2006 E320 4Matic vs 2006 BMW530xi

I considering buying a new 2006 E350 4Matic or 2006 BMW 530xi. People keep telling me that I would have less trouble with the BMW. Does anyone have any
recommendation on which one I should get?
Also, I plan on purchasing through the European delivery program and live in the USA. Does anyone know if I could get an E350 4Matic with a six speed manual transmission?
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Hello,
Mercedes-Benz has not certified its W211 and S211 models with the manual gearbox for the US market even though SLK350 and E350 have same motor and gearbox albeit different gear ratios in Europe. NHTSA requires the documentation of each and every component in each variation of vehicle with each and every combination of motor and gearbox. Too much of a cost for small volume.
If you do want the manual gearbox, try the registered importers who are able to sort the homologation and compliance for ridiculous amount of cost. Try the minimum of $10.000, for the compliance. If the manual gearboxes in SLK350 and E350 have different ratios, that means more certification process for EPA with no guarantee of success on the first try.
That is why US market is the most protected market in the world! NHTSA and EPA are the culprit for the limited choices of vehicles here in the USA. The manufacturers like it this way, especially General Motors. The only way to change is to force USA to become the signatory member of ECE WP29 and allow the Euro 4 (emission control standards which is same as EPA but differs on testing procedures) vehicles to be sold in the USA.
Oliver
Doug Ritschel wrote:

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Why do you need 4Matic?
Seems like an unnecessary complication.
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

The MBZ 4-Matic implementation of AWD is quite simple and uncomplicated. It uses three open differentials and the ESP system to individually regulate free-spinning wheels. Other than the two extra differentials (which are just mechanical gears), there are no additional "complications" that one would not find on any other modern MBZ. People who drive in snow appreciate AWD the most, but IMHO, it's good in all conditions. If you think ESP is a great feature, you should try 4Matic. Other than driving in an absolutely ridiculous manner, 4Matic virtually eliminates all wheelspin and sliding, giving the drive the ultimate control in all conditions. I'd consider it a very important safety feature rather than an unnecessary complication.
- RODNEY
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Thanks for the info. Point accepted.
DAS
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Thanks for the info.
What about the BMW vs Mercedes question. My mechanic keeps telling me to go with the BMW because of quality issues.

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own repair work and found the difference between a Mercedes and a BMW to be a major difference in the engineering philosophy. My '78 530i was incredibly well engineered and designed to be worked on. It was a fine interlocking set of machinery that required the simplest of tools to dis-assemble. A Mercedes is an over engineered nightmare to work on. Nothing on this car (except brake pads) has been easy to fix.
-Kent
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You didn't say what kind of mercedes? Is it also a 1978 so that you can compare it to your BMW? Or have you looked at any newer BMWs?
I used to own a 1978 320i, very nice car, and when I sold it, it was well over 230,000 miles and was humming along. I don't see the radical difference you suggest between that car and my present 1986 190e.
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BMW. One example of the vast difference between a BMW and the Mercedes (or any other car) is when I had a light in the dash board instrument cluster burn out in my '78 530i. On an American or Japanese car this would be a near impossible job involving many hours of dash board dis-assembly. If you were fool enough do it, it would be likely the car would never be the same afterward. Mercedes may be better. I opened the owners manual (not service manual) and they had instructions on removing the instrument cluster: 1. Remove kick panel under dash with Phillips screwdriver supplied in the tool kit in trunk. 2. The speedometer cable will be visible and has and convient threaded coupling under the dash 2 feet from speedometer. Unscrew this coupling to disconnect speedometer cable from instrument cluster. I once tried to disconnect a spedo cable on an American car. It involved reaching under dash to back of speedometer. After an hour of cutting my arms I gave up. 3. Remove one long screw with Phillips screwdriver. This one screw locks cluster AND lowers the steering column a few inches so as to allow removal of cluster without having steering wheel in way. Pure genius! 4. Unscrew large knurled nut that attaches to steel cable connecting to back of cluster. The steel cable pulls cluster into position on re-assembly.
The instrument cluster came out easily and I replaced the burned out lights. It probably cost and extra $5 per car to do this, something 99% of all owners will never do. This is just one of several other examples I could give of the incredible engineering genius that was present in this BMW.
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The BMW cluster sounds very easy to do . The over engineered Merc requires 2 small hooks and the cluster pops out in an about 15 seconds!

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