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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • dezdez Posts: 6
    I wasn't aware statistics like this were easily accesible to consumers. Any hints as to where a uninformed enthusiast might be directed to, to find such info?
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,112

    I own a 1999 300M from the universally reviled quality/reliability-wise Chrysler Corp. I broke all my rules when buying this car:

    Never buy a first model year vehicle, especially domestic!
    Never buy a domestic!
    Never buy a Chrysler!

    Unfortunately, my emotional side got the better of me as I was totally taken by the styling, performance, ride and utility of this car. Ok, mostly the styling...

    Anyway, other than two first model year, warranty replaced parts, this car has been wonderfully reliable (and fun, economical and did I mention great looking?). My point is (I think), you are playing the odds. If you buy a MB, there is a greater chance you will get a lemon than if you had purchased from Lexus. It doesn't mean that you won't get a lemon from either brand ( a gentleman I work with had a major problem with his Lexus and was none too pleased with the way he was treated), just the odds are greater based on Consumer Reports, JD Power etc that the MB may be less reliable. Do as much research as you can and decide. Any way you look at it, you're taking a chance.

    I personally think the E is a beautiful car and it is on my list. My M only has 62,000 miles, but after having praised it so, I'm not sure I want to keep it much beyond 70,000 miles. I mean, Chrysler does have a reputation... ;-)

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,179
    As a cellular provider I would give you this advice. You need to get a phone that works in your area. IMO GSM is a stop gap measure to try and catch up with the CDMA cell phones. GSM is widely used in Europe. It is expanding in parts of the US also. We get people with GSM phones in our area all the time and they are upset they will not work. Our system only works on TDMA and Analog. If you can get a GSM phone that will default to Analog you should be OK.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    A Starmarked car comes with a 1 year extension of the original warranty and covers up to 100K miles. If you hit 50K miles before the original 4 years, then the Starmark year starts at 50,001 miles for one year. You can buy an additional 1, 2, or 3 years of Starmark coverage. I believe the prices are $900 for 1 year, $1300 for 2 years, and $1700 for 3 years. All expire at 100K miles.

    If you buy new, within the first year in the US (4 years in Canada), you may purchase up to 4 years of an extended warranty. The price is negotiable and can actually be bought from another dealer at a discount. There was a discussion on this point in this forum about a year ago. There is at least one dealer on the west coast who will sell this 4 year extended warranty at a $4-600 discount. Do a search on this discussion to find the details.

    For those considering other warranties, MB has NO deductible at all. Every trip to the dealer under warranty is FREE..! And if your dealer is a good one, a free car wash too.
  • dezdez Posts: 6
    thanks for the good info...
  • Sounds like an antenna problem. Do you have tinted windows? antenna is in the rear glass.
  • I recently had the opportunity to drive the CDI while out of (CA) state. Plenty of power and less ESP intervention than an E320 or E500. Why can I buy an incredibly inefficient 11 mpg Hummer H2 out here, but not the 38 mpg CDI. All passenger vehicles should be held to the same PER-MILE emission standards. Lobbying, and money as free speech are surpassing common sense.
  • weldone99weldone99 Posts: 26
    Had a 2000 E Class and I now have a 2004 E Class. Both have been reliable enough to satisfy me. How can you compare a Lexus or any other vehicle only on reliability. If I don't like a car, no matter how reliable the car, I will not be happy. I rather live with a few additional reliability problems than have a vehicle that I don't like the looks, the way it sits and the way it handles.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    One place to start is right here at Go to New Cars (blue tab above), then follow the links until you get to the Vehicle Detail Pages for the model in which you are interested. On the side of the page you will see a link to "Ratings" which should be helpful. (There are man other helpful links, articles, pages, etc. there as well.)

    You can also look for information from JD Powers, Consumer Reports and others.

