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BMW 530i vs. Mercedes CLK 350

sls1sls1 Posts: 36
edited March 10 in BMW
I need help deciding between the two. I'm looking for the best combination of luxury, drive and look.
Thanks for any help

Comments

  • Having owned both (prior-gen CLK and 2003 530), they appeal to distinct driving needs. The coupe vs. sedan discussion may be an important consideration if you need passenger access for business. While I loved my CLK, I am more enamored with my 2003 530SP.

    More useful car while providing a wonderfully balanced driving experience. I do believe the CLK may be offered with fold-down rear seats for better storage utilization, as I had that option on mine, but the 4-door BMW is better for my needs.

    New MB engine (3.5L) is really something and BMW's new 3.0L is also incredible, although it produces approx. 13 fewer HP. Moot point based upon power delivery from that incredible I-6 and its lower weight, but the new MB engine is amazing as well.

    BMW may provide a better maintenance experience with everything covered for 4 years/50K miles. MB is gaining its quality rankings back slowly and still builds a beautifully engineered car, but does not offer a similar maintenance plan.

    BMW is engineered to a different driving standard, with emphasis on a sporting driving experience vs. luxury experience. Both offer distinct interpretations of German engineering excellence with my nod going toward BMW at this time.

    If you are tilting toward a coupe, BMW will be launching their new 3-Series coupe next year... something else to consider :)
  • sls1sls1 Posts: 36
    Any thoughts on the leatherette interior BMW offers as a standard package?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi - the general 5-Series discussion is where you'll find lots of information on leatherette - see my post here: pat, "BMW Leatherette" #2, 14 Dec 2005 6:30 am
  • My take... in this class of car, leather makes great sense. Kind of a left-brain/right-brain issue to some. Yes, the 'ette may wear well and appear to be practical, but you aren't buying a Camry or Accord, where practicality is an attribute their drivers wear on their sleeves ;)

    Which half of your brain is speaking to you?
  • sls1sls1 Posts: 36
    I'm with you 100%. I can't believe leather is not standard in a 5 series.
  • European buyers are probably much more pragmatic about this and will even consider cloth seats in a 5-Series. Most likely why leather remains an option.
  • wmichaudwmichaud Posts: 1
    i own 2006 mercedes benz 350 clk cont. with 7speed trans. have problem with shifting. has any bodyelse had a proble love cars
  • nnppttnnpptt Posts: 3
    You need help deciding? Are you kidding me. BMWs break down more often, they're considered the wannabe brand, and their have none of the progressive looks of a Mercedes. The answer, my friend, is CLK all the way. The public agrees. CLK and SLK are taaking big chunks out of the 7-Series' and the 5-Series' market shares.

    See this: http://comparati.com/71
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    I own both and find your comments way off base. My BMW ('03 e39SP) has been absolutely flawless in every respect, while my '98 CLK and '02 ML320 have had minor "issues". Love both brands, but your analysis will not hold water among those who really understand the advantages of both marques.

    SOrry to burst your bubble, but the CLK & SLK models are NOT cross-shopped against 5 & 7-series models!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Curious link. Seems to be a comparison of opinions, not hard data. We've got a good place to compare opinions right here. ;)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You need help deciding? Are you kidding me. BMWs break down more often, they're considered the wannabe brand, and their have none of the progressive looks of a Mercedes. The answer, my friend, is CLK all the way. The public agrees. CLK and SLK are taaking big chunks out of the 7-Series' and the 5-Series' market shares.

    Are you drunk? I don't own either, my German experience is limited to Porsche (2005 911S), but I've done enough research over the past 5 years to know that you're not off base, you are on the wrong planet.

    While not perfect, BMW's reliability and customer satisfation are considerably ahead of Chrysler - er, Mercede's. The C-class based CLK isn't even a good "wannabe" compared to a 335i. Who in their right mind would cross shop it against a 5 series or larger car. That's E-class territory, which, at least STARTS to buy you a real Mercedes. BMW builds the best small sport sedan on the market in the 3-series. The C-class/CLK do not come particulary close.

