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2013 and earlier-Mercedes Benz E-Class Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    In my last post, I mentioned about damage and road surfaces. This is the same disclaimer that all automobile manufactureres add to their footnotes. The Chrysler 300 with sports package has the same disclaimer as does Lexus, BMW, Audi and Jaguar and all other brands who have low-profile sport tires.

    It is essential that you keep the recommended tire pressure in all tires at all times. The tire pressure monitor in the car will show you the exact pressure in each of the four tires on a screen inside the odometer section when you select that option. I also highly recommend that you have the dealer fill your tires with Nitrogen (also called nitro fill). Nitrogen reduces oxidation of the rubber in the tire and is far less sensitive to changes in temperatures. My dealer fills all their cars with nitro-fill, and does not even have regular air compresssors.

    I have noticed that my tires vary about 3 pounds from winter to summer down here. In winter, our temperatures sometimes get to 40 degrees, but very rarely. Our average night temps are around 60 -65, daytime about 78 in winter. In summer, we range 80's in the evening, mid 90's in the daytime. So nitrogen definitely increases tire life. With regular air, I used to find that the tire pressures varied 8-10 pounds between winter and summer.

    To make you feel more comfortable about these wheels and tires, get the tire and wheel road hazzard insurance. It covers tires for any road hazzard, so long as the tire is unrepairable (if repairable, they pay for the repairs). They also cover the wheels. If they should bend or break due to hitting a curb at a moderate speed or going into a pothole, they will replace the wheel.

    My BMW's all had sport packages and also had the low profile wheels. The last BMW's I had came with run-flat tires - and if you want to know if there are any tires that run louder or harsher than the sport Mercedes, it's the run flats. They were so harsh, I wanted to get rid of them for regular tires.

    Hope that helps you out. And in closing, my experiences have been excellent with these wheels and tires. Of the 6 E350 Sports I've owned with the tire and wheel package, I never had a flat or a bent or broken wheel. But, like I mentioned in my previous post, if the roads you normally travel are like the surface of the moon (craters, so to speak), either avoid getting the sport or make sure you get the road hazzard insurance.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    The roads in Los Angeles are not moon craters, but there are a lot of potholes because the city is broke and they don't fix them regularly. It's not like there's holes everywhere, but it's not nearly as kept up as it sounds like it is by you in Florida. (Small world that you used to live in Chatsworth; my parents live in Northridge and I went to CSUN).
    There seems to be a lot of E350's around, but not with the exact configuration I want. There are 2 Sport 350's in black/almond and the P1 and lane tracking/blind spot assist. One has extra option of wheel package and "comfort box" for $1,000 and the other has the panorama sunroof for $1,000.00. I don't need either of them, but would have to get one of them to get the car. I don't have strong feeling either way. The wheels look nice but there's the issue of potholes. The panorama sunroof is a bit larger than I would like and probably shows dirt more. Any ideas? Thanks again.
  • sai1sai1 Posts: 21
    Hi Mike, just out of curiosity, what made you buy a BMW again after this experience? In your post #1198, you mentioned you own a new 535i in addition to the E350. Is the new generation 5 series better than the last one?
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    Since you live in California, I would get the one with the panorama sunroof. Th comfort box is a waste of money. As for the AMG wheels, if you really want them, find out what the dealer wants to add them as a dealer installed option. The only problem would be for the dealer as the wheel sensors for the Tire Pressure Monitors would need to be reprogrammed, but that's not a worry you have. Since there are only 2 available, have you considered "black" interior? I never wanted black, but now that I have black, it's great, Black doesn't show the dirt and grime that almond shows. I have had both black and almond as well as gray. The only color that does not show grime and smudges is black. But I have the ventilated seats which cuts down on the hotter interior.

    Only consider black interior if they have a car exactly the way you want, but with that interior, not almond or gray.

    Good Luck.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    Sorry if you misunderstood my post. I was forced into a situation in 2008 to have two 535i's because the first one was a lemon. They built another for me, and that also had the same problem - so they refunded my money, took the car back, and I went out and got back to Mercedes in 2008.