    Hope this helps.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    You touched on two sore spots with me.. First is why the CDI isn't available here either (MA). I have to believe it would be a hot selling car with those who want their luxury as well as be able to satisfy their "green" philosophy..
    Second is, I don't understand why the millions of Explorers, Jeeps, Hummers, Escalades can avoid being treated as cars when they have passenger car plates on them. If the owners/manufacturers want to avoid the mpg requirements, then they should be FORCED to register them as commercial vehicles (the trucks that they are) and pay the much higher annual licensing fees (at least they are much higher in MA). If they insist on registering them as passenger cars, then they should pay the gas guzzler taxes EVERY YEAR!

    When you drove the CDI, did you drive it far enought to get a feel for the fuel mileage?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You need to voice your frustration to your elected officials, as do those who live in California, New York and the other 2 states that don't allow th CDI.

    On the one hnad, thank the petroleum lobby for delaying the adoption of low sulfer diesel requirements in the US. As if they aren't making enough money with $43/barrel oil prices, they complained that it would be too costly to do in the US what European countries did nearly a decade ago.

    But even without low sulpher diesel available in the US, the CDI gets roughly 2-3 times the fuel efficiency of the average soccer mom SUV. I agree completely that SUV's (and pick-ups) should fall under the same standards as passenger vehicles. And if they did, the $2,000 to $3,000 gas guzzler tax would result in market forces causing improved fuel economy (and/or a few less SUV purchasers by those who think "off road" means your driveway). If a 4,000 lb E320 CDI can manage 36 mpg on the highway and go 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, there is no reason a 4,700 lb Volvo XC90 (the soccer mom SUV of choice in my area) can't do better than 14-18 mpg with a 0-60 time about 2 seconds behind the Mercedes.
  • Be advised that there is a difference between buying a car and classifying it as a "Lemon", and buying a car and having a few problems. I have owned a 2000 Deville & a 2002 Deville DHS which I liked, but both cars were back at the dealer every 5 weeks to have something electronic replaced, or repaired. I didn't classify them as "lemons". My '04 MB E500, on the other hand, has never been back to the dealer once since Dec '03 delivery.

    Every once in a while the radio/nav will display a wrong screen on start up (CD track # screen, while playing satellite radio) or some other stupid "patented" MB obtuse electronic programming error, but the car is built to last 20 years, built like a bank vault and is deathly quiet. There has been no change in the ride charactaristics since the day it rolled off the dealer's lot. You can't say that about any American or Japanese car, although there are OTHER good things to say about them too.

    The '03s had a few teething problems, which for the most part have been eliminated in the '04s. This is probably the 1st MB in which MB tried to take all of their build skills & marry them to incredible styling and cutting edge electronics. NO Lexus has this E's style, although they do have better designed consumer electronics. They don't have the MBs bank vault quality, but the do have its attention to detail/quality of materials.

    Finally, no other Luxury car has that certain elusive MB "Luxury car status". That takes time, not just quality. The Lexus's are great cars, but no matter what, they don't have that Tri-Star on the hood... thats not to say that in time, they may not achieve that "Benz Status", but there IS a difference, real or imagined.
  • We have recently purchased a pair of E320 sedans, and both of them have the strangest smell when they are started, and the A/C is running. It is a sour musty smell. I am sure that there is some mold or something growing in the evaporator cases. Living here in S. Florida, we are probably more likely for such things due to the moisture, etc. but I have never had this problem in other cars, and to have two of them do the same thing is amazing.

    Has anyone else had this problem, and is there an easy cure?

  • I just wanted to take a second to say how wonderful my 1994 E320 (second to last of the W124's) has been. I get a consistent 23 to 24 mpg while driving like I have a death wish for speeding tickets. It still is as quiet as a bank vault with 143K miles and has so few signs of wear they need to be pointed out. I is still one of life's great driving pleasures.

    I had the (stupid) wire loom replacement because the engine harness wiring had an environmental "time-out" and turned to junk to the tune of $1200 but everything else has been mild and routine.

