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2013 and earlier-Mercedes Benz E-Class Prices Paid



  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    edited December 2011
    First of all, you can only get ONE USAA pricing per calendar year. I have only been able to use USAA pricing for PURCHASE only. I don't know if they have lease pricing. You need to check that out for yourself by going to the site. I have never seen lease pricing on USAA.

    Secondly, if you are going to purchase both cars, you can purchase one before the end of this month, and then another on Jan. 2, 2012. Another possibility, if you are married, is to have your wife (who can qualify since you are a member of USAA) purchase the second car with her name first on the title and your name second on the title. This way, the dealer can RDR (report the sale) to Mercedes as one in your name, and another in your wife's name. If you call USAA, they will explain how this can work for you. You just need to add her as a member with her own membership number. Remember, USAA is for veterans AND their immediate families.

    As for "bundling" discounts and incentives, the only one that can be bundled with the USAA and/or the Conquest or special Loyalty would be the Mercedes Benz Financial loyalty which is $2000 this month. So, you should be able to purchase the vehicle for invoice, + 500 less $2000 for USAA, and another $2000 for MB Financial Loyalty. You cannot combine any other incentives with USAA or with the $4000 Winter Event money - only the MB Financial loyalty money. Remember, the dealer is under no obligation to sell you the vehicle for invoice, only the USAA obligates a starting price for the vehicle, which is $500 over invoice less $1500.

    Since you asked the question about MF, remember, I do not know about leasing since I purchase my cars. YOu need to check this out with USAA and your dealer. The interest rate on purchase is 1.9% less up to 1% since they have a mark-up of 1% on that rate. Not all dealers are willing to give up that 1% or so. I was able to et 1.6%, but on an $18000 loan, it doesn't amount to much.

    Good LUck

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    You're going to love this new E350!

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    First of all, it seems that you are driving way too much for leasing. Leasing is very expensive if you drive more than 15000 miles per year, at least that seems to be the break point. Once you get to 18,000 miles per year, the costs sky-rocket due to depreciation.

    Secondly, you are paying about $200 per month over their advertised lease rate of $599.00 + about $4500 total out of pocket for a new E350 P1 lease, which I believe you might be able to negotiate down just a bit with a motivated dealer. Take that $200 per month and multiply it by 36 months, and you come up with $7200, which is what you are really paying to get out of your C300 lease early.

    Thirdly, unless you are getting 20,000 miles per year on your lease, which is minimally what you need, if not more, based upon your driving history, you will be in the same mess as you are now as you approach the middle of your lease.

    I would recommend that compare what you would owe Mercedes at the end of your C300 lease for overmiles with an outright purchase of the car for 66 months at 1.9% interest (which is free money in my booik) with $5000 down.

    You are really between a rock and a hard place because of the miles you drive. Just make sure leasing is right for you. Right now, leasing is the last thing I would do when driving 20,000 miles a year.

    Good LUck

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • Purchased a 2012 E 350 Luxury 4Matic this weekend at $1,750 under invoice. Was going to get rear wheel drive but manager convinced me to go 4Matic for better resale value. Thanks for all the good advice from this board. Looking forward to my first Mercedes!
  • 1) To the post regarding a 2012 E350 4matic: Please check any "facts" the salesman at that dealership is telling you before you decide he is "trustworthy". The single largest determinant of trade-in/resale will be color combo and condition. The 4matic $2500 retail feature for a 2/3/4 yr old E350 best case will only bring equal trade-in or resale value compared to same E350 in non-4matic. The luxury version does not have staggered tires, so with tire rotation with factory OE tires will be approx 25K-20K (tire manufacturers use a softer tread on factory tire versus what you can get same tire retail) and on Sport tire life is 12K-15K without rotation. 2nd set of tires properly selected with "harder tread" will extend 2nd set tire life up to 40K on luxury and 30K-35K on Sport - if you know tire ratings. Luxury option with 17" wheels is not any lower than Sport with 18" wheels, so Luxury realistically will not increase trade-in/retail down the road either. Sport gets you a very nice wheel, best in Luxury to get the wood/leather wheel. Forget invoice in December - on E350 in-stock, $5K+ discount should be commonly available, some dealers may go down up to $1K/$1.5K more depending on the volume of that dealership.

