I've found my dream Mercedes. The 1994 E500. This particular one is Black Pearl over Grey. It has but 37K miles and is being offered for $41K. The help part comes in because I truly need a "new" car for the driving that I do, but this particular car has never left my mind from time it was "new". Anyone with any in-depth knowledge/experience with the 500E/E500 models please come forward. Spending 41K would make more sense on a C320 or a late model (W210) E-Class instead for a 1994 W124 model.
I recently saw (actually, was passed by) a late model (2000-2002) E class with a V-12 badge on the upper left side of the trunk lid, where the normal "320" or "430" would be. I never heard of such a thing. Anyone have any insights?
I had a 93 500e and sold it to a friend at 110000 miles, a year ago. he has since put on 20k without any significant difficulties.
The car was wonderful; I got a bmw740isport 01, which handled nicely, but didn't shift as nicely nor did it feel as comfortable. I traded into a E55 01, which is somewhat more like the old 500e, but still doesn't quite have the same heft and hunkered down feel as the 500. It was, at this moment, the best car I've had,really more enjoyable than the porsche 996, which I never wanted to take on long rides.
The price seems a bit high, something in the mid-thirties would be more reasonable perhaps, but again, talking about impulse buying and the utter necessity of having THAT car, another five or so may not matter.
There is a vast difference between the feel of the 500 and the newer models and I'd do the 500. It's faster, more responsive , more comfortable and unfortunately, older. I gather this will be out of your consideration, but the new Nissan maxima seems really good and I think a better buy than the 320's.
On the Bilstein HD shocks, the part numbers for pre-2000 and the 2000 are the same (though Bilstein did not list these for the 2000 until recently). So I assume the sport shocks are also applicable across the years. If you have the opportunity, try a car with the HD shock. Unless you want an extremely tight car, I think the HD might give as much control as you'd want in a car like this, and without the ride deterioration of the sport shock.
On the wheel/tire vs. shock question, I think it depends what you want. I found the original Michelin MXV-4's just terrible (little adhesion, poor steering response, and poor tracking) and I replaced the tires for that reason. The larger wheels allow more contact patch (with a 45 series tire), and I think this a worthwhile upgrade.
The HD shocks provide a much tighter, more stable, responsive car, much like MB's in "the old days." If I were only going to make one change, I think it would be the shocks. But then this transformed car really deserves more adhesion.
I am embarrassed to admit that I havn't driven the 2002 model maxima, but I did drive the 2001 and found it more enjoyable than a 320 that was loaner. The new altmia gets really nice reviews also, but I havn't driven that.
btw, my dealer just gave me about the price you mentioned, for a near mint 2000 E430 4Matic w/15k miles on it, when I traded it on my '01 S. the 500E's sure hold their value - that tells you something.
Thanks. That's what everybody says that has ever driven the 500E. They all use that same "hunkered down" or "right flat in the middle of the road" type phrases. It was such a unique Mercedes, even more so than Mercedes' already are. What was the worse thing that ever happened to your car as far as repairs.
Thank you also.
Didn't you go through this same delima a while ago, or was that someone else?