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Infiniti M35/45 vs. Mercedes Benz E Class 350/550

mmoreno1978mmoreno1978 Member Posts: 106
edited October 2014 in INFINITI
I myself chose the M over the E Class. It was larger, faster and more luxurious. But I must admit, the E Class is good looking.


  • ny2njny2nj Member Posts: 5
    I went with an '08 E350 Sport. I've owned both brands in the past so there's no loyalty here.

    The M's styling just doesn't do it for me. The exterior looks a bit bland and the interior (with the exception of the top-notch leather seats) looks cheesy -- specifically, the dash. It looks more like a high-priced Nissan than a true luxury brand.

    I also felt the E was much quieter and felt much more solid than the M. Still, the M has a slight edge on performance and a major edge on price. Also, while the E350 is far more reliable than previous models, the Germans have a way to go before they can match the reliabilty of Japanese electronics. Either way, I think either sedan will make it's owner happy. I just prefer the E this time around.
  • mmoreno1978mmoreno1978 Member Posts: 106
    Thanks NY2NJ.

    The Sports Package looks great on the E-Class.

    My main concern was reliability with the E-Class (and ALL MERCEDES cars). Have you had any problems thus far?
  • ny2njny2nj Member Posts: 5
    No problems thus far. I had a 2002 C320 previously. The engine was flawless and never had an issue. I drove it HARD and it ran just as well as day one, but it had minor electrical issues. For instance, the cigarette lighter stopped working for no apparent reason. I suspect it was delivered with a bad lighter, but I didn't know until later because I don't smoke. Other times, I would get false warnings that the internal Brake Assist or Electronic Stability Control needing maintenance. Then, one of my license plate lights bulbs went out a month after I got the car and then about once a year after that. That may seem like no big deal, but ask yourself how many times you've changed the bulb for your license plate. This was a brand new $40K car.

    All of these issues were minor (mainly bad sensors) and fixed quickly by warranty, but you just don't find these issues with Japanese cars as frequently. I experienced those issues within the first month of driving. The Germans seem behind when it comes to electronics and Volkswagen and Audi are two prime examples (although MUCH worse in comparison).

    I'm not trying to dump on Mercedes because the good far outweighs the bad, but I tell it like it is. I’m not going to give a car unwarranted praise just to save face because I paid $$$ for it. I still highly recommend the E350 because the build, fit and finish are top-notch in typical MB fashion. The car has given me no problems thus far, but I haven't had it long so only time will tell. I would still buy the E350 even if I knew I would run into the same issues my C320 had because I like the car that much. Still, considering how expensive and computerized these luxury cars are now, the last thing a buyer should have to worry about is the expertise of the manufacturer's electrical engineers.
  • mmoreno1978mmoreno1978 Member Posts: 106
    Just leased the E350 as my commuter car. Good gas mileage.

    Picking up on Friday. Hope I got a good deal.
  • benzrigbenzrig Member Posts: 7
    Hey I'm helping my mother purchase / replace her QX4 (which replaced a Benz). I am stuck with the M35/M45 E350/E550 decision. Consumer Reports Recommends both with Infiniti having slightly better reviews. I’ve had a few quality issues with the Infiniti received HORRIBLE no ABSOLUTLY DREADFUL service from Infiniti (it now sporadically stalls while accelerating & the “Service Engine Soon” light has been on for a dismal year and a half and now the “Brake” light is aglow; all of which our local dealership tells us “It’s just a glitch; ignore it!”). I am appalled that my Mom is interest in putting up with Infiniti again. That being said the M’s look very nice and probably cheaper in the long run to operate. I honestly don’t think she’ll understand how to use the M. Too much controllable technology, but I do love how she can give voice commands to the car. On the other hand I have heard many unpromising comments on this system. I feel that the Mercedes will just do what it needs to do without consulting her, which is probably best. So where is my question to you M35/M45 & E350/E550 owners if you were selecting a car for a middle aged lady for whom technology is an evil notion which vehicle is best? I almost feel like saying to hell with it and get a Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas where there are far less menus or perhaps a Volvo where everything is controlled via knobs. Seeing that performance isn’t going to be an issue because this car will rarely see speeds in excess of 40. Any insight to the Infiniti-M / Mercedes-E dilemma would be greatly appreciated.
  • ny2njny2nj Member Posts: 5
    Test drive both. Infiniti makes great cars (I've owned two), but I prefer Mercedes (I've owned two of those as well). My 08 E350 has been trouble-free so I can't complain. Many owner reviews on the internet seem to echo the same. At the same time, Mercedes seems to have addressed the electrical issues that plagues them in the past by removing some features they once offered. They are pretty minor so I won't run down the list.