    2) On the lease question - like other Mercedes Financial incentives - these are all seaprate issues from price negotiation. That said, your cost includes the finance cost.. A EZ-out 18 months on a 36mo lease is going to cost you something extra, this month if you are carrying a MBFS lease converted to a new MBFS lease on a E, then you qualify for a MBFS credit of 8 months additional payments against that lease - you need to figure that out, 18 months into the lease with credits gets you into 26 months of 36, and mileage excess would be also calculated against 26/36 instead of 18/36. On a early lease return it is your right to clearly understand what the early termination is, and how it is calculated, so that you clearly understand how much from that fee is being rolled over into the cap cost of the new car. If you were rolling over into a 2012 C-Class or 2012 ML this month, MBFS would also make your first two payments up to a $1300/$1500 cap respectively. Thhis 2-payment bonus on the new contract does NOT apply to a new lease on the E this month.

    3) The only way a dealer can afford to discount the 1.9% financing is if they are a bit-more-tha on the front end than might be possible for you to neogiate. . I call "negotiating 1.6%" on a 1.9% finance program of frigging time - better to get free floor mats plus a rear spoiler, for instance, from the front end guys rather than d*ck around with F&L on the lowest finance rate MB has ever offered.

    The right focus on options in the car will have the greatest amount of impact on your driving enjoyment - anyone who buys a E350 withpout lane racking package (or better) has not studied the E350, buying a E350 without 60/40 split rear seat is questionable - buy the E350 that has the options that will benift your ownership.driving experience - THEN you can focus on insuring a good deal.

    If I was looking to buy a new E350 - with gas prices all forecasted to continue their increase over the new 2-3-4 yrs - I would seriously revisit gas vrs BlueTech; unless you need snowchains on your car I would avoid 4matic (I like 4matic at lot but today for a E350 4matic it is the same as paying $.30 more a gallon at the pump, as we go forward it will be like paying $.40-$.50-$.60 more as gas prices per gallon go up): and I would seriously look at options like lane assit pacakge, since 2-3 yrs from now this feature will be standard on more cars.

    Sorry to be long - but you guys seem to be good people, and you need to understand more than just USAA, blah, blah, blah.. the E350 is a awesome car, and it is better to focus on the car you need and will enjoy, than to waste energy with too much focus on back end purchase.

    It really blows my mind that many salespeople do not konw, or choose not to tell, the reality of 4matic, or the reality of Sport v Luxury - instead they don't know, or don't want to say - the truth !
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    edited December 2011
    The purpose of this forum is to provide as much "up-front" information to prospective buyers of the E class vehicle as possible so that a buyer can go into a showroom with ammunition to deal with these salespeople, or even a sales manager, which is usually what happens in most dealerships when a salesperson is asked a myriad of questions by a knowledgable customer. That is the reason I try to answer as many questions as possible to forum visitors - to ensure they have sufficient information to deal!

    *As for your comment about 4-matics, I agree. Unless you live north of the so-called Mason-Dixon line, a 4-matic is not worth the extra dollars you will pay for the car and/or the extra gasoline you will burn. BUT there are many folks out there who can afford the extra bucks and who feel safer with an all-wheel-drive vehicle. Even here in South Florida, with all the rain we get, I know many people who buy all-wheel-drive vehicles. So, the final comment of 4-matics should be, "...get it if you feel more secure and don't mind spending some extra bucks on something you might not need!"

    *As for your comment on 1.9%, in 2010 MB Financial offered a .9% rate up to 66 months, which was advertised. So, 1.9% is not the lowest rate MB has ever offered. Secondly, if an individual is going to borrow $45,000 on an E class vehicle, and can save 1% over 66 months, then over the term of the loan, which might be 66 months, he/she could save $450 the first year, $400 the seond year, etc. So, the savings could be significant if you could save 1% on a financed vehicle. I do not consider providing that information a waste of time or effort.

