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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    When I was shopping for a mid sized sedan last year, I looked at E320 and 530. Although they "seemed" to be in the same class, the more I looked at them, the more apart they were. MB is a luxury oriented sedan that offer more leisurely ride and comfort than sportiness. On the other hand, BMW nods more towards sportiness., but that is not to say BMW is not luxurious or comfortable. I still have not found a car that balances sporty ride and comfort as well as it does, even with sports pkg. People compare them because they "seem" to be in the similar price range, and size. I found them to be totally different cars underneath, so much so that I could not really compare them any more.

    So now I am thinking I should perhaps have one of each. One down, one more to go. Just my 2 cents.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I have always been interested in automotive innovation. I am interested to learn about the ones that Mercedes has done (after of course, Karl Benz' first car with internal combustion engine).
  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    I agree to a point john01 but I think the 2003 E500 is pretty equal to the current 540i. It's handling is much improved and it has more hp. So at least until the next generation of the 5 series, i give the nod to MB's E500 IMO.
  • I have a '99 E320 and I guess I drive hard, I'm on my third set of michelin mxv's and my second set of brake pads which I just had put on today at 66K miles. I had the dealer replace the front pads ands and sensors and now the brakes squeal, a condition which I've never experienced with this car before. The dealer explained to me that the squeal was there because I need rotors, which he had pointed out on the maintenance invoice. "The rotors thickness is 25.39 the spec is 25.40." This is the reason your brakes squeal, pay use $475 and that problem will go away. I'm sorry but it sounds like horsefeathers to me!

    Can anyone lend any credence to what I'm being told about the brakes and the fact that also drive hard?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I was curious about the Mercedes brakes issue and used Google to find this link:

    Take look....they recommend rotors (at least front ones) at 50K. Sensors should be replaced with rotors. etc.

    They say non-OEM pads squeak.

    You also might want to try their Mercedes Benz 'Anti Squeal' Paste (believe it or not). It's 75 cents and has an official MB part number:

    Brake Anti-Squeal Paste Single App.


    Their prices seem pretty good, too.

    Hope something works out for you.

  • splitoesplitoe Posts: 19
    MB and BMW are just different cars. I have a 2001 E320 and I believe it is the best balanced car, taking into all account of safety, prestige, comfort, performance, gas mileage etc. I love it, my wife loves it and my daughters love it. My daughter love BMW 3 series also, but think the 5 series not good looking.
  • ilxmanilxman Posts: 25
    The responses to my E-Class driving experience illustrate well what MB has become. Indeed, the gross misreading of the competitive realities of the marketplace on this board may well be taking place in Stuttgart. My pointing to the low-volume uber-models was merely a device to highlight the core question of what engineering and marketing decisions MB has made with the E-Class models. The soul of the BMW M5 is evident in the entry-level 525 (or in the 325 for that matter!)--just less neck-snapping and some judiciously made tuning mods. The genius of their engineering/marketing decisions is that sports nuts can have a ball with a "mere" 325--all the way up the line. Yet at the same time, soccer moms are manifestly buying 5-series BMWs because they perceive them as luxurious and "the best". Hordes of 3-series buyers are buying them because they want "the best" small luxury sedans and coupes. Everywhere they turn to do their homework they find BMW at the top of the list. Here's the rub: Even the uninitiated BMW 325 owner now understands that communicative steering and a feel for the road ARE components of a luxurious ride. They are not likely to settle for less when it comes time to buy their next car. I certainly won't, even though I drive a mere "dinky sports Audi". I found the 320 lacked those 2 components to a degree that was startling; the 500 is more promising, however. And Mr. Merc1, I do recall reading a review of a Jaguar sedan in the late '80s (and many similiar articles), where its "cocoon-like", uncommunicative ride was panned vis-a-vis the reference standard MB's superior road feel and precise steering. MB: Are communicative steering and uncanny road feel really incompatible with "luxury"? How about intuitive interior ergonomics? Can't we have it all again?

    Mercedes (and everyone else) thought the new Lexus brand of econo-box maker Toyota was a joke in 1989. And now? The belief that consumers like me are just pure sports fanatics, or that BMW is just on some sort of faddish "roll" is no less a horrible misreading of the marketplace realities. I do not begrudge MB enthusiasts' preferences for the E-Class' cocoon-like ride. But MB quite emphatically considers BMW its most direct competitor (as do most other non-MB owners), opinions on this thread notwithstanding. BMW (and Audi, which is a bigger competitor in Europe) are busy redefining what "luxury/sports sedan" should encompass. The rest of the competition isn't standing still either. MB, are you paying attention?
  • et610et610 Posts: 40
    ...what drives someone to go to the Mercedes board and just knock the product and the people who buy them. Why is this guy here?

