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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • I had the invinca-shield product installed on my
    '00 E430 Sport yesterday. The product made by 3M is a clear, porous material that protects the front hood and bumper from paint chips and bugs.

    I recommend this product
    or for all M-B drivers who frequent our over- crowded highways. A large SUV or 18 wheeler can really throw off some small stones or gritty sand which will damage your paint.

    I prefer the stoneguard product but could not find an installer in the Orlando area. So, I went with Invincaman (Lake Mary) who came to my home and installed the product. Too bad I didn't put this stuff on two years ago when my paint was perfect. The Invinca-shield web page has a list of installers in your area.

    I have been a regular on this forum for the past 2.5 years and have never seen a post on this subject before. I read about this stuff on a BMW forum and these guys won't drive their BMW off the lot without it. Those of you with Sport Packages who get the invinca-shield product may need to order the AMG version. My installer has to return next week because he ordered the regular E stuff which does not fit the airdam.

    If I had an '02 or '03 E Class (especially an '03 AMG E55 at $80,000 plus) I would not leave the dealership without this product.
  • Does anyone understand if what is being contemplated is extending the entire warranty to 10 years / 150,000 miles, or just coverage of problems caused by not changing the oil enough because of the notification time of using synthetic oil?
  • valueguy, thanks for the info. I saw this Motorweek but did not catch the name of the product. It seemed like the perfect way to protect the front of your car. In addition to protecting the pait, it protect expensive headlight lenses too. The claim is that it protects the lenses from cracking or breaking. I intend to put this on my new E500 when it arrives in October. Thanks for the websites.
  • Pat's got the right link above. The story does not mention if the extended warranty will cover engine, drivetrain, or something else.

    I can't believe that they'd cover bumper to bumper. That would be too good to be true. Most likely only oil-related engine parts.

    But I remain optimistic.
  • Help!! I'm trying to decide whether to buy a 2002 or 2003 E320. I have a 2003 desert silver coming over on the next boat. I saw a 2003 in person at the dealer yesterday and I felt it didn't live up to the pictures. It is a great looking vehicle if you like a sportier car. I'm looking more for a luxury sedan like the older model. If I choose to buy the 2002, will I be making a big mistake? This is my first MB.
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    I am sure you can find 2002, but the supply may be limited and difficult to find a combination you want. I am sure you will get a good deal on it, but if you happen to find the one you like.
  • I can't imagine how you find the 2002 E-Class to be more luxurious and the 2003 more sporty -- at least enough to consider buying the older model.

    Personally, I think it would be a mistake to buy the 2002. First, the two models look very similar, and the handling and ride comfort are also probably very similar. But consider the advances offered by the newer, significantly changed (improved) 2003 model. I can't even begin to list all of them, but a few are significant, including the high tech braking system, upgraded suspension, greater body stiffness ("tighter" body and frame), etc.

    Suggest that you carefully compare the two models and note the new features and changes offered by the 2003. Then make your decision.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I couldn't agree with you more. The 02 is much tigher looking, more sleek. The 03 seems to be padded out to resemble the S class and C class look. From a distance to me the 03 looks a more than bit Jag-like, having lost its prior distinctive MB shape.

    The 02's also more mature from a quality point of view than the 03's are likely to be. Per the JDPower Initial Quality surveys, Mercedes of late has taken a while to get their "improvements" sorted out.

    I don't know where you are from, but Herb Chambers in Boston as 17 E-02's on their lot per their inventory and I think Edmund's incentive page is showing that MBUSA is offering support to move them.

    So you won't have to pay MSRP. In fact you ought to be able to negotiate a pretty good deal on one.

    Keep looking and good luck.
  • I vote for the 2003. I think the 2002 will loose resale value now that the new E is out that may offset any deal you might get on last year's model. I agree that the improvements of the new E are a must have. read the Edmunds review of the 2003 E and you may decide not to buy the 2002.
  • The 2003 E compared to the 2002 model is like night to day. The 2003 E may just be the best value car MB as come up with to date. If you think the 2002 E even comes close, have at it. You would save a few dollars. But, I just have to shake my head at anybody that would even consider a 2002 E over a 2003.
  • After 26 months of perfect service, I have my first gremlin in my 2000 E-430. A couple of days ago, I noticed the CD player didn't seem to be playing songs in the sequence they are recorded, so I clicked open the window to watch their

    Selection 10 might be playing and then it would go to selection 3 instead of to 11, so I tried pushing the increase and decrease buttons on the steering wheel and on the radio face and the selections seemed to jump all over the place.

    Anyone else experienced this phenomena and know what to do or must I call on the MB garage?

    Thanks for your input.
  • Sounds like you have the player set in random play mode.

  • Just viewed a new 2003 E320. I noticed on the roof next to the rain channels on each side there were two covered points that appeared to be for some sort of accessory....such as a ski rack or something. It was after business hours and I could not ask about it. Any info???
  • I was facing the same choice: 2003 E320 or 2002. I went with the 2002 for a number of reasons. First, I'm not all that wild about the looks of the 03. The front end reminds me of the Taurus. Of course, this is entirely subjective. Second, the 03 will be less reliable than the 02. There is no question about that. Third, there are quite a few 02's around, so you can really get a deal. Lastly, I liked the idea of the 4matic (I live in the snow belt), and that option isn't available on the 03.