    *USAA provides a great service to veterans and their families. If an individual can qualify for a USAA purchase, then why not let them know who might be eligible and where the pricing is. Last year, it was $4000 under dealer invoice, which was significant. This year, it isn't as significant, but still, $500 over invoice less $2000 is not peanuts. And if it can be bundled with an MB Financial incentive of $2000, that means you can buy that car for $3500 under dealer invoice. We all understand that there is a 2% holdback on dealer invoice, but isn't it ok for a dealer to make $1500 or so on a sale, which would be all back-end money for the dealer? And, depending upon where you buy your car, not all dealers are willing to sell a car at cost to them. Down here in Florida, there are 12 Mercedes Benz Dealerships within 50 miles (Palm Beach to South Miami). But in many parts of the country, there is only 1 dealership within 200 or 300 miles, and that dealership is in no big hurry to give away cars.

    *As for you comment on lane tracking, I do not feel people who do not consider or purchase that option "...have not studied the E350!" What kind of comment is that? And it certainly is not questionable if a person decided against getting the folding rear seats. I've had folding rear seats in my Mercedes Benz vehicles for years, and have never, ever used them. So, since I ordered this one (first one I ever ordered from the factory), I decided not to get the $450 option, but rather got the $450 ventilated seats, since this is going to be MY CAR WITH THE OPTIONS I WANT! It is quite possible lane tracking will eventually become standard on cars, but when I drove one with lane-tracking for a week last year, I found it distracting, so I turned it off. As you can see, NOT ALL PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME NEEDS OR THOUGHTS YOU HAVE! I buy what I want, not what others think I want!

    *Finally, of course people need to focus on more than just what they pay for a car, as you mentioned in your next to last paragraph. But USAA, MB Financial Incentives, Conquest Incentives, Loyalty Incentives, dealer costs, factory cost, etc., is more than blah, blah, blah! As I am sure you know, there is a shortage of E350 sedans. Instead of a dealer having an inventory of 15-30 of them, which is usual for most of the dealers down here in South Florida, there a now a total of 36 among all the dealers. 36 of them between 12 dealers, or an average of 3 vehicles per dealer So, the more a prospective customer knows, the better chance he/she can get a little better deal.

    THIS FORUM IS FOR E CLASS PRICING AND BUYING EXPERIENCES and that is why lots of people ask questions and seek answers to pricing. It's because they want to get the best deal possible on the car they want. Sure, people should also know that often you can get a much better price on a car that the dealer has in stock because he makes the sale immediately, etc. If he has to dealer trade the car, there is a $250 to $1000 additional cost for transporting that car to his dealership, not to mention sending the dealer he got the car from a replacement vehicle - and the cost involved in that.

    Why not give as much information as possible. You have provided your input as well as plenty of feedback. That's good. But you don't have to be facetious or condescending about those of us who spend their time trying to help others or those who seek help.


    2018 Mercedes S450

  • kevinc5kevinc5 Posts: 204
    Good post. Thanks. What do you think is the reason for the E350 shortage?
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    Congratulations on your 4-matic purchase.

    If you live up north where there is snow and/or ice, then your salesperson was correct - you will get a better trade value on the car up north than if you got the rear wheel drive version. But, if you live where there isn't much or any snow, the resale value may be the same, or even less, due to the added cost you paid and the fuel needs. It all depends upon where you end up trading the car - up north or down south.

    Just enjoy your car, that is the main consideration. I don't buy cars based upon what I might or might not get when I trade them. The individual who responded to your post who was negative about what your salesperson said about resale may not have considered where you live and how much snow you get.

    One more comment on resale. My new E350 Sport has tons of upgraded options and packages. If I considered what I would get on a trade in 3 or 4 years on a Mercedes Benz, I would have purchased the $57,500 Sport over the one I ordered, which was $62,325, since both will bring approximately the same trade value in 3 years. You need to buy what will make you happy, and you sure seem happy.

    If I lived in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Mass., Vt, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, etc., I sure as heck would get a 4-matic and would expect it to bring more dollars on resale over a rear wheel drive identical Mercedes.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    I've asked several dealers down here in Florida (Delray, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach and Ft. Lauderdale) where I have friends and/or acquaintences working in those dealerships or managing them, and they said that they have ordered lots of them, but this seems to have all started in the summer.

    Mercedes Benz had lots of 2011 E350 sedans throughout the U.S. They had so many, they decided to no start building the 2012's until September 1st, 2011. You might be aware that the 2012 E350 coupes and convertibles got to the U.S. dealers in late may, early June of this year. That was 4 1/2 months sooner than the sedans. Thus, there has not been sufficient time for inventories to build up like they usually do over the summer months. There aren't lots of coupes or convertibles around either, but there of many more coupes and convertibles than there are sedans.

