipo. My E500 (03') has performed well. Something has changed in the tech of the w211. My 2000 S430 and my wifes 2000 E320 wagon were very unsure in the snow. Some how my 03'E is perfect in bad snow and ice. My other frame of reference is our new 04' Volvo xc90 all wheel drive. I will not bother with 4-matic or AWD in the future unless it's part of the package(A8 etc.).
  • clemboclembo Posts: 253
    No letter was ever sent to me, although I have seen different letters posted on other web sites. My dealer was in contact with me and handled the exchange. The major qualifying point for the exchange was that I had ordered the NAV system when I originally ordered the car. MB knew that the NAV was going to be delayed and gave everyone who ordered their cars a $500 discount on the NAV system ($2125 reg price minus $500 netted to $1625 which was paid for when the car came).

    Last April, MBUSA finally contacted the dealers with the news that the cars could not be retrofitted with the NAV system. I was offered a choice of two options. First, get my $1625 back plus another $2000 for the hassle and keep my original car. Second choice was to re-order a brand new 2003 replacement car with the DVD-NAV installed. I took that choice, my dealer even threw in an additional option at no charge and I changed my color on the replacement car.

    I have heard of others who did not pre-pay for the NAV but were able to prove that they were expecting a NAV system get a voucher for $3250 towards a new MB.

    I hope this helps you.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As my step-father, half-brother and step-siblings are all Prescotts, I was wondering, did any of your ancestors (pre 1940) live in and around the Mt. Pleasant area of Michigan?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Pickle005,

    Thanks for your response. I would likely order the 320CDI RWD even if they offer a 4-matic version. In researching older Mercedes 4-matics a bit, they tend to incur more long term maintenance and repair costs. Further, we will likely have an SUV in the household for the foreseeable future.

    Clembo,

    According to my research, the MSRP on the Comand/Nav system for 2004 is only $1,200. Is that a mistake, or did it come down a lot in price. That's one of the cheapest out there, considerably less than Acura's or Lexus' versions.
  • I do love my 2003 E500. I have had no quality problems. I especially like the combination of the air spring suspension, the strong V-8 engine and grip like hell tires. They make the E500 a nimble, fun to drive luxo-car. The interior is awesome and I like the exterior, especially the front end! People come up to me all the time and comment on how much they like the styling. I think nothing commands like a Mercedes!

    That said, I do have 2 things that are fairly annoying. I see them as design problems. First, the brake by wire brakes are hard to get used to. After 16,000 miles, I'm still not "used" to them. They are difficult to control. As I start to press down on the peddle, it seams like nothing happens, so I press just a tiny bit harder. That little extra pressure causes the brakes to come on hard and suddenly, I'm stopping faster than I need or want to. I think Car & Driver mentioned this issue, but I don't see any posters who are upset by it. I'm wondering why not? Maybe it's more noticeable in some cars than others? I'd like to see Mercedes fix this problem. I expect that it needs s/w to be re-programmed.

    I also don't like the variable speed wiper. It never senses the correct speed to wipe the windows. When it's drizzling, the wiper doesn't come on soon enough. I like the way the wipers are controlled in other cars better. Set the speed and if it's too slow, crank it up a notch. If it's too fast slow it down a notch. I think Mercedes should fix this also.

    Your comments, please.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    I wish I had your problems...
  • clemboclembo Posts: 253
    I understand that the price for the NAV was lowered in 2004, I'm not sure if it is the exact same system or not. The price in 2003 was $2125, I don't know if anyone actually paid that amount due to the lack of availability until last summer.

    I own an Acura MDX with a NAV system as well, I like the Acura system better, it has touch screen and voice activation. It is also easier to use although the MB version has a larger database which helps when you're travelling.

