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Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan, Wagon
#1455 of 1940 Re: I LOVE this car!! [bevbran]
Jan 08, 2012 (5:04 pm)
Just one additional follow-up comment about the Harmon Karmin surround-sound system in the new E350 sedan (the system in the coupe and convertible is not as powerful with fewer speakers as well) was improved for 2012 - they added 2 additional speakers bringing the total to 14. That was the main difference from 2011. But remember, you are comparing the 2009 with the 2012, which is even more pronounced. I experience far superior sound reproduction when tuned to an FM "HD" (hi definition) station when compared to satellite or even some of my older CD's. When I compare this system to the similar system found in the BMW 535i, the one in the Mercedes is far superior, for some strange reason. My neighbor has a 535i with the upgraded Harmon Karmin system and even he agreed the Mercedes had superior sound and highly defined surround sound. We can't figure out why, even though we tried researching this.
Perhaps someone out there knows why.
#1456 of 1940 Re: I LOVE this car!! [abacomike]
Jan 08, 2012 (8:41 pm)
Yes, good point, Mike...I'm comparing to the previous generation, so it is more pronounced! While I am not able to address the BMW vs. Mercedes sound comparison, I can add my 2 cents worth about the audio sources. On HD radio....HD AM stations roughly have the equivalent of FM-Analog quality. FM HD signals roughly upgrade to the equivalent of CD (compact disc) quality sound. That's a generality and highly dependant upon how the individual radio station is processing their sound. As you point out, older CDs aren't always "all that" because many were manufactured from analog sessions. A good quality CD in your car will be great sound, and I suppose that's why they choose that format for the Harmon Kardin demo disc, huh? Generally speaking most broadcast music you hear these days are from .wav files played from studio hard drives, and significantly higher quality than the mp3 formatted files on your iPod. Also a generality, but the XM Sirius quality is, well, just okay. They're playing .wav files in their studios, like terrestial radio, but band width limits fidelity. Best sources to impress your friends, neighbors and passengers: FM-HD and high quality CDs...as you've already discovered
#1457 of 1940 Re: Great car!!!
Jan 08, 2012 (10:54 pm)
Well, it was almost anti-climactic after the several weeks of research, test drives, posting and reading on this website. I have been driving my black exterior/almond interior 2012 E350 which I picked up last week and really like it. While the black exterior does get dirty sooner than my medium gray BMW 528i, this color combination is very rich and elegant, yet sporty at the same time. Even though the car is black, it looks bigger than it is.
My salesman was very helpful and spent about 45 minutes going through the car with me, from programing the nav system, syncing the contacts on my cell phone, adjusting the memory seats (driver and passenger) and the list goes on (even the emergency release inside the trunk). I felt that the time was sufficient, and look through the owner's manuals for more details or to find out something that I may have forgotten from his walk-through. Using the different gadgets helps me learn them.
I got the sport package with the P1 package, lane change/blind spot assist and AMG wheels. The nav system is easy to use, as is the radio. The voice control is pretty incredible and very responsive.
The cabin is beautiful: the almond seating contrasts beautifully with the black dash and black carpet and walnut burl. The adjustable seats with memory for both driver and passenger are very supportive but comfortable.
The E350 definitely feels more solid than my 528i. It has a very nice ride, smooth yet sporty with good steering and handling. I think the 528 has a little more responsive handling, but that might be due to the lighter feel of the car.
I'm very happy with the E350. I've owned several Lexus (ES300 and GS 300) and two BMW's (325 and 528) and I like the E350 more than any of them. All of them are great cars and I certainly am not knocking any of them. I think the E350 has features of both the Lexus and BMW. It has creature comforts of the Lexus (all of which the BMW does not have) but more personality than the Lexus. The sport package gives it good styling and handling more akin to the BMW, but it is much finer in detail, and roomier in front and back. The BMW is what I would consider a luxury sport car, whereas the E350 is more of a sporty luxury car.
To all of you who are considering what to get, just read the comments of those who post on this site, see the cars in person and test drive them yourself, and get the car and features that suit you the best. Enjoy the experience.
