Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well you can't be too quick to go by Car & Driver reviews of Mercedes' cars, because they'll praise them until a comparo is done, then the Benz is nothing. Witness the last comparo of the C320, TL-S, Passat W8, A4 3.0 CVT and 330i. When they first drove the C320 Sport they said that it came so close to mathing the 330i, but in the comparo they complain that it just completely lacks any sporting characteristics...a total reversal of what they said initially.

    I personally don't think Mercedes needs to make their cars better handlers than BMWs. Sure certain Benz models could use more life in their steering, but out-handling a BMW on a mountain road was never, ever part of the Mercedes-Benz engineering brief or philosphy.

    Car and Driver's latest test consisted of mountain road running in which the C320 isn't going to do as well as a 330i. Interestingly enough Automobile Magazine has a article in their Nov issue about 330Ci and Infiniti G35 Coupe. They also have a side segment about the CLK320 and how it compares, they immediately declare the Benz to be what it is first and foremost, a luxury car. They liked the E500, but of course they'd still pick a 540i over it right now. The A6 4.2, Q45 and GS430 probably not, but the 540i yes simply because it handles better.

    Mercedes' "problem" isn't handling or "sportiness" it's bringing back that bank vault feel and construction and reliability. If they did those things they way they used too, nobody would be harping about them not being able out out-handle a BMW. Mercedes' were reliable at a time when BMWs clearly weren't. There are so many old Mercedes' on the road today that are in such great shape, W124, W126, R129, W140 to the point where I can't believe Mercedes would be willing to trade such longevity for such things as out-handling BMWs. Don't get me wrong I love BMW to death, but once people discover that someone else can make a car capable of matching or surpassing a BMW in handling, BMWs are going to have to stand on the other merits of their cars. Not that they can't do that, but it's going to be a lot tougher.

  • maui19maui19 Posts: 31
    I think your post is thoughtful and right on the money. I just bought my first MB, and E320 4matic. I never even considered MB, because my impression of the brand is a soft, old man's car. I tried the E320 because: 1) I have a golfing buddy who works at the dealership; 2) it has AWD. For me, the AWD is mandatory, since I live in snow country. The only reason I'm not in a BMW right now is that they don't have AWD on a full sized sedan. My sense from reading this forum is that many people here don't understand that a huge number of 30-50 yo consider BMW to be the performance brand and MB to be the luxury brand. I see people talking about reliability and longevity as being a key to MB's appeal, but I don't think the core luxury car buyer is planning to keep their car 10 years. There have been many, many brands that have declined because they weren't able to modify their product to appeal to contemporary tastes. I think MB faces that challenge right now.

    As an aside, I am very pleased with my car. It has a very comfortable ride, but responds very well when pushed. It feels very safe and secure and is a pleasure to drive. I'm looking forward to taking it into the mountains this winter.
  • BMW is a great car for in Town, but if you want to travel you need a Mercedes. BMW simply does not have any trunk. I would never consider a BMW untill the day they can give me storage. Might be great for Europe,but not good for traveling in the USA.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    I thank God that Mercedes don't drive or look like BMW's. If they did what would be the point of getting a Benz. Compared to a Benz driving a BMW is like driving a go cart. If that's what 20 somethings want let them have it. I'll take the quiet, solid feel of a C class anyday over a 3 series. BTW I recently drove a new ES300, (my sister just got one), talk a about a non driving machine, I would be bored out of my mind on a long trip with it. When I get in a Mercedes I'm like Goldylocks......"It's Juusst Right!"
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I must be demographically challenged. As a relatively young guy (by my current standards), I bought a Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3 in the late 70's and now as a much more "mature" person, I drive an M5. Go figure.

    Seriously, I can nit-pick a few things about Mercedes and a few things about BMW, but thank goodness they have each other. I believe both have improved their offerings over the years based upon their healthy competitive rivalry. Lexus, as far as I am concerned, has added little to the equation, at least from an engineering or driving enthusiast perspective. They are probably the best built, most boring to drive cars in automotive history.

