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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • hjbornhjborn Posts: 20
    What's happened? I haven't checked this forum for a few days, and I find that no one has left a message since March. Are we in a different place now?
  • erikerik Posts: 21
    Hi, Im available to chat, 36yo male....oh, wrong forum. I drive a 2002 Jetta WGN TDI. It was the biggest auto I could buy with a diesel engine. It is a great car but way too small. I am pysched about the 320 CDI, Passat TDI, and Jeep Liberty TDI. We will probably go with the Passat because, I cant justify paying 50,000 for a car, unless we look at the European delivery. Of course, we would keep it for twenty years. VW shorted us by only offering the 8 vavle engine, not the sweet 16v engine. I think the CDI is the better engine of the two. The Liberty has a commonrail engine by VM motors. Italian. The WSJ did a story about the E320 CDI today. The Washington Post did a story on the Eclass a few weeks ago. Both were favorable. See you at the pumps, not
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It appears the E320CDI is priced slightly higher than the E320 gas, unlike in previous years (98/99) where it was about $2,000 less than the gas model. Interestinly, in England the CDI is priced the equivalent of $1,500 less than the gas, comparably equiped.

    According to my dealer, he believes MB is slightly inflating the price of the CDI in the US because of all of the favorable press and pent up demand. Based on that strategy (i.e. milking), they can keep it. Just kidding, I still think it's a great car, but I have all but decided the new Acura TL - with it's exceptional navigation system, bluetooth hands free phone system, 6 speed manual transmission and Acura reputation for quality and reliability - is my next sedan. I wish it was RWD, but it still handles as good as the E-class, just not the 5 series. And I can sock the savings in price into my daughters 529 account.

    The deal is not done, but that's my heavy leaning at this point. But I still don't think anybody can go wrong with an E320 CDI, even if it is a few thousand more in the U.S. than it should be based upon European pricing. And who knows, perhaps when I actually drive one in a week or two, I'll change my tune.
  • mb2000mb2000 Posts: 1
    I own 2000 E320 with 60K miles on it. Every 3K miles, the oil level message comes on and indicates that 1.5 qts engine oil is needed.

    My question is that is this a normal condition? MB dealer tells me that this is normal and expect every 1000 miles about .5 qt oil consumption.
  • pho1pho1 Posts: 3
    Can't agree more. I'm debating the same two choices. I'm very intrigued with the CDI after experiencing diesel MBs on business trips to Europe. It took me a while to realize that the car services were using diesel-, not gas-powered, E's. Problem is that my local MB dealer has one CDI coming in later this month and it's already sold. They will not have another coming in late May/June so effectively there is no way to test drive one. The Acura TL seems like an acceptable compromise, esp. given the price difference and (unfortunately these days) quality difference between the builds. The more I read the more I'm told that I'm supposed to want RWD, but I'm not an aggressive driver so unlikely to actually come to that conclusion myself. Glad to hear that you will be able to test the CDI in a few weeks. Pls post your impressions and let us know what you finally decide.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Its not bad enough that you will be able to get them to do anything about it. It's better than I used to get on my 190e 2.6 with would have been 2 quarts / 3K miles
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    For what it's worth, if you are seriously considering a CDI, I would also suggest going for European Delivery. Although I was dissapointed that the base price on the CDI is a bit higher than expected, I was pleasantly surprised to get confirmation that the car is available through ED for a 7% discount on full MSRP. Given that the car is already in high demand, that represents a "real" discount to what most will be selling for stateside. And I was told if I ordered in April, I could pick the car up in mid-late July, built exactly to my specifications.

    As far as test driving one, my local dealer has promised a short test drive of one they have pre-sold, but will not be picked up for a week after delivery to the dealership later this month. I have driven the 1999 E300 TD and expect the E320 CDI to be a healthy step up in power, but not dramatically different in handling. Meaning that it is nice, quiet, solid and stable, but no sport sedan.

    As for RWD vs. FWD, a test drive of the Acura TL 6-speed convinced me that Acura has done a very good job of extracting maximum balance and handling out of their new TL FWD platform. The 6-speed has a stiffer suspension than the automatic (which I did not drive). I also considered the G35 6-speed as well, but it was not nearly as refined and - in my opinion - aesthetically attractive as the Acura. The 330i is slightly too small and the 530i is slightly too ugly. The AWD A4 3.0 is way too heavy and sluggish. So, albeit I might prefer RWD on paper, nothing so far wets my whistle as well as the TL.

