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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've been reading what you're saying and I agree to a point, but I have a few questions and coments. .

    When did Mercedes ever put performance first? Since I've been old enough to pay attention to MB cars the E-Classes (W123, W124, W210) have always been luxury cars first with the first true performance variant not arriving until the 1992 W124 "500E" model.

    The E500 is obviously just want MB fans want. If you want more "performance" from an E-Class then they'll offer you a 469hp E55 for 2004, which I see beating the RS6 and M5 at least in that ever so important 0-60 contest. The E-Class' basic function was never to be as sporty as the 5-Series. The A6 doesn't detrone the 5-Series either when it comes to handling. No car does.

    Why are you comparing the much smaller tuner-oriented S4 to the E500 and CL500. The CL500 and E500 are luxury cars first. Should I compare the 493hp SL55 to the S4? How about the C32 and the S4?

    I agree wholeheartedly that Mercedes-Benz needs get it together on quality, no doubt, but to say they have strayed from ALL of there core values is just plain incorrect. Mercedes has always been and still is the top innovator in the automotive world. The 2003 S-Class has just introduced yet another level of safety engineering. This new braking technology will be duplicated in other cars in the years to come. The SL's top design is class-leading.

    In case you hadn't notices MB is on somewhat of a small roll too when it comes to sales. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Mercedes-Benz shouldn't even be selling as many cars as they do considering their cars easily cost more than competing cars. The E and S Class cars are easily the best sellers in their respective classes worldwide. The E is the top selling in the mid-size segment in this country too. Only this year did the 5-Series catchup/surpass it due to the model changeover that all E-Class customers knew about, hence slowing E-Class sales. Watch for the E to easily regain its class leading sales postion once the new E-Class gets up to speed.

    I fully understand that you want a sportier more involving experience, thats perfectly understandable. However to blame Mercedes for being what it has always been (a luxury car first) doesn't make sense.

  • ilxmanilxman Posts: 25
    Mr. Merc1, what I was referring to is the fact that MB was always the reference standard for the "luxury/sport sedan" through the 1980's. The professional review academy--whose priorities are performance-first, then luxury--held MB to be the standard by which other marques were judged, even if many owners just loved the exclusive luxury. That has changed drastically over the past decade, with BMW now the clear reference standard. That is also true of competing marques, who now use BMW's 3- and 5-series cars as their bogey. For example, when Lexus decided to try to enlarge the market for the GS-series, they used the 5-series as their bogey--not the E-Class. My criticism of MB is this: BMW dramatically upgraded the level of luxury in their cars over the last decade, without sacrificing performance; and Lexus has made a concerted effort to add a dollop of performance without sacrificing their world-leading quality. MB used to be the reference standard in quality, but no longer; and MB used to be the reference standard in the peculiarly German art of marrying world-class luxury AND performance, but no longer. My point on MB pricing is that current competitive realities do no justify the price umbrella. But a change in MB marketing and engineering priorities could change that. Many BMW owners love them just for the luxury, style, and pride of ownership, yet performance freaks love 'em too. MB could re-create that "big tent" once again if it chose to.
  • ilxmanilxman Posts: 25
    Mr John01, have a look at post #3905....
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    And your point is? Since you cannot seem to quote it correctly, #3905 is by rayscar.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    "and we all know the M5 (and the new Audi RS6) are the world's greatest sedans, don't we?"

    Both are fine cars, but like all cars they are compromises. The M5 is a very sporty car, but the reviews that I've read say that the ride is rather unforgiving. Some people don't mind giving up the ride quality in exchange for outstanding handling. But most folks don't use anywhere near the handling capability of a non-sport 530, so the extra handling potential is wasted. And the back seat of the 5 series is rather tight.
  • Of a bigger concern to us West Coast residents, are MBs shipped to the east coast and transported across country or shipped to the west coast? If the strike impacts shipments, it will make acquiring a new E-class that much more difficult with already tight inventories.
  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    I looked into this yesterday. MB ships to Baltimore, Jacksonville and the Port of LA. So the strike/lock-out will affect delivery times on the west coast even if they truck them across country from one of the east coast ports. Under normal conditions, MB says expect deliveries on the east coast in 4-6 weeks and on the west in 6-8 weeks. Who knows how much longer it will take if this is not settled soon.
  • mall610mall610 Posts: 24
    Like rayscar I am waiting for a new E500. Mine will be built week of October 10th.
    I checked again with the dealer and he indicated that the shipping time is "2 to 3 weeks" after it is built. He indicated that this is the normal shipping time on the West Coast. I had heard the 4 to 6 weeks and asked about it. They again said that that has never been correct. I sure hope he is right. Also hope that the Port Strike is long over by the time mine arrives.
    Must be tough on people who have been waiting and now there new car is sitting out on the water.

