buying an E class estate, please help!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fredT, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. fredT

    fredT Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    first off, HI everyone :)

    starting a family so im after a family car, and after weeks of deliberating i've finally decided on the benz over its german rivals.

    still i have a dilemma, what engine should i get?

    i'm looking at either the "new" 3 liter v6 diesel 280/320 or the older 3.2 liter diesel unit (what cylinder layout is this?). with the latter there seems to be some good bargains out there

    i would like to know from people who have owned both (or at least driven them) what differences you find in terms of power and noise, and also if you find any difference between the newer 7 speed vs the 5 speed auto box.
    i did drive the v6 320 in a cls and it sure is a beaut of an engine, but how big is the difference vs the old one?

    im also keeping a sly eye on the supercharged e55 amg, does anyone have any experience with one of these with high mileage (like 60-90k miles)?

    yes i know im looking at massively different engines but with the prices of the 55's at the moment and driving less than 10k a year i could handle the extra costs.

    any information would be most appreciated!

    cheers / fred
     
  2. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Club Veteran

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    Hello


    My dad had has the older 3.2 since new in 2003 E320cdi Estate and loves it, so much so its the longest car he has ever kept. Does 50mpg if your very easy and regularly gives over 40mpg. Also goes very well and can fit an awful lot in.

    My neighbour recently changed his older 530tds BM and changed it for a new E320Cdi Estate. He loves it SO much better than the BM.

    Then my old boss had a 2004 E55 estate and that is crazy how quick it is, lovely car but he saw 14mpg often?? thats low in anyones book? I guess driven normaly you would see 20mpg? 25mpg on a run.

    All in all lovely cars which ever one, in real life day to day driving both really as quick as each other but parts, servicing fuel, insurance cheaper with the cdi.

    Think my dad is now waiting to see the new E class estate at the Geneva show in a few months, he's drivwn most rivals and doesn't like them.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    fredT

    fredT Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    thanks for that!

    yeah i know it guzzles fuel but on 10k miles/year calculating 17mpg for the amg and 32mpg for the diesel it will only cost me 1200 more per year at current fuel prices, maybe another 8-1200 in other expenses so not too bad.

    anyway back to the diesel coz i will probably end up with one of those, have you been in both cars? if the difference is only small i will go for the older version but if there is a major improvement on the newer on i will go for that

    cheers
     
  4. st4

    st4 Banned

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    Go for the old 3.2 unit. Its tried and tested and is well regarded as a good reliable engine. Its also mated to the 5sp box which is IMHO an advantage. Its a straight six and very smooth and punch.

    The newer 3 litre V6 is apparently even more refined, marginally more powerful but from various threads like this it appears to be a much less economical car. Its a newer design engine and any troubles have yet to come to light AFAIK. The v6 car is tied to the 7speed box, IMHO 1 gear to many and some reported it to "hunt" for gears.

    However going for a V6 will gaurantee a newer design car and more than likely bring a facelifted E class, which has advantages too. Go for an 04 car onwards whatever you do.
     
  5. Mactech

    Mactech Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I would go for a post 04 or 05 car.
    The choice is then quite simple. Is it cost or refinemet at the top of your list?
    The straight six does the job well and the 5 speeed box is a 'real' auto.
    The cars are all well thought of and have few faults, but most are now getting on in terms of miles.
    I am now on my third V6 powered car, have had no issues and really enjoy the technology and smoothness of the new breed.
    It does cost more though, not really in fuel, but because the car you buy is likley to drop in value more as it is younger. I've seen 47mpg in my V6 E estate. Go smooth, you know you want to!;)
     
  6. W210 Fan

    W210 Fan Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    60-90 isnt high miles, there are a lot of previous shape (W210) 55s about with 160-180k on them, the engine is the same as the S/E430 but bored out a little, this extra stress appears to make no odds as the engine still seems to be capable of high miles, looking in breakers and cars being broken on ebay merc petrol engines, especially the V8s still outlast the car,
     
  7. hawk20

    hawk20 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    E class fully galvanised (rather than just crucial bits) from all 2003 production onwards. Check the production date not the date of first registration.

    The older 3.2 is straight six and I had that in the S class. Great motor and loves the match to the 5 speed box.

    Straight sixes are naturally perfectly balanced and naturally economical.

    But the new V6 is an awesome engine. Stand beside it and even outside the car it is the quietest, smoothest diesel in captivity. Even open the bonnet and it is amazingly quiet. Goes well with the 7 speed box but it doesn't need all those gears. You get as much acceleration as the older 3.2 but smoother. The older one is a real boot in the back on take off.

    Make sure you get one with full MB service history. Lots of updates have been done on the E class, free when serviced by MB. Especially to the gearbox to get rid of a slightly jerky shift on some E's.

