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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    If you weren't so time contrained, I would have suggested going the European Delivery route and getting exactly what you want. A colleague of mine is doing that for the 2005 E320 CDI and saving $4,000 to boot.

    As far as black goes, since you are only leasing the car for 24-36 months, I guess it's strictly your preference. But another friend of mine has a flat black 1997 E420 that started looking ratty at about 2-3 years. He is preety meticulous about keeping the car clean, but the flat black showed every swirl mark, paint chip, etc. The finish on my 1995 Maxima with 152k miles looks better. The mettalic blacks fare a little better, but still require a significant amount of effort to keep looking good. If I were to go with an E class, something other than black (or white) would be my choice.

    Good luck.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Not to get into a lease vs. buy contest here in the E-Class discussion, however, I too am the voice of experience having bought and leased many cars over a period of many years (nearing 4 decades). For each and every one of your (biased?) points, I can easily come up with a counter argument.

    FWIW, the accounting firm for my company clearly feels that leasing is far more cost advantageous versus buying.

    Best Regards,
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    I can do financial analysis in my sleep, but there is no absolute objective answer to this analysis and for you to suggest buying is always better than leasing is inaccurate, at best.

    For the record, I have only bought my cars, whether titled in my name for personal use or in my company's name for business use and depreciation. However, I typically buy cars with the intention of keeping them for 7+ years after which residuals and depreciation are pretty much exhausted.

    If I were to desire to have a new car every 36 months and not want to have excess depreciation risk and no-brainer tax returns and deductions, I'd likely consider leasing. And, frankly, I probably should have done so with my 2 1/2 year old Honda S2000 that I am now looking at trading. I paid $34.2k cash (including taxes)for it in November 2001. I can now go through the pain of trying to sell it privately at about $24.5k or trading it for $22k on an Acura TL or E320 CDI (same dealer for either). So it will have cost me roughly between 10k-12k for 30 months and 18,000 miles. Had I leased it for 30 months, the total cost would have been about $12k over that time. However, I would have had $34.2k still sitting in a brokerage account. What's that worth? Between -$10k and +$20k depending upon what portfolio it was in. Oh, and on the depreciation front, I may have to recapture a bit at ordinary tax rates because of the accelerated 25% allowed in 2001 after 9-11. Had I simply writted off the lease payments, no recapture would be required and, although it would have been nearly a wash, the process would have been simpler.

    Professionals and companies that like nice steady cash flows, want/offer new company cars every 3 years, don't want to sell privately or negotiate trades, etc. are well served by leasing. And the Mercedes/Acura dealer I would either buy or lease from is very reasonable in accepting "normal" wear and tear at turn in time. Park the car in the middle of your country club's driving range, and you'll have a problem. But you wouldn't do that with a car you just bought for $60k either.
  • wolfxwolfx Posts: 72
    I dont see how a diesel can remain a viable option when the hybrid is quickly becoming mainstream with Lexus preparing a "sporty" hybrid engine for November '04 release. Specifically, I'm waiting anxiously for the new Lexus RX Hybrid that's alleged to have quicker acceleration than its gas counterpart while keeping great fuel efficiency in the 30-40mpg ballpark.

    If the hybrid has been "perfected" to where reliability is not an issue (and considering this is coming from Lexus, highly doubt problems) while performance is no longer a weakness, wouldnt consumers flock to the hybrid because regular gas is easily available versus diesel fuel?

    I'm surprised MB doesnt have a hybrid offering announced.

    I was looking forward to the CDI until I read early adopter reviews that ultimately, the CDI is experiencing some turbo lag, and despite what journalists are reporting, owners still notice a louder than normal noise from the engine during normal commutes as well as during morning idle. Really, the only reason to get the CDI is if one honestly wants to save on fuel and help the environment, otherwise the car itself does not sound like a compelling alternative for those used to the smoother performance of the regular gas engine - add to that the $1500 premium US dealers are charging and it makes sense they'll only send over a limited number.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    The diesel does not lose charge going up a long hill. The diesel can tow. The diesel is very durable and simple. The diesel will run on 100% renewable fuel. The diesel can also be made into a hybrid.

