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High Performance Luxury Sedans



  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87
    Still E55 or used 996TT. Way different cars, but close is price.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Seems to me that E39 M50's are going for more than Blue Book values and CERTAINLY more than Edmunds TMVs. Anyone have a take on this... any info that is more definitive? Thanks.
  • Thanks for everyone's posts. Finally ordered a 2004 E55 AMG, Obsidian Black with charcoal/charcoal, Navigation, Ventilated, Phone (not with VCS), Xenon.

    They estimated 5-10 months. While I was there I saw someone picking up their Mocha Designo edition E55 AMG. It was the nicest car I have ever seen. It looked black in the garage but when it was taken out into the sun you could see the hints of deep chocolate at certain angles.

    I have time to change any options so I'd like some input. (1) Is the tire pressure monitoring system only if I plan to use runflats? (2) Does anyone have experience with the ventilated seats and are they worth the money? (3) Most importantly, I'd love to hear anyone's experience with the different colors, i.e. Black vs. Opal Black vs. Obsidian vs. Jade Black. Kind of hard to tell which was the best...
  • Test drove one yesterday. Beautiful car. The only thing that shocked me was the size of the sport seats. I'm 6'1'' 200 pounds, medium build (i.e., not a big [non-permissible content removed]) and I found the side buttresses of the lower part of the seats EXTREMELY confining. Otherwise, the interior was amazing. Perfect luxury. This model had the 20" wheel upgrade (for $4500) and I would certainly not recommend that. However, hard to argue that the XKR convertible (2003 model, haven't seen the new one) is not one of the most beautiful exterior designs in the auto world...
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    Hmm, I am 6'3" and 215 lbs and I love the way that the my '04 XJR's seats fit me.

    Is it possible that you are just not used to a firm sport type seat with side/theigh bolsters? My XJR seats keep me "in the pocket" when I am driving my car hard.

    I agree that the 20" wheels are not necessary. In fact I think that they create an in increased ride harshness. They are also a very costly $$ add in price.
  • Not sure why it felt this way Don, each of my last two BMW's (330xi and M3) had sport seats with side/thigh bolsters and I loved them. Would only order sport seats. Oddlly, my brother-in-law who is 6'1" 240 said it felt fine!
  • goody4goody4 Posts: 55
    The tire pressure monitoring system will warn you of a significant and sudden decrease in a wheel's pressure, no matter which type of tire you have.

    Run-flats simply allow you to get to the nearest repair center.

    The system is worth it, with or without run-flat tires.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I ordered my 2004 E55 with the ventilated seats and love them. While you definitely do not feel the draft, your seat will stay cool even after long rides (45 minutes or longer).

    Keeps me fresh and alert. I wish they put these seats on airplanes.
  • My dealership has a 2004 CL55 available. I haven't had that much fun driving in quite a while--lots of power and easy to drive.

    I am considering trading my 2003 911 TT on it. I rarely drive the Porshe, and I think that I would get a lot more use out of the CL. If an E55 were available, I would be even more tempted because of the price.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87
    Am intrigued by your posting which seemed to say the CL55 was more fun to drive than your '03 996 TT. Can you be more specific? (If you do decide to trade the turbo, email me first!)
  • Chuck,

    I really meant that the CL is easier for me to drive because it has an automatic transmission. The Porshe has a 6-speed. I am usually worried about stalling. The Porshe does seem to handle better, and has great road feel. I enjoyed the smooth ride of the CL. I will see what they offer me on the Porshe.
  • cb44cb44 Posts: 87

    I thought that might be what you meant, with the auto trans.

    If you do move towards the Benz, I would be interested in what they would give you for your Porsche, as well as the particulars of your TT.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Check out the just-posted Follow-Up Test: 2003 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG. You can access it via the Helpful Links box on the left side of the page.

    "The Bottom Line: Pure perfect power. A scary-fast sedan that begs to be driven hard at even the hint of an open road."

    What do you think?
  • They have offered me $100K for the TT. It costs $120--MSRP was $130. It is speed yellow with an aero turbo package. The CL55 isn't discounted at all. My car has 1,700 miles and is 10 months old.

    If the weather is good tomorrow, I will drive it to work. I don't know if I can give it up yet.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I actually find the ride quite smooth, compared to other cars with similar performance.
  • does anyone know if all M5s purchased in the states have 50 state emissions certification?
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,365
    sorry, just got back.

    you are right , I drove the S89R, with the twinturbo. Yes, Volvo let us drive it hard repeatedly on the slalom course.
    It did have significant body roll, though not bad overall. Power was adequate, slight turbo lag, but not in league of the E55. But one thing was the great seats....very comfy, but supportive at the same time......Had the traction control and AWD.

    I'm still leaning towards a E55.

    the green side of me is curious: what is the mpg of the E55 ? Not worried about the price of fillup, just trying to balance my fleet, since already have 2 gas lions.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I normally don't read a person's profile, but after you said "2 other gas lions" I got curious. What an interesting and broad selection of cars you have.....!

  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I find the E55 having similar mileage comparible to the SL500.