#1458 of 1940 Re: Great car!!! [lawcar]
Jan 09, 2012 (12:54 am)
David, sounds like you are extremely happy with your new Mercedes. My 2011 was black with almond - very distinguished and rich looking - but I just disliked having to wash it twice a week to keep it looking great.
I agree with your analogy regarding the BMW being a luxury sports car and the Mercedes being a sporty luxury car. Having owned both, the Beemer handled sportier, however the interior of the Mercedes is richer and more luxuriously refined.
Have you noticed the difference In sound systems? I don't know if you had the upgraded one in your 528i, but if you did, I sure would like to hear your assessment.
Your post was right on target.
#1459 of 1940 Re: I LOVE this car!! [bevbran]
Jan 09, 2012 (1:16 am)
Thanks for the technology behind the the HD vs. CD. It gives some perspective as to why HD FM sounds so much better than Sirius.
What I also noticed on most of the HD stations down here in Florida (we have at least 20 HD FM stations in the greater Ft. Lauderdale - Miami area) is that 6 or 7 of those stations have "multiple" HD bands. To find out which stations have HD1 and HD2 frequencies (1 or 2 of them also have an HD 3 frequency) you need to manually tune the radio to the right (clockwise) one notch. If there are additional HD frequencies, it will immediately show it. Those that have more than 1 HD frequency have different music genres. For example, down here on 93.1, which is easy listening light rock on HD 1, but HD 2 is a bit "harder rock" in its genre. The same is true on 102.3 - HD1 is Oldies and HD 2 is more modern rock. I believe this is further explained in the manual. I just recently discover this last year. It's like having 2 or 3 stations on one frequency. Try it out in your city to find out which ones have more than one HD frequency.
Jan 10, 2012 (10:53 am)
What would be the best deal right now on purchase.
I will be trading in my 2005 Audi A6
My local dealer in Las Vegas offered invoice price plus extra $1,000 Conquest for trading my Audi.
I am looking at Cuprite brown Metallic
Premium 2 Package
Rear window sunshades
#1461 of 1940 Re: E 350 SPORT [konradlv]
Jan 10, 2012 (11:16 am)
First, I believe conquest incentives are usually $2000 on a 2012 E350 sedan. You might want to check this out with another dealership. There are several scenarios as to why only $1000:
(1) There is no conquest incentive but he is willing to sell you a car for $1000 over invoice
(2) There is a $2000 conquest incentive, but only wants to give up $1000
(3) The conquest incentive "is" $1000
I always recommend that at least 2 dealers are contacted.
Second, if he is willing to sell you one for $1000 over, then what is he giving you for your trade? This is where dealerships make up for low pricing. Check out the true "trade-in value" of your trade at several sites and dealers to ensure you are getting a fair trade value. Also check to see if selling your car privately works out better for you than trading it. If Nevada has a sales tax, so long as you get at least the difference between sales tax you would have to pay vs. sales tax you safe by trading car.
Also make sure you discuss the 1.9% financing (could be lower than 1.9 since their buy rate is .9%).
Finally, considering the fact that available incentives are few, $1000 over invoice would be a good deal, but make sure you've offered the dealer a $500 over deal. If you are a veteran, you may be able to qualify for USAA pricing, or even if a father, mother, brother or evens son served.
I hope this helps you out.
#1462 of 1940 Conquest rebate qualifications
Jan 10, 2012 (11:51 am)
Does the Mercedes conquest rebate require that you trade in the competive luxury car?
#1463 of 1940 Re: Conquest rebate qualifications [kevinc5]
Jan 10, 2012 (12:06 pm)
From my understanding, so long as you can show "proof" that you currently own or lease a qualifying vehicle, that would satisfy the requirements for the conquest incentive. Thus, you do not have to "trade-in the owned vehicle or terminate the current lease". Registration of vehicle showing your name on the registration should be sufficient.
That is how conquest incentives usually work.
#1464 of 1940 Re: Conquest rebate qualifications [abacomike]
Jan 10, 2012 (12:44 pm)
That's correct. You show them the registration certificate on the vehicle that is being conquered.