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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans

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  • Two years ago I came to this discussion area for input from people who actually purchased the car (not the salesman) for a reasonably fair comparison with the BMW 5 series. After research and test drives I ended up with the 99 320 with most of the options except the 4 wheel drive. After 24 months this is what I can say for those looking today.

    PROS

    *Power seems more than adequate.
    *Service at the dealer was the BEST I received for any car I purchased or leased.
    *Traction control and ABS work great for a northeast based car and all the snow we get. Keep in mind I did have to get 4 more wheels mounted with a set of Blizzaks to feel safe though. No complaints - great solution from tirerack.
    *Great stereo with cdjukebox. Generally I have always preferred after market units with separate amps etc so I can relive my teenage past but overall the systems is pretty good (ovrpriced though). A direct optical link fromt he cd to the head is a great feature to reduce noise.
    *For the many messages on cupholders (why?) They are just fine in front and back.

    CONS
    *The car has had a few too many issues requiring service (although the service dept was great)
    *Tapping rubbing noise the the roof area by the sunroof never fixed.
    *Tempermental window height problem with rear window that would often not close all the way.
    *Electronic key that requires a laser pointer and guidance system to get it to work at more than 24 inches to open the trunk or unlock doors.
    *Somewhat sloppy handling on turns although on strait roads is much nicer than BMW. Guess I need non-MB Shocks (recommendations welcome.
    *Sqweaky steering wheel (fixed after two tries).

    Would I buy again over the BMW? Yes, but I would prefer a better perfoirmance package for suspension.
  • amaseiamasei Posts: 2
    I just purchased a new 2002 E430 4matic. Love the car. But I am disappointed with the variable speed volume control feature for the radio/CD. As the car slows down, the volume automatically decreases. When the speed of the car falls below 20 MPH, there is a noticeable decline in the volume level. This bulletin board indicated that this feature could be disabled by the Service manager. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the new 2002 model year. The service manager told me that this feature could no longer be disabled and that the volume level changes at 20, 40, and 60 MPH to adjust for engine noise. Has anyone else experienced this audio level drop off??

    On a separate note, I used the Zaino products (Z1, Z2, Z6 (detail spray?), tire care and wash)on my car 6 days after I bought the car. I have a Black car and it looks outstanding. I put 3 coats of Z2 on the car and it looks even better than the day I picked it up from the dealer.

    This is my first Mercedes-Benz and I am looking forward to joining the MB family....
  • Actually I saw that as a positive especially when getting on the highway. Seemd nice to me to have the volume auto adjusted for road/engine noise.

    As far as polishes, there are many good alternatives like "Z" - some are not even too expensive. Much depends on the climate. In the northeast an annual paint cleaning for oxidation in the spring with clearcoat safe polish is just about he only way to keep a durable shine before waxing. I prefer spending the time to do it by hand since machines tend to rub edges too much if you move too slow.
  • I got an offer to buy a 97 E420 with sport package. Considering the age of the car, already 4 yrs old, would it be a good car to own for next 10 years?
  • amaseiamasei Posts: 2
    I like the concept of the audio system automatically adjusting the volume for environmental noise. The problem with current system is that it lowers it TOO much when the speed drops below 20 MPH. At times, you can barely hear the music when you come to a stop light. It would be nice to be able to adjust the sensitivity of the system. With the windows up, the car is almost as quiet at 60 MPH as it is at a stop sign - but the system still lowers the volume level. It seems that the logic for adjusting the volume is based more on the speed of the car than the true cabin "noise".
  • ab20ab20 Posts: 5
    I have one that I bought a year ago (non-sport). Absolutely a great car, no-one can believe that it is not brand new (except the few that know benzes).
    I would jump on a sport model as long as well maintained. Let me know if you want to trade wheels . . . :-)
  • I'm looking for tires that will be quieter than the original Goodyear tires and will perform better in snow. I'm in the Northwest so dry and wet conditions are most common conditions, but I do need to be able to drive a bit in the snow. I'm considering the Michelin Pilot XGT, but wondered if anyone had some thoughts to add.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Amasei - check with your foreman at another dealership, I doubt what the service manager tells you..
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    I am cosidering also for my E430. I have heard and read good things about the Yokohama dB's. seems good price point vs mich's.

