Last post on May 11, 2010 at 11:16 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
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Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan
#5218 of 6720 To Benz or Not to Benz, that's the big question?
Sep 12, 2003 (11:36 pm)
Well, after weeks and weeks for looking for a new 530i, I decided to look at a Starmark Benz. I was very impressed with the E320 with sport package and almost would of bought it if they would have paid me more for my trade. I love the BMW also, but just can't find a good one with the options I want.
So I am thinking of going back and getting the 2002 E320, Black with Ash interior (concerned that this too light of a color). It only has 21,000 miles on it. At around $40k, this car's price seems really good. I actually love the ride. I'm not super fast driver, like my wife (who drives a BMW M). I just cruz up and down the hwy to and from work.
The biggest thing that scares me is the reliability of the BENZ. But every car has it's own issues. I have had little things go wrong most cars I have owned, from BMW to Nissan Sentras to Acura CLs. Is the Benz a complete nightmare to own or are the owners just expecting too much from a machine because of it's 40k + price tag.
What are all your thoughts? To BEAM OR BENZ?
#5219 of 6720 E-class taxi in Europe
Sep 13, 2003 (12:55 am)
I have been living in Germany and travelled quite a bit throughout Europe in the last 2 1/2 years. In the process I was in countless taxi rides. I also saw German taxis, many E-classes but not all, with over 300,000, 400,000, and 500,000, and some 600,000 km on them. Most are diesels, and automatics, from what I have seen. I asked some of the drivers why there are so many MB taxis vs. BMW, AUDI, or VW. The answer was that MB is the only company that will provide replacement car while their taxis are in for repair and service so that they can continue to work.
Sure, durability has some to do with it, but at least in Germany, it was the loaner car that made it worth a while. I am not sure if the same is true in other European countries, but I presume they would be similar. MB also has a dedicated fleet sales and pricing for them as well, which I have not seen much of from other manufacturers.
Sep 13, 2003 (4:19 am)
To BEAM or to BENZ is up to you, but if you BENZ, I would think you could do a lot better than $40k for a 2002 E320.
I checked the Washington Post and, unfortunately, they do not have many 2002's to choose from this week. A 2001 w/30k miles is listed at $31,500/ obo. My recollection is that $40k would be even be a high price for a 2002 E430, let alone an E320. I look at the ads since I'm still mildly interested in an E-Wagon.
Another point of comparison is that a business partner and his attorney both leased 2002 E320's in December 2001. Mercedes was offering dealer incentives at the time and the equivalent purchase price for the cars were $45k and $46.5k respectively (one had navigation, the other didn't). Why anyone would pay $40k for a 2 year old E320 is beyond me.
So BENZ if you wish, but I suggest you shop a little harder.
#5221 of 6720 habitat1 E vs 5
Sep 13, 2003 (4:36 am)
The article that consumer reports did rating the 530 the best car ever tested was interesting and the 5 series is a great car. Unfortunatly most car enthusiasts don't pay attention to Consumer Reports as they test generic features and not really driving characteristics (don't forget, they named Old Milwaukee the best tasting beer).
I have owned both cars - 1998 BMW 528 and 2003 MB E500. I also still own a 2001 BMW. Both cars are great cars, it is really up to the buyer to determine which is best for them. The 5 series gave you a great feeling of being connected to the road, it handled great and the quality was great. The only downsides are the car is small on the inside and the trunk, and it is expensive when you add the neccesary options. The E500 is also a great car, it doesn't handle as well although it does have an adjustable air suspension which is neat but even in the Sport 2 setting it does not replicate the BMW feel. Overall I like the E500 better as an all around vehicle but like I said you could go either way. Also anyone who wants to buy a new BMW 5 Series better act quickly as the new design is coming to dealers in October and it is a mess.
The best part about these debates is that they are both great cars, it is like picking the best flavor of ice cream - everyone wins.