    If you are thinking of buying a new E class, I would check with your dealer to get a full understanding of the NAV system before you buy, that being said, I'd get it. Also get the Logic 7 sound system, it's worth the money.
  • I share one major hang up with you. I also own an 03' E500. I "down sized" from a 2000 S430 because it was a bit of a boat and it was not age appropriate(I'm 40). Anyhow, I have the same problem with my car. I love it but I can't get over the bounce in the breaks. It's driving me nuts. I don't think I can get used to it. I hope there is a software cure. I have seen this mentioned on many occasions.
    Other problem with wipers can be fixed. I'm positive this is a problem with your car. This is my 3rd MB with rain sensors and it is one of my favorite options. my wife's XC90 has bad sensors. I have not had them tweaked yet but I can understand your frustration. Take it in to have it fixed. It's worth the inconvenience.
  • I have an '04 E 500, and have had never noticed the difference in braking between this car & my traded in '02 Caddy Deville DHS. As far as my driving, none of my passengers have noticed any change in their comfort. The pedal feel is the same to me.

    I find my rain sense wipers to be right on, in most cases, while a simple push of the button might have to be utilized for an interim swipe occasionally.

    I do find the parktronic sensitivity to be lacking a tad. They don't look out far enough to the front or rear, so that all of the warning comes when you are almost on top of a bumper.

    One other thing I'd like to see changed is when you tap the wipler stalk up or down, the turn signal blinks 3 times. Thats enough warning at higher speeds in Germany where it only takes a second to change lanes, but here in the USA they should blink 5 times because the speeds are sometimes slower due to traffic, and the lane changes takes a second or two longer.

    How come there is no way to scan the radio presets from the wheel? It just goes to the next available station. Just my .02.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    Am considering buying my first Mercedes, a 2000 E320 4Matic Wagon. Has 41k miles on it, E1, E2, multi-contoured seats. Asking price $34,900, subject to further negotiations.

    My lone concern about getting a Mercedes, particularly a used one is (you know this is coming) - reliability. I've read all the JD Power and Consumer Reports studies, and know that the 2000 models had a fair amount of bugs, but it is my impression that many of them were electrical problems that I would assume could be easily resolved (at the hassle of going to get it serviced). The car I am looking at is Starmark Certified, and was curious if anyone has had experience buying one under this program. I'd like to think that they wouldn't certify one that has had a bunch of problems, and that after 40,000 miles under warranty, all the manufacturing bugs would have been worked out by now.

    I realize that MB's need rigorously regular maintenance, and I'm prepared for that, but I am worried about lots of unscheduled problems. Can anyone comment on their experiences buying used, particularly from the Starmark program? I fully understand that each car is different, you can get a Lexus that is a lemon and a VW that never has any problem, etc, etc, but would like to use this thread as a sounding board for my decision. I truly appreciate any replies.
  • ...which is the previous generation body shape, and has never had a problem at all. I think most of the problems cropped up with the redesign in '03. But a used car is a used car.... do your homework, look into an extended warranty. Labor prices are dear on these things.

    I hope I stay happy with mine because while you can get the same luxury in other vehicles, nothing else is a Benz. They have that "something else"... Perhaps it just takes 100 years to develop it...I dunno.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I hope I stay happy with mine because while you can get the same luxury in other vehicles, nothing else is a Benz. They have that "something else"... Perhaps it just takes 100 years to develop it...I dunno."

    Yeah, in the case of my 5-Series it's called a Manual Transmission; couldn't get it on an E-Class here in the States (although when I worked for MB-USA, I got to drive an E430 5-Speed over in Stuttgart). Sorry, couldn't resist. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Thanks for your comments.

    I want to get used to the feel of the brakes, but since I haven't during the last year, I don't think I will. The dealer told me that they are all the same, but based on barry45rpm's experience, it sounds like that's not true. I'm going to test drive another car and see how it's brakes feel. The dealer also told me that someone from MB would contact me to discuss this issue because I wrote it up on the satisfaction questionaire. I haven't heard from MB yet. I'll be more aggressive now that I'm a little smarter.