    I have test driven all the competing luxury sedans prior to getting the 2012 Mercedes, and none of them, including the new 535i, had the same feel, luxury and styling of the Mercedes. The sound system in the new 2012 Mercedes is still Harman Karmin if you get P1 or P2, but they added 2 more speakers to the system and now, it's like sitting in a concert hall. Unbelievable surround sound, etc.

    The closest car for handling and styling was the Jaguar XJ. Great driving and comfort, but the vehicle was just too low in stance. Rear window visibility was limited due to the acute angle in the back. Then, when I found out about the new engine and transmission with improved fuel economy, I ordered the 2012 Mercedes. The engine and fuel economy are what was lacking from the Mercedes in the last several years. Now, they've made the car as fuel efficient as the BMW 535 with the same power and acceleration.

    Sorry about the misunderstanding.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    Made a little mistake. The car with the panorama sunroof doesn't have the lane change/blind sport assist. The car with the assist doesn't have the panorama sunroof but has the AMG wheel package and comfort box. Therefore, both cars same price.
    I considered the black interior, but my BMW has black interior, and I wanted a change. The black exterior and almond interior is a nice look, even if it may not keep as clean as black interior.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    Then, that's the car you should "jump" on before that one is sold. Get it ASAP because if it's what you want, there will be few, if any, left next week. The week before New Years is the busiest week in the automotile industry for new car sales. It's the time you get deals that aren't available most months of the year.

    Good Luck!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • In market for 2012 E class sports or luxury before the year end. I will be going with Coscto auto buyer which gets me upto $1500+ lower than invoice price. Are there Mfr incentives (like loyalty etc) available? I will trade for my 2009 C300 (<25k miles). Location: SoCal.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    May I suggest that you first check with Costco prior to going into any dealership. About 3 weeks ago, I checked with Costco here in South Florida for a friend of mine who is a member. They told me that the E CLASS SEDAN is not eligible for their special pricing due to the fact that the dealer members do not honor Costco pricing for the E350 Sedan. They do honor C class, S class, M class, GL class. It is quite possible that they have begun to honor Costco Pricing for the E350 Sedan since I last spoke with them. Just check with them prior to shopping.

    Can you qualify for the USAA discount? In other words, are you, or an immediate member of your family a veteran? That pricing is the same as Costco - 1500 under invoice. But you can qualify for a Mercedes Benz Financial Incentive (assuming you are on a lease or have a loan with them) of $2000.00. Additionally, I believe there is another loyalty incentive available of up to $2000.00 to current owners - C Class would qualify.

    If you do qualify for MB Financial $2000 incentive, you will probably qualify for the other loyalty incentive. I believe you can combine MB Financial Loyalty with their owner loyalty.

    Don't trust just one dealer. If one dealer says you can't combine them, check with at least 2 other dealerships - as dealerships tend to HIDE OR BEND THE TRUTH FREQUENTLY as we have discovered on this discussion forum.

    Good luck next week. Remember, next week is the highest sales volume week of the year for all new car sales. It's your chance to really cash in on a great deal.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    edited December 2011
    If you are a little flexible on exterior and/or interior colors, you can probably get the exact options you want. That Lane/blind spot option is not found on many "in-stock" dealer inventory. As for the one with the storage box, that is a complete waste of $1000. But that is just my opinion. They only order a few(lane/blind spot sensing) for inventory, but would gladly special order one for you with the equipment you want.

    Of course, ordering a car would probably exclude you from all these great incentives - 1.9% financing, conquest incentive, etc.

    Don't forget, you should be able to get the conquest incentive of $2000 for the E350 since you currently drive a BMW, which qualifies.