    Mine was built on September 3rd and I took delivery on October 17th, but my dealer only received "rush ordered" E350 sedans that day, 6 of them. He didn't get another sedan for almost 2 weeks, nor did any of the other dealerships, most of which are owned by AutoNation, the largest dealership network organization in the country.

    When I spoke with a few of the managers I know, they told me that they sell the cars (E350 sedans) even before they get to the port because the shortages, and many of the sales are dealer trades due to the shortages. They are all dumbfounded as to the reason Mercedes Benz waited so long to introduce the E350 sedan in our country. The BlueTech and E550's and E63's have been available since August, but the E350's have not.

    I have a friend I am trying to help get an E350 sedan for with certain color combination and interior, P1, ventilated seats, drive dynamic drivers seat and folding rear seats, and I've been informed that it will need to be ordered since what he wants is not available in current production, on the ocean, or at a port. Last year, when I wanted my 2011 in silver w/black interior, walnut trim and P1, etc., not only did my dealer have 3 of them, but there wre 16 of them in the southeast region. So, something is definitely different this year from last year.

    By the way, I am willing to bet that Mercedes continues their current incentives and financing through the middle of January because there are so many cars currently in production or on the ocean headed to the various ports which were ordered by dealers for customers but could not deliver them due to shortages. Let's see if I'm right.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • My car is scheduled to arrive at the port on 12/26. We're going to get the deal done in '11...but will probably be the first week of '12 til I take possession. Counting the days!
  • Very interesting post. Thanks for that back-story.
  • kevinc5kevinc5 Posts: 204
    Thanks...I thought the reason for the shortage was inventory management and the desire to support higher pricing. Sounds like there was a lot more to it than that..
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    Hello, All,
    This forum is really great and it is very helpful to get feedback from all of your experiences. Sometimes it raises a lot of questions and it might be nice to just walk into a dealer and get the car that strikes you without all of the research (just kidding).
    I am coming off of a BMW 528 lease, have had Lexus before, and am probably going to get the E350 now. Have several questions which some of your previous posts address, but would like your feedback on my situation.
    1. BUY OR LEASE?
    My firm pays for car payments, and would pay for lease or purchase. I have leased cars over the years, but am older now (57) and am thinking about buying so won't have car payments after car is paid off. My wife and I are conservative and I probably won't retire for another 15 years the way the economy is. Car payment for purchase with very agressive Mercedes financing at present would be around $900/month. Lease would be around $630/month. Company would pay for either. MB salesman suggested leasing because if I really liked the car at end of lease, I could always buy it and roll it over into a MB financing loan. If I didn't want to keep it, I could just turn it in. He also said that with leasing I won't have to worry about maintainance if things break after warranty ends (he suggested that if I do buy, get extended warranty). This makes sense, but if firm is paying, then doesn't it make sense to buy? Another factor is with changes in cars (hybrids, electric) in coming years, if I buy this car and want to change due to changing technology, would value be greatly lower in next few years?
    My wife and I test drove both yesterday. The ride was definitely different in both. The Luxury was a softer ride and more play in steering wheel. The Sport was more like my BMW with feeling the road more and steering more responsive. My wife liked the Luxury (more like her Lexus) and I liked the Sport. She told me to get what I want. I'm leaning toward Sport but wonder if I would grow tired of the not-as-smooth ride over the years as I get older, and maybe the smoother would be better over long run. Also, the fact that the tires are staggered and can't be rotated has been mentioned. How much is this a real life factor?
    The salesman said that the Sport outsells the Luxury by over 10 - 1, which is probably a function of MB making the Sport in greater numbers and it is more available.
    3. Options.
    Want simple options: only Premium 1 package, lane tracking/blind spot assist.
    Any thoughts? Too much overthinking?
    Thanks for your feedback.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    You pose some very interesting questions, however more information is needed in order to give you a proper response:

    *How many miles do you drive in a year? That is needed for lease vs. purhase. If you drive 15000 miles per year, that means in 36 months, you will have driven 45,000 miles. Remember, your warranty is for 50,000 miles. Of course you can purchase the extended warranty, which I have because the dealer threw it in as part of the deal after negotiations were finalized. Definitely worth the bucks if you are going to keep the car for 4 or 5 years.