    When I complained about the rain sense wipes, under the warranty, the dealer changed the wiper blades and said the sensor was working correctly. I find that every 5 or 10 or 15 seconds I need to hit the button to clear the windshield. So I'll go back and ask them to replace the sensor.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    Barry

    Thanks for the reply. I've researched cars to death, and while there are statistically speaking some problems out there with the E320, it does have that "something else" that makes it worth it, IMO. Hopefully owning one won't change that opinion.

    It's actually kind of difficult to get a straight answer out of Consumer Reports on the 2000 models for reliability history. Do a used car report for the E-Class on their website, and it will give you two separate reports. One says the 2000 MY is "above average" for reliability. The other says it's "below average." The print version of the 2004 car guide says it's "average."

    Who knows? I figure if I get the extended Starmark Warranty (beyond the one year certification), that should cover most of my worries.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    2000 E320 4Matic Wagon. Has 41k miles on it, E1, E2, multi-contoured seats. Asking price $34,900, subject to further negotiations.

    Sounds like too much to me.
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    I've been pricing these for about a year now, and that's really about as good as it gets for an asking price from a dealer on a Starmark vehicle. At least, within a 300 mile radius of Raleigh, NC. I'm sure I could find a cheaper price from an private seller, but I'm more concerned about getting the Starmark extended protection.

    Not to say I won't try to shave a grand or two off that price . . .
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    FWIW, I did an Edmunds TMV on it, and the retail price they came up with was $37,438 (which certainly hurts my bargaining position).
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    I just checked trade of my 2000 E320 vs. the numbers here and there is a big spread at this time between what's being shown here and what the real world is quoting. I would take that TMV with a very large grain of salt at this time. Check on other sites as well and you may see what I mean in that the numbers are all over the place. The spreads are in the $4,000 range depending on where you look.

    Go for your price and be willing to walk if the deal does not make sense.

    JR
  • Steve500,

    I was annoyed by the brake feedback when test driving an 03 E500. However, my 04 E500 4Matic's brake feedback is perfect and performed well in emergency situation.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    ncvol:

    For what it's worth, I bought a 96 E320 with Starmark and ended up with 3 years of coverage up to 100K miles. I ran out of time before hitting the 100K mark so you may want to explore buying an additional year or two of coverage from your dealer after figuring out how many miles per year you are likely to put on it.
    I'm in the market for another one right now and have decided that if I get another E I will probably trade it right after it hits 100K. My 96 was great until it hit 114K miles and then for 8 months it seemed like something went wrong every 6-8 weeks and I ended up spending well over 3K in repairs during that 8 months. Since then I've gotten another 8K miles of trouble free driving, now at 133K. To be fair, some of that was normal maintenance such as shock absorbers and brake rotors.
    There were two repairs under warranty that would have cost me almost $1200 so the Starmark was worth it.
    Re: price for that 2000 wagon; in Eastern MA, sedans are going for $30-32K for cars with approx. 40K miles and wagons are 3-4K higher. So that price is in line with the market up here.
    Good luck !!
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Friend at work just bought an immaculate 2000 E430 4matic with 65K for 26K
  • kevinc5kevinc5 Posts: 204
    Any reason to go to a dealer rather than an independant windshield shop?
    Thanks
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree w/ mbnut, $34,900 sounds like too much for a 2000 E320 4-matic Wagon w/ 41k miles. Perhaps my perspective is tainted because in June of 2001, I could have purchased a brand new 2001 E320 4-matic Wagon for $2,500 under invoice when Mercedes was offering factory to dealer incentives. As I recall, that worked out to about $46,000 on the one I had priced out - including the hard to find multi-contour seats which I really like.

    So $34,900 for a 4 year old car w/ 41k miles just seems very steep to me. I suggest you expand your shopping area to include Washington DC - there are a lot of very nice cars that get traded in or sold privately by the diplomatic group. Example, my BMW dealer is selling a 2002 E55 w/ 21k miles in mint condition for $43k. I have seen 2000 E320 Wagons for around $25,000 and a two year old 2002 E320 4-matic w/35k miles for $33,500 right before New Years. We decided to pass because the 4-matic Wagon doesn't quite have the SUV snow handling capability we need, with extended family in Pennsylvanina and Maine. But it was tempting.

