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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Diesels

patpat Member Posts: 10,421
Do you have one yet? What are your thoughts on this diesel entry to the MB line up? If you haven't yet seen this article yet, check out Edmunds First Drive via the Helpful links box on the left side of the page.

We've been talking about it in our general E-Class Sedans discussion, but I agree with a couple of requests. This vehicle deserves its own discussion.

Share your comments and opinions!!


  • tomotomotomotomo Member Posts: 57
    I replaced a 2001 E320 with a 2005 E320 CDI last Saturday. So far I have about 250 miles with no problems. I believe it drives a little better than my previous E320; however, there is not a lot of difference. The diesel engine seems just as quick as the gasoline engine. I suppose time will tell if the diesel engine is much more economical than the gasoline engine.
  • rwalker07rwalker07 Member Posts: 16
    Took a rather long trip.

    I thought the car handled extremely well, comparing it to the Acura TL and a Saab 9-5. The mileage i go t was about 35 mph all highway.

    the car is plenty powerful enough. I am not sure when I would need or want more. The torque is unreal.

    The car makes a slight ping at startup but it is not noticable when driving.

    So far, I really like the car. But I will probably trade it in if and when Acura has a hybrid RL model.

    One thing I am sure of, this CDI should hold its value extremely well as only 5,000 are coming to USA this year
  • carmaven18carmaven18 Member Posts: 21
    How does everyone like the E320 CDI? Any problems or especially good features, and is the milage satisfactory and is it worth the $50,000?
  • tomotomotomotomo Member Posts: 57
    I've only had my CDI for a little over one week and have driven it about 350 in city miles. It is getting about 26 mpg, but hopefully that will improve. So far no problems. As to the question "is it worth $50,000.?" that depends on each individual to answer. From a pure economical point of view, one could argue that no auto is worth $50,000. As for me I have no regrets concerning the cost.
  • lcd1lcd1 Member Posts: 147
    If the CDI is a reliable as a Lexus, I'd take a $55,000 plunge. As there is a limited number of CDI's in the U.S., is there really a best time to buy one? Thanks for any words of wisdom from Lexus and CDI owners.
  • aaunoaauno Member Posts: 1
    I'm in the same boat of thought, Lexus or E320 CDI. I have time since my current lease expires in 2005. I drive 20k miles per year and would like to buy my next car and keep it for 10 years.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Makes me want one even more. It must be some fine automobile.

  • ezshift5ezshift5 Member Posts: 858
    and IRS have come to terms......

    ...coming "to terms" in CA may take somewhat longer.........

    Good link, gagrice.............best, ez......
  • mark156mark156 Member Posts: 1,915
    I read the article on Willie Nelson, can he switch back to regular diesel in his 320 CDI? Can he alternate between the different diesel fuels?

    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
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I talked to the fellow that owns Pacific Biodiesel on Maui. My interest is getting biodiesel on the Big Island. He told me you can mix it with any percentage you want. If you are in a cold climate you will need to mix it as biodiesel gels at a higher temperature than #2 diesel. If you mix with real high sulfur diesel you will get more smoke and pollution. I have not heard any rumblings that it makes any difference on warranty. I would think MB was involved in all the publicity surrounding the Willie Nelson purchase on Maui.
  • jschwartzjschwartz Member Posts: 2
    My wife bought this car to replace her 2000 C230 Sport. We absolutely love this car. Workmanship is great and we drove it all over this past weekend in DC traffic. Still averaged almost 26 MPG for over 300 miles. So far we can't believe how good this car is. Has anyone heard any rumors about what changes may have to be made to hoses and seals when the low sulfur diesel is introduced? When this happened in the marine industry many boat owners had to change hoses and seals. Not exactly the cheapest thing to do.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    I asked the a similar question to a Mercedes factory rep that happened to be at the dealership when I was considering the E320 CDI. I asked what, if any, affect would new low sulfer diesel have on the 2005 model. He indicated absolutely nothing, that essentially its mechanically the same vehicle runs on the low sulfer diesel in Europe now. He claimed absolutely no retrofits will be required on the US 2005 E320CDI. I ended up buying an Acura TL, but after averaging 16-18 mpg around town with the 6-speed, I'm a little envious of E320 CDI owners. Congrats on a great car.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    changes may have to be made to hoses and seals when the low sulfur diesel is introduced

