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High Performance Luxury Sedans



  • I also have a hard time believing that demand is that strong for the M5. After all, how many people can afford one, and also be interested in all that performance and be willing to shift gears?
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    You can get the M5 and E55 for MSRP, but you'll have to wait a long time for it to arrive, then. It's the instant gratification that will cost you - those models they claim to have bought themselves very expensively somewhere. And don't forget that thos ethat discover they want an M5, E55 and to a lesser extent the XJR *really* want one. It's more of an entusiast crowd, and the cars are kept in short supply. Again, one of the things that rub me the wrong way about the E55 and the M5 is that they represent such a blatant marketing move at creating a very high profit margin product out of a platform that in its base form ain't all that luxury-market. Sure, it's backed up with ultra-competent technology, but I don't like the idea of the $35k price stretch. Jag will get there when they supercharge the S-type, and I'll be unmoved by that car. Once I am there with the E55, I might as well look at the S-class, and be persuaded by its smoothness and interior materials and execution.
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    I live in the SF Bay area and it looks to me that prices are falling on these cars. If you look at the first ten ads in the Chronicle under Mercedes, they are all AMG cars, and the laws of supply and demand will prevail.

    If you have any connections at a dealer, I'll bet you can get one of these cars for MSRP and not have to wait too long. Remember, the current run of E-55's ends this Spring and we will have to wait until the new E-class model reaches the US, so the next AMG E-class could be more than two years off and the price game will begin all over again.
  • Hello I am new here and just wanted to give my $.2 on the issue. I think that although the jaguar is not quite as powerful and maybe has a different ride feel, it's styling makes it more than better than the other two. Although I was considering taking an order for an M5, to wate the long for a 540 on steroids seems pointless to me (especially since I want an automatic any way). My friend has an e55 and he let me drive it, not only dose it not seem like a 70k car, I don't really like the e-class lines (although the 2002 ones look awesome). That leaves me with he Jag, but I dont really no if I want that either. I might just wate until the beamer m7 comes out (I already have a 740i sport, and would like to replace one of my other cars, why not kill two birds with one stone?), or maybe i will get the Jag afterall.
  • I think waiting's the key. Wait a bit while the Bay Area economy slows a bit, but not so long that the current run evaporates. I really won't pay more than MSRP, as much as I want/like these cars. Even when M3s were hot in '94-'95, I didn't have to pay above sticker for that. I'm willing to wait if that's what it takes. There's nothing wrong with my current ride. Now, if could only get a test drive out of one of these guys so I could decide....
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Particularly, if you already have an established relationship with a dealer (meaning you already bought a car there), you should never have to pay over MSRP, I feel. My wife drives a Merc, thus I did get an offer for an E55 at MSRP last summer. They were somewhat disappointed when I got the Jaguar XJR, but hey, I have no doubts it is the better product for my particular taste and needs. I am more happy with it as the weeks go by, even when taller people jokingly complain about the rear seat, they do so exclaiming the interior is out of thisd world, and that's exactly why I got it. The XJR is also *more* powerful than the E55 (just to set coolmatt right :-), even though I must say I don't care about that - each of these cars has way more power than any of us will really ever remotely find use for on the road, really. They have so much power that in most cases acceleration will be a case of who has the better traction control system. Your turn it off, and all of these babies will burn rubber. As I was telling a friend I was driving yesterday, the car has a *stupid* amount of power, really. I have actually switched to driving it all smooth instead of driving around like an adolescent shooting off every traffic light. Particularly since my wife hates all the neck-snapping action... and anyway, each and every one of these cars feels slow compared to my motorcycle off a traffic light. :-)
  • noriknorik Posts: 2
    I went between the E55 and M5 for a while and took delivery of a silver 2001 E55 on 12/26. What a Christmas present. Well, actually its the wife's car.

    I can compare it to a 1999 328i:
    The E55 is much, much smoother and quieter and waaay faster. The instrument cluster and driver convenience options are much better. I love the voice recognition system, the SOS and tele-aid features. The seats are very comfortable, but don't feel like a Buick's. The whole car just feels right.

    I can also compare it to a 1997 911 twin turbo
    (my baby):
    The E55 is not even close in handling and accelleration. But, I'd rather take the E55 on trips lasting several hours.

    So, in my humble opinion, it falls right in between.