    Perhaps some whom have these on 17' rims could lend comment on their experiece so far.

    Adjustable volume: Dealer can change the level of adjustment. I find that some cds react differently to adjustment. It mostly becomes an issue at lower volumn when I have a passanger. Since I had it adjusted I have not noticed it too much. So perhaps not a problem anymore.
  • 4MATIC owners may want to read this post especially if you are hearing a whine from your steering. My dealer feels that the whine results from a design defect that is described below. I would like to hear from anyone that is experiencing a similar issue.

    I have a 2000 E320 4MATIC purchased new in 5/00 with 11,000 miles. Periodically, I have heard noises (light whine) from my steering column. The dealer replaced the steering rack twice and then made a adjustment to the heat shield. The noise usually occurs after about 30 minutes of city driving especially in warmer weather.

    The service advisor now tells me that he believes that this problem results from a design defect with the 4MATIC vehicles. Apparently, the exhaust system is routed differently on 4MATICs and the heat shield is also different (shorter I think). There is a rubber mount (it is lubricated) on the firewall that the steering column passes through. The steering column has a nylon bushing on it and the nylon bushing contacts the rubber mount. My dealer feels that the heat shield design is defective. The heat shield is to short and does not provide adequate protection. As a result, the grease between the rubber mount and nylon bushing is eventually cooked away. Then the whine occurs. My rubber mount is now chewed up and the dealer will be replacing it. Problem is that this doesn't cure the design defect.

    The dealer has seen this issue in three other cars and has worked with the local Mercedes rep to develop a plan to TRY to correct. The dealer is ordering a heat shield for a normal E320 and then custom cutting is so that is longer that the 4MATIC heat shield, but still fits. The dealer has completed this fix on three cars but doesn't know if it will work.

    Needless to say, the dealer cannot guarantee that this will fix the problem. He thinks it may, since the "retrofitted" cars haven't developed the whine in the few months since they were worked on. This process is a major job as it involves taking out the steering rack, column, heat shield, rubber mount, etc..

    Anyone else having this issue or had it fixed?
  • varigvarig Posts: 99
    Does anyone know if 4Matic will be an option with the 2003 E320 or will it only be available a year later?
    thanks
  • 96e32096e320 Posts: 5
    Drew,

    I have a 96 E320 and have begun to notice the car hesitate during acceleration when the car is cold. It is fine once it has warmed up some, but seems to happen right after I back out of the garage, shift into drive and press the accelerator. The car losses power for a split second then takes off. I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have.
  • My 02 E55 does the same. Also at the first stop sign a block and a half away.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Me Too !! I first noticed this happening last winter but in the warm weather it isn't a problem. I find sometimes when I put it in reverse to back out of garage, it almost stalls; runs at about 100 rpm.. I have to then put it in neutral and let it idle for about 10-15 seconds before it will back out without lugging down. But I also have noticed the slight hesitation when I first try to accelerate in drive. But it always is OK after I've gone a few hundred yards..
    I've got a 96 E320...
  • frank09frank09 Posts: 14
    Was there a problem w/any yr since '98 w/the awd and is there one yr when there was a major improvement in it's reliability/performance ?

    Secondly, what can one expect to save on a 2002,
    if anything, below sticker ?
  • I just read workinfromhome's post about a roof rattle. On my 2001 E-430, the moonroof shade rattles when it is left in the open position. Has this issue been resolved by anyone else?