    Hope you can get something you like prior to the end of this week. After that, there is no guarantee the same incentives and financing rates will be available. I personally think they will extend them a few days after January 2nd, since they have done that in previous years.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • mbzgalmbzgal Posts: 8
    edited December 2011
    thanks to everyone on this forum!!! i read through and learned a lot before i went to get my e350 this week. even though i think i'm pretty saavy with getting cars, you do really have to be careful as others on this forum have noted. one dealer tried increased the $ factor on the back end, which would have substantially increased the price of the car.

    in terms of availability of options, in socal it seems like the cars have more options than you really want (or need) or very basic options (e.g. P1 only)--at least that's what i found. we looked at the panorama roof as 1 car was configured with it. in the end, after reading other comments on it, we decided to go against it because it seems to bring in more heat and because of other owner comments of the cost of fixing it IF it malfxns. because we didn't really want it (or need it) in the first place, we decided to go without it. in the end, i'm sure you'll be happy with your purchase either way. good luck! :)
  • Thanks and good to know. Unfortunately I was not blessed with the opportunity to serve and none in my family so can't avail USAA. I have R350 also if my C300 doesn't qualify for loyalty. Any success with producing TMV printout from Edmunds or Truecar.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    The TMV pricing is way above what you should be paying. You should be able to get a new 2012 E350 Sedan without any incentives for $500 above dealer invoice. That is usually the minimum a dealer will sell a car for, especially with the E350 Sedan being in a high demand curve at the present time. Then, you have incentives. You should be able to qualify for loyalty incentives from MB Financial (I'm assuming you have at least one account with them) and there is another incentive that is not advertised anywhere for owner loyalty. You obviously can't qualify for the conquest incentive since you own only mercedes benz vehicles.

    I've seen people post on this site that they purchased an E350 Sedan for 3000 or 4000 below invoice with no incentives or rebates. I don't believe that, as I have also posted on this site. Only with incentives can you get a car below invoice like that. I bought mine for $3000 below invoice with MB Financial Incentive and USAA pricing + they threw in maintenance for 3 years worth another $800 - $1000. So, with what I got, I got the car for about $3800 to $4000 below dealer invoice. But, again, remember that was with incentives and rebates. Those people who posted that they didn't get any incentives or rebates and bought the car for 3 or 4 K below invoice either didn't realize they got them (they only saw the "selling price", not how the dealer arrived at the selling price) or are just blowing hot air. But that is my opinion. No dealer would sell someone a brand new E350 Sedan at 3 or 4 K below invoice and take a loss of that much. They'd be out of business in less than a month selling cars at those kinds of losses. There had to be rebates and/or incentives in order to arrive at that price.

    Would love to hear from the hosts of this site on this!

    The C300 definitely qualifies for owner loyalty along with Mercedes Benz Financial loyalty, assuming you have a lease or loan with them.

    If the dealer says there is "no" owner loyalty, check with several other dealers because, since the owner loyalty is not advertised or published, that is how they want to make a profit.

    Good Luck.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,847
    Would love to hear from the hosts of this site on this!

    What is it that you want to hear?

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    Your thoughts about people who post on this site that they get new 2012 E350 sedans for 3 and 4 thousand below dealer invoice but didn't get any incentives or dealer cash, or USAA, etc.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • Thanks and that's wealth of info abacoMike. I had MBFin loan for 2009 C300 but it it had been paid off and closed. Do I need a current/active one to qualify loyalty incentive? 2008 R350was a PCO but with BofA and it too had been paid off. So... I ran out of ammo here?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,847
    edited December 2011
    Well.... like all the Prices Paid discussions, you can't just look at a single post (or three.. or four), and take that as gospel.. If that is all the research a potential buyer is going to do, then they probably aren't going to get a good deal, no matter what... If you follow a discussion for any length of time, it isn't hard to sift out good information from bad..

    While some of those posts may not be true, in most cases, the buyer themselves either aren't sure what they paid, or had a trade involved, or any other number of details that aren't present in the post.. ("oh yeah, it was a 2011, not a 2012")

    As a Host, we look for violations of the member agreement, and in the Prices Paid forums in particular, we watch for solicitations, and obvious shills.. We (mostly) leave the usefulness of the content up to the individual reader.. (caveat emptor).

    If you happen to see more content input from me, that's just because I have an interest in the model being discussed, or just some item that caught my eye.. I really like cars and if I'm in the market, I'm obviously interested in the mechanics of getting a lower price...

    We were shopping in September and October and the killer 24-mo. lease deals on the Bluetec made that a contender.. But, my wife chose something else, so you'll see my posts in the E-Class discussions peter out..

