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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508

    My 320 oxen were shod with Napolean All-Terrain Booties.. Tread life wasn't too good on those crushed sea shell paved roads...
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I haven't read this report, but somewhere on Edmunds, I've read that someone claims that JD Powers includes customer comments such as "not enough cup holders" as black marks against the delivered quality of a new car. Jeez, that means a lot of people could complain about the E's flimsy articulated cupholder and pile up black marks.
    If that is true, then the JD Powers survey is meaningless and totally distorted in terms of a measure of actual quality or delivered problems. Can anyone verify the above rumor/suspicion?
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I've now got 119K miles on my 96 E320 and it just had the 5th set of front pads installed (at 116K) along with the 3rd set of front rotors. That works out to 29K per pad set and 58K per rotor. The rears had the second set of pads installed at the same time which was the first work ever done on the rear brakes. The rear rotors are still fine.
    Last week at 118,500 it needed a head gasket and a water pump. I've never owned a car before that needed a head gasket, but then I've never owned a car beyond 100K before either. I am disappointed that it needed a gasket so soon; many folks have said that they were able to go 150-180K before it needed that work. Apparently it is just this engine, the straight six, that has this generic problem. The newer V6 320 apparently is OK on this point.
    What was kinda weird is that prior to the major engine work, the dashboard outside temp display had a problem in the second digit, so that if the temp was 87, the seven had a blank vertical row of LED dots right in the middle of the numeral. After I got the car back from my dealer, the missing column of LED's are gone...!!! The display is perfect again.. Go figure...
    As far as overall reliablity, I've never been stranded by this car as I have by others, but it is far from the most durable I've owned. I had a 1988 Mazda MX-6 that was flawless until I traded it at 99K miles. And it was better than the E in cornering and lane changes, etc.. The suspension on it was great at high speed too. But of course it didn't have the solid steel-block feel of the E and its regal ride..
    Is the high level of maintenance worth it? I don't know, but I sure wish I could've gotten another 20-30K before the gasket went. Cuz' it would have been traded for a 2001 or 2002 E next spring. If an '01 or '02 is going to be as maintenance intensive as the 96, I may move on to another brand, maybe BMW or Kia. (Just checking to see if you're paying attention!) Seriously, maybe BMW or Infiniti/Nissan or Accura. More or less in that order of preference.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    mbdriver: Congratulations on your decision to go with a 5-series. Nothing against the E-class, as I have owned Mercedes in the past, but I do think the quality has slipped to unacceptable levels. Today's WSJ also had a write up on the JD Powers results.

    barry45rpm: I second mbdriver's suggestion that you consider the 5-series. For the list price of the E500 you are considering ($65k), you are within $7k of a BMW M5. And $20k+ over a 530i. Regarding resale values, consider this: the local Mercedes dealer offered to buy my M5 outright for a $3,000 higher price than they gave my neighbor for his E55 on trade (SL55). The E55 had 4,000 fewer miles than my M5 and cost $3,000 more than my M5 new. If you are even remotely considering a Q45, I assure you that the actual cost of ownership of an M5 over 3-4 years wouldn't be much more; quite possibly less.
  • benzownerbenzowner Posts: 20
    My 1996 C-220 has a straight 4 cylinder and I’ve put 120,000 miles on the car and have had no problems. It has been trouble free just like all the Mercedes we have owned. And Mercedes has good engines they’re not just up to snuff on their electronics. But the Japanese will be building all there electronics In 2005
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
      I've had my car in three times to fix two failures with my climate control system. First time they lectured me on the fact that I don't understand how a computerized climate control system works. When they actually worked on it they found the fan speed regulator to be faulty. It failed again the next season (mine likes to quit in the winter). Wouldn't be surprised if it's the same issue as it looks like they have part with a known defect history.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Gosh, I missed that annoucement! Got a link to share?

    Which companies will be supplying the electronics and for which models?
  • benzownerbenzowner Posts: 20

    this is the only link i could find the command will be built buy nokia
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    Just got my E320 back this afternoon. Another local dealer I called at 7:30 this morning (HBL at Tysons Corner) gave me an immediate appointment and loaner car. They replaced almost everything associated with the climate control fan, including the fan motor, just to make sure. I was impressed with the entire service visit. They also did my B Service, even though the computer showed I had 2600 more miles.

