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
#5396 of 6720 525ied, boiler
Nov 13, 2003 (1:51 am)
As far as getting a $1,200 over ED invoice deal, you just need to shop around the dealerships in your area. When I first began looking into the ED program, I was told by most dealerships in the DC area that the ED prices were "non-negotiable". Then I saw on this board where Passport BMW in Maryland will discount an ED car to $1,200 to $1,500 over the ED invoice. Since then, other dealers have offered to match this discount.
On the other hand, the deal you apparantly have been offered on a U.S. 525i - $4,350 under MSRP - is almost too good to pass up. That's under US invoice?!? Is that for a 2004 model? Demo?
As much as I am an advocate for ED, it's certainly not worth traveling to Europe to save an additional $700. You'll spend at least that in travel expenses and you will be without the car for 4-6 weeks after you drop it off in Europe. ED is good if you are a cash buyer and have another car you can use during the time your ED BMW is in transit between Europe and the US. But even I wouldn't do it unless the savings were at least $500-$1,000+ AFTER deducting for travel expenses.
That's the same story I got from Mercedes 2-3 years ago when I considered and E320 Wagon. However, I am now considereing an E320 CDI when they become available for the US next spring and intend to check into the ED program further. I'll post here in the next 1-2 days what I find out from a friend who is a leasing executive for Mercedes.
#5397 of 6720 Thanks habitat1
Nov 13, 2003 (10:22 am)
I'll be very interested to hear what your guy has to say. I printed off a list of all MB dealers within 100 miles but I'm not looking forward to all the calls. Would be nice to have some good info to start with.
Nov 15, 2003 (3:07 pm)
According to my contact, their dealership does not discount ED prices at all and he is not aware of any in the DC area or elsewhere that do. Also, he did not expect the E320 CDI to be avialable for ED pick up until at least 6+ months after it arrives here. Their delaership already has an informal waiting list, but they don't have any officiaol pricing or other information yet.
He guessed that the E320 CDI will come in at almost exactly the same price as the E320 gasoline, and will probably not be discounted much from MSRP until pent up demand is satisfied. Apparently, I'm not the only one who has been waiting for the return of the turbodiesel, since it's departure in 1999.
#5399 of 6720 I am still considering
Nov 15, 2003 (7:56 pm)
purchasing a luxury or performance vehicle, used, to take advantage of depreciation...am considering Lincoln LS, Continental, DeVille, Q45, and LS400 just to name a few...also thought of 97/98 E420, 99/2000 E430...any thoughts in comparing them to LS400 or Q45???...also, any comparisons between the older E420 and newer E430???...anything to watch out for (i.e.any glaring defects or high maintenance items) on the 420 or 430???...from what I read on KBB, they had nice things to say about 420 and 430, almost wonder if the cars differ much except for 0.1 liter in engine displacment, but suspicion tells me that there must be a much bigger difference than that...also, if a used 420 or 430 has, say 50K, 60k or 75K miles, should I assume it is approaching "worn out" or just getting "broken in"???...can they really last 150K and up, or is that just urban legend by those who like MB???... also, what kind of repair costs should I expect for 420 or 430 (we have a local guy whose sign says he fixes MB products, along with other German and Swedish makes, nearest dealer about 25-30 miles away)...thanks for any and all responses
#5400 of 6720 Oh, and I forgot to
Nov 15, 2003 (8:27 pm)
add...how does the average reliability of a used 420/430 stand up against the Q45 and LS400, should I expect an MB to spend one week a month in the shop, can I drive thru Mississippi without fear of breakdown any more than normal with any other car???...
what should I expect to pay for a used 420/430 in Atlanta???...and finally, we have a number of "independent" MB dealers all over Atlanta, used car lots on the various highways, stocking anywhere from 15 to 35 used MBs, but they do not sell new ones...should I consider buying from one of these guys???...I know without big buildings and service depts, on 2-3 acre lots, they have a much lower overhead than a franchised MB dealer, so they may sell better, but is it worth it???...some of them in quasi-seedy parts of town, do they sell real MBs, or only grey market cars to avoid???...in essence, should I risk a nonfranchised dealer to save money, or am I making a huge mistake to even consider such???
#5401 of 6720 Used V8 E-Class
Nov 16, 2003 (7:05 am)
In short you should probably buy one from the dealer and get the Starmark warranty. These cars in general aren't as reliable as the Japanese makes. Reliabilty and durability are not synonomus. Mercedes are generally nicer cars at 100K than any Japanese car. It just probably took more trips to the shop to get them there. People who buy them know that but just arent'satisfied with the Japanese car the driving experience.
If you don't siginificantly prize the difference in the way the Mercedes drives vs the Lexus go for the Lexus.
The E430 and E420 engines are significantly different. The later E430 is a simpler, less costly and more efficient design which should be less costly to feed and maintain in the long run. True enthusiest would probbably prefer the cams and valves of the 420 but most folks wouldn't know the difference.
Nov 16, 2003 (8:16 am)
I just ordered a 04 E320 AWD w/command & nav, Hands free comunication w/VCS, and a few other trinkets.