    I only hope Mercedes offers a turbodiesel E-class prior to my daughter getting full driving privaledges in a year or two. That's the "tank" I would feel most comfortable having her in.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    what do you think of your E320 4matic for just seems to me that a mere 220 HP, + or -, dragged down by AWD, would be sluggish on accel, especially from 0-50 or 60... it just seems like the oomph wouldn't be there, necessitating the V8, as I am considering a used E and would like worthwhile feedback on 4matic... plus, while there are a million 320s in the ads, only a few 420s or 430s...thanks
  • maui19maui19 Posts: 31
    My E320 4 has less than 3000 miles on it, and I am just now starting to punch it a bit. It seems plenty peppy to me, but my last car was an SUV. I am still learning the shift points and the best techniques for keeping the RPMs in the power band. I also think I read something about the drive train being computer controlled, and adjusting to your driving habits. So I'm still really learning the car. I really don't think the AWD has much (if any) drag on the car--particularly when you consider how well it helps put the power on the pavement.

    Bottom line for me: this car has plenty of oomph for me, and is throughbred on the highway. YMMV.

    Let me know if you have more specific questions.
  • sovrensovren Posts: 17
    Alright all you new owners of 2003 E's. Mine is due in on Oct 24'th. Have any of you gotten your dealers to budge on the price?

    If so, please post to this thread. I am curious if there are deals to be made since this is a new car.

    Thanks in advance.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Foreign Motors West in Natick, MA is advertising a lease on a 'base' 2003 E320 for $469/mo -- $4800 down, no sec deposit, $595 acq fee, and first month's payment. 39 mo at 10K / yr. If you do the lease math at today's MBCC money factor and residuals, that;s a pretax price of about $46,000 or about $3,000 discount to MSRP.

    Despite how much some folks love MB on this board, they aren't 'hot' at the dealerships here that carry them and the competition. (BMW and Lexus).

    Herb Chambers in Brookline, MA has 45 (forty five!) E320's in stock.
    17 2003 E320's
    15 2003 E500's
    the rest are 2002s, 2002 Wagons, 2003 Wagons.

    I hear that you can get a deal there too.
  • ron504ron504 Posts: 9
    I am new to the board and need direction. I think I want to upgrade from my 2001 C-class to an E. I like the look and feel of the 2002 over the new 03. My initial thought was to lease an 02 4Matic for 3 years until the bugs are worked out of the new E. But maybe I should stay with my C for another year even though I can hardly stand the squeak in the brakes and squeak in the seat. Would it be better to just get new 03 E. Alright, lay the advice on me. Thanks!!
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Per Edmunds TMV calculator, a E320 that MSRP's at $49,165 gives the dealership a profit of $6,291 (including the 3% holdback ). Not a bad deal, making a 13% percent gross profit for taking the car off the truck and 'prepping it'.
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    I also have a E320 4matic. I have no issues whatsoever with the power. It's torque that provides off the line acceleration and the car has plenty of that in the low RPM range. Highway cruising is have to really keep your eye on the speedometer. You can go 90 like you're sitting at a stop light. It's great since I can haul [non-permissible content removed] without my wife freaking out but it's just asking for trouble with the cops. I can only imagine what more power would be like.

    Oh and the AWD will not be much of an impediment. The other day, during a rainy day, I was next to a FWD Mitsubishi Eclipse Turbo. Kid was sitting at the light gunning his engine. I'm on my way to day care but I figure why not. Light turns green and I punch it. His tires spin on the wet pavement, my car just launches like it was a dry day.

    Another story. 6 of us take a road trip across country roads, I lead and a friend in his big bad X5 (supposedly car like) follows, 3 in each car. I'm driving and chatting with my friends enjoying the ride. We get to the destination and the X5 driver is like "WTF are you trying to do, get me to flip?". Apparently a casual spin in the E on these country roads is beyond the handling limits of his vehicle. I can only imagine what it would have been like if we were actually trying to race.

    The fact of the matter is, the car manufacturers are going crazy with HP and torque. there's way more than anybody needs for day to day use, even in a "lowly" 320. My 1980 Toyota Corolla had something like 90 HP and I could still lay a patch by popping the clutch. You have to see what your main use of the car is. If you're getting it to do ralley driving, sure, the 320 probably won't win many races. If you're looking for a safe, solid, well engineered family car that is economical and very very enjoyable to drive, you can't go wrong.

    I will only drive AWD here in NH and I believe that I own the finest car I could possibly own.

