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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Those New England prices are insane!! You need to come south into the DC area. There are plenty of 2-3 year old E-classes beign sold by dealers and private party sellers at a full $10-12k less than those prices you qouted.

    Example: 2000 E430 with 20k miles, loaded with Command/GPS navigation, built in phone, CD changer, showroom condition, balance of 7 year 100k warranty for $33,900 or best offer.

    A friend of mine picked up an 2001 "S"430, fully loaded with under 30k miles for $39,500 from a departing diplomat. The car had been sold and serviced by Euromotors in Bethesda and still smells new.

    Heck, if someone really wants to spend $42-45k on a used E class, there is even a 2003 E500 with 11k miles advertised for $49,900. I think that makes a lot more sense than paying $5-7k less for a 3 year older car.

    Send your buddies south!!
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    I had an opportunity to buy a white 2003 7k miles starmark e320 for 40K. This board didn't seem too impressed
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    Glad to try to help. I also had a '98 STS, but traded it in April 2000 (only 14,000 miles) for my E320.

    I love my MB and did not miss the lack of a compass on the RV mirror, the rear heated seats or the automatic stowing upwards of the steering wheel when the driver's door is opened. My main frustration with the STS was its 18 gallon fuel tank -- twice around the block with that V-8, and I needed gas!

    The MB has a 21+ gallon fuel tank, and I get 28 mpg at 85-90 mph on the highway. I think the handling of the MB is superior, and acceleration is similar. I upgraded my wheels and tires to 17", just what you'd get with an E430. You'll also have more than enough power and probably superior acceleration with the MB's V-8. And the tranny in the MB is smooth shifting and superb -- I love the ability to manually select gears by just bumping the shift knob left or right.

    Reliability has been okay -- just one or two minor electrical problems taken care of under warranty. I have Xenon headlights (terrific!!!) and COMAND, which I'm glad I bought -- it's come in handy many times and isn't all that difficult to use. The sound system in the STS is probably better, but the upgraded Bose in my 320 is fine, including the CD changer in the trunk.

    I have only 17,000 miles on the MB and I bought the MB extended warranty that will take me to 100,000 miles or 8 years. If you can find an E430 with that warranty, I'd definitely pay extra to get it. That probably means a Starmark car from a dealer, but you'll save in the long run.

    Bottom line -- if I had everything to do all over again, I'd probably NOT have bought the STS and would have opted for the MB. The facelift and improvements in the 2000 models and later are great.

    Hope this helps. If you'd like answers to specific questions, click on my user name and send me an e-mail.
  • I'm sure the changes for next year will not be that significant, but doesn anyone have any info on changes to the E in 2004 or know when they might be out? Also I am thinking of ordering (for the first time). Does anyone have any experience with ordering a Mercedes? Thanks.
  • clemboclembo Posts: 253

    Even though the E-Class was new last year there will some changes on the 2004's. If you order an E500 the transmission will be a 7-speed. Also the E320 may change to an E350 sometime during the model year with the addition of a larger more powerful engine.

    Either way the car is great, I have an E500. the premium sound system is great, I would be careful on your color selection as I ordered the Stone interior which is nice but the carpets are very light and show shoe scuffs and dirt very easily.

    If you don't care about getting a 2003, I'll bet that you can get a good deal now as the model year will close out soon. Find a dealer that provides good service (pick-up and loaner for service visits) and build a good relationship with them. Sometimes paying a couple of dollars more with a dealer that you trust is worth it.

    Good luck!
  • tusstuss Posts: 11
    do you really think that getting a 2004 model year e500 will be more reliable than a 2003 model year? I'm just wondering what changes the factory actually makes during the switchover--ie does the factory shut down for a month and the company retools everything, or do they just change the stickers/emblems on the car saying 2003 to 2004.
  • joeditjoedit Posts: 1
    I am a looking at buying a used E320 or E430 (2000 or 2001 model). 2 questions for those who have driven either of these vehicles- 1.Is it worth the extra $ to have the additional power of the 430 v. the 320? 2. I live in the northeast where we do get some bad weather in the winter- Is it worth getting a 4matic? I have never owned a MB before and am a complete novice when it comes to these types of vehicles. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  • joeadpjoeadp Posts: 68
    I live in the Northeast and avoid driving my Benz when it snows.