    As for the SLK, good grief. Hand me back the keys to a Honda S2000 or just about any other roadster on the market. The owner of the Mercedes/Acura dealership that we bought our MDX from drives a Cayman S. That ought to tell you all you need to know about the SLK. He offered to practically give me an SLK55 when I was shopping 2 years ago, but when he heard I decided to go for a 911 from his sales manager, called me back that same night to congratulate me on "the right decision".

    BMW doesn't have anything whatsoever to worry about with regards to the SLK and CLK. Period.
  • Here I have the cash saved up and BMW comes out with their twin turbos that seems to make the V8 a lesser choice. I never cared for the 3er too much, felt it was too small. Yet this new 335i convertible is really impressive! You think one should take a wait-and-see approach on this twin turbo? You guys seem to have all the experience and knowledge... of the three, which one do you think would be the better buy to hold on to until it rots off the frame? Forget about passengers, a need for more room and etc. and just give me the facts on which model would most likely be the best for the long-haul.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Why are you looking at the "xi" models of the 550 and 535 (along with a 335i convertible). If you live in a nice enough climate to be considering the 335cic as a "long haul" car, you surely don't need AWD do you?

    I would have given the "long haul" award to the previous 530i 6-speed. Nothing too complex about the engine, drive train or transmission. From what I can tell, the 8 cylinder engines are durable, but become considerably more expensive to maintain after 80-100k miles. The jury is still out on the twin turbo 6. Great power, but will those turbos last as long as the engine? But regardless of whether you go for the 6 or 8 cylinder, I'd forget the "x" and I'd stick with a manual transmission. If you really want the car to last 12-15+ years, as I know the old 525's and 528's were capable of, no use in putting extra mechanical or electronic complexity into the car where it's not needed.
  • I was only considering the AWD models for the handling on the twists and turns, and wet pavement from time to time. Yet I too thought it might be asking for trouble for the long-haul. You think getting the turbos worked on or replaced might be a little less of a hassel vs. maintaining the V8 after 100K? :confuse:

    Thanks for your response. :)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I was only considering the AWD models for the handling on the twists and turns, and wet pavement from time to time.

    There has been a lot of debate on that subject over on the 3 series boards, as well as the "ultimate AWD sport sedan" board. Essentially, you have one group that advocates the benefits of AWD, without considering the disadvantages. And another (which I belong to) that would claim those disadvantages need to be considered.

    I strongly suggest you drive all the variants of the 5 series or other cars you are considering, before ever concluding that BMW's "x" system improves handling in the twists and turns. That's certainly the opposite of my conclusion. The AWD version gains 200+ lbs, disrpupts the otherwise near perfect 50/50 weight balance, and, in "sport package" form, has a detuned suspension and tire setup, compared to the RWD models. IMO, the RWD 3/5 series are more nimble, quicker and more fun to drive on any dry surface. And it doesn't take much discipline to tone down my driveing in rain to make the RWD very safe. In addition, the AWD versions are 7-10%+ less fuel efficient in the real world, and have more moving parts to maintain and break.

    You think getting the turbos worked on or replaced might be a little less of a hassel vs. maintaining the V8 after 100K?

    Don't know - you might want to ask a couple of BMW service managers for their opinions. If the turbos do need to be replaced, I would expect that to be a very expensive job. I remember a business associate that had an old turbo Volvo and when the turbo went, it was a job that cost more than the car was worth at the time ($3,500) and he handed it to Salvation Army. Of course, it may be that the BMW twin turbos are designed with a life expectancy that is considerably longer, and not an issue.
  • Thanks Habitat, I am pretty much on the same page here... but was considering all possibilities. I need some more "hands-on" with the 535i vs. the 335i conv. to firmly make a decision. I am not sure about the seats in the conv., but am really impressed with the opt. seats you can get with the 5 series!

    Your input has been helpful... thanks again.
This discussion has been closed.