    Regarding needing laser guidance to use the remote unlocking system, the 2000 and newer model remote controls do not need to be aimed to unlock the doors or trunk.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    ..I was told that it is likely that MB will reinstate the $2k dealer incentives on 2002 E's within the next few months. Assuming that's the case, a deal as low as $2k below dealer invoice may be possible. That is what I could have picked up a 2001 Wagon for in June of this year (DC area). I heard of some deals even better than that on 2001 E430's out West.
  • I have same issue. 97 e420 sport. warranty just expired so now I have to pay. I took to dealer three times while still under warranty but they couldn't find. They even said they test drove but excuse me , you cant swing a dead cat without hitting a frost heave/expansion joint in N.J. and hearing noise. I had a client in office that was an ex MB tech and we took a ride and he found in 1 mile- in the sunroof liner. So, now that we found it what is the fix?
  • 11/00 I bought with 16k on clock. trouble free for 1 yr and 10k except rattle in sunroof shade (see above post). Pirelli tires call for 50lbs, anyone else using less? Any suggestions?
  • No wonder it rattles! 50psi is the MAXIMUM pressure the tire is rated to stand. Look on the driver's door jamb or the gas tank cover for the recommended pressure. Should be in the 30-40 psi range, depending on load and operating conditions.
  • Just as my 4 yr. warranty was about to expire on my E320 with 31k miles, my reverse gear refused to function. The dealer had to replace the entire transmission. Anyone want to buy a '98 E-320 before I trade it in on a Lexus?
  • Now we have three cars with sliding roof screens that rattle. Mine only rattles in the open position when going over a bump. I would appreciate knowing if there are any E's that do not have this problem, or if there have been any with problems corrected by the dealer.

    I was wrong on my previous post regarding the window and sliding roof remote operation. According to the manual, the remote for these functions does work by infrared and must be aimed at the doorlocks. For my car, however, it is easy to do.

    By the way, I love my E-Class and am quite willing to deal with these minor issues.
  • tendonstendons Posts: 43
    it (the sunshade) rattles when it's in the full back position. If I close the sunroof even 2 inches that seems to stop it.
  • I am thinking of buying an E320 for my wife. I am looking at 96, 97 or 98 if I can afford it. I am looking to spend 25K. Is there any years, options etc. I should avoid? I am not ver educated in the E class area. Any advise will be greatly appreaciated.
    Matt...
  • I tried partially closing the sunroof, but even half-closed it rattles. I took it in last week and they said they didn't hear anything. I'll take it in again and be sure to go over some bumps with them.

    I'll keep you Post-ed (NPI!!:)).
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    The engines in the '98 are substantialy different from the engines in the '96 and '97. The '98 has the latest genration v6 as opposed to the previous inline six. The new engine gets better fuel mileage, is lighter and has lower emmissions. The fuel mileage with the '98's is rather remarkable for a car of that size. No real problems have surfaced with the later engines. The older engines reported had oil leakage problems that required head gasket replacement. The '97 has a 5 spd transmission whereas the '96 has a four speed. The general message about a given model of Mercedes is get the latest year that you can afford because they generally reflect the most development.
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    I also have it on my 2001 E320 4Matic. Like tendons, mine happens only when both shade and roof are fully open. If I close my roof an inch or so it seems to stop it.

    Mine rattles if the wind catches it just right. Bumps probably do it too, though we don't have many of those on our pristine NH roads...I'd have go to Mass to try that out. :-)

    If misery loves company, you'll be happy that I've also gotten the brush off "we couldn't reproduce it". Mine was the obvious climate control issue I posted a couple weeks back. Nice service.

    Enjoy,
    BigRob.
  • If you are in Southern CA, I have seen ads for a no down/no drive off deal for the 2001 E320/E430. Calabasas Motorcars is leasing out for:
    E320: 499 + tax/48 months
    E430: 599 + tax/48 months
    That is from what I understand, I do not know what options come with that deal...sounds like a basic model. Maybe you'll get the "premium Bose" stereo (haha)! Mercedes gears their car prices so that most of the time, it is better to just lease a new one, vs buy and old one.
    Maybe someone can confirm or has actually leased one? Any better deals out there?
    REFER TO LA TIMES
    Marty
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    This is weird, but the headliner in mine only rattles when I move it all the way forward. When I open it (slide it all the way back) there is no rattle... So I leave it open all the time..

    I'd like to find out if the cold engine/slight hesitation problem has a solution. Any one hear of a fix?
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I put the Yokohama db tires (225-55/16) on my E320 5 weeks ago. Drove from Mass. to Montana (Yellowstone) and back - 5200 miles in 12 days. Drove for almost two days in light rain and they were awesome on the wet roads.. These tires ignore the rain.. They are quieter than the Eagle LS tires they replaced, on most road surfaces. There is still some noise on the rough macadam surface, but smooth asphalt and concrete are definitely quieter. They do respond well to directional change and they do not squeal in cornering. Excellent tires in this size..
This discussion has been closed.