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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    re: your question on the 96 E-class reliability.

    I bought my E320 the day after it came off a 2-year lease. The only significant non-accident related repair (yup, got the rear end crushed in..) has been the rubber bushings in the front end; on the sway bar and tie-rod ends. They started making soft clunking noises at about 65K miles and they were all replaced under the Starmark warranty. Without the warranty, it would have cost nearly $1000 P&L.. And the service manager said it was not unusual at that mileage. Otherwise it has been very reliable; at least until now at 77K miles.. And it still drives and rides like new. Even the leather is holding up much better than on my sister-in-law's 95 BMW... Oh, the dealer put all brand new Goodyears and did a complete brake job before I took delivery. So I have avoided those expenses up until now (2 & 1/2 years).. Although I will have to check the brakes soon and I will need tires within the month also.

    Good luck with yours..
  • Is there room in the back for 3 car seats across? I sat in a '01 320 last night and seemed a little tight. The leg room for an adult was not a problem even with the front seat pushed completely back.

    You may think I'm crazy but I am looking at the E320 or the new full size SUV from Toyota, the Sequoia. It actually drives great for a vehicle that size although it, like most SUVs, lacks the fun to drive factor that the E320 offers. Also would like to hear comments regarding the E320 trunk. That too seemed smallish for a couple of strollers in comparison to the trunk of my Acura Legend. Any opinions?
  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    I can relate to car seats and the need for room in a vehicle. However, the "E" is no comparison to my Ford Expedition for room when traveling with the wife and kids. I purchased the Ford because I got the SUV for close to invoice and I had $3,000 in Ford Dollars on my credit card.

    My advice is to buy a Sequioa (excellent choice)
    or Honda Minivan. Perhaps, if you get the minivan you can buy that great looking new E in about 18 months.

    Taison, thanks for the photo of the new E and I
    am looking forward to the 400HP AMG version.
  • I'm presently running the Artic Alpins on my 00 E320 RWD. Granted, this is the first RWD car I've had in 10 years, but it seems to me that I don't have decent cornering ability.
    During snow storms the car seems to snow plow (goes straight instead of turning) when taking a left or right turn. Even at slow speeds.
    Are the Blizzak's better in snow than the Alpins?
    Has anybody ever tried both?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Great looking car! Is this the model year 2002 car or coming out in 2002 (as a 2003 model year)?

    I'm moving up on the wait list for an M5 (now #2 with expected April/May delivery), so I've started to review my alternatives before spending $75k. If the new E came with an E55 equivalent engine, BMW quality handling and - for god's sake - a 6-speed manual, I'd almost have to wait!
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Have been busy. Will finally be able to post more in this topic tonight and this weekend. The Friday's Freeways is starting in under an hour's time. Hope to see you there (5-6pm Pacific)!

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  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    MB Driver, I placed a deposit on a 2002 330 Ci Convertible. I chose the "standard" suspension and "standard" seats. I test drove a few BMW's while at the dealership and although I was impressed with the cars I prefer my '00 E430 Sport.

    The BMW "sport" suspension is too tight and results in a less than luxurious ride. The cars handle like nothing else on the road and have ample power. But, M-B blends the German art of handling and power with a degree of luxury.

    The E-55 will never be as hard-core as the M5 because Mercedes' buyers prefer it that way.
    I like the feel of my E430 and prefer my seats.
    My multicontour seats are comparable to the "standard" BMW seats. The "sport" seats are just not as comfortable.

    In a nutshell, the BMW and M-B products may compete with each other but they are very different products. I prefer the sports car feel of the 330 Convertible to the 320 CLK convertible; however, my luxury sedan preference is for the E430 over the 540IA. Again, the products are comparable yet quite distinct.
  • habitat1,

    FWIW, I was in the same position you were several months ago. I read all the magazine tests and everything I could download from the Internet. From an objective perspective, here is what I concluded:

    1. Engines: virtually the same vis-a-vis performance characteristics. The M5 is less than 2/10ths of a second quicker from 0-60mph (M5=4.7; E55=4.8) which was attributed to the manual transmission. In real world driving conditions, it's a wash.

    2. Brakes: virtually the same again. Most reported that E55 brakes are stronger and bring the car down from 60-0mph in a shorter distance, while one other said the M5 had better brakes.

    3. Handling: The M5 always seemed to get the nod here...primarily because of the driver's interaction with the car due to the manual trans...and was said to be more "sporty" even though the E55 was said to have a slightly "firmer" suspension.

    4. Fit and Finish: both virtually the same in the short term, but BMW seems to have a lot more quality control problems throughout it's production line...and the M5 is not excluded from these complaints. There are lots of documented reports of M5s using an exorbitant amount of oil...even after break-in.

    5. My Conclusion: The M5 does NOT have a spare tire and I plan on driving my car much longer than the period of time covered in the manufacturers road side assistance package. Also, in day-to-day, real world driving for me, an automatic trans is less taxing than a 6-speed. Exclusivity goes to the E55...there are just less of these truly hand-built AMG around. Dealer support, and while this varies from region to region, the WDC area has to have the absolute worse BMW dealers in the area. Conversely, the MB dealers are much more customer service oriented (it kills me to admit this since I sell BMW motorcycles and customer service is the hallmark of our business). The E55 obviously won, and I haven't had a second thought since buying my car at MSRP btw (I didn't have to order it either).