    Was going to get an M5, but the dealer markup of $10K to $20K just didn't sit right with me. I paid MSRP for the E55. I am glad I went with Benz, it looks better and feels better. Just my .02c worth.
  • Which dealer did you choose for your E55? My experience in looking at M5s has been the same. All ask for $10-25k over msrp (though I don't know if they really get it). The one dealer I've visited re an E55 told me they were asking msrp +$10k.
  • noriknorik Posts: 2
    I have been to two local BMW dealers (Irvine BMW, Irvine Ca and Crevier BMW, Costa Mesa Ca.) both wanted $10K over if I ordered the car and waited the 6 to 12 months to get it. If a car came available earlier it was $15K to $20K over sticker. This really left me with a bad feeling towards those dealers and towards BMW as a corporation. They should prohibit their dealers from doins this, especially if one orders the car. I was a BMW guy, owned a 318is (new) and a 328i (new). No more BMW for me.

    The two Mercedes dealers I went to were Mercedes Benz of Laguna and Caliber Motors of Anaheim Hills. Both did not charge over MSRP if the was ordered through them, even if one became available earlier.

    I got mine from Caliber Motors.

  • Thanks for the info. I'm in Nor. Cal. and the one BMW dealer I've been to so far on this (BMW of SF) up here is asking similar markups for M5s (+$25k on a new one; they had a used one that they were asking "only" +$10k over MSRP!). I've only been to one MBZ dlr. in silicon valley (Autobahn Mtrs.) and they were asking +$20k for a USED '01 E55. Looks like even a first class ticket on the United Shuttle will pay for itself many times over. Dlrs. can't be forced into charging what the mfr. wants; that's called price fixing even tho in this case, it would result in lower prices to the consumer. Oh well... may be letting my fingers do the walking...
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ".. Dlrs. can't be forced into charging what the mfr. wants; that's called price fixing .." No, price fixing is illegal when different vendors agree on a price for their product offerings - not when a vendor puts limits to the distributors' ability to define their own pricing. For luxury brands, it is imperative that excessive profit mentality among dealers does not cheapen the brand, which to me is what there BMW and Mercedes dealers are doing: majorly compromising brand loyalty by upsetting customers that discover they have paid widely different prices for the same luxury car given the cut-throat, used-car-salesmanship mentality that rules some of their dealers. They should crack down on that. They are making very good margins on those cars as it is. Rolex would immediately take away distribution rights from a dealer that charges 30% more than their recommended price for their products. It is part of the luxury good buying experience that "bargain hunting" is suppressed. And I think that is the reason why personally I don't perceive BMW and MB to be true luxury automotive brands anymore, because their dealer network is hugely inconsistent and the luxury buying experience quite absent these days. I worry about Jaguar going the same route once they introduce their entry level X-type.
  • Hey all,
    I know it's a poor cousin, but does anyone where the C43 bd. went? Couldn't find it in Search.
  • mclausmclaus Posts: 3
    It's still there. It is in the Sedans Conference titles 'Mercedes C43 AMG' FOr some reason a board search on C43 does not fund it - I'm not sure how these new boards are working out yet.....

    Good luck

    - mclaus
  • freealfreeal Posts: 1
    The Car Family tests all vehicles and our favorite is the E55 at this level of price. The BMW is slightly faster with a stick shift, but the ride and handling are not significantly better. What makes the E55 better is the overall ability for the car to used in comfort on a daily basis. We are currently testing the supercharged Jaguar and find it fast it quite dated with a crowded interior and poor radio. The ride is nice, but the XJR is not as comfortable as the E55. Actually, if you want to have a lot of fun order the Subaru WRX is tested recently. Fairly fast, handles as well as any BMW alive, and is great in daily traffic.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The ride in the XJR is undeniably more comfortable, becase the car is much softer. The comfort of the cabin can be questioned by people who value efficient space utilization, since it does feel quite crowded. I for one like it like that - both the Merc and the Beemer look like coal-shafts inside, very teutonic, and that's not my personal taste. To each their own.
    And the Jag's stereo is actually quite phenomenal. Alpine is known for very good car stereo systems. You sure you are testing an up-to-date XJR?
  • Thanks, mclaus, I knew it was around here somewhere. In my searching I found a CL55 bd. I think I'll put my order in now. I figure in 2 yrs I'll either be able to afford one or won't ;-> Now I have some reading to do. Thanks.
  • I failed to look in the back. Does the E55 have seating for three back there (w/3pt belts for all three locations), or just two quasi-buckets? Also, has anyone listened to the Mark Levinson stereo in the new Lexus LS430 yet?
  • Super Sedan? I believe so...

    And for only $23,995? Hmm...
  • New 2001 M5's are available in the Chicago area. Two dealers had them on the floor One wanted $8-10K over MSRP. At the second dealer, I got the car for $3k over. They accept orders and said expect a 6-8 month wait. But, they want $5k over on an order. Also, I think they want the car to stay in the area for service revenue.