    If you drive 15,000 miles a year, I would lease since the company is paying for the car. If you drive 10,000 miles per year, I would buy. If you keep the car for 5 years (if you buy) you would be able to get a good resale due to lower mileage.

    *Sport vs. Luxury: I'm 67 years old and have always bought a sport E350. To me, handling and performance outweigh softer and looser. I used to buy BMW's, so I am familiar with your comparison. I know you will find the Merecedes is far superior in every way.

    The dealer was correct that 9 out of every 10 E350 sedans sold is a sport. There are shortcomings to the sport - tire and wheel sizes are not the same front to rear, so you cannot rotate tires; the sport is slightly lower in stance so if you park in an area where there are front curbs for the nose of the car, be careful not to pull too close or you will scrape the bottom of the lower front of the car; interior is slightly different - more aluminum and chrome trim in the sport. I still prefer the sport because of the stiffer feel and better handling.

    *The 1.9% financing rate (can negotiate a lower rate, I got 1.6%) is a truly outstanding interest rate for a Mercedes, expecially considering you can extend the loan to 66 months.

    *Your sales person is not well informed about leasing. If you drive 18,000 to 20,000 miles per year, your leased vehicle would be out of warranty within 2 1/2 years. If you drive 12,000 miles a year or even 15,000 miles a year, your car would be covered for the term of the 36 month lease. Again, need to know how many miles you drive a year to give you better answers.

    *Options: For most, Premium 1 package is more than sufficient. My 2012 is the first one I"ve had with Premium 2, but since I drive alot at night, those Xenon lights, corning lights and adaptive lighting package are a great addition. I also thought the automatic trunk closer from the rear was a waste, but, since having it, I use it all the time. You have two buttons, one to just close the trunk, the other to close the trunk and "lock the car and set the alarm". Whenever we go shopping for groceries, it sure is a handy feature. I also like the keyless entry and start - never have to fumble around looking for my key. So long as I have it in my pocket, I'm set.

    But I was very happy with premium 1. Since I live in Florida, I also got the ventilated seats (which require leather seating, another 1600+ option). Boy, they really cool your back and bottom quickly on a hot, muggy day, which we have here 7 months a year. We haven't used the heated seats with ventilation yet, but I would imagine up north, they sure are great. Other than these, sounds like you are getting what you need.

    *As for overthinking, remember as we get older, we tend not to make snap decisions as we did when we were younger. We think things out before making a move. YOu are only doing what most of us do.

    Once we know how many miles you drive, the answer to leasing vs. buying will be easier to advise you on.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    edited December 2011
    Inventory management is always a consideration, i.e. floor plan (which are interest costs the dealer has to deal with for the money he borrowed from the bank(s) and/or the manufacturer to purchase the cars he has in inventory. The higher the inventory, the more interest that hs to be paid - but with interest rates so low at the present time, I doubt inventory management had much to do with it, if anything.

    As for low inventories to increase pricing, any dealer would rather sell 2000 cars a year with a total front and back end profit of 2000 than to sell 1000 cars with total profit on each sale of 3000, or even 4000. Dealers who sell more cars are considered "favored" dealers by their manufacturers and get more corporate perks. Each dealer pays the same for a car, no matter how big or small the dealer may be, but there are additional incentives "per car" that are provided, above and beyond hold-back.

    Believe it or not, because of sites such as Edmunds,, Vehix, etc., I have learned that many dealers are offering customers "The Edmunds Pricing" to start negotiations or the " Pricing".

    Edmunds shows you what the average buyer is paying for a particular car with specific options, once you build your car on Edmunds. So, some dealers have decided on this new policy to cut down on the time it takes to negotiate a deal. When I was n the business, it could take up to 3 hours of hard negotiations to arrive at a price (not all were that long, but the average was 1 1/2 to 2 hours). Now, when a sales person presents their first penciled numbers, they start at MSRP and show the customer the Edmunds price. Their pitch is simple, this is what the average person is actually paying for this car according to Edmunds. They even show the Edmunds fact sheet which is shown online. Once dealer told me theya have cut the time it takes to negotiate a deal by 70%. That makes the customer happier and of course, it makes life easier for the management and salesperson.

