Quality ride of the s/w211 avantgarde

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350cls

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E55k AMG Sold / S211 E320 CDI I6 W212 E63 6.2 N/A saloon.
Just had the s211 e320cdi avantgarde out for a quite Sunday morning spin. Having experienced this ride quality for over the last 6/7 years in different s/w 211 engine variants I don't think I having driven car that offers such a brilliant relaxed ride especially the avantgarde spec e320 cdi I still have. Yes I like the performance of the e63 6.2 I have that is just a different conversation and is an amazing experience in it self. But the ride quality and just relaxed refined drive the avantgarde offers I haven't experienced better. Just wallowing through the Essex countryside was pure pleasure. I can't comment on the Elegance model as I have never sat in one never mind driven one. Im not sure if the ride is any more cushioned to that of the avantgarde. Fair enough tje e320 I have is 20 years old just last month, but by no means world you think it or feel it with the ride quality it offers. Reading up on people's opinions the Il6 is as smooth as any of the other engine variants so I kind of hit the sewer spot regarding that. Car past mot last August no problem. There are a few little things that are not working on the car but I can live with being a 20 year old vehicle. Park tronic hasnt worked since I took ownership and the radio screen does not light up but still works fine through the instrument cluster. Interior is remarkable for a car if age and mileage being of the light color combinations too. Exterior is showing age in places with the odd bit of rust on both front doors at the bottoms and the rear arches but overall not to bad at all. I hope to recertify them this summer when get a chance.

The car drives really well and the ride quality is quite amazing for it's age. I've kept on top of the suspension side of things changing a few parts myself which has been very satisfying with how the car drives. Just one thing I would like to get to the bottom of and that's the puff of smoke the car produces when you get into the pedal over 3000rpm. Does this engine smoke more than others I have read of the opinion that it does. Having no dpf in this engine can only be of benefit I was to believe. Had reconditioned turbo and actuator and EGR valve fitted well over 1500 to 2000 miles back now. Had a leak off test done nothing out the ordinary showed up there. All air intakes seem to be all connected well. What else could I look at to cut down the smoke factor on such a great car to use and drive. Injectors coming up to 232,0000. Mpg seems good, no iratic idling runs really well. I would just like to cut out the smoke it produces on wot. And heavy throttle.

Thanks

Did I mention how well the 211 rides and drives. 😁👍🏻
 
IMHO the Elegance rides better than the Avantgarde. The reason being smaller wheels / thicker rubber and suspension difference

As you say, these cars are essentially two decades old. Fashions moved on, suspension tightened and tyres got narrower, so that drivers can relish every pothole.

Parktronic issue? Depends on the history of the problem: did it fail piece by piece or all at once? If the issue predates your ownership, I'd wonder if the sensors just need replacing.
 
The reason we kept the 211, bought as a temporary while the 639 engine came out, is because I was so impressed with it.
Only the 2.1 CDI, but plenty of power for our needs.

The main downside, in my mind, is that the interior feels dated. Soon ignored on a drive mind.
 
Love reading all your opinions and experiences with the 211 it's a vehicle that has to be experienced in a car drivers lifetime in my opinion.

Regarding the suspension and avantgarde vs Elegance debate. I've read that the avantgarde could be purchased with the softer Elegance ride if that makes sense or maybe I've missed or confused this. My car comes with 16 derp tyre wall tyres and just glides along. Making me think mine has the softer suspension. Heated rear seats as well as front seats is rather nice also. As said for a 20 years plus car the level of comfort and levels of outside noise it keeps out the cabin it's a fantastic put together machine. The bullet proof tank lives on, long may it continue. Happy motoring 211 owners past and present 👍🏻😁
 
I actually think they could be 15" tyres not 100 percent on that. Regarding the parktronic I recall it was two faulty sensors in the front and two in the rear I never have got round to replacing to honest.

Avantgarde self leveling rear suspension on mine. Magnificent ride it is.
 
Avantgardes were supplied with stiffer suspension and bigger wheels. (And less traditional internal trim)

Wheel sizes are printed on the side of your tyres. In the UK the smallest wheels were 16's on the Elegance and 17 on the Avantgarde. The recommended sizes for your car will be printed on your tyre pressure chart.

You can't "tell" if the ride is Avantgarde or Elegance without comparing the two. The Avantgarde is MUCH gentler than newer E Class and than with any BMW. (And suspension is interwoven with tyre size fitted)

The build sheet will tell you exactly how your car was specified. Just find your VIN and enter into a VIN decoder and you'll see the exact build spec.

Heated rear seats? That's a rarity. Points towards chauffeur driven or cold weather ancestry.

If parktronic has only partially failed, that's just faulty sensors. An easy DIY replacement.
 
The faulty sensors are not so easily accessible I'm sure it's a bumper off job as to like some other vehicles the BMW e39 was very straight forward replacing parking sensors. I'm sure the 211 is bumper off job.

Regarding specification under the vin the car lists as an avantgarde model but is confusing regarding trim and some options. This car comes with the wooden dash trim in light brown also has the smaller tyres. I'm sure I have read you could spec a car with the Elegance suspension but with avantgarde trim or the other way round. The avantgarde sat 15 or 30 mm lower than the Elegance I also read. I personally wouldn't want this car to be any softer regarding the drive quality as it feels as on a cloud as it is. Whatever you throw at it, it just glides over or absorbs with minimal effort. It's hard to believe a car of many years can give such a great driving quality experience. Miles ahead of it's time is an understatement.
 