    My wife and I considered the M, but the styling didn't suit my tastes. The dash looked pieced together and didn't flow as nicely as its Euro competitors in my opinion. The M also showed noticeable torque steer and wasn't as quiet as the E350 even though the E has low-profile tires. The E also has the edge in stability control and brake feel in my opinion. On the plus side for the M, they are loaded with standard features (like leather, keyless ingnition and Bluetooth) and have very strong and reliable engines. Many people may prefer the M's interior feeling it is more updated.

    A restyled E-Class is set to debut for the 2010 model-year, so you may want to hold off until then before deciding. At the very least, you may be able to get some great deals on the 09 E-Class models.
  • ghstudioghstudio Member Posts: 970
    I looked closely at the E before leasing another M35. The deal breaker was the navigation system which is, at this point, an antique. The C navigation is actually better than the M35, but the car was too small for my needs.
  • docrwdocrw Member Posts: 94
    With all due respect, torque steer is a problem with front wheel drive cars, where all the power goes to the front wheels which makes them harder to turn due to inertial forces. The M35 is rear wheel drive, there is no torque steer. I'm not sure what you experienced but I assure you it was not torque steer. I have driven both cars and the E350 might be marginally quieter, the interiors are completely different and I saw no gap in quality, just style, which is completely subjective.

    I do think the E feels a bit more substantial. From the thunk when you close the doors to the overall feeling while driving. That being said, if money is a concern to you the M is a better deal. If you can afford both then its hard to argue with either choice as I feel it boils down more to personal preference then overall quality.
  • ny2njny2nj Member Posts: 5're right, the M35 is rear-wheel drive, but the M35x I test drove was an all-wheel drive model where the power between wheels is transferred.
  • james27james27 Member Posts: 433
    The M's all-wheel drive can't put more than 1/2 the torque on the front, and unless you have the snow-mode switch on, always operates as a rear-wheel drive car unless it detects slip, then the fronts can get some power. WHen snow-mode switch is on, it always starts out in all-wheel drive, and will revert to rear wheel once it reaches (I think it is ) 25mph, and will only power the front again if it detects slip, just like if the switch was off.
  • cpamancpaman Member Posts: 48

    I am lucky someone started this post, i am thinking about buying either a 2006 M45 or a 2006 Mercedes E500/550. Please tell me all about your experiences with both cars, this will be invaluable towards me purchasing my new used car in the near future.

    Omari CPA
  • salesguy5150salesguy5150 Member Posts: 1
    Hi there,

    I am in the same situation now that you were in back in march when you posted this. Did you get some good information? I'm looking at buying a 2004 E500 that appears to be in very good shape. Did you end up buying yours?

  • carfan777carfan777 Member Posts: 4
    Let me start by saying I really like Infiniti products. Several years ago I drove a Q45 (remember those?) I put 185,000 miles on it, and it drove the same on mile 185,000 as it did the day I got it. I came *this* close to buying a G35 a couple of years ago. And I've always liked Nissan products. And if it's reliable, trouble-free ownership with nice friendly service that you're looking for, the Infiniti wins hands down every time.

    But..., there's something about sitting in the driver's seat of a MB sports sedan that is special. I've had my E for about 3 years now, and I look forward every day to driving. The ride is comfortable, but not soft. It feels substantial, but not heavy. The styling is sporty, yet elegant and classy at the same time. The handling is German, but not overly aggressive. There's nice steering feedback, but not BMW-ish. The fit and finish of the interior is better than just about everyone else, the doors slam shut like a bank vault, and I'll admit, I love pulling up to the valet in a Benz. Yes, you'll make a fair share of visits to the shop. Yes, there's a certain level of snob-ness among the Service Advisors that I could do without. But I'd pick the E over the M every time.
  • carolinabobcarolinabob Member Posts: 576
    edited September 2010
    Visit and
    I shopped the M, LS, RL, etc. before deciding on a 2010 E350. Very happy with it.
  • kaushik91kaushik91 Member Posts: 10
    I am also in the market for a mid level luxury car to replace my 1996 Infinity I30. I had bought this used car from a private seller and the car performed like a champ with no issues. Even today with 150K miles the car runs great. I am a person who prefers to buy used rather than a new car....just because I think that provides you with a better deal.