    I have not read any articles that addressed any negatives from using ULSD. Everything I have read so far is very positive. If you can find any articles that pertain to changes that need to be made for ULSD, I would be interested in reading them. I think it is just the opposite. Many vehicles that were designed to run on high quality low sulfur diesel in Europe will have problems with our dirty diesel in the USA.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    The very low sulfur diesel fuel requires NO CHANGES to diesel engines no matter if it is 1980 or 2005 MB Diesel.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,148
    A reporter is interested in speaking with someone who owns a Mercedes E 320 Diesel. If you would be interested in speaking with this reporter about your vehicle and why you decided to buy it, please contact Pam Krebs, Edmunds.com PR, at pkrebs@edmunds.com. Please provide your contact information. The reporter is looking for responses by end-of-day today (Sept. 7). Thank you.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • tlambtlamb Member Posts: 11
    I am somewhat discouraged by the problems reported about the E series on other Edmund.com boards. Can anyone comment, based on actual ownership, experienced insight, or good old intuition, whether the E320 CDI is a car to avoid or embrace?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Not sure about which problems, but diesels tend to be more reliable/durable than gasoline engines.
  • tomotomotomotomo Member Posts: 57
    Note: The following also posted on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans Board.
    I took delivery of an E320 CDI on 7/9/2004 from Star Motor Cars here in Houston, Texas. At my last fill up I only had 2053 miles on it. Since delivery I have had no problems and my mpg is 27.9 which is mostly in city driving. I recently drove to Dallas and back and averaged 35.33 mpg. I have noticed that the mpg is slowly increasing as the car is accumulating mileage. This is my second E320, the first was a 2001 and of course had a gasoline engine. I drove it for something over 40000 miles with only one problem that I remember and that was very minor, outside temperature display became erratic and the dealer replaced the instrument cluster. It is my opinion that only a few of the actual owners of MB that respond to these boards are satisfied with their autos. Therefore, it might be unfair to conclude the entire MB line as bad.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    "In the five months since the vehicle was introduced, it has reached its 2004 sales target of 3,000 units. This spectacular market launch also represents a fabulous comeback for diesel technology in North America."

    My wife would trade her Lexus in for this diesel Mercedes. She bought the LS400 in 1990 and sold her 300D. She has missed the Mercedes quality, though the Lexus is decent also.

  • tlambtlamb Member Posts: 11
    I am about to order a E320 CDI and intend to get the panorama roof. I will be driving in Coastal North Carolina / South Carolina. Does anybody advise against this feature due to sun or summer heat and humidity or any other reason?

    All input is appreciated.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Member Posts: 3,498
    The E's a/c is more than adequate to keep the cabin cool and comfortable in any climate.
  • jschwartzjschwartz Member Posts: 2
    We have had the E320 CDI since August 20 and have the panorama roof. Some of the dealers seemed to try to discourage us from getting this, but I think that had more to do with them trying to sell a car from stock (we did have to order from the factory). We live in MD and do the overwhelming majority of our driving during the day. We love the roof. The AC keeps it cool. The pop-up windscreen keeps it quiet and if necessary, the shade unrolls to close it all up.
  • tlambtlamb Member Posts: 11
    Does anyone know, or have an opinion about, whether 3 mile morning and 3 mile evening commute trips only five days of seven in this CDI would be determental -- or does that concern about limited time use have to do with older diesel technology only?

    Also (although hoping no one has had the need thus far) what are anticipated engine component -- fuel injection system, for examle -- repair / replacement costs vis-s-vis the gas engine? Is the regular maintenance going to be less, more, or same as gas?
  • tomjavatomjava Member Posts: 136
    The old Diesel is true, but modern Diesel with complex fuel system, and electronic is more likely having problem similar to modern gasoline engine.
  • cheapownercheapowner Member Posts: 47
    Since 2005 CDI is not smog legal in California. Can a California resident buy a used one or had to wait after 2006?
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    When a car has at least 7500 miles on it you can register it in CA. There are several VW dealers in Los Angeles that specialize in used VW TDI vehicles with just past 7500 miles. Also if you were in Las Vegas and your car were to die and not be worth fixing, you can buy a new E320 CDI and bring it back to CA and get it registered. I think that would be trickier to pull off.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I can safely report based on my recent experience of the car in the San Antonio area that the new diesel can flutter hearts on those counts as well. Indeed, I cannot conceive of anyone preferring the gasoline version to the diesel.

