6 Speed Manual In E220 CDI - Any good?

Andy Stanton

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OK here's a different tac on the manual gearbox question. As a company car driver the auto box on the E220CDI pushes it out of my budget due to higher emissions and cost (without dropping some great toys) so it looks like I'm stuck with the manual option.

I've read the reviews about auto vs manual and although I love a manual gearbox I'd go for the auto given chance, so I don't want to go down this conversation again.

The problem is I can't find any dealer that's got a manual car to demo and I want to know if it's as bad as people say. I currently drive a Vectra 2.0 SRI with a notchy gearchange but if the Mercs on par with that then I won't be too dispointed.

Has anyone got one of these? What are your thoughts? Should I avoid it and find an alternative?
 

GrahamC230K

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W202 box is no wrose than a Vectra (yes had to drive one once for a few days).

Can only presume newer boxes are better.


My pet hate is not people having a go at the manual box, but the fact that the scaremongering spreads like wild fire, putting people like you in a doubtfull situation. Clear your mind of the rumour and drive one (which I see you are having trouble doing!!! ) and I'm sure you'll be fine.
 

paulrstaylor

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I got a E200 K manual as a loan car from Mercedes Manchester last week, no problems with the manual box, the car needed more power though :(
 

RichardM

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I did wonder about getting a manual as I'd never had an auto box before and like you found dealers only had W211's in auto. My local dealer did have one manual he let me sit in and 'play' with the gear change but not drive it as it was a customers car waiting for delivery.

I went for the auto and I'm very very happy I did, its such a dream to drive. The 0-60 time is actually quicker for the auto box on mine (8.4 vs 9.0 for the manual).

You might have more luck finding a C class manual to test drive, at least you get a feel for a Mercedes manual box and make sure you take in a hill start. Someone in my office has a C180 and she said she has no problems at all.
 

MainMan

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I've got an SLK320 6-speed manual. The gear change could be better, particularly the first to second change, but it's not as bad as some reports say. I think it's got a bad reputation because of two things. First, road testers test new cars and the 'box is very stiff when new. It frees up over about 10k. Second, a lot of the manuals were sent out with the box over-filled which made the change very obstructive. (Draining 30ml cures this). I remember Jeremy Clarkson saying that it felt like it was lubricated with concrete and he refused to believe it had a reverse gear. I personally think the reverse gear selection is very good - I've never had a problem - and when the box is run in the change is very light and short throw. It's a bit notchy but no more so than most remote changes. You will have a problem getting a test drive though because the manuals seem to be few and far between.

I actually wish I'd bought an auto, but only because the manuals seem to have got such a bad reputation now that the car might be hard to sell.
 
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Andy Stanton

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Great News!!

I've pleaded with my Fleet Department and MB Demos and they've agreed to allow me a further test drive. They've sourced an E220 CDI Classic MANUAL so I'm chuffed to bits.

It arrives on 13th May and I've got it for 3 days. Plenty of time to practice those hill starts and suss it all out.

Hopefully I can find a quiet/friendly hill and the result will be a match made in heaven and not a burnt out clutch and bumper scuffs!

I'll be in touch with the results in a few weeks!

A couple of other questions about the kit in the car for you.

1) Is the Command centre worth the extra cash over the APS 50? Seems to offer DVD playback at standstill and a pretty colour map but that's about all over the APS50.

2) More importantly, has any one got or heard the Logic7 system. I want to order it but am wary of the hype. 480 watts, 12 speakers and suround processing etc. 'Sounds' too good to be true!

Cheers

Andy
 

Guy

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Originally posted by astanton
Great News!!

I've pleaded with my Fleet Department and MB Demos and they've agreed to allow me a further test drive. They've sourced an E220 CDI Classic MANUAL so I'm chuffed to bits.

It arrives on 13th May and I've got it for 3 days. Plenty of time to practice those hill starts and suss it all out.

Hopefully I can find a quiet/friendly hill and the result will be a match made in heaven and not a burnt out clutch and bumper scuffs!

I'll be in touch with the results in a few weeks!

A couple of other questions about the kit in the car for you.

1) Is the Command centre worth the extra cash over the APS 50? Seems to offer DVD playback at standstill and a pretty colour map but that's about all over the APS50.

2) More importantly, has any one got or heard the Logic7 system. I want to order it but am wary of the hype. 480 watts, 12 speakers and suround processing etc. 'Sounds' too good to be true!

Cheers

Andy

Congratulations - that's quite an achievement!

Andy, how much is the DVD based Comand? The price list I have only shows the APS @ £1160

Sorry, not heard the HK either!
 