  • sovrensovren Posts: 17

    I too have a terrible problem with squeaking brakes on my 2001 C. I have ordered a 2003 E. It is due into port next Thursday.

    I have really lost my love for the C. I thought it was going to be great, but I have had quite a few fairly major problems with it and have decided to go with the E. Also, the C seems to be losing its value VERY quickly. Much quicker than any other Mercedes I have ever owned.
  • Hope you were on the way to PICK UP your child rather than to DROP OFF!
  • bigrobnhbigrobnh Posts: 114
    I plead the 5th on that one...
  • does the distronic have limitations in heavy rain or snow?I understand you're not supposed to be on cruise in those conditions, but would it be helpful
    if you keep your foot very close to the brake. Occassionally with really heavy downpours you really can't see much in front of you and I wondered if the distronic would function sort of like radar, or do severe weather conditions deteriorate its' functioning?
  • rzrobrzrob Posts: 1
    I've had my '03 E320 Sport for about a month now. I love it. Black on Black. Life of the party wherever I go. Really like the Airmatic suspension and its adjustable preload.

    Got $500 off by being a AAA Member. Got the break from Mission Viejo, CA, but Caliber in Anaheim Hills, CA honored the price.


  • ron504ron504 Posts: 9
    Yea, I don't know about the brakes. I've taken mine in three times for that specific problem and get the same answer, "That's just the way Mercedes brakes sound." Have fun with your new E. What do you think about leasing? I've never leased but trade every two or three so maybe it's a good idea. Especially since here in Little Rock, AR they won't take a penny off the sticker.
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    When we were shopping for my wife's car, we test drove a 325 and a C240. Frankly, I was disappointed with a number of things about the 325. First, it was much noisier than the C240. I'm not a fan of the red dash lighting -- I find it harder to read. I'm not a fan of the console mounted window switches scattered about the console. Was it sportier? Sure, especially with the sport suspension. But that would ahve been lost on my wife. I'd like a suspension a bit firmer than our C240, but the fact is that I'll never approach the cars cornering limits out in the real world.
  • lex10lex10 Posts: 30
    Can anyone comment on their experiences with the E500 sport.Is it a good handling, well balanced car, and is it fast. Does anyone have any updates on the E class navigation system; when is the due date for its arrival, also what is it going to look like.
  • ghomazghomaz Posts: 68
    Can someone please tell me what the "E" in E-class stands for? What about C, G, M and S? Thanks.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    A few folks have posted asking about prices and deals on E-Class MB's.

    Some have discussed old E vs. new E.

    If you believe that $7,000 is a good discount on the 2002 E-320, Clair Motors in the Boston area is advertising them in today's Boston Globe. Deal is an 'up to $7K' off deal and is limited to in stock vehicles only.

    You can see what they have at Their inventory shows 5 or 6 2002 E's, a mix of 320's and 430's, and a couple of 4-matics. They have 2 E55's.

    And just think, a month ago, the dealer's wouldn't even budge.
  • jim256jim256 Posts: 14
    I have read the letters mean the following:
    C: Compact
    E: Executive
    S: Special
    M: Multi-Purpose or Multi-use
    G: Gelandewagen (German which I believe means something like over the terrain)

    There are other interpretations to all the letters, but these seem to be accepted in most publications or lists.

    The numbers may mean engine size, unless marketing gets in the way. (C240 should be C260 but the E240 was so popular in Europe they kept the numeric).
  • I have an E320 on order, though mainly for my wife; I didn't think the E500 offered enough extra meat for the bump in price. I inherited a euro-spec 300E from my parents years ago while I still lived in Germany, and I have to say the new E-Class has indeed "engineered out most of the fun" compared to the older model.

    What I think is lost on this august group is that in Germany the highways are as smooth and polished as a baby's bottom. Slo-poke grannies keep to the side...while driving "only" 90-100mph. M-B cars used to define what a luxurious ride was supposed to be AT TRIPLE DIGIT SPEEDS. That is, M-B sedans were always "luxury/sport" sedans by definition. The comments I read in reaction to Mr. ilxman were nothing short of shocking. They clearly show that M-B's American baby-boomer marketing has overwhelmed their engineering heritage, since this group repeatedly makes the false distinction of M-B=luxury vs. BMW=sport.