    YMMV. I hope this helps. Regards, Bill Shaw
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I,too,would opt for an E55 over a M5,but actually,my first choice would be a S430.The motoring press everywhere seems to describe the M5 as an utterly astounding sedan with Corvette-like performance. But I question the value of this on a daily basis in America. So in the sense that the E55 is a bit more civilized,and therefore more practical,it is a bit more sensible. Of course,the wealthier one is,the less sensible one has to be. Still,except for those rare times that one dares drive aggressively for any length of time. It would seem that so much of what you are paying for would go unused. I seriously would suggest that for real,albeit,slower fun,an E320 and a new Miata would be a much more satisfying combination. Of course any car lover can understand the attraction of an E55
  • hjbornhjborn Posts: 20
    After a couple of weeks of arguing with myself about whether or not to get the 4-yr. extended warranty on my 00 E320AWD, I finally decided it was worth it for the peace of mind. When I called the dealership where I bought the car, they wanted the full brochure price ($2550). I then called a Mercedes dealer in a neighboring town, and they quoted me $2167.50 (that's l5% off).So it's worth the trouble to make a phone call or two. BTW, when I called the original dealership back to tell them I was getting it elsewhere, they said they could match the price. I stuck with the guy that offered me the reduced price first.
  • In a message #945 by DENNETT I gathered that his dealer mentioned a 5K discount starting in June on the 01 E320. Has anyone else heard that? I just ordered an 01 E320 for European delivery and was not told anything about that. What are the chances of getting an adjustment at this point, if in fact there's a discount in the offing?

    the lion
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    valueguy - Congrats on your ordering the '02 330Ci convert. Great car I'm sure you'll enjoy. And your analysis of BMW vs MB showed lots of insight. My own experience with driving a BMW was test driving the 3- and 5-Series while owning an Audi 5000 Turbo. Not much difference, IMHO. But I LOVE my E320!

    tomsky3 - I agree wholeheartedly with your post regarding COMAND. I have the '00 version and find it very useful and easy to use. Glad I got it. BTW, the headlamp washers are included with Xenons. My E-1 package also had heated seats. For the '01s, only the Xenons and HL washers are now in the package.

    recorbill - COMAND has gotten me out of some frustrating situations and saved lots of aggravation. Frequently I find that I'm not familiar with the best route to a destination (read I'M LOST!), and COMAND saved the day! Edmunds doesn't like COMAND and says it's "gimicky," but I think it's a useful addition on a $50,000+ car.
  • wyn1wyn1 Posts: 1
    Can anyone recommend a NAV system that both works well and looks good on the dash of the 2001430E? I wasn't able to buy the in dash as an option ( I was lucky to get the 4matic 430 here in Reno!!)I saw one on a 1999320E that looked as if it was dealer installed, sitting on top of the dash.It looked good but I didn't have time to ask the owner.Thanks.
  • wyn1:Alpine makes the MBZ Nav System and also offers the same technology for the aftermarket. (NVA-N751A/AS) They offer screens that may be mounted at the location of your choice as well as combinations with radios that hide the screen behind the radio faceplate when not in use. I have the former on an Explorer, another as orig equip on an Acura, and will have it on my '01 E320 Wagon to be delivered in a couple of weeks. My salesman said Mercedes was a bit chagrined to have to go to Japan for a Nav System, but Alpine was the best. Alpine Electronics of America 1-800--257-4631.
  • I have a 2 week old '01 320E and I have Check Engine indicator always on when the motor is running. The dealer says it may be loose gas lid (which I made sure to be tight) or due to moisture. Anyone has seen this before? Is it safe to drive with this indicator ON?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    rablake, um.... the COMAND system is made by Bosch. Not a Japanese company, but a German company ;-)

    r21070, yes, it's safe. To make sure that the gas cap is tight, you have to make sure that the it is turned until it clicks a few times.

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  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Just to note - the gas cap on my '00 E320 does not click past the point when it is closed. It is more like the old radiator caps with notches that lock in when closed 1/2 turn. I don't know if this affect the problem Drew has just responded to but if it helps clear this up then good.

    Thanks to all for an interesting board.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    If you are certain the gas cap is tight, and certain it is not the source of the problem AND the "check engine" indicator remains on, you should have that checked out.

    For further information, you may want to drop by the Check Engine Light discussion on our Maintenance & Repair Board - there is a lot of great information there, and you'll find lots of folks who will be very willing to help you sort out what could be the cause.

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  • Drew - If I'm wrong it certainly won't be the first time, and I apologize if so. However, if you look at the Alpine System and the Nav aspect of the COMAND system offered by Mercedes, they are identical. I have the owner's guides for both. Either Bosch makes the Alpine Navigations System for a Japanese firm, or a Japanese firm supplies Mercedes with the navigational aspect of COMAND, or two firms have miraculously designed identical GPS modules. Why a dealer here in the US would comment on Alpine's involvement is beyond me otherwise. But, until further notice I will consider the Mercedes Nav a Bosch product which happens to have a twin.
    Thank you for all your good information. Hope I am not guilty of GIGO here and polluting the waters.
  • valueguyvalueguy Posts: 208
    I would like to read opinions on using an advanced
    brushless car wash. My wife uses this car wash on her Ford Expedition regularly. The paint appears to be in good shape after 28 months of regular washings.

    The car wash states that the first rinse is recycled water but the final rinse is "fresh" water. My M-B E430 has never been through this automated car wash because of the widely held belief that they are not good for the finish.

    Is this really true? Millions of people use these things every day. Drew, I live in Florida so the temperature is not a factor. However, I know that Canadians such as yourself face some really cold months. Have you used these "brushless" car washes?

    I understand that most comments on this board will be negative towards these car washes but what are the facts?
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