    P.S. The TL would require me to make the FWD compromise. However, the E320 CDI requires me to make automatic transmission, no sports suspension, very heavy car compromises. Nothing is perfect, although an E400 CDI on an E55 chassis with a short throw 6 speed would come close!
  • is the 'only; advantage of a diesel engine the mileage/gallon? or is it faster, more reliable, etc.?
  • erikerik Posts: 21
    Except for the 0 to 60 time (7.8 sec. vs 6.8), a diesel outperforms the gas engine counterpart in several ways. Quieter except at idle. Faster 30 to 50 and 50 to 70 times( i.e. passing power). Longer engine life and maintenance. Less carbon dioxide emissions. Better gas mileage. Better torque. Diesel power also attracts hotties more than the gas counterpart.
  • pho1pho1 Posts: 3
    Habitat1 - this is getting scary. I had the same assessments of the G35, 330i, 530i (I really tried to like the Bangle look, but just can't), and A4. I was also concerned about the Audi's reliability. Maybe I should just wait to see what you settle on since we've been moving in parallel universes up to now. I noticed you gave no thought to the C320 - reason other than interior size? Thanks for the tip on European delivery; I'll look into it.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    Diesel has better gas milage and torque. But there are disadvantages of Diesel, parts are costly. Modern diesel engine is very complex so realibity is still unproven. Unlike the simplicity of the old diesel engine.

    Most important of all, Diesel has big problem with pollution. Check out this article. id=7816&page_number=1
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    "Except for the 0-60 time, diesel ourperforms gas.." If I'm not mistaken, you have the 0-60 times reversed and the E320 CDI is actually quicker than the E320 gas. According to one road test I read, the E320 CDI, at 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, is very close to the 1997 E420 (6.7) and my 1995 Maxima 5-speed (6.6). For a nearly 2 ton family sedan that gets over 35 mpg, that's pretty impressive performance.


    I haven't considered the C-class lately, although I did consider the C32 a couple of years ago, but decided to keep my Maxima and get a Honda S2000 instead. As for the current C-class, I am under the impression that it's no bigger than the 3 series and, given that size choice, the 330i w/ performance package would be my choice. But I do think the C-class is a nice looking alternative for someone who prefers Mercedes luxury over BMW sport.


    I haven't yet read the entire article you posted, but my immediate reaction to the claim that diesels are high pollutants is that it's more politics than science. Am I the only one that finds it strange that California and other states are making it difficult to obtain an E320 CDI that gets 35-40+ mpg while Governor Arnold drives around in a Hummer that gets 9 mpg. And not only didn't he have to pay a gas guzzler tax, but it also qualified for a 100% tax write off??? I'm a Republican, but it makes even me wonder what's in the water out there?
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    I strongly believe in modern diesel engine. Great power and excellent gas milage. That article mentions high cost associated with reducing NOx gas. That's the reason other manufacturers are not going to introduce diesel in the US.
  • Unless congress loosens the scheduled emissions standards for diesel cars the (Mercedes) diesels being sold this year will not pass the new emission standards in CA & NY in 2 years.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I need to research this issue more before I make any mis-statements, but I thought the problem in the US wasn't the diesel engines made by Mercedes and others, but the "dirty diesel" high sulfer fuel that continues to be sold in the US. A friend who worked as a petroleum industry lobbyist until a few years ago mentioned that all of the US petroleum companies lobbied heavily to delay the US adoption of "clean diesel" standards that have been in place in Europe for many years.

    I'm buying a TL instead of an E320 CDI for other reasons. But I would like to see the record set straight as to whether the issue is the vehicles or the antiquated fuel that we sell here in the US.

    I also find it interesting (and disturbing) that the absolute worst offender of emissions - as far as my nose and eyes can tell - here in the Nation's Capital are the Metro Buses. Drive behind one of those for a few blocks and you need to go to a car wash. I guess it goes hand in hand with lead contamination in the public water.
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    Today fuel is the emmision problem. I understand legislation is in place for 2006 to further clean up diesel fuel.
  • nickjcnickjc Posts: 37
    I had occasion to drive an '04 E500 w/4500 miles (the orig. buyer traded vehicle when tranny needed replacement, which was done), and the dealer is asking $53,450. Orig. sticker was 59k. Does this seem fair?

    I also verified that 2005 models will no longer include scheduled maintenance!! Do you think other manufacturers will follow suit? Amazing.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I also heard this is being dropped by Mercedes.

    As best I can tell, "scheduled maintenance" costs them relatively little to provide - with 10,000+ mile oil change intervals and the like. On the other hand, with Mercedes having a bad rap for being expensive to maintain, I would have thought the perceived value to the consumer would have been high.

    The Japanese premium brands have never offered free maintenance, but they don't have the bad rap of Mercedes to overcome. Let's see what BMW does for 2005.
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,366
    Doesn't seem like price is too bad, as long as the car has no other issues and is fully warranted. I'd consider $52k + Starmark. What do you think?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I'd think twice about buying a car with early major replacements like a transmission.

    I am only slightly biased here, but feel that these cars are overpriced to start with and have the same durability and reliablity as a Chevy. Case in point.

