2004 E320 Sedan 4Matic Question

I'd appreciate your thoughts on the pros and cons of 4Matic in the 2004 E320 sedan.
Years ago, when I lived in the Northeastern part of the country, I had an
Audi 4000 Quattro. That car was perfect for the driving conditions I often found myself in. Lots of hills and lots of snow.
I now live in Chicago and have been driving a BMW 5 series for the past six years. I cannot think of an occasion when I wished that I had all wheel drive in that car -- which is a good thing because it wasn't an option on that particular model.
I am now in the market for a 2004 E320. I've only had one brief opportunity to drive the vehicle and while not as quick or nimble as my current ride, the E320 seemed to have reasonable acceleration, braking and handling in general.
So far so good.
I'm considering 4Matic and am wondering what penalty (other than purchase price), if any, I'll pay in interior room, reliability (more stuff to break), acceleration or other handling characteristics.
If the E320 is as balanced as the 2001 BMW 5 series and the traction control system is solid, then it may be that the 4Matic would be a waste of money for me.
Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
-- Rich
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We have a 1997 E420 and a 2000 E430 4matic. The E420 sometimes feels more nimble due just the rear-wheel drive, but the E430 is more confidence-inspiring, in all weather. 4matics weigh roughly 200 lbs more, but they are worthy pounds, in my mind.
Randy Chicago, IL
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I am having a similar problem. Should I buy a 04 530i because it is nimble and has legendary handling or do I sacrifice $8000 and speed for the 10-15 days of bad Minnesota weather?
I have searched everywhere for the E320 4Matic 0-60 but it is not to be found. I called my dealer and MB tech support, but nobody seems to have this data.
Any thoughts? Is the 530i really bad in snow?
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nimble and has legendary handling or do I sacrifice $8000 and speed for the 10-15 days of bad Minnesota weather?

found. I called my dealer and MB tech support, but nobody seems to have this data.

2wd BMWs have a richly deserved reputation fo being HOPELESS in snow without winter spec tires, and even then they're no bargain.
OTOH, one has not trully had a thrill if they haven't had to descend Wolf Creek Pass in SW Colorado in a 2000 MB E430 Sport with Conti Contact tires! If I'd been a cat I'd have used up 8 lives in that white knuckled, 10mph-1st-gear-and-pray expereince. After that the MB has only been driven when there's no chance of snow for three or more months.

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So all that talk about the BMW's perfect (50/50) weight distribution is gibberish?
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So all that talk about the BMW's perfect (50/50) weight distribution is gibberish?
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