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Mercedes E320 or BMW 530: which is best used choide?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Sold my Passat and now looking at a 2004-2006 Mercedes E320 or a BMW 530 or something like that. Looking to spend 15-20K, preferably closer to 15. Which is the better car in this range, and which is more reliable? I can get a new 2011 Sonata for 22K or so, but I think I'd rather stay with the German vehicles.
post #2 of 20
I think you're asking for trouble buying a 5-6 year old German car. Wouldn't be surprised if your car ends up spending a significant amount of time at the repair shop. Just sayin....
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddieriley View Post
I think you're asking for trouble buying a 5-6 year old German car. Wouldn't be surprised if your car ends up spending a significant amount of time at the repair shop. Just sayin....

That has been my experience after 5 years with many German cars.....
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yes, I'm aware that there are sometimes quality issues, but! I also read that because everything is covered for the first 60K miles, any issues that arose during that time would have been dealt with under warranty. So buying a car with 60K might have all of these issues already fixed. I'm willing to do some of the repairs myself so that can save money. (Choide? Sheesh. Choice.)
post #5 of 20
You could go certified pre-owned (at a premium of course) and get 4 years of piece of mind in the way of extended warranty and free maintenance. Not sure they do CPO back those model years though. In my experience, the BMW offers the better driving experience and the Benz a little more isolation from the road. I think I drove an E-class around that model year and it had an electronic throttle that felt pretty strange, and the steering is a little wooden compared to the 5-series. 5-series handles pretty well for a car of its considerable size.
post #6 of 20
the E320 seems like an old dude's car. I'd rather drive the 5-series. However, the new Hyundai Sonata is a good looking car all around. I'm really surprised, I would definitely consider one.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brown eyes View Post
the E320 seems like an old dude's car. I'd rather drive the 5-series. However, the new Hyundai Sonata is a good looking car all around. I'm really surprised, I would definitely consider one.
What is your definition of "old dude". The E350 used is about the same price as the new Hyundai, that's a reason I started thinking about them. But I don't like buying cars new because of the depreciation. Expanding the years a bit, here is a 2007 sport model, I think it compares well, looks wise, with the 5 series that is running a clear favorite in the poll.
post #8 of 20
People have complained about quality issues on the early W211's, and the E320 from that era is a nice looking car, I agree, but nothing so good that I'd feel compelled to buy one. The E60 is no looker either, though. Both cars are exceedingly popular where I live, and now that the new E-class and new 5er have been out for awhile, the previous generations (before their minor updates) are really beginning to look a bit daggy. The E60 will go down as being one of the ugliest BMW's ever made, with the 02-05'ish 7er first, the 1-series second, the 6-series third, and probably the E60 fourth. Personally, with $15Kish, I'd wait and find a last-run E39 car, like a 540i M-Sport, with as few miles/best condition I could find - 6 speed (if you want it) a good color combo like black/black or the taupe/black, wide navi, stock condition with the forged M-parallel spoke wheels. 10 years later, that car still looks handsome, not a single line off, even the updated celis lighting looks somewhat contemporary. i.e something like this, with a few less miles: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/03-BM...item588bc7db5a
post #9 of 20
thats some good advice ^^

I personally wouldnt go near a 5-6 year old German car but if I did the older 5-series is a solid choice
post #10 of 20
I just picked up an 04 545i with all the goodies... (Black on black, 6 speed) The car has 70,000 km's on it (43k'ish miles) It looks new, feels new, smells new... and runs like new. I knew the previous owner, and I know the car has been absolutely babied. This is the best car I've ever driven... Bar none. People constantly put down older German cars for reliability... However, if you take a look at financing a new 550i versus a used 545/550, its tough to justify. The original sticker for my car was JUST shy of 100k... I paid 23,000 (CND)... Theres a LOT of repairs to be made to make up that $77,000 difference. These cars are not cheap to run, but if you can afford a few repair bills a year, you'll be delighted I'm sure.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by xpress View Post
I just picked up an 04 545i with all the goodies...
(Black on black, 6 speed)

The car has 70,000 km's on it (43k'ish miles)
It looks new, feels new, smells new... and runs like new.

I knew the previous owner, and I know the car has been absolutely babied.

This is the best car I've ever driven... Bar none.

People constantly put down older German cars for reliability...
However, if you take a look at financing a new 550i versus a used 545/550, its tough to justify.

The original sticker for my car was JUST shy of 100k... I paid 23,000 (CND)...

Theres a LOT of repairs to be made to make up that $77,000 difference.

These cars are not cheap to run, but if you can afford a few repair bills a year, you'll be delighted I'm sure.

ya... it's more than 77k unless you're paying cash. The only benefit of financing new is a predictable negative cash flow and getting the exact options you want. You know you need to set the money aside every month so you're prepared for it. I think if you buy a used car, especially one with expensive maintenance, you should set money aside each month for the inevitable repairs so that you're not screwed and carless when you need to make them but don't have 5k saved up for a new tranny or whatever it is they cost.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
ya... it's more than 77k unless you're paying cash. The only benefit of financing new is a predictable negative cash flow and getting the exact options you want. You know you need to set the money aside every month so you're prepared for it. I think if you buy a used car, especially one with expensive maintenance, you should set money aside each month for the inevitable repairs so that you're not screwed and carless when you need to make them but don't have 5k saved up for a new tranny or whatever it is they cost.

Absolutely.

Pros and Cons to everything in life!
post #13 of 20
I do worry about the iDrive controller(s) in the E60's. I'm driving my second E60, and each has experienced some 'glitches' where the car needs to be reprogrammed at best, or parts replaced (under warranty) at worst. I leased my first and turned it in after 3 yrs, slightly out of the 50,000 warranty. My second started as a 2 yr lease, which I then bought from BMW NA and had it cpo'ed.

I love the cars, but have been a little risk-averse to owning them out of warranty. But I know I'm risk-averse like that, so it's OK.
post #14 of 20
...as an aside...one of my neigbhors down the road has a gorgeous BMW 740i. The car looks fantastic, just like new and has around 70k miles, I think. It hasn't been driven in 3 months, or so, because the goofball can;t afford a $3k repair bill to get it running again.

Whoever buys one of them, deserves what they get
post #15 of 20
You listed a pre-facelift W211 in the poll so I voted for the BMW. If you had gone 2007+, it would've been an MBZ vote.

The warranty is 5/50 with Mercedes. At 60k miles, you're looking at a rather large (expensive, long list) service scheduled maintenance.

If you want that body style, try to get a 2006. Most issues seen in the earlier model years were worked out by then. Also, drive the V8 (500, 55) and compare it to the V6 (320). You may not want the E320 any more!
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