    I submit that we all just ignore him and he will go somewhere else and try to disrupt the normal dialog of the board.

    I don't know about others but, I have no interest in his opinions.

    IMHO, of course. (ignore the guy and he will go away)
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Don't know what ilxman's is, but there's something there. Too much effort and long-winded (and self-important) diatribes to be aything but some kind of agenda.

    I am now offically moving to the "ignore section"...

    To everyone else ENJOY your cars as I am.

  • Well, I just took delivery of my 2003 Black E320 w/ Ash leather interior. I ordered mine with the Bi Xeon and Washer System Combo, the Heated Seats and Moon Roof Combo and the H&K Premium Sound w/ 6 Player In Dash Cd.

    The lease was up on my 1999 E320. The 2003 is a totally different car when compared to the 1999.

    Things I do like about the 2003:
    Ride is great, more sporty/stable then 1999
    Seat are very comfortable
    Handling is crisp
    Interior Ambient Lighting is very hi-tech looking
    Front profile of car
    Storage space
    Power In Dash 6 player CD
    Trip computer
    Rain sensing wipers
    New cup holder

    Things I don't like:
    Rattle/Vibration in dash board when starting off
    Went from Digital A/C display to analog version.
    Cheap feeling plastic front grill
    Rear profile of car

    I'll keep you all posted how the car runs since it has only been 2 days since I picked it up. My partner picked his up the day after me. Same car only in Silver Metallic. His radio has shorted out and refuses to play other then static through the speakers.

    Sort of embarrassing. You purchase a $54k car and when you go to show your family and friends, it either rattles every time you move forward or the radio just plain shorts out...! Great !
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As far as Jaguar and MB go, I've never seen a Jaguar top a Mercedes in anyone's comparison test, ever. That is nothing new. In that same test I doubt that Mercedes won it either. The dynamics of a Jaguar and Mercedes are closer to each other than to a BMW.

    Deep down I don't think MB is worried about BMW past the C-Class and 3-Series level, otherwise an air suspension wouldn't be on the new E or S-Class cars, Mercedes is not trying to match BMW any other level other than entry level.....and even there they didn't go all the way. The S and E-Class cars dominate worldwide, BMW isn't even close. There there is the SL and CL of which BMW is lost for a competitor. The Z8 is a collectors car in comparison.

  • et610et610 Posts: 40
    I was not happy to hear of the delivered quality of your new E320. Keep us advised. I sure hope that it was an isolated problem and that the car is not a lemon. Concerned that your brother-in-law also had problems. Doesn't sound good.

    Any other reports--good or bad-- from anyone else that has taken delivery of 2003.

    I am waiting for E500 but would cancel in a heart beat if there is any quality concerns. Not willing to put up with this type of thing.

    Hopefully there is no pattern and this is just a unfortunate situation.
  • Well, it finally popped. I closed a rear window and heard a slight popping sound. Didn't think much about it, but noticed the window sagging yesterday. I'm not terribly upset, as the car is 7 years old, and was one of the first W210.

    Looking at this board, 'popping' a rear power window seems to be a common problem. I noticed that the motor is still working, and the window still makes an attempt to move. (Even though it can now be moved by hand.)

    I'm planning on pulling the door cover this weekend to check if the window maybe just jumped the track and the window simply needs aligning overall. (Got a manual outlining the steps, but never had to do this until now.)

    Did anybody have a similar experience, or am I on my way to the 'maintenance & repair' forum ?
  • mbe2003mbe2003 Posts: 12
    I am not happy to hear about some of the issues reported on problem deliveries of new E's. However, I would like to happily report that I picked up mine Monday night and have no issues.

    It is a Black E 320 with
    * - HK stereo / CD changer
    * - Pano roof
    * - Phone
    * - Sunshades
    * - Keyless Go (great feature)

    Everything is working well. The car handles great and has been a joy to drive. Only problem is my is hinting at wanting to upgrade her C 230!

    I hope everyone can have the positive experience I have had. Good luck to all.
  • Haspelbein: Your window problem sounds like a broken regulator. I once had this happen to all four windows over a 1 year period on a Nissan Maxima that was 9 years old. A regulator looks like a scissors device that moves like the jaws of a scissor. Usually, the pin providing the rotation breaks. Pretty simple to replace on your own although the part will probably cost $100-150. Good luck!!
  • Pewter E500, 3 wks.