    Let's assume an average Lexus GS350 MSRP's at about 53,000.00. Let's say Edmunds shows that the average price paid for that identical dealer is $51,000. But let's say the customer says he wants a better deal than the average customer. So, they take another 500 off the price which makes the customer happier. There is still a profit of 2000+ on the car for the dealer, and negotiations were pleasant instead of causing hate and discontent.

    Of course, there are so many people using sites like Edmunds prior to purchasing a car that it is almost impossible to make big profits on cars today. It's volume that is important to a dealership now for the above reasons. Many managers and sales people tell me that customers are starting to come into the dealership offering "invoice" for the car and not a penny more. Those are the most difficult customers to deal with because they are inflexible. A dealer cannot sell all his cars at invoice - he'd be out of business in less than a year. He can sell some cars at invoice, and even a few below invoice, but it's the average net profit that management looks at.

    Dealers know that they are not going to sell a Toyota or a Lexus for MSRP. So why not cut to the chase. Consumers are smarter now because of sites like Edmunds and Forums like this.

    Just thought you might find this interesting, Kevin.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • Hi David,
    Now that Mike has weighed in and voted for Sport, I guess it's my turn to speak up and vote Luxury! :-) OK, really, they're both great and you can't really screw up this decision. But....I owned a Luxury first....then went to the Sport....and am now awaiting delivery of a '12 Luxury model. I'm 54, a woman. While the sport ride is definitely fun, the BIG difference for me was the noise. The low profile tires are definitely louder. The Luxury cabin has a much quieter ride, in my opinion. I've also stepped up to the P2 this time--in large part for the headlight package. It's not getting any easier driving at night, so this seemed like a smart move for a car I plan to keep for awhile. And to Mike's point about the lower front end, I can speak from experience on that one. That scraping sound over the curb is a killer. Haven't done serious damage but have scraped it more than once. It's deceivingly low. Each model has some spectacular features. You'll love either---promise. Good luck!
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    Thanks for sharng your experience and suggestions. I drive 12,000 miles per year. The lower profile is a real factor, as the curb in front of our house is high, and I've dinged my BMW up when I wasn't as careful as I should be.
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I didn't notice the louder noise when I test drove the Sport, but it was only for about 10 minute test drive. I did notice the difference in the feel of the cars. The lower profile is a consideration, as I've scraped my BMW on my front curb when I wasn't careful. The pros and cons of the Sport and Luxury is one reason to lease to see how I like the car.
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    You mentioned that the single largest determinant of trade-in/resale will be color combo and condition. MB doesn't make weird colors and I was curious as to which color combos you had in mind. Thanks.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    edited December 2011
    Quite frankly, I would not rush into leasing. Here is the reason:

    If your company is going to lease or purchase the car under the company's name, etc., then leasing is the best way to go. If you are leasing or buying the car in your own name with the company reimbursing you for the cost of either, then BUY the car!

    Remember, over a period of say 3 years, which is the usual length of most leases, your company has reimbursed you for 3 years worth of payments (if you buy the car) which has built equity in the car. I don't know how long you or your company had planned to take to pay off the loan on the car. But doesn't it make sense that after the 3 year period, you have accumulated equity in the car, but in a lease, you have nothing at lease end. So long as you are not paying for the car out of your own pocket, it pays to buy the car.

    As you mentioned, if you don't like the car and you are in a lease, it will cost you dearly to get out of the lease. If you buy the car, you can trade it or sell it anytime you want.

    If you are looking for a car that handles like your 528i did (I owned a 525 and two 535i's) then you must get the sport. If you are looking for a softer ride that is a little quieter, then get the luxury. I also want to add that the resale value on a sport vs. a luxury (if you buy) will be a bit higher (not 5,000 higher, but a little higher) because most Mercedes Benz E350 sedans are sports because that is what the demand is!

    Bev is correct that you will be happy with either one. The choice should be on what you want or need, not what your would settle for!

    Again, if you want a car that will corner better and respond more quickly to your input, the Sport is what you should get. If you are more concerned about a softer ride and handling and cornering are less of a concern, then you should get the luxury.