    http://www.roadandtravel.com/roadtests/reviews/2005roadtests/newc- arreviews/mercedesbenze320cdi.htm
  • rikkrikk Member Posts: 14
    I am a senior mechanical engineer at a major diesel engine manufacturer in Illinois, you can guess, but DON'T put any fuel into that engine that is not approved by the manufacturer. Forget what the dealer says since it is the manufacturer that pays the warranty claims to the dealer. So, as long as it is under warranty at least follow the owners manual to the letter.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Is BP ECD-1 acceptable for modeern diesel engines? I know in Hawaii they made a big deal of Willie Nelson buying a new E320 CDI that runs on B100 biodiesel.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Mercedes-Benz has successfully reinforced its position in the United States -- its second-largest sales market -- with a very appealing diesel model, the E320 CDI. In the five months since the vehicle was introduced, it has reached its 2004 sales target of 3,000 units. This spectacular market launch also represents a fabulous comeback for diesel technology in North America. Mercedes-Benz has been offering diesel-powered vehicles in the United States since the 1960s, selling more than 320,000 vehicles, mostly E-Class and S-Class models. In the 1980s, about 80 percent of the vehicles sold in the U.S. had diesel engines.

  • skou1298skou1298 Member Posts: 3
    I own a 2005 E320 CDI and so far I'm underwhelmed by the fuel mileage I'm getting. Took delivering in mid-September 2004 and have put about 3,500 miles on the vehicle. Generally I'm getting around 22 city and 33 highway. No where close to the advertised 27/37. Per the trip computer my avg. speeds are about 22 mph city and 65 mph highway. Tire pressure has been maintained at the manufacturers recommended 32 psi. Allegedly there's a break-in period for diesels when optimum mileage is reached. Haven't seen any improvement yet. Does anybody know how long this break-in period is? Previous posts have noted much better mileage than me. Do I have a lemon? I'm keeping good records for ammo w/ my dealer if things don't improve. Other than the mileage issue I absolutely love this car.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    While I have never driven a diesel car, I have driven MANY German cars, including many MB cars during my 2.5 year stint with MB-USA in the mid 1990s. One comment I can make is that their highway mileage seems to improve with both the number of miles on the clock (at least 10,000) as well as the speed at which those miles are driven. Said another way, 65 mph sounds too low for optimal mileage. My 530i easily exceeds the EPA numbers (by over 3 mpg), however, I have to maintain speeds north of 75 to achieve that.


    Regarding your city mileage, with an average speed of 22, your 22 mpg does not sound too out of line to me. It will be interesting to hear what other E320CDI owners think about this.


    Best Regards,

  • tomotomotomotomo Member Posts: 57
    I own a 2005 E320 CDI and now have 4313 miles and have used a total 152.12 gallons of diesel for an average of 28.35 mpg of mostly city driving. The mpg has varied from 21.74 to 35.5, the highest being mostly highway driving at about 70 mph. The lowest being almost all city driving here in Houston, Texas. No problems yet.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Faster speed = lower mileage. A 530i will use less fuel going 60 mph than 75.


    On the benz - remember that true highway mileage includes no sidetrips in the city. They will bring down you average very quickly. Fill up, drive 300 miles at 65 on the freeway, and you will get the EPA numbers or better.
  • tomotomotomotomo Member Posts: 57
    I live in Houston & frequently drive to Dallas, Texas which is about 250 miles. I will try your suggestion but I don't think I will ever get the EPA estimated 37 mpg! It is better than my previous E320 with a gasoline engine but so far it has never been as high as the EPA estimated 27/37 mpg. I hope it improves as I drive more miles but?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Sorry, but that is definitely not my experience.


    The sweet spot for mileage on my 530i 5-Speed is somewhere between 72 and 77 mph. I've plotted the mileage of every one of the dozens of NYC/New England runs that I've done over the last seven years (going back to my 1995 Passat GLX 5-Speed and my 1999 328i 5-Speed days), and in every case the best mileage numbers have always been somewhere north of 70.


    True, there is more wind resistance at the higher speeds, however, to offset that the engine (which was designed to be efficient at WAY higher speeds than we routinely see here in the U.S.) is running more efficiently. In fact, while I was in Europe (I took delivery of my 530i in Munich), I noted 24 mpg at about 120. Not too shabby. ;-)


    Best Regards,

  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    This discussion automatically closed itself after a period of inactivity. Reopening by request ...


  • njpaguynjpaguy Member Posts: 55
    Anyone with insight regarding M-B importing the e-320 CDI Wagon to the US? If so, when?
  • jamesfletcher2jamesfletcher2 Member Posts: 127
    My wife is considering the purchase of a 2005 MB E320 CDI. Now that the E320 CDI has been out for a number of months in the US and Canada, we would like to know what kind of fuel mileage owners are experiencing with what mix of driving.


    Thank you very much.
  • jamesfletcher2jamesfletcher2 Member Posts: 127


    I did read about a year ago that MB was planning on bring the E-class diesel wagon to the US but I have not seen anything else on it. Of course, my wife is not interested in wagons so I have not been trying to find out anything on it.