    If you have specific issues with a post, you can always click on any Host's name and shoot us an e-mail. (other than just being incredulous about the price...lol) Or, any issues with Hosting, in general.

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    From what is being advertised, you must be currently in a lease or loan with MB Financial. If it has been paid off, and the loan is no longer active, it doesn't qualify for loyalty incentive.

    HOWEVER I would definitely inquire with the dealer to see if the dealer can intervene on your behalf with MB Financial. If that doesn't work, try contacting Mercedes Benz Consumer line (same telephone number as your roadside assistance number) and present your case to them. You are obviously a previous customer, and perhaps they can make an exception, especially since you own two Mercedes Benz vehicles.

    See what happens.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    Thanks for you feedback. As I have stated, after retiring as a school principal and school superintendent, I was fortunate enough to have a second profession as a sales consultant with one of the biggest and most successful Auto Dealership and licensed Distributor in the U.S. Then, I spent 5 years as a Sales Manager in the largest and most successful dealership for a specific line of cars, which I will not mention here.

    I know the difference between "factory invoice" and "dealer invoice". I know how much profit there is in a car and the many incentives offered to customers as well as dealers based upon number of cars sold per month, customer feedback surveys for sales and service, advertising cash, etc.

    I don't know EVERYTHING, but I do have lots of experience and a true understanding of negotiations, averages for profit, and the like.

    But I do know that a dealer cannot sell a car for 3 or 4 thousand below invoice unless there is some incentive, program, or customer/dealer cash available. I happen to know what is available for the 2012 Mercedes Benz E350 Sedans in terms of incentives, etc., and if an individual(s) says he bought one for that kind of money below invoice and did not have any incentives, cash, programs, etc., or just says it was their "December Sales Event" (which includes thousands of dollars in incentives) but insists there were not incentives, etc., then I take exception.

    Perhaps I am over-reacting, but there are folks out there trying to get the same price those individuals got, but don't qualify for any incentives or cash, etc., and can't understand why two or three people got that price without incentives, and he/she can't.

    I don't NEED to spend the time and effort I do on this forum site to help people get a great deal on a 2012 E350 Sedan. I just happen to know many people in this business, and especially sales personnel as well as many, many Sales and General Managers of Mercedes Dealerships.

    All I am trying to do is pass on this info to prospective buyers/lessees.

    Sorry if I take exception with a few posts, but I am very sensitive about erroneous information being passed on to readers of these posts.

    Thanks for responding to my request.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    Either too many or too basic, but unless you want to order a car with your exact specs, the mfr has a certain number of variations that can be made and held inventory. What configuration did you end up getting?
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    I'm going Monday to check out the car that dealer has in stock with my specs: color combo, P1, lane change assist. The $1,000 was cost for AMG wheel package ($760) and comfort box ($290). Most of other cars I found with a number of other dealers in socal either didn't have the lane/blind assist (which I think is a good feature) or had even more options. There is another one that has the rear spoiler instead of wheel package (along with P1 and lane assist). What do you think, spoiler or wheel package?
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    Actually, either one or both. What you want to do is get the car before they either sell it or it's too late for the incentives.

    Wheel package comes with a nice steering wheel, and of course, the nicer wheels. Rear spoiler is $300, which is negligible.

    Sounds like you are ready to go in there and make a deal.

    Build the car on cars.com or truecar.com - Edmunds, for some reason, left off the cost of the p1 and p2 packages from their "build-it" site recently.

    Then, add $500 to the invoice, subtract $2000 for the conquest incentive, and you are at $1500 under invoice. I don't think you qualify for any other existing incentives. Then, you also get the 1.9% financing, and remember, there is a 1% mark-up on the rate. So offer them 1.5% or 1.6%, and finance as much as you are able to finance. It's free money, so to speak.

    Hope everything works out for you.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    edited December 2011
    I'll see what I can do about the dealer paying off the 3 remaining payments on my BMW lease. They're due Dec. 29, Jan. 29 and Feb. 29.
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    On a purchase with 48 month lease, do you suggest buying extended warranty at time of purchase or later on?
    When you mentioned add $500 to invoice, and deduct $2,000 for conquest incentive, and arrive at $1,500 below invoice, did you mean factory invoice or dealer invoice?
  • ghstudioghstudio Posts: 968
    He means dealer invoice, not MSRP.