  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    I hope that is right too mall610. I'm tired of waiting! It doesn't seem like it should take much longer than that for modern ships to cross the Atlantic. It would seem reasonable for west coast deliveries to take a little longer since the ships must go through the Panama Canal to get to LA.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm not really sure what you're trying to say. Mercedes was never about performance first. Every company has their day and BMW is having theirs, but Mercedes is far from being out of it. Somewhere along the line sportiness became a priority and thus BMW is now being chased. But when you really look at it, Lexus only targeted BMW with their lower level models, the GS and IS. Their SC and LS cars were still benchmarked on Mercedes' S-Class and SL models.

    Even with all this new found thirst for performance from Lexus, their BMW fighting cars don't sell. The IS300 has been a slow seller from day one and they simply can't give away GS430's compared to the GS300. Yet their LS430, ES300 and SC430 models are their best sellers.

    Has Mercedes lost some of that magic from the past? Yes, but it was to be expected with the breakneck expansion they've undergone over the last few years. They've gone from 50K sales a year in 1993 to over 200K last year, this just in the U.S. alone.

    BMW does great at the lower end and Mercedes does way better at the top. Nobody opens as many wallets over 80K than Mercedes does, nobody.

    For Mercedes to go back to the way they were would mean less volume and higher costs, I doubt if that will happen again. I do see them getting as close to the past as possible, but duplicating Still worldwide in most people's mind Mercedes still marries performance and luxury perfectly....the sales bare this out.

  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    When I was shopping for a mid sized sedan last year, I looked at E320 and 530. Although they "seemed" to be in the same class, the more I looked at them, the more apart they were. MB is a luxury oriented sedan that offer more leisurely ride and comfort than sportiness. On the other hand, BMW nods more towards sportiness., but that is not to say BMW is not luxurious or comfortable. I still have not found a car that balances sporty ride and comfort as well as it does, even with sports pkg. People compare them because they "seem" to be in the similar price range, and size. I found them to be totally different cars underneath, so much so that I could not really compare them any more.

    So now I am thinking I should perhaps have one of each. One down, one more to go. Just my 2 cents.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I have always been interested in automotive innovation. I am interested to learn about the ones that Mercedes has done (after of course, Karl Benz' first car with internal combustion engine).
  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    I agree to a point john01 but I think the 2003 E500 is pretty equal to the current 540i. It's handling is much improved and it has more hp. So at least until the next generation of the 5 series, i give the nod to MB's E500 IMO.
  • I have a '99 E320 and I guess I drive hard, I'm on my third set of michelin mxv's and my second set of brake pads which I just had put on today at 66K miles. I had the dealer replace the front pads ands and sensors and now the brakes squeal, a condition which I've never experienced with this car before. The dealer explained to me that the squeal was there because I need rotors, which he had pointed out on the maintenance invoice. "The rotors thickness is 25.39 the spec is 25.40." This is the reason your brakes squeal, pay use $475 and that problem will go away. I'm sorry but it sounds like horsefeathers to me!

    Can anyone lend any credence to what I'm being told about the brakes and the fact that also drive hard?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I was curious about the Mercedes brakes issue and used Google to find this link:

    Take look....they recommend rotors (at least front ones) at 50K. Sensors should be replaced with rotors. etc.

    They say non-OEM pads squeak.

    You also might want to try their Mercedes Benz 'Anti Squeal' Paste (believe it or not). It's 75 cents and has an official MB part number:

    Brake Anti-Squeal Paste Single App.


    Their prices seem pretty good, too.

    Hope something works out for you.