    You might try the mbspy.com Web site for possible info. I would also just call the MB 800 number off their Web site. I once found them to actually respond to a question on a future model that was close rather then sandbagging like most all of the manufacturers.
  • tomotomotomotomo Member Posts: 57
    I took delivery of my 2005 E320 CDI last June or July and at my last re-fueling I had a total of 5109 miles on it, mostly driving here in Houston, Texas with two or three trips to Dallas, Texas. Overall I have used 183.7 gallons of diesel for a 27.8 mpg (calculated average). The highest was 35.5 mpg (calculated)driving at about 70 mph between Dallas & Houston. The on-board computer indicated 33.3 mpg. I hope this helps.
  • yuppy007yuppy007 Member Posts: 12
    I had just bought a '05 Passat Wagon GLS TDI in January '05, but I was and still am interested in the '05 Mercedes E320 CDI. I like both cars very much. My Passat has leatherette which I prefer over the leather because I think it is stronger and no animal has to be sacrificed. Although I bought the Passat TDI, I'm not over the E320 CDI. I'm thinking of trading it back in to get the E320 CDI. I would lose about 2k for doing this. This really does not make good financial sense to me, but I want to be in a car that I love to drive for a long time. I traded in my 95 S320 for this Passat TDI and I miss my old S320. If I were to get the E320 CDI, it would certainly lessen the pain. The E320 CDI costs twice as much as the Passat TDI which is one reason why I bought the Passat in the first place.


    Can anyone convince me to keep my Passat TDI or to trade in for the E320 CDI?


    BTW, I'm already a MB fan since I have owned '85 190E, '95 S320, and '99 S500, and currently own '05 ML350.
  • mcdubhmcdubh Member Posts: 4
    Any body knows where the oil filter is located, I'm planning to change the oil this week-end,


  • mcdubhmcdubh Member Posts: 4
    Sorry to disappoint you but the E320 CDI is a much better car, more powerful, I just got mine few month ago (European Delivery) and the car is fantastic, good luck in your decision
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    How was that experience buying in Germany? It sounds like a nice way to vacation in Europe.
  • yuppy007yuppy007 Member Posts: 12
    I agree that E320 CDI is a better car, but is it worth the extra $25k-$30k. In 5 years, IntelliChoice says that this car will depreciate by $24k compared to the Passat Wagon TDI depreciating only by $12k. So, this means in the first 5 years, it'll cost you $4.8k per year to own E320 CDI and it will only cost you $2.4k per year to own the Passat Wagon TDI excluding all other expenses.


    My Passat Wagon TDI GLS model has comparable safety equipments as the E320 CDI. The results from the safty tests are also comparable. According to http://www.cars.com, 10-year old E-class mercedes cost about the same as the 10-year old Passat.


    So, besides having the prestige, style, and maybe a little bit more comfort, having the E320 CDI does not make a lot of financial sense. If E320 CDI maintains its value at 60% or better after 5 years then it makes good financial sense. Remember, I already like E320 CDI a lot, I just want to find good reasons to justify owning it.


    I also consider buying the E320 CDI through the European Delivery Program once I can justify owning it.
  • mcdubhmcdubh Member Posts: 4

    This was my second experience over there, and booth time I had a good time traveling Europe for two weeks, free insurance....exct

    look at the MB site for all the details, this summer I'm planing another trip to pick up the new BMW 3 series, but this one for me
  • txecditxecdi Member Posts: 3
    I just stumbled upon your posting. I am on my thrid CDI since May. My first car would avg 34, the 2nd was 32, and now with this one, I have put 13.5K miles on in three months, on my trip back at 84, I was showing 35mpg. I don't know when the mileage got better for me to be exact, but I know it was upwards of 10K miles. Mike
  • txecditxecdi Member Posts: 3
    I am on my third CDI since intro. My current car has 13.5K miles since November and has been rather problematic with little things, seats, teleaid, instrument cluster, recalls.
    Do any of you current owner ever hear your turbo making a rubbing noise at low speeds, like in parking lots when you take your foot off the gas?
    Second, do any of you find that when the car has sat overnight that it takes a while for the transmission to engage into drive from reverse?
    Any comments would be appreciated. Dallas, TX
  • tomotomotomotomo Member Posts: 57
    I now have 5508 miles on my 2005 CDI and so far I have not had any problems like you mentioned, actually I have had no problems. However, my mpg is not as high as I expected, certainly not the 27/37. It is more like 23/33. Were all of your CDIs 2005 models? You mentioned "recalls"- what were the recalls? Houston,Texas
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