Date registered: Feb 2007
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04/05 E500 sport vs. 07 Acura TL type S (Are the E500 problems worth it?)
Time to buy a car and I've pretty much narrowed it down to these two: E500 (04-05 with 40K miles) vs. Acura TL Type S (07). I like them both. I've scanned through the posts on this forum from the past year or so and seen several similar threads and read a lot about problems and disappointments people have had with their post 2003 E500 (and other Benz's for that matter) and this has really made me hesitant. So I'm looking for more discussion and opinions.
You should know that I'm a Benz guy at heart. I grew up with them and my dad is still motoring around in his 77' 240D (with over 450K miles)...though his dogs have chewed out most of the back seat now...
I've owned a 78' 300D (over 350K miles) and a 89' 300E (250K miles); though now my wife and kids are in an 03' Z71 Suburban (47K miles). Reality is, I keep my cars. Whatever I buy, I'm looking at having it 10-15 years. Because of my history with mercedes, my obvious expectations are that they go forever, are solid, safe, nice to drive, and reliable. And I've been used to higher than normal maintenance costs (I don't remember getting my car out of the shop for under $500, no matter the fix...).
But all the electrical issues and problems people have reported, and the documented decline in reliability have me concerned about stepping into an 04-05 E500 (for $30K - $35K) vs. a new 07 TL Type S ($37K).
I have driven the E500 and am very aware of the benefits of driving a Mercedes. Its a very nice car. Solid feel. Good handling and comfort. Great power and torque, while still getting decent mpg. The look and refinements are nice. And it has the mercedes distinguishability.
But I like the new TL Type S too. Not as distinguishable. But its sporty, fast, smooth, handles nice. The technology of the nav and sound system are very nice. The refinements are good too. Not as nice as the E500 (or Lexus cars and others), but not far off. This isn't surprising since Acura/Honda always lacks some of the goodies. However, its a frickin honda car, so the expectation is that you can count on 200K miles without much hassle. That is very appealing.
If the E500 didn't have so many documented problems, it would be a pretty easy decision...I go with the E. But reading and hearing about many E500/E320 owner's problems, the many trips to the shop, problems with MBUSA, having to buy extended warranties.... I don't know.
Can you expect to get 200K out of an 04/05 E500, without spending double the price of the car in maintenance/repairs, and without having the car in the shop 6 weeks of every year? Has Mercedes completely lost it in longevity and reliability? This is so very puzzling to me given my history with their cars.
Sorry for the long post. But I am very interested in some quality feedback, and I'm really torn on this decision.
Thanks for the help!