New w204 vs used w211? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 03:13 PM
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Question New w204 vs used w211?

I have access to my sister-in-law's w211 (2005 E320) and I have to say that the build qulity seems to be much better than our 2012 C250. I'm curious about whether people who purchased a new w204 ever considered to buy a 3-4 years old used W211 (or even W212) as the price is about the same? Am I correct to say that generally speaking, the E-Class would always have better build quality than C-Class? Thoughts or comments?? Thanks!

Last edited by ohman; 01-28-2013 at 11:32 AM. Reason: typo
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 05:00 PM
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I have access to my sister-in-law's w211 (2005 E320) and I have to say that the build qulity seems to be much better than our 2012 C250. I'm curious about whether people who purchased a new w211 ever considered to buy a 3-4 years old used W211 (or even W212) as the price is about the same? Am I correct to say that generally speaking, the E-Class would always have better build quality than C-Class? Thoughts or comments?? Thanks!
I routinely do not buy used cars...just not the experience I want. But, I did buy a new W204 and W211 in the same week in late 2008. The build quality of both has been excellent, neither better than the other. They go in once a year for A or B service, and that's about it.

But, the decision has another factor. These cars are very different experiences, even beyond my choice of a manual trans and upgrading the antisway bars on my C. The C (at least before the 250) is a more responsive, nimble, taut, agile car. When I get into our E, I feel about 10 years older in the softer, more plush, and, quite honestly, more boring vehicle. If that sensation is what you prefer, that is more relevant than a possible minor difference (which I haven't found) in which is likely more reliable. My wife loves her E, but I wouldn't have one (or the Lux model of the C, designed to create that similar "riding, not driving" feel)....I'm not that old at heart yet.

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 05:50 PM
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I agree^, I had a loaner 07 E350 for a week while my ML350 was in shop, it was nice enough but boring.

I have 100K miles on the 08 C300, other than a couple of light bulbs, it's been nearly flawless while out of warranty. I don't see big differences in build quality. And based on CR reliability data and my own extensive experience with the current gen C-class, I'd be willing to bet the C-class is more reliable.

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#4 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 08:07 AM
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I just recently purchased a 2003 E320 and have a c350(gf cars) along with a 190e Sportline that is getting made into a 5spd. The C350 and the 190 drive very similar. Both sport suspension and fun to drive. The Eclass is completely different. Quality in all 3 are superb but the Eclass gives you the feel of luxury and something to take on long trips. It all depends on what your looking for. I cant wait to get done with my 190 and out of the grandpa car lol. I take the C350 every once in a while just for fun.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 09:19 AM
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Not sure why but I always found the W211 overdone, as well as lacking on interior space. W210 E and the W212 have a much roomier feel (and both look much better). The W204 feels just as roomy as the W211, with a much more modern interior and a better reliability history so far (especially compared to 2003-2006 W211)...

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 12:17 PM
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Not sure why but I always found the W211 overdone, as well as lacking on interior space. W210 E and the W212 have a much roomier feel (and both look much better). The W204 feels just as roomy as the W211, with a much more modern interior and a better reliability history so far (especially compared to 2003-2006 W211)...
We are deep in the weeds on subjectivity here, but I think the W211 is the best interpretation of the classic E. The W212 was a poor and temporary mis-step...and the fact that MB rushed through a refresh so quickly for 2014 seems to support the launch appearance shortcoming.

Having a 204 and 211 side by side in my garage, I can assure you they are not equally spacious inside. If they were, we would use the more enjoyable 204 more often when we have more than two people.

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 12:22 PM
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The W211 is a superior car all around. Lets be real here. The E Class interior is of great quality while all the C Classes look awful and one step above a Camry when it comes to interior. The W211 also is more comfortable and plush. Leather quality and stitching all around. The size of the E is larger as well.
However... Your looking into a 2005 E and those early 211's have some serious reliability issues. I would say skip the C and look for a facelift W211.(07-09). If you want reliability up to the par of the W204 go with a post facelift

PS: The W204 is lots of fun to drive!

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 01:28 PM
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The W211 is a superior car all around.
PS: The W204 is lots of fun to drive!
Your second sentence is why I disagree with your first sentence. The W211, for all of its many strengths, is not lots of fun, nor even a moderate amount of fun, to drive. It's a luxurious cruiser, which makes it not superior if that is not what one is seeking. Having both, I take the 204 any chance I can....manual transmission and all!

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 02:32 PM
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Your second sentence is why I disagree with your first sentence. The W211, for all of its many strengths, is not lots of fun, nor even a moderate amount of fun, to drive. It's a luxurious cruiser, which makes it not superior if that is not what one is seeking. Having both, I take the 204 any chance I can....manual transmission and all!
In terms of fun factor I will drive a C anyday and especially with a 6-Speed. In terms of quality and luxury, comfort and class a W211 all day will take that over any C Class. Going from a C to a E is like going from day to night. I honestly cannot understand how people do not see and feel the difference. It really all comes down to what this driver is looking for. Can he/live with less space and enjoy more of a drivers car or do they want a more mature softer comfortable car? For a DD I use my C Class and especially in bad weather due to it having the 4Matic. If the weather is nice and I need to go a long distance I will use the E or S. Overall as a car to live with I still stand with the 211>204.
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 07:21 PM
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In terms of fun factor I will drive a C anyday and especially with a 6-Speed. In terms of quality and luxury, comfort and class a W211 all day will take that over any C Class. Going from a C to a E is like going from day to night. I honestly cannot understand how people do not see and feel the difference. It really all comes down to what this driver is looking for. Can he/live with less space and enjoy more of a drivers car or do they want a more mature softer comfortable car? For a DD I use my C Class and especially in bad weather due to it having the 4Matic. If the weather is nice and I need to go a long distance I will use the E or S. Overall as a car to live with I still stand with the 211>204.
Good chat! The value of this to the OP is that you and I are two folks with lots of experience with both E and C, and have made the same analysis on the relationship between the two. Our basic difference only is of personal preference priorities. For me, fun to drive>luxury for DD or long distance. That is why, with MB dropping manual trans on C and CLA, I'm off to BMW next time, while my wife still thinks she would like an S Class one day to replace the E.

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