Just been out and looked at the cars tyres. The car is running 225/55 r16 tyres all-round. This can imply the car doesn't have sports suspension. The more "stiffer" suspension is that correct but is still listed as an avantgarde model. Find this stuff rather confusing. If the car come with the bigger size wheel ie 17" upwards it would have the stiffer sports suspension.
 
To confuse matters more. I have posted about this before. When one cycles the instrument cluster for oil levels and so on the cars model is read as a om613 model. But it's an om648 Il6 under the bonnet🥴🤔

Odd
 
Just been out and looked at the cars tyres. The car is running 225/55 r16 tyres all-round. This can imply the car doesn't have sports suspension. The more "stiffer" suspension is that correct but is still listed as an avantgarde model. Find this stuff rather confusing. If the car come with the bigger size wheel ie 17" upwards it would have the stiffer sports suspension.
Once again, if you put the VIN number through a VIN decoder it will tell you the original spec of the car and explicitly highlight any differences from standard spec, such as sports suspension delete, optional heated rear seats, trim options, etc etc.

As an example, I'm running around in a BMW F31 Sport, with the "hens' teeth" adaptive suspension. To double check the spec before I bought it - without physically seeing the car - I made sure that the VIN explicitly showed 2VF code for adaptive dampers.

If you look at the wheels and tyres currently on the car, all you will see is the wheels and tyres currently on the car. Over two decades wheels get changed. I've swopped TO smaller wheels on BMW's, Boxsters, and Mercedes. Much to the delight of many people who will pay strong money to change in the other direction.

And, of course, a small number will have changed the suspension on their E class too. Particularly as the car goes into six figure mileages.

Here's a write up of how to cheaply replace the parking sensors without removing the bumper. It's just the first link from google. There are lots of videos and links out there describing the process..
 
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Looking at the vin decoder specification sheet. Nothing that really states the cars suspension. It could have well had an suspension change in it's lifetime but not under my ownership. Does confirm it's the om648 engine model.

The park sensors I've long lived without now I don't find it a problem at all with this car the 3 star 3D style emblem is a good go by distance stopping guide. The cost of sensors would outweigh the price of the car to be fair. So not so cost affective in truth. Not sure the aftermarket cheap ones are of any good use.
 
Looking at the vin decoder specification sheet. Nothing that really states the cars suspension. It could have well had an suspension change in it's lifetime but not under my ownership. Does confirm it's the om648 engine model.

The park sensors I've long lived without now I don't find it a problem at all with this car the 3 star 3D style emblem is a good go by distance stopping guide. The cost of sensors would outweigh the price of the car to be fair. So not so cost affective in truth. Not sure the aftermarket cheap ones are of any good use.
Exactly, so if that's how your car was built, it'll be standard Avantgarde spec which includes that sports suspension. An Elegance on 16's will be softer

Sensors should be £20 for a pack of four, but if you're not bothered, then why faff an hour or two to fit them? It's not as if you want to sell the car
 
Exactly, so if that's how your car was built, it'll be standard Avantgarde spec which includes that sports suspension. An Elegance on 16's will be softer

Sensors should be £20 for a pack of four, but if you're not bothered, then why faff an hour or two to fit them? It's not as if you want to sell the car
A pack of 4 sensors for £20 pounds that is very cheap. Do you have a link at all.

I wouldn't want it much softer it that's the case as if it is the sports suspension I have avantgarde on 16" is spot on. Still find it strange the car runs 16 225/55 all round. And doesn't look as though it sits lower than the Elegance model. 15 to 30 mm is not so easy to spot with the naked eye. If anything I always thought this car sat higher than other s211 I've seen. This suspension definitely doesn't feel sporty, I wouldn't class it as sporty. I would like to trial the Elegance with the 16" and bigger to see what differences are to be had over the avantgarde on 16".
 
My last S211 500 was an Elegance with full Airmatic, and on 18" wheels. The ride was superb, not too wallowy nor too firm.
 
Always struck me as odd that the top spec (Avantgarde) was stiffer suspension with the Elegance being softer/more luxurious. To me, logic would say it'd be the other way round?
 
My last S211 500 was an Elegance with full Airmatic, and on 18" wheels. The ride was superb, not too wallowy nor too firm.
Exactly, airmatic changes the handling, as do different tyre sizes. And then, of course, there’s age, driving style and type of roads.

It’s a mistake to dismiss anything without a test drive.

BMW drivers are always fun on this stuff. They specify M Sport and big wheels and then whine about the ride quality
 
Always struck me as odd that the top spec (Avantgarde) was stiffer suspension with the Elegance being softer/more luxurious. To me, logic would say it'd be the other way round?
It was a styling difference first and foremost: modern trim for “younger” tastes vs traditional wood finish and softer seats for the older, more “traditionally built” driver.
 
A pack of 4 sensors for £20 pounds that is very cheap. Do you have a link at all.
Google and EBay are your friends.
 
My supposed avantgarde vehicle has the wood dash trim which was apparently an Elegance spec trim level. Reading up on the Elegance ride quality it was much more badge type like in the corners which my car seems to have. Does make me think does it have the Elegance suspension on the car. Like said any softer it would be like on a river every journey. It works for me that's all that matters. Maybe it's had softer dampers fitted over its life time. Maybe an Elegance on 17 is as good as an avantgarde on 16"
 

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