    So far so good. Finally found the Benz has the seat totally fit with the body.

    -- mb_newbie
  • Yes, that's what I feared. I guess I will find out this weekend. The whole regulator includes the motor, so I actually expect the price to be higher. I only see the "regulator jaw guide" as a separately orderable item, which I take to be the track on the sides of the regulator.

    Anyhow, thanks a lot for your advice, it is much appreciated.
  • et610et610 Posts: 40
    Thanks for the reports on the quality of the new vehicles. Glad that they sound like there is not a problem.

    Hope to hear from some other new owners.
  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    Hi mb-newbie, I too have a pewter E500 on order. My dealer says it's B4 status but no VIN yet so either MB has not updated their system for the VIN or it will be built at any time. Can't wait. I got the stone interior. What color is yours? If it is stone how does it look? Do you have the sports package?

    Thanks for nay feedback. I can hardly wait and I'm starved for any info!
  • Rayscar,

    Unfortunately, mine is not stone interior (due to the sports package), but in my opinion, they all look good. (the dealer has one for demo)
    One recommendation, CALM DOWN, especially when you pick up the car (usually people will get overwhelming with the new car smell, gadgets, on and so forth; however, they forgot that's the final chance that they can reject the car or ask the dealer to put the "fixes" on paper without too much problems). A lot of problems that people complain about usually can also been found during the car pickup phase, but they fail to do that, and all of sudden they found scratches everywhere after they went home(overstatement).
    Prepare a list of frequent problems people listed here, and also put down what you have in mind, so you won't get "lost" when the day comes.
    Well, the "feeling" will die down a little (I am not as excited as 3 wks ago...), but the satisfaction is still there.
    Hope you will have a nice experience with your new toy.

    -- mb_newbie
  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    Thanks for the info. Hope you continue to enjoy your car. You can get stone interior with the sports package it will just have the birdseye trim instead of the burl. I have purchased many cars and no matter how excited I am I will take care to ensure I take care of the details. Good advice for people who may not have been through it before though. Take care and thanks.
  • My fault, I mix up the "interior" & the "wood colour". Mine (actually, my wife's) has charcoal interior.

    -- mb_newbie
  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    Thanks for the info. Hope you continue to enjoy your car. You can get stone interior with the sports package it will just have the birdseye trim instead of the burl. I have purchased many cars and no matter how excited I am I will take care to ensure I take care of the details. Good advice for people who may not have been through it before though. Take care and thanks.
  • I checked out the new e-class at the dealer yesterday. It's a great looking car! When I sat in the driver's seat, I noticed that the leather felt kind of sticky. It felt almost like a vinyl coating was applied to it. I had to check the options list to make sure the seats were leather. The steering wheel felt the same way. Any feedback? Will it improve over time? Maybe I sat in a car with defective leather.

    Also, the center compartment door that opens up with a butterfly hinge was already broken on the car in the showroom. Anyone have this problem too?

  • waltowalto Posts: 34
    I am struck by how much talk there is of MB’s “deteriorating quality,” and by where people get this information, and what different people mean by the phrase.

    I can think of several very different things people mean when they speak of “quality”:

    1. Initial defects on delivery of the car, including both malfunctions and “fit and finish” issues. (The J.D. Powers survey often measures this.)
    2. Reliability. Shorter term day-in-day-out lack of problems requiring attention. This is a first-few-years-of-ownership issue and is usually part of what people mean by “quality.”
    3. Durability, both cosmetically and mechanically, over many years of ownership. Durability is relevant to everything from interior leather and vinyl trim to major drive train components.
    4. Appearance of quality (for example the touch, texture, and visual impression of interior components), which is often a subjective judgement. Expensiveness of appearance is a part of this judgement for many people and includes styling, parts count, and ornamentation (like chrome bezels on instruments and switches). People often associate “expensive” appearance with cost, quality, and durability.
    5. Mechanical feel during operation of components like switches, doors, latches, etc.