    Good Luck.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    edited December 2011
    Hope you don't mind adding my 2 cents worth, but I believe what he was trying to convey is that certain colors are more desirable than others.

    Here is an example:

    In a Mercedes Benz (not necessarily in other brands), Black is the most desirable on the pre-owned market, so long as it isn't scratched, dinged or scraped. The next most desirable color is Iridium Silver followed by Palladium Silver, followed by White. Those four colors are the most demanded colors. The dark blue and light blue are less desirable as is the dark gray. The least desirable is that new Beige color they brought in when they introduced the new body design in 2010 which replaced Pewter.

    This info was given to me by my dealerships Used Car Manager.

    Another consideration is the exterior vs. the interior colors. If you have a silver car with a beige interior, the value will drop considerably. Gray and Black interiors are preferred with Gray and Black cars. In a Beige car, black is the least desirable interior.

    So, as you can see, exterior and interior colors do have an impact on the trade value of a Mercedes Benz E350.

    If this is not what fabbrisd had in mind, I look forward to HIS answer to your inquiry.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    Lease or loan will be in my name as will title to car and firm reimburses me. Mike, since you've had a number of BMW's over the years, why did you migrate to the E350 and stay there?
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    Then black exterior with the almond interior is not as desirable?
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    No, it is a desirable interior with black exterior, as is gray and black interior. With black, the interior is not as critical as it would be with other colors.

    As I mentioned, beige with black interior is not as desirable as almond interior. On a silver or gray car, and almond interior is not as desirable as black or gray.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    edited December 2011
    If car will be titled in your name, and you are merely reimbursed by the company, then I would definitely buy this vehicle for the reasons I gave you previously. Think about it - your company is paying for the equity YOU will earn over the equivalent 36 month lease. With such low finance rates, you will be paying off large amounts of principal almost immediately since all the loans today are simple interest. And, if you don't like the car after a year or two, trade it in or sell it privately. I know you are worried about the high curbs in front of your house - just be more careful. Down here in south FL, we have no parallel parking - all parking in most places is pull in, nose first, type of parking with a front curb stopper. I have not scraped the front of any of my cars in over three years because I have learned not to pull in fully - and I inch my way toward the curb stopper. I only mention this because you are used to the ride and handling of a BMW, and if that is what you like, you will be much happier with the sport. Enough about that, this is your decision, not mine.

    I had some very, very bad experiences with BMW. I had a 2005 525i, a 2006 530i, a 2007 530i, and TWO 2008 535i's.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my first BMW's and, quite frankly, even though I've owned Mercedes Benz vehicles since 1987, after the 1991 E class experience, I decided to try other vehicles, especially Lexus, which were great cars, and then BMW.

    In 2008, I purchased a new 535i on an order from Germany since I wanted specific exterior and interior colors and an electric rear sunscreen which are very hard to find. When the vehicle came in from Germany, I truly enjoyed it for a few months, especially that new twin turbo engine - it was fast and stealthy. Interior was roomy, as was the trunk. Then, after a month or two, especially after a thunder storm or very heavy rain (down here in Florida, we are the Thunder and Lightning Capital of the World), I would get into the car and (since I had keyless start) try to start the engine. An error message would appear on my NAV screen stating that the battery experienced very heavy discharge since the car was last driven. Well, I didn't leave any lights on, so I drove to the BMW dealer, and for 4 months, they tried to solve the problem but to no avail. Every time they thought they had fixed the problem, it was appear again. It was their hypothesis that it was the convenience package with the "touch the door handle and the car would unlock" feature. They thought loud sounds would take the car from sleep mode to active mode, which, within 12 hours, would put a drain on the battery.

    Well, BMW decided to replace the vehicle. So, they ordered an identical vehicle with the same equipment and color. 8 weeks later, I took possession of the replaced 2008 535i. Three days later, after a heavy thunder storm, the same error message came up. I took it back to the dealership, and again, all they could do was scratch their heads and call New Jersey and then Germany about the problem. I was asked by BMW corporate if I was so unhappy with the car that I did not want to wait until they could determine a fix for it. I told them I'm finished with BMW and would never buy another one. They then refunded my entire purchase price, including taxes.

