Last post on Dec 08, 2013 at 3:58 PM
You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
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Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan, Wagon
#1330 of 2213 Re: Got it. Also curious about BMW 5 series vs. E350 [lawcar]
Dec 23, 2011 (10:09 am)
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.
#1331 of 2213 Thanks for taking time to give me your experience.
Dec 23, 2011 (11:01 am)
I'll let you know what I decide. Have a great holiday season!
#1332 of 2213 Re: Thanks for taking time to give me your experience. [lawcar]
Dec 23, 2011 (11:13 am)
My best to you and your wife, as well! Enjoy the Season and your new Car.
#1333 of 2213 Re: Thanks. Question about AMG wheels
Dec 23, 2011 (4:08 pm)
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.
#1334 of 2213 Re: Disclaimer on MB webite re AMG wheels [lawcar]
Dec 23, 2011 (4:41 pm)
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.
#1335 of 2213 Re: Thanks. Question about AMG wheels [lawcar]
Dec 23, 2011 (4:52 pm)
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.
#1336 of 2213 Re: Disclaimer on MB webite re AMG wheels [lawcar]
Dec 23, 2011 (5:11 pm)
In my last post, I mentioned about damage and road surfaces. This is the same disclaimer that all automobile manufactureres add to their footnotes. The Chrysler 300 with sports package has the same disclaimer as does Lexus, BMW, Audi and Jaguar and all other brands who have low-profile sport tires.
It is essential that you keep the recommended tire pressure in all tires at all times. The tire pressure monitor in the car will show you the exact pressure in each of the four tires on a screen inside the odometer section when you select that option. I also highly recommend that you have the dealer fill your tires with Nitrogen (also called nitro fill). Nitrogen reduces oxidation of the rubber in the tire and is far less sensitive to changes in temperatures. My dealer fills all their cars with nitro-fill, and does not even have regular air compresssors.
I have noticed that my tires vary about 3 pounds from winter to summer down here. In winter, our temperatures sometimes get to 40 degrees, but very rarely. Our average night temps are around 60 -65, daytime about 78 in winter. In summer, we range 80's in the evening, mid 90's in the daytime. So nitrogen definitely increases tire life. With regular air, I used to find that the tire pressures varied 8-10 pounds between winter and summer.
To make you feel more comfortable about these wheels and tires, get the tire and wheel road hazzard insurance. It covers tires for any road hazzard, so long as the tire is unrepairable (if repairable, they pay for the repairs). They also cover the wheels. If they should bend or break due to hitting a curb at a moderate speed or going into a pothole, they will replace the wheel.
My BMW's all had sport packages and also had the low profile wheels. The last BMW's I had came with run-flat tires - and if you want to know if there are any tires that run louder or harsher than the sport Mercedes, it's the run flats. They were so harsh, I wanted to get rid of them for regular tires.
Hope that helps you out. And in closing, my experiences have been excellent with these wheels and tires. Of the 6 E350 Sports I've owned with the tire and wheel package, I never had a flat or a bent or broken wheel. But, like I mentioned in my previous post, if the roads you normally travel are like the surface of the moon (craters, so to speak), either avoid getting the sport or make sure you get the road hazzard insurance.
#1337 of 2213 What you say makes sense about tires...
Dec 23, 2011 (10:22 pm)
The roads in Los Angeles are not moon craters, but there are a lot of potholes because the city is broke and they don't fix them regularly. It's not like there's holes everywhere, but it's not nearly as kept up as it sounds like it is by you in Florida. (Small world that you used to live in Chatsworth; my parents live in Northridge and I went to CSUN).
There seems to be a lot of E350's around, but not with the exact configuration I want. There are 2 Sport 350's in black/almond and the P1 and lane tracking/blind spot assist. One has extra option of wheel package and "comfort box" for $1,000 and the other has the panorama sunroof for $1,000.00. I don't need either of them, but would have to get one of them to get the car. I don't have strong feeling either way. The wheels look nice but there's the issue of potholes. The panorama sunroof is a bit larger than I would like and probably shows dirt more. Any ideas? Thanks again.
#1338 of 2213 Re: Got it. Also curious about BMW 5 series vs. E350 [abacomike]
Dec 23, 2011 (10:34 pm)
Hi Mike, just out of curiosity, what made you buy a BMW again after this experience? In your post #1198, you mentioned you own a new 535i in addition to the E350. Is the new generation 5 series better than the last one?
#1339 of 2213 Re: What you say makes sense about tires... [lawcar]
Dec 24, 2011 (6:16 am)
Since you live in California, I would get the one with the panorama sunroof. Th comfort box is a waste of money. As for the AMG wheels, if you really want them, find out what the dealer wants to add them as a dealer installed option. The only problem would be for the dealer as the wheel sensors for the Tire Pressure Monitors would need to be reprogrammed, but that's not a worry you have. Since there are only 2 available, have you considered "black" interior? I never wanted black, but now that I have black, it's great, Black doesn't show the dirt and grime that almond shows. I have had both black and almond as well as gray. The only color that does not show grime and smudges is black. But I have the ventilated seats which cuts down on the hotter interior.
Only consider black interior if they have a car exactly the way you want, but with that interior, not almond or gray.