  • splitoesplitoe Posts: 19
    MB and BMW are just different cars. I have a 2001 E320 and I believe it is the best balanced car, taking into all account of safety, prestige, comfort, performance, gas mileage etc. I love it, my wife loves it and my daughters love it. My daughter love BMW 3 series also, but think the 5 series not good looking.
  • ilxmanilxman Posts: 25
    The responses to my E-Class driving experience illustrate well what MB has become. Indeed, the gross misreading of the competitive realities of the marketplace on this board may well be taking place in Stuttgart. My pointing to the low-volume uber-models was merely a device to highlight the core question of what engineering and marketing decisions MB has made with the E-Class models. The soul of the BMW M5 is evident in the entry-level 525 (or in the 325 for that matter!)--just less neck-snapping and some judiciously made tuning mods. The genius of their engineering/marketing decisions is that sports nuts can have a ball with a "mere" 325--all the way up the line. Yet at the same time, soccer moms are manifestly buying 5-series BMWs because they perceive them as luxurious and "the best". Hordes of 3-series buyers are buying them because they want "the best" small luxury sedans and coupes. Everywhere they turn to do their homework they find BMW at the top of the list. Here's the rub: Even the uninitiated BMW 325 owner now understands that communicative steering and a feel for the road ARE components of a luxurious ride. They are not likely to settle for less when it comes time to buy their next car. I certainly won't, even though I drive a mere "dinky sports Audi". I found the 320 lacked those 2 components to a degree that was startling; the 500 is more promising, however. And Mr. Merc1, I do recall reading a review of a Jaguar sedan in the late '80s (and many similiar articles), where its "cocoon-like", uncommunicative ride was panned vis-a-vis the reference standard MB's superior road feel and precise steering. MB: Are communicative steering and uncanny road feel really incompatible with "luxury"? How about intuitive interior ergonomics? Can't we have it all again?

    Mercedes (and everyone else) thought the new Lexus brand of econo-box maker Toyota was a joke in 1989. And now? The belief that consumers like me are just pure sports fanatics, or that BMW is just on some sort of faddish "roll" is no less a horrible misreading of the marketplace realities. I do not begrudge MB enthusiasts' preferences for the E-Class' cocoon-like ride. But MB quite emphatically considers BMW its most direct competitor (as do most other non-MB owners), opinions on this thread notwithstanding. BMW (and Audi, which is a bigger competitor in Europe) are busy redefining what "luxury/sports sedan" should encompass. The rest of the competition isn't standing still either. MB, are you paying attention?
  • et610et610 Posts: 40
    ...what drives someone to go to the Mercedes board and just knock the product and the people who buy them. Why is this guy here?

    I submit that we all just ignore him and he will go somewhere else and try to disrupt the normal dialog of the board.

    I don't know about others but, I have no interest in his opinions.

    IMHO, of course. (ignore the guy and he will go away)
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Don't know what ilxman's is, but there's something there. Too much effort and long-winded (and self-important) diatribes to be aything but some kind of agenda.

    I am now offically moving to the "ignore section"...

    To everyone else ENJOY your cars as I am.

  • Well, I just took delivery of my 2003 Black E320 w/ Ash leather interior. I ordered mine with the Bi Xeon and Washer System Combo, the Heated Seats and Moon Roof Combo and the H&K Premium Sound w/ 6 Player In Dash Cd.

    The lease was up on my 1999 E320. The 2003 is a totally different car when compared to the 1999.

    Things I do like about the 2003:
    Ride is great, more sporty/stable then 1999
    Seat are very comfortable
    Handling is crisp
    Interior Ambient Lighting is very hi-tech looking
    Front profile of car
    Storage space
    Power In Dash 6 player CD
    Trip computer
    Rain sensing wipers
    New cup holder

    Things I don't like:
    Rattle/Vibration in dash board when starting off
    Went from Digital A/C display to analog version.
    Cheap feeling plastic front grill
    Rear profile of car

    I'll keep you all posted how the car runs since it has only been 2 days since I picked it up. My partner picked his up the day after me. Same car only in Silver Metallic. His radio has shorted out and refuses to play other then static through the speakers.

    Sort of embarrassing. You purchase a $54k car and when you go to show your family and friends, it either rattles every time you move forward or the radio just plain shorts out...! Great !
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