E320 or E320 CDI (Sport or Avantgarde)

Charles.Y

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Please advice ...

I am looking to purchase a used (max 3 years old) E320 CDI or E320 (petrol) but undecided which one to go and also which trim e.g. Sport or Avantgarde.

I realise that the Sport trim comes with 18" wheels, steering wheel paddle shift and sports exhaust which can be quite nice. Just wonder how economical (in real life) the CDI compares to the petrol version and are there are known issues that I need to ne be aware of.

I currently own a 10 years old E240 and its great together with my previously owned S600, 190E 2.6 and E230.
 

Gareth

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I've got an E280 Sport CDI (I wanted the 320) @ 70mph on the motorway it does 42mpg, 90/95 anywhere around 35mpg and around town around 25mpg, I love it though. The wheels and exhausts really make the car stand out from every (non-AMG) E-Class out there.
 
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Charles.Y

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I also want the panaramic glass sunroof (which seems very difficult to find in used) and the Normad command too. Are there any other worthy options which I should look for too?
 

Gareth

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heated seats, memory seats, cd changer (surprisingly expensive to add later on), parktronic is a good one to look out for (especially if you end up retro-fitting comand) Where are you from? This one has been for sale for a while, a deal to be had I'm sure, fairly low mileage as well, good spec, no sunroof though :

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/743948.htm
 
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Mactech

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Most folks choose 320CDI for very good reasons, and there are many more about. Fuel onsumption and torque being the main ones.
An observation on the Sport with 18" wheels is that the ride is certainlty not compliant. If your most of your running is on well surfaced main roads then it is not really an issue but if you are out in the country or a pot holed urban area then the Avantgarde (even on 18" rims) rides much better.
But then I'm just spoilt with Airmatic!:)
 

Chattonmill

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I would give a thumbs up to airmatic too, if you can find one with this option it covers every road surface and driving style.
 

Fady

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There was an article in "Mercedes Enthusiast" which offered a direct comparison between E320 and the E320 CDI which is worth tracking down. From both the performance and economy aspects the diesel made more sense. But it's always going to be swings and roundabouts - so it's best to compile a set of your own preferences as regards engine and driving characteristics. When I started looking I actually wanted an E500, but settled for the E320 CDI as I rated it better than the petrol as regards performance, even though I'd never previously owned a diesel.

As regards looks, the Sport model does have something over the Avantgarde that seperates it from others in the range(though paddle shift is only on the AMG top of the range models isn't it?) . My own car pre-dates the arrival of the Sport but looks like one due to a succession exterior mods. That said, if I was looking today I would be looking for the best value car as regards the ticking all the check boxes in terms of must-have options and price. If the Sports looks becomes the priority, then you have to be happy to pass over better specced up and better priced Avantgardes of which there seem to be more of on the market.
 

Gareth

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How can you tell whether the car has airmatic or not? Sports of that era come with shift BUTTONS, the newer Sports come with small paddles.
 

Fady

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How can you tell whether the car has airmatic or not? Sports of that era come with shift BUTTONS, the newer Sports come with small paddles.


There's a button just behind the gear stick to change the suspension settings. Has 2 LED's for Sport 1 and Sport 2 settings (and both off for Comfort mode). The suspension also takes up a bit more boot space.

Cheers for the info about shift buttons.
 
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Charles.Y

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I am under the impression that the mpg on the CDi is just well superb over the petrol version and plus the extra torque so it is a no brainer. I won't drive the E-class as a sports salon (as I have a little sportser which does the purpose) but don't mind the sports trim though.

I will score the options (panoramic sunroof, airmatic and nomad) over Sports trim if I can find them. Is airmatic some kind of adjustible suspension system?
 

Mactech

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Airmatic (as the name implies) is and automatic air suspension system.
It can also be switched to sport or comfort modes.
It's rare option on an E Class, but the ride of the Avantgarde is far from uncomfortable.
 
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Charles.Y

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Am I right that both the Avantgarde and the Sports have lowered (15mm) ride height?
 

Mactech

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Correct, but the Sport has much firmer settings and a 'meatier' (read heavier) steering feel.
 
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Charles.Y

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So the airmatic Sports and Comfort modes in the Avantgarde are softier than the equivalent in the Sports? If this is the case then the Sports may make more sense with the sports exhaust, paddle shift and 18" wheels etc?
 

Mactech

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I have driven niether of these with Airmatic option so can not commentBut both my S and ML have this system.
However my observations are valid for the much more common steel sprung models as I had a Sport as a loan car whilst my Avangarde was in the bodyshop last year. Even my wife was moved to comment of the Sport 'It drives differently, it's a bit stiff!':(
 

dm2583

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Hi,

I have an E320 cdi avantgarde and regularly achieve 47-48mpg on a motorway run, with an average speed of approx 50mph across the whole journey (urban + Extra urban). Not bad for such a big car, I was pleasantly surprised!
 
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Charles.Y

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I agree. With the high cost of petrol these days, a fuel efficient engine like the CDI is very appealing indeed. I just need to shop around for the best available but I need to part-ex my current E240 with the authorised MB dealer to take advantage of the warranty (which I always did for peace of mind).
 

Gareth

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the ride on my sport can be a bit harsh sometimes (for a Mercedes) but when put through corners at speed it is pretty impressive for what it is.
 

st4

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I have the Ag and it rides beautifully, however I'd like a meatier steering sometimes and this sounds good if the sport has it. The sport also has steering wheel paddles, a really nice option. Plus the 18s make it look fab.

If looking for a petrol, the 350 is much better than the old 320 V6 and maybe worth a punt if it trades much cheaper than the diesel. If you're a 6k mile driver per year the petrol may be the cheaper car.
 

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