    If you are thinking of a 48 month lease, then consider the difference in purchasing at 1.5% or perhaps less vs leasing at over 4%.

    Personally, I always lease cars for less than the warranty period, so I never consider an extended warrantee...don't need it....so I can't help.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    If you are considering leasing over buying, you do not need the extended warranty. You stated in another post that you drive 12,000 miles per year. After 4 years, you will be under your 50,000 miles limit. Remember, the warranty is for 4 years or 50,000 mile, whichever comes first.

    If you are going to purhcase the car, which is what I recommended to you, try getting it for 1.5% apr for 66 months. Even if you don't plan on keeping the car for more than 4 years, the least expensive way to do this is for the longest term at the lowest rate.

    You can purchase an extended warranty on the vehicle at any time prior to the car going off it's 4 year 50,000 mile warranty. They do raise prices from time to time, but if you end up not keeping the car, it's not worth buying the extended warranty. In 4 years, they will have a new body introduced with different engines, etc. So you also want to consider that as well. This new body was introduced in 2010. They usually keep their major body styling for 6 years. So in 3 years or thereabouts, expect a major body and equipment change.

    Factory invoice is the price you will see at cars.com and/or truecar.com. Dealer invoice would be factory invoice less 2% for holdback for the dealer. Remember, Edmunds, for some strange reason, has left off the P1 and P2 packages from their "build the car and price it" section. I don't know what happened there, but something is amiss, for sure.

    So, use cars.com to get to factory invoice. Dealers don't dig into their 2% holdback when selling cars - that money is used to drefray their overhead costs. Additionally, they are going to have to pay the salesperson for a "mini" deal, which at Mercedes Benz Dealers is between 200 and 250.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    Since you have remaining payments, that will have to be figured into the deal. Since you don't drive too many miles, see what your leased BMW is worth on a trade. Sometimes, not frequently, but sometimes the car is worth trading in as it may bring in enough extra dollars to cover remaining payments, etc. If you a expecting a rock bottom deal from the dealer, and your BMW is not worth more than it's payoff, I would doubt the dealer will reimburse you for the remaining payments - only because you are looking for a rock-bottom deal. If you are not, the anything is possible. But don't get hooked into something before you consider all the variables.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 81
    If tires are staggered at 17" in front and 18" in back, what happens if you get a flat? Which spare does E350 Sport come with. I read that the sport tires life span is around 12,000 - 15,000, which means have to replace every year? Is it possible to put all 17" or all 18"? Thanks,
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,888
    edited December 2011
    First of all, the SPORT sedan comes standard with 18" tires all around. It's the width of the tires and rims that differ, not the diameter. If you get the tire and wheel package, all you get is the new sports steering wheel and AMG wheels, which are 18" all around.

    Secondly, the spare is an 18" tire on it's own rim. All you do is replace the wheel and tire that is flat with the 18" spare (compact). Then, you go get the tire repaired or replaced.

    The tread life of the tires is all dependent upon the type of driving you do. I usually get about 16,000 miles on a set. I do a combination of highway and local driving. I do not accelerate quickly nor to I take corners at fast speed. I do not do alot of braking as I don't drive in traffic.

    It's the "fast" braking and "fast" acceleration and "fast" cornering that wear out tires before their normal life span. Front tires always wear out faster than rear tires because the front tires take more of a "beating" with cornering and braking.

    It's the rear tires that are a little wider than the front tires - not alot, just a little.

    Finally, when it comes time to replace the tires, I am going to look at the new Michelin tires with treads that last 28,000 to 35,000 miles. They make this longer-lasting tire for the Mercedes Benz E350 Sedan. Mercedes just chooses not to put them on their cars. The are a bit pricier than standard replacement tires, but not so much more that is definitely pays to get them. I believe Goodyear, Bridgestone and Michelin make the longer lasting tires. When I get a chance, I am going to check them out online - but I only have 1600 miles on my E350, so it will be quite a while before I will be looking for tires.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

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