    I'd ask for a detailed service history on the car before buying it.

    How did the transmissin fail? What, if anything, did the failure do to other components in the system.

    Having the car starmarked only frees you of paying for the hassles and loss of use a 'bad apple' like this might cause you. Sure you got the money, but do you have the time?

    Perhaps the owner got rid of this car for very, very good reasons.

    And the salesman is going to tell you the truth. Ask for the owner's name and call him or her if you can.
  • pho1pho1 Posts: 3
    I had the chance to test the E320 CDI today. Although its torque was apparent off the line, the turbo-lag was rather noticeable and a bit disappointing. Also, although it was relatively quiet inside the cabin, the typical diesel chatter was still discernable when standing in front of the hood (not that that is the usual position for a driver!). While the bullet-proof nature of a diesel is appealing, I doubt that I will be driving 20K-30K miles per year to really take advantage of it, though if I did I might go for it. So like Habitat1, I will be going back to look at the TL, as well as the BMW-3. Also found the "floaty" feeling on the regular (not Sport) suspension more isolating from the road than the bimmer.
  • neicey59neicey59 Posts: 47
    How can they drop scheduled maintenance? They are #79 on the CONSUMER REPORT for quality, and they want to drop free scheduled maintenance....not smart at all.

    If they drop scheduled maintenance - I've purchased my last MB.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    not be the only one..! I just took my 96 in to see about trading up to a 2001 and the trade-in value was an insult, especially after being told when I bought it, how well MB holds their value... And all this after spending nearly $4000 in the last 13 months on repairs..!
    Needless to say, I'm looking at other makes, many of which have a far better long term repair reputation.
  • kevinc5kevinc5 Posts: 204
    I have a 2000 E320 with about 80K trouble free miles. However, today I was descending a steep hill in 3d gear. At the bottom I shifted into D while moving. The transmission went to neutral. I shifted up and down to no effect. Coasted to the curb, stopped, then shifted to D. All was well.
    Three months and 10K ago the transmission would not upshift from 3d until I stopped the car, turned it off and started again.
    Is the bad transmission genie peeking out of the bottle?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    A friend of mine with a 1997 E420 experienced the same genie at about 75k miles. Fortunately, he had a 7/100 extended warranty and they did a complete transmission replacement.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I finally got past that ugly 2006 Pontiac Solstice on the cover of the 3-May-2004 AutoWeek to see that they had a bit on the E320 CDI, with a blurb saying, "New Age Diesel Proves Better Than Gas. And Faster, Too." Forgetting the construction of that last sentence, I turned to page 15 and was disappointed to see that they only had a one page "Introduction" instead of a full test drive. :-( That said, according to the article, the E320 CDI will do 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, which is 0.3 seconds faster that the gas fueled E320, and, confirming my impression from my ride in a Paris taxi E320 CDI, it is nearly as quick as my 530i 5-Speed. All this and 40 mpg too. I'm impressed.

    Best Regards,
  • greasykid1greasykid1 Posts: 336
    Have 2001 E320 w/Bose. AM reception is terrible. Dealer tried substitution of 2 new units. All just as bad.

    Has anyone been able to solve this problem?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    But the CDI isn't quite the class leading handler that your 530i sport is.

    I did get a brief test ride in a E320 CDI being prepped for delivery to another buyer. Very nice all around, but I didn't find myself that much more impressed with it that I was back in 1999 by the then E300 TD. Even though the E320 CDI is well ahead of the E300 TD in terms of acceleration, so is the rest of the field that forms the basis of comparison, I guess.

    What was a little shocking was the one I was given the test ride in stickered out at $58,300 +/- (premium package, premium leather, xenons, etc.). And this particlular dealer, known for discounting more than average, has indicated full MSRP for CDIs for at least the remainder of 2004 and into early 2005.

    Putting this in perspective, the 1999 E320 TD that I almost bought was priced out at $42,400. The 2003 530i sport 5-speed I contemplated through European Delivery last year would have gone for under $43k very well equiped. Even the MB delaer had a brand new 2004 E320 Wagon on their showroom floor discounted to $49,900.

    The E320 CDI is a great car, for sure, but pushing $60k (and no included maintenance, not that that's a big deal) is hardly a bargain. I'm sure it will do well among the diesel enthusiasts, but it would have had to come in under $50k to get me to consider converting. And it's performance advantage over the gas model is probably temporary - the new 3.5 liter V6 is likely to produce performance comparable to the old E430.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Agreed on the handling, especially considering my 530i had the SP as well.

    Regarding the E320 CDI, my comments were intended to be specifically directed to the engine and its capabilities, maybe I missed the mark by a bit. I have always felt that the conventional wisdom that "diesels won't sell here" was a bit naive, and that if cars with engines like the 3.2 CDI were available in large numbers and varieties, they'd sell.