    I immediately went to a Mercedes Dealership and because of year end specials and incentives, I was able to get a 2008 (in August) sport with P1, folding rear seats, etc, for $5000 under dealer invoice because of the incentives. I then fell in love with Mercedes over BMW. Service was outstanding as was the ride and handling.

    The new body, which came out in 2010, made the car even better. The handling was superb compared to BMW, and I have never had to bring a Mercedes Benz (since 2008) back to a dealer because of issues or problems. I've had a 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, and now I have a 2012, and even after test driving Jaguar, Lexus, Cadillac and BMW, I bought another Mercedes.

    This one, the 2012, is one I will keep for several years because of the improvements they have made to the engine and transmission over previous models. The pick up (acceleration) and fuel economy are outstanding. I am getting 32 mpg's on the highway at 65 mph with airconditioning, and 33 mpg when airconditioning is not being used.

    I hope this has answered your question.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    I'll let you know what I decide. Have a great holiday season!
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    My best to you and your wife, as well! Enjoy the Season and your new Car.

    2018 Mercedes S450

  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    The car that I am looking for (sport package, P1 package, Lane change/blind spot assist, no spoiler) is only available in Los Angeles at present with wheel package. I saw a post of yours that mentioned AMG wheels and tires are more expensive. This is a $760 option which is not that much if I want to get car with other features, but what if wheels get damaged and need replacing, and also when replacing tires, since they are staggered? Should I wait to see if a vehicle with features I want comes up with regular wheels? There may be some with spoiler, but I actually prefer the cleaner look of the E350 without spoiler.
  • lawcarlawcar Posts: 96
    The MB website has this disclaimer underneath info for AMG wheels: "Lower aspect ratio tires and accompanying wheels provide substantially increased treadwear, increased tire noise and reduced ride comfort. Serious wheel and tire damage may occur if the vehicle is operated on rough or damaged road surfaces or upon encountering road debris or obstacles." Is this given in an abundance of caution? What is real-life driving experience? Thanks.
  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 8,751
    I have always added the Wheel Package to my cars. It comes with AMG wheels and a special sport steering wheel. They changed the steering wheel this year and it is a vast improvement over previous two years. As for damage to the wheels, most dealership offer Road Hazzard Insurance for wheels and tires. If you live in an area where there are lots of potholes and ruts in the roads, avoid getting the AMG Wheels as they tend to bend on hard impacts with pot holes. Here in Florida, our roads are outstanding, and I've never had a problem with any of my tires or wheels, so I didn't get the insurance. But if I lived in New York or Chicago, I would not purchase the wheel package unless I bought the insurance. The insurance covers your wheels and tires for replacement. I believe it costs about $500 for 3 years of protection.

    I also have the trunk lid spoiler. I like it better than without the spoiler - it adds a bit of "flair" to the car and it stands out a little more than E350's without trunk lid spoiler. Remember, there are two options regarding spoilers, rear window and rear trunk lid spoilers come as a package - around 500.00, but the trunk lid spoiler is 300.00. It's all about individual taste and preferences, as you mention in your post.

    As for replacing tires, like I mentioned in a previous post, on the sport, you should expect to get around 16,000 miles on your first set of tires. When the fronts are in need of changing, I would change all 4 tires - and yes fronts are a different size than the rears. But when you buy a new set of tires, I would shop for a Michelin or Bridgestone or even a Continental (which my car came with) that provides higher mileage. They are available, I believe Michelin manufactures both sizes of tires with a longer tread life. Since I have bought a new car every year so far over the past 8 years, I"ve never had to shop for tires. But I am going to keep this car a few years because the upgrades they have added make the car perfect - at least to me. So, in about 18 months, I would be shopping for tires.

    I am assuming you don't live in L.A. I purchased my 1991 E300 from San Diego Mercedes. I know there is another one a little further north of San Diego on the I-15. I lived in San Diego, Palm Desert (8 years), and in L.A. (Chatsworth).

    Are the dealers out there experiencing shortages and low inventories on the E350 Sedan? Here in south Florida, of 12 dealerships within a 50 mile radius of me, there are only 26 E350 sports available. They are selling these cars before they reach the ports while either in production, on order for inventories, or on the ocean. Amazing!

    I hope the info I gave you helps a bit.

    Good Luck!

    2018 Mercedes S450

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