    But the real step forward on the E's came with the facelift. This is what What Car said at the time: -

    Mercedes claims the updated E-Class due to go on sale this summer will be free of the reliability bugs that have affected the current model since launch in 2002.

    The revised car has been put through the most intensive testing schedule Mercedes has ever undertaken with a single model.

    It features 2000 new parts compared with the outgoing car, including five new or revised engines and improved safety aids (see separate stories).

    Mercedes has also been working with component suppliers to ensure uniform quality standards at every company which provides parts for the E-Class.

    Its target is to reduce warranty claims to a lower level than those at Toyota, a company renowned for outstanding reliability.

    Electrical glitches are among the most common problems experienced by the current E-Class. Mercedes claims to have ironed these out by testing every component separately outside the car to ensure durability under all conditions.

    The braking system has also been changed. The 2002 E-Class had a part-electronic mechanism that was the subject of a recall campaign, but this has been dropped. Mercedes says it can now get the same braking effectiveness by conventional means.

    In all, 1000 pre-production versions of the new E-Class were tested for a total distance of nearly three million miles. This will now become the schedule for every new Mercedes.


    BTW the E class finished in the top ten overall on the JD Power 2008 survey of customer satisfaction.


    I have driven all the diesels and have the 220cdi which surprised me by having plenty enough grunt for normal use.

    But for a real road burner the 320cdi takes a lot of beating.


    Personally I would only buy from an MB dealer with full MB service history and would use the search engine on the MB website. Some great bargains around. I got a 6 month old one, with only £6k miles for £16k off list price.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  8. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Club Veteran

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    My Dads is a 2003, he has owned it since collecting in Germany, now almost on 100K and goes better with the miles.

    It regularly does the trip to Annecy in France returning over 40mpg @ 80-85 mph.

    Hold everything you can normally think of.


    Neighbours brand new one does looke nice, like the single exhaust either side (even on the cdi) also the command with the SD slot. Front looks far more wedgy but I like it. I'm not sure exactly what he payed but its brand new cancelled order (I think he mentioned £30k)and from quick look.

    E320Cdi **********
    Silver
    Leather
    Command
    Phone

    Looks an awful lot of car for the money, I've yet to go for a spin in this one although he has offered. I guess with the new new one out soon there are some great deals.
     
  9. Fady

    Fady Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Does anyone get as much as 17mpg from their 5.5 litre engine? I hear figures in the 12-14 mpg range - as if your are doing low miles, then it's likely that you are only going to be doing short trips at the high end of fuel consumption.

    I've sort of have one eye on an AMG version, but if anything, it's the relative running costs and depreciation that will make me reconsider. Parts and servicing ain't cheap, and if you go for a high mileage car then things are going to start to wear out and need doing sooner rather than later, and you are at the mercy of main dealers and the exclusive pricing for parts and servicing. And even if a car has already lost loads in depreciation, the bigger engined ones still fall more and are harder to move on when you want to sell.

    But then you have to weigh all this up with the amount of fun you are likely to have driving it :)
     
  10. NewMB

    NewMB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My turn to it in my £0.02.

    For the E55 (or any model) - Buying the older car will give you a discount for parts and labour at any MB dealer (3+ yrs) so servicing wont cost you and arm and a leg.

    The fuel consumption on my E55 is really bad in town at around 12-14 mpg. On motorways, at a steady 80, this increases to around 25-26 mpg. Never seen any further north than that. Still not to bad considering a thumbing 476 bhp 5.5l V8.

    Issues may be electrical. I have had that, but sorted now. Of course this can happen to nay car. Also have an issue with the front left Torque Arm Bush. Cost to change is £600 for both L & R according to my dealer which I thing is to steep. Tyres are not cheap though at over £200 a piece for Continental.

    Diesel engines are all good etc, but like me, you do very low mileage. Running costs (fuel) will not be your real issues.

    My insurance, believe it or not, went DOWN coming from a 2006 C320 Cdi to the 2003 E55 based on exactly the same drivers & criterias etc.

    If you need any more info, pls PM me.
     
  11. jeremytaylor

    jeremytaylor Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I had the V6320CDI in my C-class estate, and now have a straight 6 in my E320CDI estate.

    The V6 is quicker, smoother, and more responsive than the straight 6, but I think the 7-speed gearbox is overkill - 5 gears is plenty, and the economy was about the same to me.

    In case you didn't know, the V6 280CDI and 320CDI are the same 3.0l engine, just different software in the engine ECU to give different outputs.

