Bimmer or Benz? - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2006, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by VCOUI
Can a Mercedes Benz feel like a BMW?

Hello all, I'm a relatively new Mercedes owner. I recently purchased a 1993 400e [W124] I've had the car for about 3 months now and I have to say... I have some concerns.

I've always been a Bimmer guy; I've owned 4. Two e28s [82 and 87 528e] a 1972 2002tii track-car and most recently I still own a 1989 [e30] 325ic [Convertible]. I've always loved how BMW's handle. When I bought the convertible, I put all new shocks, and suspension components, i.e. tie rods, control arms, bushings, sway bar links etc. all stock spec. I must say I was amazed at how good the car felt when I was done.

Fast forward- When in the market for a new [used] car earlier this year, my original intent was for another BMW [e34] 91-95 525i - 535i. [Essentially the BMW version of the W124. It's BMW's mid size car.]

Now I'm a big guy... 6 ft 330lbs, and to my dismay, I had no headroom in the e34 and it was a tight fit getting in and out of the car. The "B" pillar seemed to get in my way, especially when I sat in the car with the window down. The B-pillar got in the way of my arm. So... I was reluctantly forced to consider other options.

A friend recommended the W124. I'd never really considered a Mercedes Benz, however when I realized it was in my price range, and more importantly, the fit, I was pleased. It too is German, there’s no question it’s luxurious and I was fortunate enough to find an *amazing* deal on a 400e which made it a no-brainer.

The first week of driving the car was odd for me; it took some time to get used to the car after just coming from the 325ic. The first thing I noticed is the car seemed to roll quite a bit and it took more focus to drive the car safely. It clearly felt heavier and responded slower.

After a week I got used to it... and began to enjoy the ride. In fact, I often felt as if my daily commute home was too short; I just wanted to keep driving. I was pleased.

...But it still wasn't the same as the Bimmer. I'm aware a BMW and MBZ are two totally different beasts, however I just wasn't "feeling it". I thought the car would look better, lowered with bigger wheels.

So after some discussions with a couple friends, it was agreed bigger wheels with wider low profile tires, lowering springs and sport shocks should help. Not to mention I'm sure the front and rear could use freshening up. Bushings, tie rods, ball joints etc.

Then I made a HUGE mistake... I drove a friends 1993 e36 325i.

We had just finished installing a new front end on his BMW and I was curious; I wanted to “try it on for size” so I sat in it. Surprisingly, *I fit*. It had *more* room than the 5 series! [Go figure] So of course I had to drive it. It still had old tired shocks and springs and was in need of an alignment; even so it felt GREAT!

It took about two minutes to fall in love! "THIS is how a car is SUPPOSED to feel" is all I could think. It had MUCH more pull than my big V8 400e with 100 more HP. Throttle was crisp, steering and break response was instantaneous! On the 400e I have to “think ahead” for whatever I want to do and the throttle is WAY more stiff and slow to respond.

So... LONG story short, am I chasing dragons trying to make a Benz feel like a Bimmer? Is it worth it to spend the money for all the upgrades to the Benz just to make it feel like a stock BMW? Can it feel like a BMW? Or should I cut my losses, sell the Benz and find another Bimmer?

Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance for reading and your replies.

51% luxurious ride, 49% sport (Mercedes-Benz) or 49% luxurious ride, 51% sport (BMW)? That's what it boils down to. Personally, I find that where the Mercedes has trailed behind BMW in performance (not counting AMG models), they have more than made up for in refinement. BMW simply can't touch that. It's simply a matter of personal choice.

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2006, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by offroadwarrior
But, you already knew the answer.
This is a good thread. I currently own a 88 BMW 735i & a 1995 s500. The difference in the drive is night & day!