    Best Regards,
  • ronvronv Posts: 1
    Hello everyone! I really like this site. It has been very informative and has helped me immensely in making my decision for my next auto lease. So, I thought what better way to give back than to share with you most of my research that has led me to my decision. I will attempt at being thorough without being too detailed. My situation is as follows. I am a 39-year old single male living in southern California's L.A. Metro. I own and run a successful technology company for almost 19 years now.

    I owned a Black '82 Mazda RX-7 GSL during most of my twenties (22 to 29). Lots of fun. Awesome Japanese sports car.

    As I was reaching 30, I wanted to have an auto that I can take on road trips with my many friends. I decided on a '92 Dodge Grand Caravan LE (29 to 36). I was very happy with this auto and finally sold it to my corporation. I would get another caravan except that it was not "cool" to own one (soccer mom stigma).

    The "cool" mode of transportation was fast becoming SUVs and I wanted one with lots of luxury but not one that looked like a soccer mom's wagon. I decided to lease a '01 Infiniti QX4 (36 to 39). Excellent SUV. Very safe (I was involved in a very bad car accident and not even it's windshield was cracked). My lease will be up at the end of this May '04. To my disappointment, Infiniti no longer makes a mid size SUV that looks like a truck, but its unibody constructed.

    So, off to research I went. My budget is a maximum price of $70K or less and that I like it to be a luxury auto. Here was the list that I went on. Three American Luxury automakers (Cadillac, Lincoln, & Chrysler). Three Japanese Luxury automakers (Lexus, Infiniti, & Acura). And, four German Luxury automakers (Mercedes, BMW, Audi, & Porsche). After doing some research, I noticed that they don't make as inefficient an 8-cylinders as they use to (a somewhat comparable gas mileage). I like the power that they have, when you need it. My philosophy is that, if in your average usage of your auto, you only need 50% or less work out of your engine, then you know that you can get at least twice as much work out of your engine when you need it. So, I decided to graduate to 8-cylinders at this point in my life.

    At first I looked into only SUVs. I was pretty much dead set on Porsche Cayenne. But after reading so many bad reviews on Edmunds and following my philosophy of never buying an auto model on its first year or on its last year, I ruled out this beauty of a monster. Acura and Swedish automakers (I didn't mention them) were immediately ruled out for not having any 8-cylinder engines.

    American automakers are starting to get better at competing with the imports, however, it is still not a proven fact that they are consistently better. So, I eliminated them for this year and maybe will reconsider them again in 2 or 3 years for my next vehicle lease. Audi was also eliminated, because, similar to American automakers, they had a very bad reputation for a long time and in my circle of colleagues, they have not yet been accepted. I broadened my options by including non-SUVs such as sedans and coupes as well as midsize SUVs. However, roadsters are too impractical to be an only car for a CEO of a technology company. And, you know my opinion on wagons. So, as you can see, my list is now narrowed to Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Infiniti.

    Mercedes (M, CLK, & E), BMW (X5 & 5), Lexus (RX, GX, GS, & LS), and Infiniti (FX, M, & Q) were my choices. Mercedes M sucks from what I hear from everyone including Consumer Reports. Lexus RX looks like a wagon. Lexus GX is on a truck bed and is not a unibody. So, as far as SUVs, only BMW X5 & Infiniti FX were qualified and were soon both eliminated because I didn't like the look inside nor how they drove. Lexus GS & Infiniti M are both last year's model and thus poor residuals on leases and against my philosophy as well. Another philosophy of mine is that if you're going to consider a Coupe, then it should be a convertible. And, if you're going to consider a convertible, then it should be a hardtop. This rules out the CLK. Now, we're down to E-class, 5-series, LS, and Q.

    LS drove like a boat. Super comfortable, but didn't feel like I was driving it. It felt like I was watching a movie about the road.

    5-Series drove great, but the inside didn't look like a $60-70K auto.

    Q was great, but compared to the E-class, it came in second place.

    I loved just about everything during my many test drives of the E-class.

    So, finally, the E-class has become my choice. I want an E500 (E55AMG is too overpriced for my budget) with 326-Premium Package and 422-Appearence Package. And, a plus would be 325-Rear Seat Package. Keyless Go, Parktronic, and Tire-Pressure Monitoring System would be great too. I have yet to find one in all of USA that has all of these, but have found many with the first two packages.

    The lowest lease quote that I've gotten so far (around 20 benz dealers in L.A. metro) has been around $750 39mos 12K/yr. Is this a good deal? What do you guys think about the other options that I have mentioned? What do you folks think about a 24mos. lease? I'm choosing either a black/charcoal or one of the metallic/ash or charcoal. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated! What would insurance run for something like this? I have to decide and sign a lease by the end of May '04, since I'm giving up my '01 Infiniti QX4 on June 1st '04. Thank you, in advance, for any and all inputs!!!
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