    This has been my fourth MBZ ( 1983 300D, 1985 300D, 1992 190E and this). I worry about it finally wearing out in the not too distant future. I know I'm in California and I know some last many hundreds -- but I think there could be legitimacy to my worry.

    I don't like the 1996 to 2002 style E-Class even a little bit, but the new (2003 - 2005) are incredible. I drove an E500 at the Lexus Taste of Luxury soiree and I was very impressed. I don't know if the quality and attention to detail is as good as the older products and my mechanic as well as some of these posts give me pause. I guess time will tell. I hope so. I'd like to set my sights on an '04 in a couple years. Cheers.
  • dezdez Posts: 6
    Well I just purchased the 05 E320 a week ago, loved the car, everything is nice - today my NAV system started to act funky - it hung/stalled then rebooted itself and it got stuck twice. I hope its not the sign of things to come, I was worried about the electrical/radio/nav b/c of some of the posts i have read on 03's and 04's I hope this car doesnt go south on me. I feel like im waiting for the other shoe to drop and hope that that feeling goes away.
  • pecclespeccles Posts: 52
    New V6 and V6 CDI engines available with 7G-Tronic:

    E350: 3.5 Liter V6 with 272PS from December 2004
    E280 CDI: 190 PS 3.0 Liter V6-CDI by June 2005
    E280: V6 with 231 PS 2.8 Liter June 2005
    E400 CDI: V8 with 300 PS by September 2005
    E320 CDI 4matic: V6-CDI 3.0 Liter 231 PS by
    September 2005
  • pcvettepcvette Posts: 4
    Anyone have an E55? Experience a tick/pause/hiccup when starting out (in "C" or "S") - reportedly the supercharger coming on at 1200 - 1800 RPM.. Fells like AC coming on? Thanks.
  • I just leased a 2004 E-320. Anyone know when the next Navigation DVD will be out? Do you subscribe to this or what?
  • jrigjrig Posts: 5
    I have been informed that Mercedes presently offers some free scheduled maintenance on the 2004 E class models and will not be doing so on the 2005 models. Does anyone know if this is true? Also, are there warranty changes from the 2004 to the 2005 model years? Any other changes planned that anyone can inform me of? Thank you very much.
  • alancalanc Posts: 1
    My 2004 E320 has 17,000 miles on it and i have started to hear a knocking sound coming from the front right when I am braking at around 20-30 mph. I am not referring to a knocking of the engine, but it sounds like a knock coming from the brakes or shocks. I have had the car inspected by MB and they checked the brakes and suspension and found no faults. I have been told this is a normal sound for an E class, however I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this sound. Thanks very much!
  • boiler1boiler1 Posts: 56
    is included for the first 4 years or 50k miles on 2004 models but is not included for the 2005 model year. I figure the benefit is worth at least $1000.

    landinggear - I think you can prepay for up to 3 nav updates through MB (at a discount) or pay as you go. Let's hope the next dvd has much more detail as the current version is junk compared to my Pacifica's fantastic nav!
  • EdsotoEdsoto Posts: 42
    From a 2002/E320 owner:

    There are two maintenances that you need to do: Flexible Service A and Flexible Service B...

    Flex A:
    REPLACE: oil, oil-filter, and dust filter;
    CHECK or INSPECT: Brakes, fluids, all lamps, seat belts, etc.

    Flex B:
    REPLACE: oil, oil-filter, and dust filter, wipers, rotate tires, lubricate throttle linkage.
    CHECK or INSPECT: Brakes, fluids, all lamps, seat belts, axle ball joings, poly-v-belt.

    Flex A: Every 12,000 miles; B: 24,000 Miles.

    WELL: There is a big difference between REPLACING and CHECKING. Example: They will check your brakes, but will pay for brake replacement (Pads/rotors = $500.00 or so).

    Free Maintenance seems to be a bit more than an oil-change. If you plan to keep your car for longer than four years, if you get an oil-change at a local, reliable, MB mechanic, you will probably end up doing much better than relying on the MB Service Station. Hopefully you can build a good customer relationship with your local mechanic.