My present car is a 00 E320 RWD with a hands free phone system and an after market nav system with a motorized screen that flips out of the compartment located just above the ashtray.
I will be removing these items when I turn the car in sometime in late Feb 2004.
Is anyone interested in purchasing these items for their 2000 (or earlier) E classes ?
The cost of the hands free system (new) when installed by the dealer was about $1500.
The cost of the CD based nav system was $1100 for the motorized screen and $500 for the CD based unit.
#5403 of 6720 Marsha7 - Used E-Class Another View
Nov 16, 2003 (9:05 am)
I agree with "MBnut" that if you buy a used MB it should be from a dealer and starmarked. The simple reason is as he states, that a Mercedes has a higher frequency of repairs both during and after the standard warranty expires.
However, I believe that it's incorrect to say that 'durability' and 'reliability' are unrelated. Think about it ... if something is so durable, how come it fails more often than the same items in competitive vehicles?
When it comes to automobiles and almost any other manufactured goods, reliability and durability are directly related.
Reliability in this case, is the likelihood that the car will serve its purpose, whether its driving through Mississippi or down to the local convenience store. Durability directly impacts reliability. The longer a component or system in the car lasts, the more time that elapses between failures and therefore you get better reliability. Reliability is also impacted by poor design, out of tolerance components, incorrect assembly and in the case of software, "bugs".
Mercedes' less that stellar reliability is directly impacted by all of these issues. The Japanese car companies, independent of where their vehicles are made, simply design and build higher reliability vehicles. Toyota usually ranks in the top three in any vehicle segment and Lexus usually is #1 in its class. Overall Infiniti ranks right behind Toyota.
I also recently read that there are more "reported" very high mileage Toyota's around that Mercedes in the U.S. including the 1983 Toyota Corolla in California with 2.3 million miles on it. Durability is not an issue with Japanese cars (even though it was back in the early 70's.)
The other thing to consider about any car is it's 'Availability'. Is it available for use when you want it?
Because of the reliability issues, Mercedes also have much lower 'availability' than their Japanese competitors. They are in the shop more often because of the reliability issues. While it's there, you don't have the use of your car, though you may get a 'loaner'. You are still out the time to take it there and go fetch it (unless your MB dealer does service pick up and delivery - some do.)
If you find a specific E, make sure you check the Consumer Reports for that particular year and model. The E usually gets an 'average' reliability rating from them and sometimes lower.
From a family perspective, my niece is driving my sister's old 1995 Acura Legend. It has 185,000 miles, looks, and drives wonderfully. The interior is in top notch condition. My mother-in-law has a 2000 Lexus ES300 coming up on 85K. Zero problems, no out of book service.
Nov 16, 2003 (9:32 am)
I own a '97 E420 which I have had since new. After a very few amount of electrical bugs when the car was new, it has been extremely reliable, requiring only fluid and filter changes until it hit the 95K mark. At this point a couple of well known issues affected the car. One was a rear window regulator and the other was failure of the camshaft oil tubes. After replacing these items, the car has once again run flawlessly. I am now approaching 102K miles and am considering selling it to get a new E class or a new BMW 530i. Here is a link to info of my E420 for sale:
The reason a Mercedes is such a great car is not necessarily because of reliability, but I do believe they are durable and should last well into the 200K mile mark with good maintenance. In addition, A Mercedes with 100K miles will run as well as many cars with 20K miles. My car runs as smoothly and quietly now as it did when new.
There is a great independant Mercedes mechanic in the north Duluth are called MBAutowerks. I have had my car seviced there for the last two years. They are cheaper than the dealer and their work is arguably of better quality.
If you decide to purchase a Mercedes I would highly recommend them for service. This would make purchasing a car with an extended warranty unnecessary. Keep in mind you will pay 2-3K more for a Starmark car than for one sold by an independant party.
#5405 of 6720 Reliability vs. durability..
Nov 16, 2003 (12:11 pm)
Reliabilitya nd durability asre somewhat related but from my perspective there is a difference in understanding the two words. To me, a car is unreliable if I never know whether it will start and then get me to my destination. A car is durable if it will last for many many years and still look and behave like it did when it was younger.
My 96 E320 has 127,000 miles and it rides and drives like it had only 27,000 miles on it. I've never owned any other car beyond 104,000 because they would become noisy and the ride and handling, even with replacement shocks etc., became annoying. I've done all the same things to the E that I had done to other brands, shocks, suspension bushings, tires, etc. but it did cost more on the E. And I have just had the head gasket replaced, but I've not needed alternators, water pumps, etc like most other cars I've owned at much lower mileages.
So, would I call the E320 more reliable? Well, it has never stranded me anyplace. All the problems were gradual in nature so that I had time to arrange for repairs. But it did have problems, where a Mazda I owned 10 years ago had no problems at all in 99,000 miles. Is it durable? I certainly think so since it still looks like new, inside and out and I've kept it beyond the 100K mile mark and have no immediate plans to get rid of it. I still have confidence that it is a safe, comfortable ride. Hopefully, now that I've had the head gasket, suspension, and brakes all upgraded, it will give at least 2 or 3 more years of good service.