    Gasoline is already sliding off the map in some countries.

    The reviews I have read indicate that it is extremely hard to tell the vehicle is a diesel, and even then only at idle. My father test drove the new Passat diesel last week, and said he could not tell it was a diesel, and it felt as fast as his 1.8t.
  • wolfxwolfx Posts: 72
    Great Points. This is a good time to be a consumer as car companies are really making a concerted effort to offer us choices in alternative fuels.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I could hear the diesel "ping" standing immediately outside the car, but not sitting inside of it. And the brief test "ride" I got did not show any significant turbo lag. It may not be an E55, but I would be hard pressed to get even the E500 over the CDI based upon the strong 45-70 mph acceleration it showed on the highway. My business associate managed just under 40mpg on her first long highway trip (about 5 mpg more than her former 1998 E300 TD).

    And I agree with dudleyr, the 320 CDI is relatively simply, proven technology that is extremely durable. If you want a vehicle that is a near sure bet to go 250k miles, the E320 CDI would probably top my list. The hybrids sound very interesting, but I'd give them a little development time to work the bugs out.
  • plinaplina Posts: 57
    I am really disappointed that I cannot buy the E320 TDI in New York. I will be looking soon for my retirement car and looking at gas prices in NYC 2.29 for premium is ridiculous.
    The advantages of the Diesel to me are no tune ups and you can put a million miles on a diesel which you cannot do in a gas car. I have also read that with the Hybrid the battery life of the car is about 6 to 7 years so you will have to make a big investment around that time so to me a Hybrid is a better lease deal.
    I hope that MB will be able to get this car certified in NY soon.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    It's the fuel producers, not MB's issue. NY is right to say no to the crap that they pass off as diesel fuel in the U.S.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    right. Thank your US petrolium companies for successfully lobbying for the delay in the US adoption of low sulfer requirements that have been in place since in Europe the 1990's.

    Mercedes is to be credited for making a TDI that runs on the US "crap", but will run even better when the low sulpher diesel makes it's way to our pumps.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    As an FYI to E-Class owners, a recall was reported in this week's Automotive News.

    Mercedes is recalling 680,000 cars worldwide, including E-Class sedans built after March 2002 and wagons made after March 2003, because the electronic braking system has failed on some E-Class and SL-Class cars.

    The fix requires new software and should take about an hour, although some cars may need their hardware repaired.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421 takes the E320 CDI on a First Drive - read the report using the Helpful Links box on the left side of the page.

    Let us know what you think!
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    but it looks like those of us in Massachusetts (and Maine & NY & Vermont) will have to sneak into New Hampshire or Connecticut to buy one around midnite..!
  • erikerik Posts: 21
    Stennick should check her facts before printing. ULSD is defined by the govt as 500ppm (?or 350ppm) However, in 2006, diesel fuel will have to be <50ppm. That is really ultra low sulfur diesel. In california, diesel fuel is already <50ppm. In Europe, they are looking at 10 to 15 ppm. The low sulfur helps emissions and the CDI and TDI engines can pass 2006 emission laws.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    If diesel fuel in California is already <50ppm, why is the CDI prohibited in California (or is it? - I know there are 5 states that can't sell it and thought California was one)?
  • vicvvicv Posts: 41
    If you weren't so time contrained, I would have suggested going the European Delivery route and getting exactly what you want. A colleague of mine is doing that for the 2005 E320 CDI and saving $4,000 to boot.

    A word of warning. I tried to take European delivery of an 04 E last year. My dealer checked my preferred date of deliver, 6 Oct 03, with MBUSA and they said they could support it. My wife and I made airline reservations, planned our road trip from Munich to Amsterdam, et al. But when push came to shove, MB suddenly decided they couldn't have the car available until 16 Oct. We ordered the car for US delivery and cancelled our reservations - with some cost. We picked the car up on 24 Oct . . . and that's when I found out the build date was 11 Sep 03 and it had sat in a lot over there for weeks. I contacted MBUSA and was told they make no promises. It's too bad that such a fine car is represented by such inferior business practices. The car is really nice and she's satisfied, but MB's arrogance is a major detractor. My wife and I buy a new car every two years. I'll be replacing my Corvette with another in 06; she her E in 08. We're hoping BMW will soften and tweak the 5-series by then and, if they do, pick one up in Munich. MBUSA, if you're reading this, you can probably figure out who I am - but I doubt you really care.