    What a pleasure!
  • mbdriver: it sounds like you have experience with all three DC dealerships - Euro, ASC, and HBL.

    Do you have any insight or anecdotes (purchase, service, etc.) about each? We're looking to buy either a new e class next year after they offer the diesel and wanted your impression on the dealers.

    I saw the JDP survey and am wondering if we should look at the beemer as well.
  • dkatlantadkatlanta Posts: 23
    According to the account I read, the JD Powers report counts “problems per 100 cars,” without distinguishing one problem from another. The most frequently occurring “problems” for the E-class, I believe, were “excessive brake dust,” “electric windows,” and “uneven tire wear.” Two of these three may be simply be common to high performance cars.

    I also wonder whether owners of these cars might be unusually picky when they identify and report “problems.” You drive in to the dealership at the time you’ve reserved, pick up your free loaner car (or wait in the executive lounge with the Starbucks coffee and the high speed internet connection), meet with your personal Service Advisor, and show him the list of “problems” you’ve compiled; you put down every little thing you can possibly think of—at least I do.

    No, these cars still aren't Hondas, but when the tires on my wife's Oddysey wear out, I don't think of complaining to the dealership about the car, I just buy new tires.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It's amazing how people see these surveys differently.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    It turns out that you can use statistics to figure out whether a given car has likelihood of a given number of defects if you know the mean or average.

    In MB's case the JDPower reported mean was 3.18 defects per car. Lexus was 1.63. The impact on owners is easily computed.

    For example the likelihood of 6 defects in the Benz is just over 10%. It's less 1% for the Lexus.

    This is why getting to know a good Mercedes service shop is critical to use of the vehicle.

    JDPower does a good job of presenting individual year ratings on their 'consumer website' broken down by  
    Mechanical Dependability
    Feature & Accessory Dependability
    Body & Interior Dependability
    Overall Dependability

    Five Dots = Among the best
    Four Dots = Better than most
    Three Dots = Doesn't stand out
    Two Dots = The rest

    2000 E is Two Dots in all categories.

    p.s. Statistical calcs per Robert Dovich's Quality Engineering Statistics page 54. 1992 ASQ Press.
  • jean7of9jean7of9 Posts: 192
    Congratulations for your New 5 Series. I am now driving a fully equipped 03 BMW 330xi since March 03. The price of this car with all options touches the edge of the 5 Series. But boy what a drive. The only problem is ingress and outgress due to B Pillar. But once inside it is all worth it. You will certainly have better access inside the 5 Series. I still own my 99 E320 4matic which I seldom drive because of my sweet love to the 330xi. The BMW 3 Litres engine is equal in power to the MB, but feels so much peppyier. By the way, while being very picky myself, I have never needed to go to the BMW dealer since I got the car. Its reliability is outstanding and feels like a rock at all roads. I cannot say the same about the E320 which needed seven different visits to Dealer in the first year. I keep the E320 because I still think it is the best car for family outings.
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    I have mixed emotions about all three MB dealers you mentioned. I bought my 2000 E320 from Euro, and it was a real pleasure. Service was okay until recently -- their aggressive expansion combined with increasing MB unreliablility has caused me to switch to HBL for service. In late April I tried to drop off my car around 7:45 a.m. for an engine warning light on, and the street at their service entrance was jammed in both directions with MBs trying to enter their six service lanes. Took me almost 20 minutes until a porter told me to leave the car in the street. Then another 15 minutes waiting for my service advisor. To cap it off, I stood in line for almost 30 minutes to get one of their "all Mercedes loaners" from their Thrifty Rental Car surly agents, then waited another 15 minutes until they finally produced a Dodge. Bummer!!!

    Wednesday my a/c fan went out (repeat of same failure a year ago), and the best they could offer was to have me deliver it at 7:30 a.m. and wait, or drop off the car and have my wife follow and drive me home -- first available appointment was July 23.