    Go with the 4matic if you can find one.
    The other option for snow is snow tires on the Benz. I did this on a prior Benz I owned and it made a huge difference.

    As for 320 verse 420 I only know that the 320 is quite powerful. In addition the MPG is great.

    Good luck
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    I own an E320 4Matic and live in NH. I put blizzak MZ01's on for winter driving. I don't have any trouble getting around in the winter.

    I have to admit though that even though I run snow tires, the car is not a tank in the snow. The car has the torque biased to the rear (60 or 65 percent) and it really makes a difference. My wifes Subaru AWD sedan (and new wagon) which has the torque biased primarily to the front are both superior snow vehicles.

    I would not buy one without some form of warrantee. Since you're talking used, I suppose that means the extra dollars for StarMark.

    As far as 430 vs 320. I never drove the 430. I can get myself in plenty of trouble with my paltry 229 HP. The money I save every months on gas I throw in a bin toward future maintenance costs.

  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    I will never again hold in contempt those that blast MB on the performance of the AM radio. My day care pickup started yesterday at the top of the 8th of the Redsox/Yankees game. AM radio station is about 30 miles away. I got about every 5th word. Being a redsox fan, I knew how it was going to go anyhow so I suppose I didn't even need to listen.

    If AM is important to you, you'll need to spend 5 bucks on an el-cheapo Radioshack 9v transistor radio to carry with you.

  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    At least that's what some of the MB ads were touting a year or two ago. I've got a 96 E320 with only the limited slip rear end, no ASR, no ESP, nada.. I do run Nokian or Michelin snows on all four wheels and have not a had a serious problem getting around in storms less than blizzard level. But I've been driving on snow (mostly rear drive cars) for about 3 centuries, so I guess I'm used to using a snowflake touch on the gas and brake pedals when it's snowing.
    I was coming back from Louisiana and Florida back in March and ended up in the middle of that fast moving snow storm that creamed southern Connecticut. I was on Rt. 95 west of New Haven for over 3 hours with SUMMER tires and the E was manageable the whole time. I think the weight plus the summer tires had lots of tread (they are Yokohamas that have a decent snow rating on Tire Rack) were the reasons it did OK.
    I have to believe that the '00 and newer ones with ESP and ASR have to be pretty decent on snow, even without AWD. Of course if your driveway is 1/4 mile long and at a 10 degree slope......???? Or if you have a job where you must absolutely make an attempt to get there....
    Keep in mind that the AWD system adds lots of parts to an already less than stellar reliabilty rating..
  • Not sure if anyone has seen it, but the JD Power ratings are out and Mercedes did a belly flop. They had almost twice as many problems as Lexus and Infinity, and substantially more than Buick, Mercury, and many others. They fell the most in the recent survey of any manufacturer, with the most problems in the SUV and E. I've got a 2000 E320 and am thinking of a 2004 E500, but I'm starting to wonder. . .
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,328
    I don't know about some of the earlier production E's but mine (took delivery end of 1/03) mechanically has been great. I'd recommend it highly.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Three centuries? Were your oxen equipped with Michelins or Nokian back then?
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    For those who are thinking of buying the "previous" style E-class... I have to say mine has been wonderful. I have about 22,000 miles and had only a few things done. Both lighted vanity mirror covers broke off and replaced under warranty and I had a oxygen sensor replaced when the engine light came on. Other than that, it's been just regular maintenance. i have ice cold air... and I mean COLD! I just replaced the tires so my handling is like new again.

    I did have a small accident recently and was amazed how well the car took the impact. A Ford Ranger Truck re-ended me pretty hard and did very little visible damage... just a bumper cap replacement, the absorbers behind the cover and a small nick on the trunk lid ($1,800 total). Because these thing will come up on any "investigation" on a car fax... I probably will keep it until the wheels fall off. I truly like the car and have had very little trouble with it. I'm a little afraid of replacing mine with a new model because of the new braking system, suspension, etc. on the 2003. Mercedes age so gracefully that replacing at every model change is not necessary.