    BTW, you can get what you want by ordering from any manufacturer for US delivery. We did and are satisfied with that part of the experience.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    Well I stopped by my local merceds dealer and drove the new E320 CDI. I have to tell you this thing is pretty impressive. I have steered clear of mercedes because of lowering quality and not really wanting the stigma of being a benz driver. However this new E is pretty good it has more torque than the E500. The diesel clatter was only audible after turning off the radio and ac and then it was only a whisper. The ride was very smooth and the handling was ok. Plus the car gets mileage on par with a honda civic. Must say I walked away very impressed. I live in texas home of big deisel trucks so the fuel availability here is not a problem and it has past emmisions. Could you imagine a deisel hybrid it would probably get around 100mpg easy. That sure would solve our fuel crisis.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I've decided to get the Acura TL instead of the E320 CDI, but I remain impressed with the CDI. The dealership I am buying from happens to have Acura, Mercedes, and Saab. The sales manager drove an E320 CDI from Pennsylvania to North Carolina last weekend to deliver it to his cousin. According to his calculations, he averaged 37.3 mpg on the trip of over 600 miles. And that's with varying the speed of the car from 45 to 75 since it was brand new. He estimated that the mileage could expected to go up to over 40 mpg at a constant 70 mph after the car is broken in. Apparantly, the E320CDI is about 15% more fuel efficient than less powerful 1999 E300 TD. My marketing director has one of those, and she has hit 35-37+ mpg on the highway.

    The dealer drove his cousin's 2001 RL back and only managed 26 mpg on the return trip at a constanst 65-75.

    To make the CDI even more attractive, diesel is now selling in our area for around 20-25 cents per gallon less than regular uneleaded.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I've had my **new** 2001 E320 for over a week now and in a little light rain the other day, I tried the rain sensor. Geez, with just a light mist it cycled the wiper with just a one second break between strokes. It was very annoying. Is it possible to have a dealer alter the sensitivity of the rain sensor so it actually waits for some real moisture to show up before it cycles the wiper?
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    What if the USA switched to diesel cars? Improving the mileage of cars by 40% would really reduce our oil consumption. Having just one fuel would also help lower prices.

    The E320 CDI gets 40% better mileage than the gasoline E320, accelerates to 60 MPH in 6.8 seconds (vs 7.4 for the gasoline E320, both figures from Road & Track), and will easily last twice as long as a gasoline engine.

    I plan to buy another DCX product, the new Chrysler 300C, which is $22,000 less than a simarily equipped E320CDI. However, if DCX offered the same or a better diesel in the 300, I would buy it instead of the HEMI.

    It is good that we are lowering the sulphur content of our diesel fuel, but beyond that, we all need to demand that our diesel emissions regulations not be more extreme than those in Europe.