    The next time you are at the MB Dealership, goto the service bay and ask how much is Flex A and Flex B service. Guessing it should be around 750.00. So in four years, that would be 1500.00.

    Then, if this is a new purchase, invest 15 minutes at mechanic and ask him how much would it be if you brought your new car here for service...

    Just a thought.
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    You mentioned that you didn't like the looks of the 1999-2002 E-classes...(that's just opinion). The drive train is SO much better on the newer E-class than the previous "E". We have a 1995 E320 in my family and the difference between my 2000 E compared to the older E is like night and day. My 2000 E430 performs SO much better in handling, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like the 1995 "E" convertible because it is larger than the next generation "C" convertible. I hate that Mercedes made the four seater convertible smaller than the 1993-1995 E class cabriolet.

    Just my .02, Mark156
    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
  • vicvvicv Posts: 41
    Our 04 E-320 is our first car purchase that included free preventive maintenance. Other cars have included Cadillac, Buick, Chevy (Corvette), Mercury - and I maintained all of them. Filter replacement, tire rotation, fluid & belt checks, etc. are never that difficult. If you don't want to take the car to MB, an aftermarket garage can do it, but check with MB first about the warranty. As long as the car is serviced IAW the book and receipts available, GM & Ford honored the warranty. If MB won't, consider another manufacturer or pay through the nose for their service. BTW, tire rotation is best done at around 5,000 miles, especially on cars with IRS. I rotated the tires on our E at 5K. We have close to 8K now and everything is still smooth.
  • diesel11diesel11 Posts: 21
    I think you are a bit confused about Lexus and Mercedes Benz. Yes MB has a longer history, but that does not mean that their quality is up to par with Lexus. Volkswagen and GM also have been around longer than Lexus and their quality isn't exactly #1.

    I have a 2001 LS430 and a 2003 ML350. I love the LS430, and my wife loves the ML350 (her car). I have test driven the E-classes many times as well. Hands down the LS430 is the more "solid" car, with tomb-like quietness and unbeatable reliability. You probably don't believe Consumer Reports, but JD Power also rates Lexus as king of the Large and Mid-size Luxury cars with respect to quality. Just check in at some of the Lexus web-sites like clublexus and you realize that they are complaining about almost nothing as compared to Merc owners.

    Agree, Mercs are very attractive, but Lexus is the quality king and reliability King. Why do you think Lexus is #1 in luxury car sales.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    That's an apt description.

    Unfortunately, "tomb like" also describes Lexus in terms driving dynamics. At least for anyone that defines driving dynamics as something other than setting the cruise control on a straight stretch of highway.

    I have been a frequent passenger passenger in various LS's as well as SC430's and GS's. Recently, I considered and test drove the GS430 as a sedan replacement. Granted, BMW and Mercedes could learn a few things from Lexus in terms of reliability. However, after riding in and test driving various Lexus models since they first arrived in the US 15 years ago, I am convinced that Lexus' "passionate pursuit" is to build the perfect Buick. The SC430 handles more like an overweight sedan than a 2+2 roadster. The GS430 handles more like a Toyota Avalon than the BMW 5 series it claims to compete with.

    I also seriously considered the 2005 E320 CDI and, although I didn't buy it, it's a sad commentary that I found the most "frugal" Mercedes 30+ mpg diesel a hell of a lot more fun to drive, with crisper handling and steering, than the most "sporty" vehicles in the entire Lexus line-up.

    To each there own. Maybe if I was indeed "dead", I would would want to be driven to the cemetary in a Lexus hearse. But in the meantime, "tomb like" isn't an attribute I am looking for in a premium vehicle that I want to enjoy DRIVING every day.
  • diesel11diesel11 Posts: 21
    I don't disagree on most of your points. Mercedes has a distinct driving attraction over Lexus, but most Lexus drivers don't feel as though this advantage is worth the stark quality and reliability drop-off, as well as the increased cost.