RichardM

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Excellent news, let us know how you get on. When you do order the car (and I'm sure you will having driven it!) the Avantgarde kit is well worth it if for the extra's it includes, like Xenon lights, much nicer alloys, half leather, metalic paint.

I've not hear the Logic7 sound system, but I have to say the standard system is very good, I've been very impressed with it. There is a guy over on another forum that has the Logic7, but when I asked how it compared he said he didn't know as he'd never heard the standard system to compare!

Command is only just being released now, it wasn't available when I ordered mine. I wasn't impressed with the APS50 system as it only offered text based navigation. To be honest for the money I'd sooner upgrade to the E270 but it depends what your priorities are!
 
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Andy Stanton

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Morning Guys.

To respond to the questions:

The Command System costs £1850 vs £1150 for the APS 50. The benefits of the Command are:

1) 16:9 6.5" widescreen colour display vs 4" square black and white on APS50
2) DVD playback at standstill or less than 5 mph. The picture fades out but sound continues above 5mph.
3) Full colour Map navigation as opposed to the black and white arrowed version on the APS 50
4) More features on the navigation such as go-to-a-place on the Map (no reliance on street names). Useful for points of interest when you don't know exactly where they are (golf courses, airports, beaches, etc etc).
5) Er, I think that's all. I don't want the TV tuner as thats another £800 and only covers terrestrial channels.

The standard sound on the APS 50 and Command is good (much better than my Vectra) and has a 4 x 25 amp driving 10 speakers dotted around the car. (I got the local dealer to photocopy the behind the desk sales literature for later browsing when I got home!). The Logic 7 is a different kettle of fish though. Get this:-

1) A 12" subwoofer under the parcel shelf
2) 11 further speakers spread around the car. Notably 2 extra on the rear shelf and 1 in the centre grill of the dashboard for the surround sound processing.
3) 8 amplifiers providing 480w. Yep, thats 480 Watts. That always brings a smile to my face! I suspect this is one really meaty amp broken down into 8 channels though.

You have to admit it does sound damned good on paper. I guess all this really appeals to me as I love my A.V. set-up at home and its potential brings a big smile to my face. Imagine this: a 10 mile tailback on the M25 in the summer. No one's moving. I'm relaxed sitting in my leather air conitioned chair (I'll be ordering these too) watching/listening to a very loud film/album instead getting road rage and frustrated. It could almost be a pleasure!!!

I have to be honest and say that in my not so distant youth I also had a 1.6LS Capri stuffed with Alpine amps and speakers and I used to LOVE it. Maybe it's a regression thing.

And finally (as I'm not one to send long postings with too much detail!!!) I'm definitely taking the Avantgard spec for all the extra toys it gives. The birchwood trim. dark seats and white dash look great.

Cheers!

Andy
 

RichardM

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If your spending money on all the extra's why not upgrade to the 270 or 320CDi? It will make it a much nicer (and fun) car to drive. The CO2 emissions aren't much higher. Not that it makes much difference on the M25!

The standard stereo also has the sub under the parcel shelf, mine does. My previous Lexus had a 450 Watt premium sound system, but the standard Merc setup sounds much better in my opinion.

I agree the DVD would be great whilst stuck in traffic (and also for showing off to people!). Its normally not hard to disable the 5mph cut off either. To play DVDs I believe you have to remove the navigation disk.

If you do go for it make sure you come to one of the meets so we can all get a demo of the system.

Finally, I'd recommend getting the parktronic, it really is excellent and makes parking such a big car a breeze.
 

Brian WH

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Originally posted by RichardM
Finally, I'd recommend getting the parktronic, it really is excellent and makes parking such a big car a breeze.

From experience "Beware of Overhangs and Bushes" the parktronic will not see them!!!!!:mad: :mad:

Not my car, before you ask.;)
 
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Andy Stanton

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I'd much rather have an E270 or E320 but the higher emissions (about 10-15mg Co2 extra) and higher purchase price mean I can have these cars in bog standard format or the E220 with all the toys.

I'm sure the extra grunt will make a much sweeter drive but the lack of toys will leave me bored. I need my toys! I've also got a physcological price limit I don't want to go above and the Wifes ensuring I stick to it! It's a tough compromise but hard choices have had to be made. Especially when you consider I was going to buy a BMW 330D Sport which is unbelievably fast and just as loaded. The main problem is that every git has got one, and I use my words advisedly!

The standard hi fi is good (better than my current car) but it struggles when turned up loud. The extra power is worth every penny in my book. I just hope it lives up to my extremely high expectations.

Andy.
 

RichardM

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The manual 270 is only one group above the manual 220 (172 vs 167), and that’s still lower than the 330d.