Sep 13, 2003 (6:30 am)
According to Edmunds used car pricing, assuming the 2002 E320 has a moonroof, it is worth approx. $44,300 dealer retail as a Starmarked car. That is in line with the Starmarked 96 I bought in Oct. 98 as it was going into it's 3rd model year. Mine was $38K with 38K miles on it. It had the moonroof but not the sport package.
The 2002 you're looking at is one year newer than mine was so I would expect the price to be above $40K and in fact that is where the pricing is in the Northeast in the last month. I've done some looking and decided to wait til next year to try to find the same car you're looking at but at a further discount of $4-6K.
If you can move the dealer price down some, please let us know. I can use it as ammunition next year myself.. Based upon my experience, I would take any possible savings and put it back into extending the Starmark time for an additional year or two if you don't think you'll use up the 100K miles in the remaining 4 years.
#5223 of 6720 It's a hard decision but.......after sleeping on it:
Sep 13, 2003 (9:39 am)
Thanks for all the info guys! and gals! I am going back to the dealer again today to see what I can do. I don't think I can do better than the 40k. I have seen the cars here, San Francisco, go for about $42-44 for the 2002 and $50-58k for the 2003 E320. habitat1 which part of the US are you in, Washington DC? You have really good prices out there. I have been looking for awhile but can't come close to this price. Plus this car comes with a Starmark certification until 2007/100,000.
I would love a Beamer, but my wife wants to trade her 2000 M Roadster for a BMW 540i 6-speed next year, so then would both would have the same car if I bought the 530.
I was really impressed with Benz's room and love the classic Benz look.
Thanks for all your support! I'll let you guys know what happens and how much we get the car for.
Sep 13, 2003 (11:40 am)
Those SF prices are outrageous! To think I could have bought a 2002 E320 new in December 2001, driven it for nearly two years and be able to sell it for only about $3-5k less than I paid for it? Assuming I was willing to drive or ship it to SF.
Anyway, here's one from today's Washington Post for you to consider: 2003 E500, Panoramic roof, winter package, fully loaded, 13k miles, extra clean. $49,800/obo.
I'm dead sure that a mid $30's price on a 2002 E320 would be possible here.
#5225 of 6720 Damn I LOVE this car.....just drove it home!!!!!!!
Sep 13, 2003 (9:48 pm)
Thanks everyone for the advice. I love the car and all the gadgets in it. I hope it's reliable, but only time will tell. So this is what I got:
2002 E320 with special package (sport package, black maple wood, ash leather). Black color. I bought a CD player for about $800. It has 20,000 miles on it and I paid about $40,000. I reseached this for about one month in the San Francisco area.
The service was awsome! They treat you better than any dealer I have ever been to. I have bought other cars, and as soon as you sign the purchase contact they pretty much don't remember you. This guy took over three hours to take car of everything and show me all the features of the car. Loved the low pressure from the sales, to the parts, to the finance guy.
I will miss my Acura CL, but the Benz just has this really nice feeling about it that no Lexus, Acura, or Infinity can replicate.
Sep 14, 2003 (9:10 am)
Congratulations on your purchase.. Enjoy..!!
Re: the pricing, I just did a search within 100 miles of my home in eastern Mass. and found just 3 2002 E320's. The cheapest has 20500 miles and is listed at 41,900. It does NOT have the sport package or a CD player. Nor do the other two with slightly fewer miles that are both at the 43K asking price. Most dealers around here will flex from those prices maybe 1-2K so it looks like if your car were available around here for the 40K price, it would move pretty fast due to the sport package and CD player add-ons that the others wouldn't have at that price range.
#5227 of 6720 RE: 2002 E320 purchase
Sep 15, 2003 (1:27 pm)
Great choice. I bought brand new 2002 E320 last year and now is about 11000 miles on it. I have not have any problems so far, and the mechanic at the dealer told me 2002 is the most reliable in that model. For those of you thinking about getting 2002 model, be look out on special package vs sports package. Dealer might advertise they are the same but it is different body style and suspension. Sports package costs $3000+ more when I was purchasing the car. If you are not getting sports package, I will say do not pay the same price for spacial package. Special package was the same price as E320 without any options.