    So here is my dilemma...when I look for used car, with my search criteria there are 150+ E350 (2008/2009) available in the market compared to < 50 for Infinity M35 (2008/2009). It seems to me that people usually lease German cars where as they buy Japanese that because of reliability issues....which leads to cost of ownership? So far as design is concerned, I definitely like the styling of E350 better than M35.....though I really like the styling of M37.....but then it becomes a new car.

    I would like to know the opinion of other E350 owners regarding the reliability of the car? Are there frequent issues that costs a lot to fix? Also is there a peace of mind buying a CPO E350....

    The deals that I have are....2008 E350 26k miles (CPO) with prem Pkg 1 for 34k + T&T,......same car without CPO costs 30K......

    Thanks for the help
  • almattialmatti Member Posts: 164
    I know this is an Old Post. I'm about to Turn in My 2010 G37X (with a possible concurrent Blessing from Infiniti since I am so dissatisfied with the 7 speed Auto Tranny), and I am currently looking at a 08 {would prefer an 09} M35X as a CPO, or Lease a new E class MB. I am looking at the older M in that it used the 5 speed AT (which I had in my 2007 G35X - btw, big difference in responsiveness due to the 7AT gear hunting / hesitation issues IMO). So I will be wrestling with either: a 4 year car loan on a $28-29k purchase for the M or a 3 year lease for a new MB E350 Sport Prem 1 or 2 Package - est monthly lease ??? $625 or so. I will also need to consider: cost of maintenence for a MB ( you don't leave the shop w/o spending $800 I understand), vs. the Infiniti more reasonable service costs. Of course as a CPO, full extended warranty is included and 2.99% finance rates available for 48 months = $620/Mo... Your Opinions are appreciated. BTW, I haven't driven the Benz yet...
  • dhellerdheller Member Posts: 28
    Interesting dilemma. I have a 2007 M35 and wish that it had more gearing. The vehicle runs at 3,000+RPM at normal highway speeds and that can use quite a bit of fuel. Not to mention wear and tear on mechanicals.

    If you do get a used M, make sure it has Michelin or other quality tire. The Goodyear OEM are horrible and borderline unsafe with steerage issues.

    I'm faced with considering trading the M, which I love. Looking at BMW 335, Caddy CTS-V, MB E350, and another M37. I just can't make up my mind and almost leaning toward a fall decision (procrastinating on giving up the M-35).
  • kaushik91kaushik91 Member Posts: 10
    Hi Almatti:

    Thanks for the response and also your views on these 2 models. I spent quite a bit of time dwelling on this and was really leaning towards M37/M35, since I did not like the interior of 2009 E350. My only issue was that locally I was unable to get the M35 of my choice......

    But in recent months I test drove the 2010 E350 Sport and really liked the interior.......the inside looks much more sporty....where as in the case of M37 it is more luxurious. If you talk about horse power and driving capability....the M37 might score higher....but overall I think that for my case the E350 will be the correct choice.

    The concern about maintenance still remains there to be resolved....since I will get a CPO car...I hope most of it is covered. If I find that I am still spending too much on the E350 for maintenance, then I will change once the warantly is over....

    Hope this helps...
  • almattialmatti Member Posts: 164
    dheller: Overall My 2010 G37X OTHER THAN THE QUIRKY 7AT, has been great. Leased it last June. But the 7AT, yes more gears - better mileage, has some serious hesitation issues particularly in stop and go traffic (20-40 mph) {I'm in that a lot - hey it's NY]. The new M37X or Non X, is in the same boat. My advice is to take the car for a good long test drive (I didn't), go into traffic, go on the highway, Punch it, etc...The car has Adaptive Driver Control which is fancy langauge for the electronics adapting to the way the car is driven. It controls the ECU and the TCM (Tranny Control Module). I'm currently negotiating with Infiniti to get me out of the lease w/o any further cost to me...That decision is pending inspection by the DM of Infiniti in the nest week or so. Also advisable, Check the various Forums on Line for all of the cars you are interested in. At ( I think there is a M Forum too) you can view the various threads and posts. I have become notorious for posting the Cons of the 7AT. There are many others who agree and then there are others that disagree and love it. I will say : mileage has increased over my 07 by about 10-12% Overall with now 18K miles on the clock.
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