    I had an order for an E55 in the May 2000 but still would not have gotten it until late this fall. The Mercedes dealer was charging MSRP.
  • E55 has three seat belts and three headrest. the outer two seat have lap and shoulder belts and side air bags
  • Well, after finally sampling each, I decided to go the M5 route. It was a very close decision, what w/both being so close in performance, size, etc. The E55 had better rear seat room, fuel economy and trunk space, and was easier to drive with the automatic. However, the M5 was just such a blast to drive! The ride was also more supple. If you really like driving, I highly recommend this car. If your preference is to zip down the freeway and handle bumper to bumper traffic with the greatest of ease, the E55 may be the way to go, but my choice was to sacrifice a bit of convenience for increased driver involvement. Now, I'll just have to go out and find one at something less than an extortionate (?) price... (FYI, prices seem to be softer for E55s; you can get most dealers to give you MSRP if you're willing to order and wait for one. All M5s anywhere near the SF Bay Area, at least, seem to be spoken for into the next millennium and beyond.)
  • Can anyone mail pictures of their 2001 E55 AMG interior leather seats. I am interested in the black/black only. I would also like to know if there is a difference if you got the ventilated verses the normal seats. I saw an E55 AMG at the dealer the other day and the seats looked the same as a regular E430. No special leather. What gives? Thanks!

  • I am in contact with Mercedes right now to get pictures and try to resolve this matter. If you look at the E catalog or on the internet, the two-tone seats have a premium napa leather. The black/black seats look the same in the E55 AMG as in the regular E class. This should not be true as the napa AMG leather is supposed to be the same as in the S class giving the E55 better quality leather seats. Since my car is about to be built and I just saw a new 2001 silver E55 AMG with Black/Black and perforations throughout that looked the same as a regular E class, I wanted to get clarification on this point. These seats were not ventiliated.

  • 4426444264 Posts: 67
    This is my take on this Gray, I believe the standard E55 seats (blk/blk, blk/white, blk/red) do not come with napa leather.

    The designo and expresso special order series however, are different. If you are looking at the beige or green two tone seats, they are the designo and expresso series with the napa seats.

    Hope this helps.
  • I am close to chosing a car to buy. Either the BMW 540ia or the E55 AMG. I know they are different animals but performance is very close.
    The price is also a big difference.
    I have 2 questions.
    1. Did anyone test drive the 540ia and compared it to the E55
    2. Is everyone paying MSRP for the car ?

    I drove both cars and the BMW was nice. The pickup was very quick. I felt the E55 was a little slow to take off.

    I would like to get the M5 but the wait is long and my wife can't drive a manual.

  • 4426444264 Posts: 67
    I seriously considered both cars and picked the E55 for the following reasons:

    1. E55 is significantly faster (you probably had the car in the winter mode starting in 2nd gear).

    2. E55 as a limited production car holds its value much better than the mass produced 540iA.

    3. E55 has far more leg room in the back, important in my case, also a bigger trunk.

    4. I felt that the E55 corners and brakes much better than the 540iA, although it tends to follow road imperfection more.

    5. I worry about all the small problems with BMWs, door seal squeaks, door rattles, etc.

    6. Believe it or not, the E55 has better gas mileage than the 540iA.

    7. To be fair, I prefer the interior layout of the 540iA more than the E55.

    Overall, I think the E55 is a more fun car and a better buy, if you consider the long term cost of ownership.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The E55 is *much* faster than the 540. Mind you, they're both fast car, but cars like the E55 are insanely fast. Effortless performance can be quite deceiving, a torquey engine like the E55's will gradually catapult you format, instead of the lagged acceleration that comes with peakier engine characteristics (not that the 540 is peaky, though).

    They are very different cars, and thus one must wonder what you're looking for. The fact you want automatic indicates you want everyday practicality. Everybody that owns the E55 says the car combines amazing everyday practicality (bar the somewhat harsher ride) with super-sportcar performance.

    If you can consider the 2, you probably should pick the E55, I think. really, it is *much* faster than the normal 540.

  • Thanks everyone for the reply back. I really want the E55 AMG and I hope I can convince my wife. Can I ask if everyone paid MSRP for it ?

    I will hopefully make a decision by this weekend and I will post on the good or bad news.

  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Mind you, both are excellent cars, but one will bring huge smiles to your face every once in a while, whereas the other will be a bit more dull (the 540). Get your wife with the star argument - as a rule, women are more partial to the Mercedes brand. I know my wife is. :-)

    Most people around here seem to have paid MSRP, but that also often means a wait. Although the situation might have changed a little as of the last 2 months (for the better).
  • 4426444264 Posts: 67
    I got mine at MSRP. Pablo has a point, I find it easier to convince my wife the E55 than the 540i or the Audi!

    Go for the E55!
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