    There is no right or wrong choice about 02 vs 03. But there are good reasons either way.
  • I don't think you can say the 2003 will be less reliable than the 2002. Some of the changes in the E come from other MB cars like the SL and are already proven technologies. In addition, MB has a lot riding on this launch. While I agree that historically you may have the odds on your side, I don't think it is a take it to the bank absolute that the 2003 E will be problem prone. ANY car you buy can have problems. If you read these message Boards long enough you will find that people have big problems with the 2002 too.
  • waltowalto Posts: 34
    Having owned five or six MB's over the past 25 years, I was interested in the W211 and a few days ago had the chance to look carefully at and drive both the 320 and 500. So here are some impressions:

    1. Although almost identical to the 210, the new cars look smaller both on the outside and the inside.

    2. There has been a lot of talk in the press about MB's return to "high quality" interior materials with the 211. I can't say I agree at all. From an engineer's viewpoint there are a number of areas where the materials and construction look much cheaper. The interior, however, is "fancied" up with a lot of chrome trim and an effort to increase the impression of parts count. This may be some people's idea of higher quality, but not mine.

    3. To me the car hardly looks like a Mercedes. It borrows much from the new Ford-Jaguars, and it has way too many character lines in the body work. It lacks the integrity of a good basic shape and tries to make up for that with over-design of little details. There is some particularly messy sculpting around the upper edge of the trunk and rear fenders. Like the interior, the exterior looks like the stylists were working overtime on stimulants.

    4. The sensotronic brakes are wonderful: the modulation, pedal feel, etc. is perfect. The complexity of the system is very high, but I can't see why it could not be reliable.

    5. The semi-active suspension is terrific. The manual switching is on the console behind the shift lever, and the different modes provide, instantly, what feels like three different cars. The standard level (no lights on) is an adpative mode biased for comfort, but the car will tighten up during maneuvering. The one-light position is also adaptive, but the car tightens up with less provocation. The two-light position is a non-adaptive, full firm (springing and damping) mode that provides a very tight, but somewhat uncomfortable car (by my ride standards at least).

    6. I thought the "cheap" leather interior of the 320 looked as good as the full leather of the 500, and the vinyl will probably be more durable. I wouldn't spend the extra money if I were buying the 320.

    7. The 320 has an 18.5 gallon tank, the 500 a 21 gallon. Both cars benefit in trunk depth for having the tank under the rear seat (below the floor pan).

    8. The 320 with mechanical suspension feels very much like my 320 (W210) with the Bilstein HD shocks and 235-45-17 Firestone SZ's. The 211 feels a bit crisper, but the difference is very slight. The steering in the 211 is slightly faster (2.8 L to L), which I think is a mistake.

    9. Anyone ordering these cars should really think about the distronic cruise control. I've driven this in a CL500 on two road trips and I'd say it cuts the workload in half.

    10. The standard climate control in the 320 lacks the pollution-sensing, solar sensor, and charcoal filter of the 210. You have to order the "four zone" system for those features. The four zone system (with temp controls in the rear and vents both at the back of the console and in the B pillars) seems a bit of overkill to me.

    11. The front dome light/microphone/sunroof switch is a beautiful piece of design work and a huge aesthetic improvement over the 210.

    12. These cars will be considerably cheaper to repair after low speed accidents. They use full front and rear end plastic "caps" that protect the metal work at the expense of adding some awkward joint lines to the body.

    13. The standard double spoke wheels look like those VW used on the Cabriolet for many years. Like much of the body and interior, they're busy.

    14. I have the feeling that this car is aimed at a younger market that isn't interested in minimalist approaches to design and that equates complexity with cost and quality. I wish I liked the aesthetics of the car better, because I personally would buy it just for the Distronic (and the Parktronic, because my 55 year old next is stiff!). I'm going to wait until they put the 3.5 liter six in it and give it another look. The way engine development is going, the current 5 liter V-8 is going to look awfully under powered and thirsty in a few years.
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    I'd like to hear comments from those who have bought the new '03 E models.
  • lex10lex10 Posts: 30
    Just ordered an E320 but was considering the E500,
    but a number of factors swayed me towards the 320.
    1-live in major city and would be considerably higher gas costs.

    2-the 320 has an excellent engine with 221 hp would I really use the extra 81hp.

    3-cost factor approximately 6500 w/gas guzzler tax
    for the E500 over the E320.

    Comments from any current owners is appreciated.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    First of all thanks for the review. What I would like to hear more about is the ride handling comparisons of the '03 with the 210 both before and after your shock / tire mods.

    Where I am coming from is Automobiles review of the 2003 where they talked about the 2002 model handling like a drunken sailor during high speed lane changes whereas they really liked the 03. I have also read several postings complaining about the ride quality of the '03.

    Do you think that the base '03 suspension (non active) strikes a good compromise between handling and ride? Based on your post it sounds like that the same could be achieved with the '02 model with your shock and tire setup.

    Does the semi active add significantly to achieving a perfect ride / handling balance?

    Also I would like to hear more about your comment about the tighter steering. Edmunds only critisism of the '97 E420 sport was it's "darty" steering. It sounds like the '03 is even more so.

    Utimately the reason I am asking is if a good balance between handling and ride can be achieved on the 210 then I would be inclined toward that direction because like you I am somewhat underwhelmed by the 'O3 apperance in the flesh, though I thought it was a stunner in the pictures. But I went through the same experience with the new C. I really like the 210's body because I think that it harken's back to classic late 50's Benz styling which is my favorite era.
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