    Consider the new brochure I received for the E-Class. Under the heading "New Attitude" the brochure states: "...[T]he new E-Class captures the keen-edged handling of a European sport sedan and ride quality that could only belong to a Mercedes-Benz." That this is a "new" development for Americans is quite a sad commentary on how M-B engineering prowess has been subsumed under the M-B baby-boomer marketing juggernaut. A cocoon that totally divorces me from the road may be OK in a traffic jam, but not at 125mph. More precise steering, simpler ergonomics (fiddling with buttons at 125mph anyone?), and better road feel would indeed be improvements--I'll also join Mr. ilxman in that criticism. The thing is, M-B engineers already provide some of that in some of their AMG models, but the marketing people are too busy dumbing down the handling in core models to cater to boomers like Mr. ccmguy. And yes, M-B has bragged incessantly about their leading-edge new braking system (again a big concern when traveling 125mph!)--and then we find out they can't out-brake a current-generation Lexus(!), let alone a BMW. Folks, these are issues of functional LUXURY, not just "sport" for us Europeans. The point here is that if the Stuttgart engineers were truly let loose to re-define braking in a sedan, I'm confident they would have--instead, M-B marketing dictates that they just stay "close enough" to the leader. This was not the M-B attitude not too long ago....

    I love my memories of driving M-B on the autobahn over the years of my youth (my parents' cars, of course--I'm 37 y.o.). But if not for my wife's fascination with the 3-pointed star, I would have bought a 540i or Audi A6 4.2 to go along with my 911. Mr. ilxman has opened up a badly overdue discussion on the future of M-B, since younger Americans have been schooled on true European driving machines by BMW and won't typically settle for less as a result. That said, the 320 is certainly luxurious and handles well enough for typical American driving tastes--but it could be better if the engineers were let loose once again.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Are you making your commnets based on driving the '03 E Class? The reason I ask is it was my impression that there had been a restoration of past Mercedes handling characteristics that were lost in the 210 chassis.
  • Dear New E-Class Owner
    Vee are sorry dat de factory has omitted the 's' in the verd 'fascinating' in discussions to ver new Merscedes.
    As you are avare, de 'S' Class Merscedes are de most luxury brand dat vee hab. Der was a shortage of 'S's at de factory dis month and we had to ship your new E widout the 's' in fascinating so dat the 'S's had all of der 'S's. A replacement 's' for your new E hab been ordert. It vill be at your dealership in several months. Please czek with your servise deeparment to see if it hab arrived. Ven dee missing 'S' is added to ver new 'E', discussions about it vill be fascinating too.

    -- sorry. I don't visit here too often. But it's always fun to see what's up. Tongue in cheek of course, and no offenses meant. Just reminded me of some experiences I had with an MB dealer.
  • et610et610 Posts: 40
    A while back you said that you were going to have the invica-shield "invisible bra" installed on your new E500 when it arrived in October.

    Did you get it yet? If so did you have the invica-shield installed? What color did you get?
    Does it take away from the appearance?

    I have a black E500 due in a couple of weeks and can't decide what to do. Black and rock chips don't go together, but sure don't want to put something on that takes away from the appearance.

    Anyone else have any experience? The Mercedes dealer tells me that they put on 6 or 7 a week, including BMW. The MB dealer is the only one doing the work in the area.

    Lexus dealer says they put them on all the time and reccommend them.

    Have not seen one on a black MB.
  • et610et610 Posts: 40
    The NYT has a review of the 03 E Series in the Sunday edition. A good review but without much detail.

    Check it out at The link is at the bottom of the main page. You have to do a funky register to access but what the heck.
  • The question was asked earlier but not really answered. Has anyone paid less than MSRP (car and options) for a 2003 E320 or E500. If so how much? The dealer I'm working with says there won't be any discounts until maybe next year. Because it's a new design, they have strong demand right now (they say).

    Seems reasonable since I will have to order a car to get one and they have very few on the lot. Maybe big market dealers have more inventory and are doing deals. I'm not sure. Let me know what you think.
  • Has anyone else experienced a loud buzzing noise through the driver's side windshield at speeds of 65+ ? It sounds like a vibration, butit doesn't seem like the wiper is vibating. Any ideas? Please e-mail me at or respond here.

This discussion has been closed.