    Your mileage may vary as the E55 is still quite new and I'm slowly running it in.
  • I got on the list for an E55 about a month ago, but after reading numerous road tests, and viewing road tests on the Speed Channel, I'm starting to wonder if the cornering, steering, and braking are a match for all that acceleration. I finally left the list, got my deposit back and decided to wait for the new M5. Anyone out there that can compare the handling and drivability of the E55, with the best that BMW has to offer? I know the AMG engine is great, but what about the rest of the package? I know that BMW has always had a reputation for building such great road handling cars, does this E55 match the BMW standard? I'd love to hear some comments. Randy
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    I'm with you on that issue. Presently I'm on a list for a RS-6 which should be here in a few weeks. Lately I have considered getting an E55 instead. Unfortunately I can't wait for the M5 nor am I willing to pay $20K over MRSP. I've owned BMW's, Audi's and Porsche's but never a MB. It seems impossible to test drive the E55. I'm a bit old fashioned and would rather let a test drive sell me a car rather than a set of spec's or a car review.
    As for the next M5, I would be surprised if the it didn't out handle if not outperform the E55. You can't make generalizations but my impression is few if any E55 owners drive as aggressively as M5 or RS-6 owners. At least they seem a lot less likely to bring their cars to the track. Sorry I don't mean to offend anybody it just the demographics between M5 and E55 owners seem quite different.
    Lastly the reviews have been all over the board on handling and ride as usual. If you haven't read them yet comparisons can be found in "Car and Driver", "Road and Track", and most recently in "Sportcar".
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    W211 E55
    + acceleration
    + interior finishing
    + exterior looks
    + smooth luxurious adjustable ride
    + ergonomics
    + safety
    - rear seat room
    - lack of traction

    + AWD traction means usable power
    + roomy rear seat
    + sharp handling
    + low profile
    - unsupportive front seats
    - very harsh ride
    - replacement model next year
    - dated interior
    - weak navigation
    - squeaks and rattles
    - high price
    - huge depreciation

    E60 M5
    + *should* handle very well
    + roomy rear seats
    - unattractive exterior design
    - unattractive interior design
    - poor ergonomics
    - one year away, at least
  • ksurg,...Is that what BMW does? Charge 20K over MSRP? The E55 is starting to handle better already. Or maybe M-B does the same thing? Maybe I should stick with more conventional cars like the 545i. Is this overcharge standard procedure? Please tell me how this works. Thanks, Randy
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    It was actually the BMW dealership that wanted upwards of $20K above MSRP for the new M5's when they arrive. The E55's can be had with haggling, a long wait, or luck for MSRP. I actually drove an E55 today. I already placed a lengthy post on but in summary I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong it's a great car. It just is... well boring to drive. Luxurious... yes. Fast in a straight line on dry pavement... yes. It's not, however,a race car tamed for the streets and imo doesn't like to be tossed around like the M5 or RS-6. I guess I'm not sophisticated enough yet to appreciate a MB.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    There should be lots of dealers willing to commit on the next generation M5 at MSRP.

    I have my name down for one but I'm still debating whether the handling can outshine its unattractive interior/exterior design. My deal was at MSRP.

    The RS6 is a fine car although personally I will never get one as I'm particularly sensitive to squeaks and rattles. Every single A6 I have been in (I have driven half a dozen as loaner cars when we service our A4 Avant) always makes some kind of rubbing, squeaking noise over bumps, and I can't imagine what the RS6 will be like, with the stiffer suspension.
  • Thanks guys for your input. ksurg, what you are saying with regards to the MB just rings true with everything I have ever heard about them. They don't seem truly committed, as BMW is, to putting the real deal out there on the road. So I'm going to check out the new M5 with my auto broker. I've known him for 30 years, and he knows dealerships inside out. But if they insist on an overcharge, I'll just go with the more comnventional 545i 6 speed, Sport Package. That can't be too shabby, right?
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    I drive a 2003 E55. This is my third E55 and my sixth AMG automobile. This is the finest all around vehicle I have ever owned.

    It sometimes does seem that the car is all about the engine, but that is because the engine is so amazing, it overwhelmes all other aspects of driving the vehicle. I feel that this is the most balanced AMG package out there. Handling, steering, braking, suspension all work well in harmony with the entire package.

    I can put the suspension and transmission in comfort mode and my wife falls asleep. I can turn off ESP and pretend I am 17 again. I can carry four people comfortably. I can keep ahead of anything on the road.

    Last week I was being annoyed by some guy in a TT (admittedly not much competition). I stepped on the gas for maybe 4-5 seconds. Once he disappeared in my rear view window, I glanced down to see that I was driving 140 mph. I really thought I was doing 90, officer. The car is just that capable, comfortable and competent.

    I had an SL55 a few months back. This car really is about the engine and nothing more. Not as comfortable or practical for sure, but also not as well rounded, not as balanced. I liked the E55 better than the SL55.

    Sure BMW used to make the best cars. But that was before AMG and that was before Chris Bangle.
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    I put $1000 down today to be on the M5 waiting list. I spoke with the fleet manager and he agreed to sell it at MSRP( but I had to pull some strings and I still have to see what actually happens when the vehicle arrives ). I also received a call that my RS-6 should be here in the next week or two. Now I need to decide what to do. My wife will kill me if I get both!
    Shoes, speaking of wives mine falls asleep in my Porsche even at 130mph. Proves the point that comfort is more than isolation from the road. Most people equivocate the sensation of floating in a big leather sofa with a comfortable and sophisticated ride. There's nothing wrong with that but it's not to my taste. I once offended a Lexus owner who couldn't accept my viewpoint by telling him his car was like a coffen...the quietness and comfort couldn't be appreciated until you're dead. Obviously that's not true but everyone wants something different from their cars. It gets complicated when some reviewer decides he(she) knows what's best. I trust my own backside for the most part.
  • I enjoyed your review of the E55 on the Audi website. I also see that you're in Los Gatos. I live in the Santa Cruz mountains, not far from Scotts Valley. Do you mind if I ask which dealer you're working with? I'd like to get on the list also, and also run this by my auto broker. What do you think anyway, of auto brokers? I'm not sure they can help on a specialty car like this. Sounds like you've had more experience than I, in dealing with these kinds of situations.

    TIA, Randy
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I agree with your comments about the E55. I also find the car much more fun than the SL.

    The 4 door format is certainly practical and I also enjoy the quieter cabin.

    Yes, those suspension tuning buttons do make a pretty big difference don't they!
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