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Hello,

I'm looking at a '99 e320 Elegance with 23K miles (37K km). I'm new to these cars. Car looks and feels really good, really solid. I have only two minor doubts, perhaps someone can offer insight:

- Throttle/transmission response is a little slow as you get going (from standstill or accelerating from low speed). Do you guys think that this is fairly normal for these cars or should I be worried? I was hoping for crisper response at low RPMs. Once under way, response is pretty good and it only gets better the faster you go. But it is a little tepid for stop-and-go driving. Car is bone stock and I'm hoping that replacing the air filter with a K&N might make a meaningful difference in response. Oh, and I've been driving it in the "S" (summer?) position.

Could this be a quirk of the adaptive tranny? I've been told that this car was a Sunday driver for sedate folks and I wonder if six years of that would take a while for the tranny to "unlearn" .

The other thing I don't quite like is that all four doors feel as if they've sagged a little bit. When you open them, they kind of stick/drag, and they need a real firm pull to close. There is no visual sag, the gaps between body and doors look well aligned and uniform all around. I figure this is just because the doors are so heavy that with time they sag a bit and a small adjustment will fix this, but I'd be worried if you guys think that these doors don't usually sag and I might be looking at a car that's been hit. I kind of doubt it, I cannot see any evidence of body/frame repair anywhere. The car drives very solid with no squeaks or other noises anywhere, except a little bit from the sunroof sliding cover, that one chatters a little bit at times.

Last question, there is also an almost identical car available, similar mileage, but this one is a 2001 and more money (about 20%). I don't see much difference except turn signals in the mirrors and the Xenon headlights, is there anything else that should steer me to the newer car? I'm not so worried about resale value as I would keep the car for a long time (one of the reasons I'm looking at these cars), but would definitely consider spending more if there are significant improvements of a mechanical nature between the '99 and 2001.

thanks!

eduardo
 

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SLK320, MKV Jetta TDI, Mini Cooper S, Lincoln Mark LT
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Sounds like the 99 is in good shape. The door straps can be replaced to get rid of the old sound coming from the doors at least for a little while. Have the V6 checked to make sure it has been updated for the new balancing damper on the front pully. The 2001 will already have the updated model. Only minor body changes were made in the facelift from 99 to 2000. The hood slopes lower and the grill is smaller. The front and rear bumper covers are different. Inside the steering wheel is different with multifunction control buttons added to the 2000+ model. The inner door panels and handles are different as well as the instrument cluster in the 2000+.
 

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You don't say where you are and that might make a difference.

If you have rubbing doors, I'd get a trusted body shop to look carefully for signs of trouble that have been hidden. That is cheap insurance.

The Mercedes as a whole tend to favor top end over "out of the hole" performance -- and some of that is adaptive. It should change in just a few miles to reflect your driving style.

The sunroof has been problematic for a few people. The brackets are a bit underdesigned -- needing two screws to hold the end brackets in place and only one was used. An unfortunate savings of 15 cents. Get that checked too.

A 2001 with similar mileage and Xenon HID lights should be about 20% more so that sounds about right.

E-Klasse knows his Benzes so the straps for the doors may be all that it needs. Worth checking out.

Weren't there other notable changes after the '99's??
 
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