Last post on May 11, 2010 at 11:16 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan
#3078 of 6720 New E quality and pricing
Feb 22, 2002 (11:00 am)
First, in the interest of full disclosure, I own a 540i 6-speed and have always been drawn to the more sporting side of BMW vs. Mercedes. That said, I always had great respect for the quality and solidity of Mercedes, particularly the previous genertion(s) of the E-class. One associate of purchased the original 300E (1987?) and has handed it down through his family ever since. I fully admit that it has shown greater durability than similar vintage 5-series.
The current generation redesign caught my attention in terms of aesthetics, but, as many members of this board report, quality problems crept in. The same associate of mine bought a 1997 E420 and, to this day, has an occassional electrical hiccup when he turns on his lights / fog lights.
Personnally, I think over the last few years Mercedes has milked its quality reputation for all it's worth, at the cost of reputation and customer satisfaction. I believe that, if Mercedes is going to remain a premier marquee, it will need to refocus upon delivering quality. It used to be that BMW appealed to the more sporting guys & gals and Mercedes to the luxury / quality buyer. Lately, I have personally seen a large number of classic Mercedes buyers switch to BMW, not for performance, but for quality. The 530i has been a preferred choice among my peer group over the E320, based as much upon quality as sportiness.
The new E looks very attractive. More so than the new 5, in my opinion (I'm trading up later this year to an M5 to get the last of the current design). I sincerely hope for Mercedes sake, they get the quality side back on track. I may be a BMW loyalist, but I would much rather see Mercedes reputation restored than see their quality throne continue to be occupied by Lexus. Lexus stirs as much passion in me as generic brand vanilla ice cream.
As for pricing, I really can't see how Mercedes can go any higher with the E. A well equiped 530i can be had for under $42k through European Delivery. I got my 540i 6-speed for under $52k. I'll be getting an M5 for under $73k. To think that Mercedes can sell many 2003 E320's for over $50k and E500's for over $60k is exceedingly optomistic, in my opinion. Especially when many of their bread and butter conservative quality oriented buyers are now looking elsewhere for comparison. We'll have to wait and see.
Feb 22, 2002 (11:01 am)
I'd take an '01 E55 over an '03 anything, anytime, anyday.
Feb 22, 2002 (11:01 am)
...except an '03 E55, or whatever they'll call it.
#3081 of 6720 '01E-55 and '03 E320
Feb 22, 2002 (12:32 pm)
Remember, the '01 E-55 is a USED car and comes with most option packages as standard. A new '03 E320 with the same equipment will cost as much as a USED mint, low mileage E-55 especially if M-B dealers do not discount the '03 model.
My '00 E430 Sport with E1,E2,E3, multicontour seats and phone/CD (K2a) listed for more than $60,000. My car is in mint condition with 15,000 miles (and new tires of course). I also have the M-B extended warranty (8/100,000). Yet, my car is worth around $48,000 today. In about 6 months time my car will be worth $45-46,000 and a E-55 should bring 51-52,000. A new well-equipped '03 E320 will cost about the same as that mint '01 E-55.
#3082 of 6720 TeleAid Insurance Discount
Feb 22, 2002 (2:55 pm)
Mercury Insurance also refused to give me a discount for TeleAid.
Feb 22, 2002 (9:27 pm)
........ I'm assuming the $48 figure is a retail "asking price" .. right?
The reason why I ask is, there doing about $41ish at the auctions .. if, they are puurrrfect. And should be doing "in and around" $37ish in 6 months ..if, the the current market prevails.
Feb 23, 2002 (7:22 am)
Question for mark156 and valueguy: At $60k+ list, why did you go the E430 Sport route instead of an E55? Was it due to limited availibility, or other factors??
The reason I am curious is that I'm planning on trading up from my 2000 540i 6-speed to an M5, based upon a very good deal the dealer is giving me. In the case of the M5, it would have cost me $20k+ more it in 2000 and it will cost me about $30k+ to trade up now, but I still consider it worth it. I can only guess you didn't think the E55 was worth an extra $10k when you are already in $60k+ territory with your E430's?
Feb 23, 2002 (9:16 am)
What does an '01 E-55 auction for? What does an M5 auction for?
I can sell my car locally for $45,000 easily.
Where are you located? Are theses auction cars really equivalent to a one-owner driven M-B? Would you buy one of these auction vehicles for yourself over a one-owner vehicle?
I was able to negotiate a substantial discount off MSRP on my '00 E430 while the '00 E-55 was full MSRP. My purchase price difference was more than $15,000.
Feb 23, 2002 (10:40 am)
Does anyone know when this car will actually be available in the USA? Will it have the SL's 476HP V-8 engine?
Any opinions on the new "lightweight" aluminum panels compared to German steel? Unfortunately, I think this new E-55 will be faster and have more gadgets than the current model but be inferior as far as quality is concerned. M-B is truly becoming part of DaimlerChrysler in all aspects
as quality surveys are pointing out. If the '03 model proves me wrong on the quality issue I will buy an '04 or '05 E-55. More likely, Lexus will continue to steal market share and become the number one marque for quality.
Lexus is considering a super GS in '04 or '05 to compete with the 500HP '04 BMW M5.
#3087 of 6720 As if anyone would want to drive a 500 hp Lexus.
Feb 23, 2002 (2:21 pm)
The current 400 hp M5 is a nearly two ton four door sedan capable of getting to 60 in under 5 seconds and 100 mph in under 12 seconds. How much more power does anyone need?
I am sure there will always be some demand for a 500hp, 600hp or more version from the "mine is bigger than yours" market segment. But, IMHO, the current Lexus GS430 has TOO much power for its suspension and chassis. The current M5 and E55 are engineered to handle 350 to 400 horsepower. The 300 hp Lexus GS tears up tires trying to compensate for excessive body roll, compared to my current 540i. I have real concerns that putting a 400 to 500 horsepower engine in a Lexus suspension is simply irresponsible. And I doubt that Lexus, notwithstanding their excellent reputation for quality, is going to suddenly be able to compete with likes of BMW, AMG, Porsche and Ferrari in building 175+ mph supercars. I might be proven wrong, but they have had 5 years to fix the GS handling and it is still inferior to BMW 5-series.
I for one will be very happy driving a 2002 M5 that has the handling capabilities to go along with it's 400 horsepower.