    For what it's worth, even 2000 S430's and S500's are available for under $40,000 in the DC area.
  • profvhprofvh Posts: 31
    The new March issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance has an article on auto safety. They
    awarded 5 vehicles in different categories with
    their Gold Standard Award. They are Mercedes
    E Class sedan, Volkswagen Passat, Ford Freestar
    minivan, Mini Cooper and The Volvo SC90SUV.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Today's Washington Post:

    1) 2001 E320 4-Matic Wagon, Loaded, Exc. Cond., $28,999 (VOB Nissan - 301-770-6100).

    2) 2000 E320 4-Matic Wagon, Loaded - Every Option, Exc. Cond., $26,999 (VOB).

    3) 2000 E320 Wagon, Flawless Porsche Trade, Loaded, $26,995 (HBL Mercedes/Porsche - 703-442-8200)

    4) 2000 E320 Wagon, Black, Sunroof, CD, heated seats, exc. condition 52k miles, $25,800 (private sale).

    I have seen used Mercedes at both VOB and HBL and when they claim "excellent condition" they appear to mean it. The above prices seem to suggest your price on a 2000 E320 Wagon is at least $6,000 to $9,000 high, relatively low mileage notwithstanding.

    Also, for what its worth:

    5) 2003 E320 Sedan 2,000 miles, as new, $42,000 obo.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Thanks for continuing to share the prices you are finding on the 2003 E Classes. I'm going try to decide between one, a 2k S-Class or a C320 this year. Any thoughts on the above choices are appreciated.

    I REALLY LOVE driving a C320 but I prefer the styling and size of the new E. I haven't driven one yet and I'm afraid that the that steering is significantly lighter than the C320 which I really like.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I can't comment too much on the C class as the only one I have driven in the past 2-3 years is the C32. I was actually on a list to get one back in late 2001 and got the call right after I had just decided to keep my current sedan and get an S2000. My impression of the C32 was quite favorable. However, it was just enough smaller than our current Nissan Maxima to not be able to do double duty as a family hauler for long weekend trips (2 kids). Same goes for the BMW 3-series/M3, although the C32's 4 doors help somewhat.

    Like you, I tend to prefer the handling and driving dynamics of the C class and 3 series. The BMW 5-series with sport package is about as good as it gets for a mid size sedan, but BMW mucked up the redesign, IMO. In considering the new upcoming E320 CDI, I am prepared to give up a bit of smaller car driving dynamics for size, comfort and, hopefully, a car that will last a long, long time. Plus I'll have bragging rights for 30+ mpg.

    The S class and 7 series don't hold their values as well as the smaller and less expensive models, so getting a used S class makes a lot of financial sense if you need the size. I have a friend who bought a new 2000 S500 when they first came out for over $90k fully loaded. To think I could pick up a 3-4 year old one with 50k miles for about $40k is tempting. But it's more car than I need and I still am more comfortable buying new, assuming I can get a good deal on the E320 CDI.

    I have yet to drive the new E class, so I'll post my thoughts on that later. Please do so as well, especially any comparisons between the E and C.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I did this analysis not long ago for a friend interested in a C-class sedan. The styling is amazing. It appears to be MUCH bigger than it actually is from the outside.

    Using Edmund's info, I compared the C-sedan to a Toyota Corolla and a Nissan Maxima.

    Here's the highlights:

    The C is the shortest of the three, has the least cargo carrying capacity, the lowest headroom, and rear leg room.

    The C is 1/10th of an inch shorter than the Corolla and 15.3" shorter than the Max. The C is HEAVY, weighing almost exactly the same as the Max but over 900 lbs heavier than the Corolla.

    The C is most expensive, $8K more than the Maxima, $21K more than the Corolla.
This discussion has been closed.