    Just my .02, Mark
    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • weldone99weldone99 Posts: 26
    In regards of reports of problems with Mercedes, I've got a 2000 E320 with 34,000 miles and the only problem I have had is replacing a sensor for the ABS,esp,power steering control. Took 5 minutes to replace. Otherwise I have just change the oil and other routine maintenance. Still on the same tires with at least 10,000 left on them and brake linings have many more miles to go.
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    What is normal duration for pads? My '01 E-320 had to have front pads replaced after only 12k miles. My older '98 E-320 ran about 25k miles before they needed replacement. The rear pads seem to last much longer. I don't drive w/ my foot on the brakes except when I want to stop.
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    I'm becoming a bit disillusioned with my 2000 E320 after only 17,500 miles and a bit more than three years of ownership. I love the car, but I don't think reliability at this stage should be an issue with a $54,000 automobile.

    BTW, the Washington Post had an article today about the results of a J.D. Powers survey on the reliability of German, American and Japanese built cars. Mercedes-Benz placed a horrible 26th (after being No.1 a short while ago), and German cars were rated BELOW American built cars. BMW placed a high 5th after Lexus, Infinity, Honda and Porsche.

    This afternoon in 98 degree heat, the a/c fan quit (again). The compressor stays on, but the fan just stopped. Same thing happened last summer, and the dealer replaced "whatever" in the system. So I'm looking at still another trip to the dealer and leaving the car again. Even though it's under warranty and they provide a loaner, it's still very inconvenient.

    In April, the engine warning light came on. The dealer replaced a sensor and also found a faulty brake system sensor that had to be replaced.

    About 1 1/2 years ago my oil level sensor went bad and had to be replaced. That episode cost me lots of frustration and time.

    Is anyone else experiencing these types of problems?
  • barry45rpmbarry45rpm Posts: 98
    While my head tells me that nothing says you've arrived like the 3 pointed star on the hood, other things tug at me. I currently drive a 2002 Cadillac DeVille DHS...big, quiet, fast & powerfull, w/ no "chick appeal". The Lexus GS 8 cyl calls to me. (I can buy one $500 over cost thru a friend at the local dealer), but some say its just an overblown Toyota. The Q 45 becons, (its an awesome performer, very well equipped, and "out there" but no one seems to want to buy one (Will I get killed at trade in time?) I think I could be happy with an E 500, equipped at about 65 thou sticker, but at that price range why not a lesser equipped S class for the same or less dough. What do I do?
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    I have a suggestion. First read my Post # 5012 about recent MB reliability. Then compare the drivability and handling of the Lexus and Infinity with the "road feel" and "connected feeling" provided by German cars -- to me, the Japanese cars are far too light on the steering, don't provide much driver feedback, and are much like a large American car -- Caddy, Lincoln, Buick, etc.

    Finally, consider a 2003 BMW 5-Series sedan -- the main competitor to the E-Class, with BMW rated 5th overall in reliability by J.D. Powers. Right now, with a totally new and revamped 2004 5-Series due here in October, BMW is offering a $4,000 incentive to their dealers on all 2003 5-Series models. In fact I just signed on the dotted line for one at $2,000 BELOW invoice. With optional equipment (auto, Premium Pkg, Cold Wx Pkg, Xenons, and a Powered Rear Sunshade, Moon Roof, etc), it listed for $47,045 MSRP and $43,085 Invoice. What a deal on a VERY reliable German luxury car!

    BTW, I just spoke to my MB service advisor about the a/c fan on my 2000 E320 being inoperative in this 98 degree weather -- would you believe the next available appointment (including a loaner) is July 23? Or, I can have the car at the dealer's at 7:30 a.m. and wait. Or, I can have my wife follow me there and bring me home -- so I can get the car fixed before the weekend! But she'll of course have to drive me back to pick up the car!

