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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at spending $7700 more for a 2006 e350 (CPO at MB Dealer) or $7700 less for a 2004 e500 (no CPO, but at MB Dealer). 2006 has 51k miles. 2004 has 72k miles, and is 4 months past the ability to CPO. Both are single owner MB maintained vehicles being sold at the dealers where maintained. The 2004 has apparently run down a guardrail and been resprayed on one entire side.

The e500 is appealing because it's in my initially intended price range, but it doesn't have some features that I could add for about $1600. The e500 has the extra punch of course... but it's a first model year.

The e350 of course doesn't have the performance motor, but it's nothing to shake a stick at either. Obviously fuel economy, lower miles, etc make the 2006 a better choice. Additionally, I can get the added 2 year warranty for about $1700. That's a very nice option, which I'll surely take advantage of, providing us 49k miles and 3 years of warranty on the car.

So then I end up paying over $9,000 more for a very similar car, and don't get that extra punch, or the nice airmatic ride. It sure is easier to shell out the number I was originally anticipating spending too.

I have been leaning towards the 2004 e500 for one additional major reason. I initially thought Consumer Reports showed the 2004 as more reliable than the 2004. But now I see that the 2006 v6 AWD and 2006 v8 (no AWD/RWD specification) are both rated as average.

Here is my question:

Does anyone have any opinions on whether a 2004 e500 4Matic or 2006 e350 4Matic would be more reliable?
 

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2009 E63
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557 Posts
"Does anyone have any opinions on whether a 2004 e500 4Matic or 2006 e350 4Matic would be more reliable?"

Reliability tends to be better in later models in general. However, reliability is also subject to any particular sample. You can get a bad 2010 and a good 2003. It's luck of the draw. Although proper previous maintenance is all part of it. But buying used requires some luck, too.

That said, if you're looking at cost of repair, the later E350 normally should be less expensive than a 2004 E500.

I wouldn't put too much weight on what CR says and instead look for the specimen that suits your needs and desires and do a complete ppi, check the VMI, and shop for a CPO'd version.
 

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89 R107, 05 CDI
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Airmatic, can be a problem too... just repeating (er... saying)..!

Last week you didn't want to get a 500 for the mileage concern and you thought it was too powerful(!) for you, now it's a deciding factor favourably?



So much, "On the other hand..."...

Are you a Libra?
 

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450slc5.0cab 280sl5sp 280se4.5 500se+500slAMG +250seStkW108 350sl4spdX3 500secEuro
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Discussion Starter #5
So much, "On the other hand..."...

Are you a Libra?
Yep. I don't know Libras very well, but I'm probably one of the most obsessive people around. Since this is a big decision for me, I definitely want to do it right.

I started thinking a little too much about me, and how I'd like the extra power, and the e500 would be so much fun for ME to drive. My wife won't get into that. It's cool to think about having a 6.1 second 0-60 car. Right?

Too much power? You get used to it pretty quickly. The downsides to the e500 that I see are:
1) lesser gas mileage (but I've seen claims of 24 mpg highway as opposed to the 18 MPG in the specs)
2) Consumer Reports Lesser reliability of the v8 in general.
3) The fact that it comes with an expensive suspension system (however cool it may be)

I am one to always try to look at the other side of the story. I may be stubborn though.

I'm an Aries.. a Ram. That reminds me... maybe I should look at Dodge. :) Maybe I should get a Dodge Magnum Wagon. There's no difference between MB and Dodge is there? :nono:
 

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2013 MB S550 4Matic, 2010 BMW 650i, 2008 MB E350 sports package
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62 Posts
I won't buy either. For $25,000, you can buy a 2007, or even a 2008 E350 with existing MB warranty. CPO usually expires quickly before you hit 100,000 miles.
 

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The 350 engine is the new-generation M272 and 2006 is the first year in the E-class.

Ask the dealer to show you the DTB (dealer tech bulletin) regarding problems with balancer shaft gear and/or camshaft solenoids to verify whether the engine serial number falls in the "problems" range. It's a $5K fix out of warranty.
 

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w204 (C350ELE)
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There is a lot written about both in the fora. Based on this, the physical vehicles, and the poor responsive attitude of dealer services, I'd lean toward the E350, provided I could verify that it was maintained to the letter of the MB schedule, the condition of the car were peachy-cool (including condition and levels of engine and transmission fluids), and the CPO + MB Extended Warranty come from a dependable dealer (both in sales as in service) who is not hesitant to give info in writing, or to have management meet a customer for grievances.

I base my response upon the following:
a) 2006 is well within the cleanup stage of the W211.
b) M272 V6 engines are awesome in acceleration, speed (175 mph max, but limited to 155 mph).
c) 722.6 transmissions perform well, if maintained well.
d) The Philly-Baltimore corridor is a piece of cake with Winter tires. Special suspensions or AWD/4WD not indispensable. Besides you got other vehicles.
e) The V8 has two extra years of possible misbehaving in maintenance compliance, plus has a heavy backpack consisting of expensive features that have yet to prove high reliability and good performance.

Nevertheless, if it is to recommend, try to go to a 2008 C350 Luxury and you will have a satisfactory vehicle with very improved reliability.

Happy Christmas and Season's Cheers, JV
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the advice fellas! Ironically as I debated this on Sunday, some other dude was getting his cash together to buy the e350 at 9 AM Monday. With a busy workday, I never had a shot at the car. The dealer called me around 5 PM to let me know the news.

So I've still got a line on a few cars. I even see a few new ones popping up.

In your minds, is there a "right price" for a 2004 e500 4Matic Wagon that's MB dealer maintained & single owner?
 

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Wrong

CR is an excellent way to screen used cars for problems likley to be encountered with a given model. That's because the data comes from relatively large sample sets that are big enough to be statistically valid.

Even better would be access to MB service data, but they are not going to give you that.

The information you get in a forum is useful, mostly in terms of how to fix things once they have broken, but the sample set is extremely small and biased by the fact that it is a MB fan forum we are talking about. Let's face it, car make fans are prone to cut their favorite brand some slack. (Go visit a BMW forum and say something bad about BMW and see what happens to you.)

If we had some MB dealership "wrenches" frequenting the forum to give us real dope, that would be great, but we don't.

Sorry, but CR owner survey data is the best data we have access to.

- CitizenX



BTW, I think CR is an ineffective way to make a decision about an auto when you have access to this kind of forum of information.
 
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