4 Wheel Drive E 500 Questions

Do any of you have a 4 wheel drive E 500?
How do you like it?
How reliable?
Any week points?
For a 2004 would one expect to pay MSRP, or under MSRP?
I'm comparing an Audi A6 against a Mercedes AWD. Would appreciate opinions.
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The AWD systems used by Audi and MB are very different. MB uses three open differentials along with the electronics of the ABS system to prevent wheelspin when a tire loses traction. Audi uses a completely mechanical system made up of Torsen differentials which still allow each wheel to rotate independently, but prevent free wheelspin. Both systems perform quite well. In fact, I really can't tell them apart when behind the wheel.
As for the vehicles themselves (the A6 vs. the E-Class), they are very different machines. The A6 is more performance oriented where the E-Class is more luxury oriented. The A6 will definitely be less expensive, but has a better warranty. My A6 has been much more reliable than any MB I've owed. The A6 feels very light and sporty, where the MB will feel heavier and maybe a bit more sluggish. For the Audi, I would recommend the 2.7T V6 engine over the 4.3 V8. As shipped, the V8 will have more power, but with an inexpensive chip upgrade, the 2.7T will easily out perform it and get better MPG.
I suggest you spend some time with both vehicles (the A6 and the E) and choose the one that best fits you and your needs. My guess is that the E500 4MATIC will not be easy to find, and when you do, you will likely pay full MSRP. A6 Quattro's are plentiful and Audi has been offered some stellar deals.
Good luck!
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- RODNEY



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