    Having owned several MB’s over the past 25 years, and having participated (through my own and friend’s ownership) in most other German and Japanese makes, I have a sense of where MB has been going. In terms of 1 and 2 (initial defects and reliability) I think the MB cars have improved hugely over the past 25 years despite the monstrous increase in systems complexity. In terms of 3 (durability) I think they are about as they have always been, which is to say very good. On the two latter items (appearance of quality and mechanical feel) the current cars are criticized as having “cheap” interiors, but they seem just fine to me. Until the current E (211) car (and to some extent the S and CL), they haven’t been “fancy” and expensive looking in the Japanese idiom that everyone seems to be chasing. I prefer the simpler, functional, relatively straight-forward look of the older E’s (124 and 210). The quality of interior materials in terms of durability is actually excellent. Look at a five year old MB’s compared to BMW’s and Lexuses of the same age. The BMW, particularly, looks badly worn, the Lexus somewhere between the MB and BMW. Until the new E car, the switchgear in the cars was also excellent: robust ball-bearing mounted rockers and plated contacts. The new E car significantly reduces the quality here and uses standard plates (with blanks when optional equipment is not ordered) to reduce the number of wood panel variations that must be made. But it looks fancier and the automotive press is touting MB’s return to quality interiors.

    In terms of appearance of quality and expensiveness of appearance (4), I am surprised at how easily people fall for chrome, brushed chrome, and “matte metal” plastic: perhaps they are too young to remember the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. In the older E car, the cut-outs in the wood around switches and panels had to be perfectly finished because the wood panel edges were visible. This is the expensive way to do things. In the new car, the switch panels either over-fit the cut-outs or chrome bezels are used to hide the edges. This is not my idea of quality, though it has been much more the approach of BMW and Lexus for several years.

    On the subject of initial quality (1) and reliability (2), Consumer’s Union is probably the best source of information. Their data samples are large, and I believe the data is honestly tabulated. Over the past five years (in the 2001 Used Car Buying Guide), MB E-series and BMW 5-series show identical “reliability” ratings: for each manufacturer three years are average, two are above average. To mention a few comparable cars (190 inch four door sedans), the Audi A6 shows below average in all these same years (there is no data for 1997), the Volvo S80 below average in two years, average in one (the car debuted in 1999). Don’t forget that these tabulations do not account for the complexity of systems and options: A Toyota Corolla and S-Class are subjected to the same numerical formula. The only real stand-out for complex cars in these ratings is the large Lexus, which is a car with admirable build quality and quality of components. But the Lexus is simply in a different idiom from the German sedans and not, to me at least, an alternative.

    So why is the MB more expensive than some of these other cars? I’m sure a small part of it is marketing. The amount of standard equipment is another (something MB is evening out with the 211 320E). The hidden content of the car (like oil analysis to determine service intervals and the very high quality of many components) is another. But the other big difference is in long-term durability in everything from the leather to the drive train. I recently heard a discussion about replacing the engine block in a 1994 BMW V-8, apparently a common issue in these cars. This kind of thing is simply unheard of in MB cars. I realize that those who lease a car for two or three years (much less the automotive press, whose idea of a “long term” experience is one year) may not be willing to pay for quality in this sense of the word. I am willing, and I think the cost penalty is relatively modest for the really satisfying long term experience an MB can provide.

    So, are the various MB models less than perfect? To be sure. Has the quality been deteriorating? I don’t think that’s the case.
  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    Wow, thanks walto. You obviously spent a lot of time and thought putting that together. Thanks for trying to give us the benefit of your long-term experience and for setting the trolls straight on this site!
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    I have an E500 coming in early December. I've driven the E320 at the dealer but have been unable to get over when they have an E500 to drive. The salesman told me there is a tremendous difference in the ride quality and handling in the E500, it's much better than the E320. Anyone driven them both and have an opinion?
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    I do not contribute here very often, but my wife and I have owned 3 MBs over the last 5 years. I think the build, fit and finsh, engineering and safty of MB is far superior to most other cars. The driving experience is fantastic and the prestige of the 3-point star is undeniable. The one single aspect of MB quality that I find as a negative is parts reliability.

    Maybe it is just that the Japanese have raised the reliability standards to the point that what was once acceptable is no longer acceptable?
  • rayscarrayscar Posts: 70
    In this issue on page 119 there is a piece just on the 2003 E500. It's very favorable. 0-60 is 5.8 sec! Read all about it.
  • sovrensovren Posts: 17
    Got the word today that my E320 is due in on Oct 24th.

    Tonight they are having their yearly party to introduce the new models. I am going armed with a copy of the threads on the $500 discount if you order the DVD Nav system now. I hope they know about it and will do it.

    I have the Nav system now in my C320 and it is the best money I ever spent. No more worrying, just do what she tells you (like my wife... lol) and you will get there.

    I will let you know if they honor the discount.
This discussion has been closed.