I find myself driving the BMW a bit more aggressively w/o really thinking about it. I can't help it. Twisty roads & curvy highway onramps & offramps R something I look forward to getting on & hitting the gas (when no one else is on there of

The BMW handles very well & feels like it hugs the road. I too never understood why Bimmer drivers drove so aggressively, but now I understand why. The car seems to be made to be driven that way!

Now the Benz on the other hand? Smooth. Refined. Classy. The driving experience feels "peaceful," like I'm driving on a cloud. I honestly can't explain it any better than that, but U Benz owners know what I speak of! Just give me a straight road with no traffic & let me cruise!

2 totally different cars. 2 totally different driving experiences. The Benz I drive to church or a formal gathering. The Bimmer I drive to the beach or jump into after a 10 mile run.

Either way I'm happy!

If I HAD to choose just one? Can't do it! I love em both equally for different reasons. Aples & oranges. I drive the Benz for a couple days & I get the itch to drive the Bimmer. I drive the Bimmer a couple days I get the itch to drive the Benz.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2006, 09:18 PM
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Hi Pentagon. I have never driven a C - 240, but in my opinion the percentages are more like 60 / 40 either way. It might be interesting though to see how the comparable AMG and AC Schnitzer match up. Cheerio, Teutone (aka Horst K)
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2006, 10:40 PM
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Smile Bimmer...Mercedes

After reading many posts I would say you need a day-to-day car to provide you excitement (Keep the blood flowing) and have a second care to provide the status symbol (Classy, Well-off, Serenity).

From what everyone else has posted it is a Bimmer and a Mercedes respectively. I would submit that you can do both Bimmer or Mercedes.

You want sportier Bimmer experience? Buy/lease a 3,5,or 6 Series.
You want a Sport/Luxury Bimmer experience? Buy/lease a 7 series. I have driven a 750Li from NJ to FL in 14 hours and I would do it again and again because it was so comfortable.

You want sportier Bimmer experience in a Mercedes? Buy/lease a C-AMG, or E-AMG.
You want utlra luxury Mercedes experience? Buy/lease a LEXUS LS460. But you can compromise by buying or leasing a NEW S550 and get Great luxury which is fine for me personally.

In the end my friend you will choose what's best for you as you should.

Good Luck!

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 10:45 AM
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 10:20 AM
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Thumbs up

both are fantastic vehicle's...if you can afford it get both, M3 as the daily and a clk coupe to floss.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 04:03 PM
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W140 500sel and a Lotus Elise , sorted total lux and total sport .
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 05:44 PM
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Yea, my mate who is a BMW fan had issues with my W140 and the way in which it drove. I dont own a BMW but have driven them to be honest my w140 feels like a boat when compared to a 525 I drove.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 05:48 PM
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Handling VS. Speed

No doubt a car that handles better will invite the driver to push it to the limits.
This has never been the case with any MB I have driven except an E420 I had and the E55 I test drove.
I have not driven the S/C versions but I suspect that the accident rate for these models surpasses BMW M series, etc.
Bimmers seem more fun to drive, but as in previous post on a longer trip on the road the Benz coddles you.
I still maintain that I feel safer with a BMW. I have a 98 740il and constantly am amazed how it handles and sits squat while my 97 S600 tends to wallow even with the shocks in sport mode. I can feel the difference immediately.
I believe the AMG series is still catching up trying to get the BMW experience.
They 'won' the horsepower race no doubt but R/T and other like magazines keep putting BMW ahead simply because of this special handling characteristic.
I am not sure what is next for me as I do not have anything newer than a 98 coupe right now.
I will be test driving the AMG cars next to the newer M series to check out the difference.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 07:03 PM
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Forgotten German - AUDI

During last 7 years AUDI came along strong, stealing sales from S class and 7 series with all aluminum A8.
Some A4 and A6 models got excellent blend of style, luxury and performance.
I believe in 2002 AUDI A6 2.7T rated better than 5 series BMW in luxury and performance.

AUDI looks more conservative however.

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Some dream to drive it, Some enjoy driving it
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