    Hybrid cars are slow and VERY complex, and will certainly not last nearly as long as a diesel. Diesels also conserve resources, since they last at least twice as long - one car vs two or more.
  • rswaglerswagle Posts: 27
    Hi. Just got back form a test drive of the 05 CDI. WOW! Amazing power, excellent mileage, outstanding looks and of course it's a benz. So whats the problem? Where's the crowds knocking the doors down? Where's the discussions taking place on these boards talking about the merits of diesel v. longivity v. resource conservation v. technology leadership?
    I am thoroughly impressed and once the finances are sorted out, I am placing my order for European delivery. Was hoping to get feedback and a revived discussion regarding the E320 CDI. Moderator where are you!?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    The CDI is truely amazing. 27/37 EPA for such a vehicle is outstanding. Even the 4-cyl diesel Passat is only 1 mpg better. I do not understand how anybody looking at the E-class would consider anything but the CDI. I only wish they would offer the engine in more DC products. A magnum with the CDI would be transformed from a guzzler to a sipper. Pacifica would suddenly make more sence, and a minivan with that mileage (probably down to 25/34 because of weight and aerodynamics) would be amazing.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    I think this is a great car and at a 2k premium to the regular 320 it is an awesome deal. I wish more cars would offer deisel options my family owned one of the last amreican made deisel cars ('83 cadillac seville). I think it is a quciker solution to our fuel problems than hybrids and as MB has proven diesels don't have to be loud or dirty anymore. The 320 CDI is definately in the running for my next vehicle.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The excitement is centered on another DCX product, the Chrysler 300C. Besides the fact that the 320CDI is illegal in California and four other states, I understand that DCX only plans to import 3,000 of the 2005 models. Price is the other big problem. As I said above, comparably equipped, a 300C (with S-Class back seat room)is about $36,000 and a 320CDI is about $58,000.

    Dudleyr, I agree, but please remember that the 300C and the Magnum R/T get far better mileage than you might think due to cylinder deactivation.

    The engine in the E320CDI and the cylinder deactivation in the HEMI really prove that DCX has the right technology at the right time to really profit from rising fuel prices. They just need to offer it in more of their vehicles.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I seriously considered the E320 CDI before electing to go with a new 2004 Acura TL that we picked up on Saturday.

    I would agree that the CDI is, IMO, the only E class to get, short of the $80k+ E55. It doesn't match the E500 in performance, but the difference is not that great. And if I thought I'd be driving upwards of 30,000 miles a year, I likely would have gone for it.

    I hate to state the obvious in a way that sounds disrespectful of US manufacturers, but I can't believe that too many prospective buyers trying to decide between the various Mercedes E-class models would give a Chrysler brand product any consideration. Not that they shouldn't, but I just don't think it happens in the real world. The 300C may have S class rear seat room, but so does a Crown Victoria.

    There are a lot of negative reports on Mercedes decline in product quality over the past several years, from Consumer Reports to JD Powers to almost all of the major industry reviewers. It is my understanding that the new E-class is an improvement. But any link to "Chrysler", even in name only, reinforces an image problem that Mercedes now needs to combat. We kept hearing that the merger would not affect Mercedes status or product quality, but the coincidence is too great to be ignored.

    So, for now at least, the E320 CDI is the only "luxury" class diesel automobile sold in the US that has the additional appeal of great mileage and impressive performance.
  • jerrydrawjerrydraw Posts: 1
    I have a 99 E320 and an considering a 2002 E430. Is the E430 a sound investment, especially if it has low mileage and another two years on the warranty? Was the last year of the E430 a good one? I got a little gunshy about the new 03 and 04 E class reading on the web and seeing in the news about the multitude of problems and recall regarding the brakes. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
  • cartercarter Posts: 1
    My first try with MB, I have found a clean '00 320 and am looking for advise on items to look for before purchasing. Is the '00 model year a good bet?
  • corim3corim3 Posts: 3
    just came back from europe, most new e classes are a 220cdi, i rode in a few, very quick and very quiet. the 320cdi available in the states will have no problem keeping up with traffic.
  • barry45rpmbarry45rpm Posts: 98
    ...To our fuel problems. It is a PART of the answer, but only a part. The other part is discovering new sources & developing & pumping what we know we have right now. Oil as a main stream fuel only has another 20-25 years tops, until it is replaced by the next thing. (and it will have had a good run! The coal companies were stunned when we started choosing oil over coal at that time) In hindsight, we will look supremely stupid if we let our enemies ruin the world economy or let them destroy us, while we left the oil that we need now in the ground, never to be pumped again, because because in near the future we will use a newer fuel...invented right here.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Biodiesel is 100% renewable, so it will not run out - unless we can't grow crops anymore, in which case we have bigger problems.

    That is part of the appeal of the 320 CDI, not just the economy, but the potential for total independence from imported oil. We are, after all, the breadbasket of the world, why not grow our fuel, instead of paying farmers to not grow anything.
This discussion has been closed.