BMW are updating the 330d engine in a few months, they are taking the engine from the 730d which adds about 30Bhp with no higher emissions - then it will be quick!

You must have had the stereo incredibly loud to notice any distortion, I've certainly never noticed any. I popped into my dealers this morning and I noticed they have an E class with the harmon/kardon kit, I didn't get to hear it though. Its MB Hertford if your near.
 

fuzzer

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When i was looking at my e200 KOMPRESSOR i was putting in the following options:

HArman kardon sound system
Audio 50 APS
Integrated 6310i

everything else was put aside, even metallic.

I have my priorities in the right place :D
 

Brian WH

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Originally posted by fuzzer
everything else was put aside, even metallic.

I have my priorities in the right place :D

"No Metallic" will really Knock the part exchange value when you come to trade it in mate.:( :(
 

RichardM

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Originally posted by Brian WH
"No Metallic" will really Knock the part exchange value when you come to trade it in mate.:( :(

Similarly some options will make a difference to future part ex like leather others like the premium sound system won't. For company car drivers that's reflected in the lease price, the lease company know they won't get the money back at the end so charge the full cost of those options over the lease term.
 

Steve_Perry

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Originally posted by GDC200
Be careful with the paint choice.


That's why I'd never go for a red (not metallic) car as red paint always seems to oxidise badly after a few years of weathering. Mind you, this effect seems more extreme on other marques as opposed to MB... Peugeot springs to mind.

S.
 
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Andy Stanton

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I'm thinking of going with the very dark blue, very dark green or black metallic. I actually thought my demo car was black for two days. It was only when we caught the sun on one of it's flanks that we noticed it was actually dark green!

We're not allowed to order flat colours on engines over 2.0 anyway but I'd never order flat on a car this size or prestige. The flat red Jag X type looks dreadful and cheap but then again it's only an overpriced Mondeo anyway...

Note the comment re the BMW emissions; the whole car was a bit cheaper as it's a smaller car (c class equiv rather than e class) but the toys bought it back up the the same price for me. The emissions per se aren't the problem as it's only £15 difference per month, but the additional rental pushes it up another £30 per month and as I've already overstretched my budget I would have to give something up. And I can't bring myself to do it.

My second demo arrives next week (it's 'only' a Classic model) and should tell me if the 220 and manual box work together. So long as they're comparible to my 2.0 vectra I'll be happy. Those two compenents are ok, it's the rest of the car thats complete cr*p.

Andy.
 

RichardM

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I used to have a 2.0 vectra years ago, it wasn't too bad but then at the time I didn't know any better! I'm sure I'd hate it if I drove it now.

I'd be interested in your comments on the manual, as I mentioned I did think about it but was warned off by the dealer. I'm really pleased I went with the auto though.

I also thought about getting the green/black, my only concern was that black cars are a nightmare to keep clean, they look good though.
 
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Andy Stanton

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Hurrah - I've finally found an independant review on the Harman Kardon Logic 7 hi-fi. It's a lengthy read but if your interested in one then carry on. It comes from edmunds.co.uk. They seem to be some sort of review mag on the web and focus on the american market (odd being a .co.uk site!). Anyway, I now really really want one.

Enjoy...

By the way, did I mention I'm getting my 2nd test drive tomorrow. It'll be a pleasure to go to work, but more so to drive home again!

System Score: 9.0

Components: The optional Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound system in the E500 uses the best of modern technology and good ol' fashioned brute force to build an incredible soundstage. Twelve speakers are found all over the cabin. There's a center channel, tweeters and woofers in every door and a pounding subwoofer in the rear shelf. These are driven by a 420-watt amplifier/sound processor and get marching orders from a complex CD/tape head unit with a color LCD display and steering wheel-mounted controls.

Performance: The amplifier designed by the Lexicon division of Harman International, "converts standard two channel audio sources into a convincing seven-channel surround sound playback matrix." The Matrix? What a cool movie. So, what does that have to do with the stereo system in a Benz? Well, imagine how amazing the sonic trickery is in the Keanu flick, and how that can be achieved with a five-channel home stereo. Now picture a tight cabin filled with 12 premium speakers, seven channels of expanded sound and more power than most folks keep around the house. It's a true 360-degree experience, with no obvious distortion at any reasonable volume.

Cymbals sound very clean and chimes resonate as if they are hanging from the rearview mirror. The midrange sounds realistic and live recordings reveal intricate details such as a singer taking breaths between lines and rustling of papers in the recording studio. The subwoofer is extremely strong without sacrificing sound quality. Unlike some booming systems, bongos and other hand-played drums are allowed to rebound instead of the initial strike masking the rest of the beat .
 

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