    Mercedes has abandoned their original goal of safety and tank-like reliability in favor of new electronic gadgets and features, which is why their reliability is so poor.

    Personally, when I spend $50 K on a car I don't want it i n the shop much. Just my opinions, but don't you wonder why Lexus has over-taken Mercedes in sales so quickly?

  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 266
    This is exactly the decision I came to about 4 months ago when I bought my '04 LS430 vs. an E500. Yes, I did cross shop these two at the time even though many folks on this board think that is heresy to do so. It came down to these after looking at the entire range of vehicles in the market as 4-door sedans. I was in a '98 Lexus GS300 but wanted more room if possible and had a budget that I was working in that topped out around $65-70k range.

    I really liked the way the E-class drove and felt but realized that I didn't want to deal with all the hassles that I was reading about Plus had some friends who were sick of their second class treatment at their Mercedes dealers when scheduling service, etc. I realized in evaluating everything that I would value the reliability and quality advantage more than the driving experience when the car was running 100%.

    I do enjoy seeing the E-class and may one day be into a Mercedes if they can improve their product quality and reliability back to its historic levels. I had always expected myself to be owning one someday.

    I enjoy my LS and don't regret for one single minute my choice and look forward to having it in my hands to drive versus becoming a frequent visitor for unscheduled service at the dealer.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I can certainly understand the appeal of Japanese reliability and a hassle free ownership experience. I was pretty close to dropping $60k on a Porsche Boxster S as a "fun" car a couple of years ago, but elected to go with a $32k Honda S2000 instead. My neighbors with a Boxster had just had their power roof fail for a third time in less than 18 months and had more than a few other annoyances. That prospect seemed inconsistent with the purpose of a "fun" car. However, my decison was also made a lot easier after test driving the S2000 and realizing that it didn't require any significant compromise to the Porsche in terms of performance and driving feel.

    My gripe about Lexus is mostly a personal one. I realize that the majority of Lexus buyers can't tell that much of a difference between an LS and an E-class (or better yet, 5-series) in terms of how they drive. And if I couldn't I wouldn't find the LS as objectionable. I know this sounds harsh, but other than sound insulation and a fantastic looking interior, there really isn't that much of a difference in the way a $18k Toyota Camry and a $60k Lexus LS430 drive. And if you disect the real ground up engineering behind the cars, you will see that there really isn't much of a difference.

    I agree that I wouldn't want to buy a $50k-$70k sedan (or $60k fun car), only to have reliability headaches. On the other hand, I don't think Mercedes E-classes or BMW 5-series are as bad as you think. Lexus has yet to dethrone the 530i as Consumer Reports highest rated car of all time.

    So if minimizing maintenance is your highest priority, driving dynamics be damned, Lexus is a good choice. But I can't pay that steep of a price, any more than I would trade in my wool suits for polyester ones, just because the latter require less maintenance that the former. Lexus just doesn't feel good to me and, in spite of their ads, I have yet to locate any "passion" in the car, at least not with the engine running.
  • diesel11diesel11 Posts: 21
    Yikes, you are a genuine Mercedes snob!. I love the way my car drives and I think this arguement is like saying I like blonds more tha n brunettes. Just cause I like the way my LS drives does not make me stupid or a lesser driver. Yikes lol.

    Lexus as a polyester suit, now that's just funny.

    I am very passionate about my car, probably as much as you are. I certainly would not imply that Merc owners are not sophisticated people, because they aren't that reliable. According to CR, a 6 month old 7-series has more reliability problems than a 5 year old that's just crazy.

    I like Mercedes a lot, but do you really think that only you can determine the driving difference...essentially you are implying that most Americans are pretty unsophisticated, as Lexus is by far and away the #1 Luxury seller.

    Polyester...yeesh, you need some perspective.

This discussion has been closed.