    But instead, I called HBL at 7:30 yesterday morning (they're just a mile from home!). What a great experience! Immediate appointment (8:30 a.m.) when I explained that my a/c was inop (95 degrees and humid). No wait to enter service lane. Service advisor greeted me while I was still in my car -- a really nice guy and helpful. Enterprise Rental office was huge, with chairs, current newspapers, and their agents were extremely helpful, friendly, etc. Offered coffee or soda and escorted me to my loaner after a 2 minute wait. What a difference! Loaner was a new Buick LeSabre (MBs were available). My car was fixed and washed by 2:30 p.m. My new service home is HBL!

    However, the sales staff there POed my wife when we were in the market for the 2000 E320 -- she felt that their "supersalesman" acted as if he thought we might not be able to afford a new MB. I didn't have that impression, though. No experience with them since, but they're probably okay.

    No recent experience with American Service Center. We shopped there three years ago, but they didn't have a car with color and options we wanted. Sales folks were very nice, though.

    Hope this helps.
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    Oh ye of great faith and trust -- are you dealing with Lexus or Infinity dealers? The 3 problems you mentioned aren't problems with those cars -- or with most Japanese cars! Granted, brake dust isn't a huge problem -- but it's a fact of life on MBs and BMWs. And BMW, BTW, was rated No. 5 by Powers! And as for “electric windows” and “uneven tire wear," why aren't other luxury car owners reporting similar problems?

    No offense, but I really disagree with your take on the JD Powers report. Most posters here, I think, would acknowledge that MB quality and reliability just ain't what it was or should be.

    From my own experience with my 2000 E320, I really believe that MB quality has gone way south! And the service provided by my dealer has been horrible lately - read my Post #5029 to fredisdead. I only wish it had been as you described in your second para of Post #5025.

    Again, no offense intended. If you have a newer MB and are experiencing no problems, great!!! I only wish I were in the same boat -- and thank goodness for the warranty on my E320 and the fact that I bought the extended MB warranty that will take me to 2008 with my E320. Guess I'll just have to put up with frequent trips to my MB dealer -- at least the one I just switched to approaches the kind of service and treatment you described.
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    Congrats on your BMW 330Xi. In Canada you really need the all-wheel drive. I seriously considered the same BMW, but when the 5-series was offered with the $4000 factory-to-dealer incentive, I couldn't resist. I'm only paying $41k for the 530i with a $47.5 MSRP, with standard moonroof plus auto, Premium Pkg, Xenons, Cold Wx Pkg (heated seats, etc.) and Power Rear Sunshade. I think that's less than a 330Xi would cost with similar equipment!

    And while I don't need AWD here in the D.C. area, I know I'd enjoy driving the 330Xi - it has a first class reputation. Hope I have the same reliability with my bimmer as you've had with the 330.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sorry if I missed it, but what dealership are you getting your BMW from? Any experience/comments regarding VOB or Tischer on the Maryland side, vs. Arlington or Fairfax on the Virginia side??

    How is the 530i availability - are you ordering or taking a car already in stock/production?
  • weldone99weldone99 Posts: 26
    Will be selling my E320 in September. Does anyone have any experience selling over the internet. Such as what Web Site offers the most exposure to buyers in the Northeast.(New Hampshire)
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    I bought my 530i from BMW of Fairfax. They did not have a car in stock with the color combination or equipment I wanted, so they did a search on cars at the New Jersey port. I "lost" two cars I really wanted before they found one that was acceptable and the "original" dealer agreed to give up -- Blue Water Metallic, Sand interior, auto, Premium Pkg, Cold Wx Pkg. Mine will also have the power rear sunshade ($525 invoice), which I would not have ordered but will take anyway. Price was $2000 below invoice.

    Other posters here report that VOB is selling at $2800 below invoice, but I don't have any direct experience with them or any of the other Maryland or Virginia dealers. My experience with Fairfax was very pleasant and there was NO pressure. I should take delivery by Wednesday. BTW, my salesman tried to add two more charges for over $300 that he said were on the invoice and that the dealer would have to pay -- BMWUSA advertising fee and training fee. But I reminded him that fees for our deal included only their $199 processing fee, taxes, title and tags. He quickly backed off. Nice guy, too.

    Hope this helps.
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