    To me the benefit of the straight 6 over the V6 (apart from the few pre-facelift V6s) is the fact that the pre-facelift cars have the SBC (brake by wire) brakes. Yes, the early E-classes with this were a bit troublesome (mostly in the USA it seems) but I prefer these brakes to the more conventional system on the facelift cars.

    But whichever engine, these are great family cars. Options to look for are Parktronic (parking is a cinch with this), leather (for re-sale). The Comand is also a great system that most buyers like to have (negotiate harder on cars without). The boot seats are handy for those times when you have to carry extra kids out of the blue. Its certainly a buyers market - the current depressed market is affceting all big cars, even those with diesel engines.

    On the other hand I saw a beautiful E63 estate at Brooklands earlier today in a lovely shade of purple-blue!
     
  12. NewMB

    NewMB Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    This E63 Estate was used in their "AMG Experience" and is the one I drove last summer doing mine. Really nice car with EVERYTHING. I mean - Loaded!

    Wouldn't buy it though....
     
  13. OP
    OP
    fredT

    fredT Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    cheers guys really appreciate all the comments!

    seems to me there is not much in it between the different dielsels so if i go for that i'll just buy the best car i can find within my budget.

    i know diesel would be the sensible choice and would be plenty fast in 99.9 of all circumstances, but i got this feeling i might regret it if i dont buy the 55...

    NewMB: what average do you get out of your amg?

    thanks
     
  14. kusanku

    kusanku Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I bought a 2005 E320cdi last september, and reveived lots of really helpful advice from forum members in the process. Mine is a straight six, and noticeably faster than the straight six I had in my W210, although it is supposedly the same engine.

    Advice I was given was to get a post-2003 model to ensure it will be galvanised, and most people recommended the straight six with 5 speed gear-box. The indie garage I have started using also said one of the late straight sixes was the best to go for.

    In terms of my motoring needs, the car has turned out to be perfect. With the seats down, the space in the back is probably the best you will get from any estate car out there. I use mine regularly for lugging stuff about, and I wonder how I ever got by with a saloon. I get 38-40 mpg on a run, which is a lot less than the official figures: that is probably my only gripe. Too early to comment on reliability.

    Biggest problem I had when looking for one was models without leather, of which there were a surprisingly high number, and mainly avantgarde spec, which I do not personally like. I really wanted elegance spec, with sand/cream interior. This combination looks fantastic, but is really difficult to keep clean, and looks awful if allowed to get grubby. I use the car quite a lot, so this might not have been the most wise of decisions, as I am quite fussy about how my car looks.

    I would not say it is an exciting car to drive, but that's not what you look for in a diesel estate. Practical, nice to drive, and extremely comfortable. Unless it proves unreliable, which seems unlikely, I would find it hard to justify changing this car for anything else out there.
     
  15. jaymanek

    jaymanek Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    i have had a few of the new V6 Diesel engine'd cars in recently and can confirm that they are MUCH quieter than the in line engines.. they are much more refined and feel much more powerful.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    fredT

    fredT Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    guys one more question.. :)


    i've seen a few nice cars but with added 'sports suspension'.. i must say that for me comfort will be much more important then 'sportiness' if i get a diesel

    so my question is, is there much of a difference between the avantgarde suspension and the upgraded sports version in terms of comfort?
    i guess elegance trim would be the most comfy ride, but is there much in it?
     
  17. Mactech

    Mactech Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The sport suspension is quite a step stiffer. My wife described it as 'a bit stiff':(
    My feeling is that it is certainly not the best ride/handing compromise that Mercedes have done and that the Avantgarde is a better all round choice.
    But if you never get off main roads and concrete surfaces, or run on German roads you may find it fine!
    The steering on the sport also requires more effort to 'enhance' that sportier feel.
    Both cars I comment on were on 18" wheels so it is just the spring/damper differences that I felt. The bigest change is to low velocity damping, but I didn't really see the upside of that unless I wanted a Collie coating on the inside of the rear windows!;)
     
  18. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Club Veteran

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    Hello

    Best to drive them and you decide but both my Dad and neighbour chose the ********** spec over the sport. The ride is too hard for them and not suited to the car. I think the sport has 18 if not 19" wheels and theirs have 17".

    Depends what you like so its not a simple yes or no. I like te look with larger wheels and like you don't do many miles so would have looks over comfort....

    Not sure on the sport but guess as the avantgarde spec they both have self leveling etc?

    As I say best for you to try a car first before just dismissing either. I'm not that keen on the elegance wood tbh but again thats a personal thing?
     
  19. A210AMG

    A210AMG MB Club Veteran

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    Why do I get ********* in my reply above?


    I've not swoar honest :) ???
     
  20. RodgerDodger

    RodgerDodger Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    happens to me too - is the word aventguard??

    must be my spelling
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009

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