    The BMW is looking better all the time.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508

    My 320 oxen were shod with Napolean All-Terrain Booties.. Tread life wasn't too good on those crushed sea shell paved roads...
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I haven't read this report, but somewhere on Edmunds, I've read that someone claims that JD Powers includes customer comments such as "not enough cup holders" as black marks against the delivered quality of a new car. Jeez, that means a lot of people could complain about the E's flimsy articulated cupholder and pile up black marks.
    If that is true, then the JD Powers survey is meaningless and totally distorted in terms of a measure of actual quality or delivered problems. Can anyone verify the above rumor/suspicion?
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I've now got 119K miles on my 96 E320 and it just had the 5th set of front pads installed (at 116K) along with the 3rd set of front rotors. That works out to 29K per pad set and 58K per rotor. The rears had the second set of pads installed at the same time which was the first work ever done on the rear brakes. The rear rotors are still fine.
    Last week at 118,500 it needed a head gasket and a water pump. I've never owned a car before that needed a head gasket, but then I've never owned a car beyond 100K before either. I am disappointed that it needed a gasket so soon; many folks have said that they were able to go 150-180K before it needed that work. Apparently it is just this engine, the straight six, that has this generic problem. The newer V6 320 apparently is OK on this point.
    What was kinda weird is that prior to the major engine work, the dashboard outside temp display had a problem in the second digit, so that if the temp was 87, the seven had a blank vertical row of LED dots right in the middle of the numeral. After I got the car back from my dealer, the missing column of LED's are gone...!!! The display is perfect again.. Go figure...
    As far as overall reliablity, I've never been stranded by this car as I have by others, but it is far from the most durable I've owned. I had a 1988 Mazda MX-6 that was flawless until I traded it at 99K miles. And it was better than the E in cornering and lane changes, etc.. The suspension on it was great at high speed too. But of course it didn't have the solid steel-block feel of the E and its regal ride..
    Is the high level of maintenance worth it? I don't know, but I sure wish I could've gotten another 20-30K before the gasket went. Cuz' it would have been traded for a 2001 or 2002 E next spring. If an '01 or '02 is going to be as maintenance intensive as the 96, I may move on to another brand, maybe BMW or Kia. (Just checking to see if you're paying attention!) Seriously, maybe BMW or Infiniti/Nissan or Accura. More or less in that order of preference.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    mbdriver: Congratulations on your decision to go with a 5-series. Nothing against the E-class, as I have owned Mercedes in the past, but I do think the quality has slipped to unacceptable levels. Today's WSJ also had a write up on the JD Powers results.

    barry45rpm: I second mbdriver's suggestion that you consider the 5-series. For the list price of the E500 you are considering ($65k), you are within $7k of a BMW M5. And $20k+ over a 530i. Regarding resale values, consider this: the local Mercedes dealer offered to buy my M5 outright for a $3,000 higher price than they gave my neighbor for his E55 on trade (SL55). The E55 had 4,000 fewer miles than my M5 and cost $3,000 more than my M5 new. If you are even remotely considering a Q45, I assure you that the actual cost of ownership of an M5 over 3-4 years wouldn't be much more; quite possibly less.
  • benzownerbenzowner Posts: 20
    My 1996 C-220 has a straight 4 cylinder and I’ve put 120,000 miles on the car and have had no problems. It has been trouble free just like all the Mercedes we have owned. And Mercedes has good engines they’re not just up to snuff on their electronics. But the Japanese will be building all there electronics In 2005
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
      I've had my car in three times to fix two failures with my climate control system. First time they lectured me on the fact that I don't understand how a computerized climate control system works. When they actually worked on it they found the fan speed regulator to be faulty. It failed again the next season (mine likes to quit in the winter). Wouldn't be surprised if it's the same issue as it looks like they have part with a known defect history.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Gosh, I missed that annoucement! Got a link to share?

    Which companies will be supplying the electronics and for which models?
  • benzownerbenzowner Posts: 20

    this is the only link i could find the command will be built buy nokia
  • mbdrivermbdriver Posts: 426
    Just got my E320 back this afternoon. Another local dealer I called at 7:30 this morning (HBL at Tysons Corner) gave me an immediate appointment and loaner car. They replaced almost everything associated with the climate control fan, including the fan motor, just to make sure. I was impressed with the entire service visit. They also did my B Service, even though the computer showed I had 2600 more miles.

    What a pleasure!
  • mbdriver: it sounds like you have experience with all three DC dealerships - Euro, ASC, and HBL.

    Do you have any insight or anecdotes (purchase, service, etc.) about each? We're looking to buy either a new e class next year after they offer the diesel and wanted your impression on the dealers.

    I saw the JDP survey and am wondering if we should look at the beemer as well.
This discussion has been closed.