E320 Reliability and Comparison to BMW 530i

My BMW 530i is coming off lease in a few months and I'm giving serious consideration to the E320 sedan.
I've been very happy with the 530i and before it the 528i. While I really
enjoy the way the new 530i handles, I am really having a hard time getting used to what BMW has done to the body of the car.
From what I've read, the redesigned E class is a really nice car and certainly serious competition for the BMW 5 series.
I am a bit leery about manufacturing quality and reliability problems. I am also somewhat uneasy about the brake by wire system. I will certainly get behind the wheel of a 2004 E320 in the very near future.
How reliable has the E320 proven to be? Can you comment on the braking system? Any direct comparisons to the BMW 5 series would also be appreciated.
-- Rich
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Lexus GS300 is most reliable in class
Richard Robbins wrote:

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Says who? Do you have any statistics to back that up? Is there already stats to prove that a GS300 is more reliable than the new w211.
--
Thomas



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Before this thread veers off in another direction, can someone please comment on my original questions -- which had nothing to do with the GS300.
I am most interested in what people have to say about the E320, especially as compared to the BMW 5 series.
What kinds of problems (if any) are fairly typical for the E320?
What do people think about the brake by wire system?
Let's leave other cars out of this OK?
-- RIch
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On Mon, 01 Dec 2003 12:19:49 GMT, Richard Robbins

they are different cars that are hard to compare, you're in a MB newsgroup so most people here would say the MB is better, it all depends on what you are looking for. if you want a comfortable sedan MB is the choice if you want a sportier car BMW is the choice. I do know that MBs last longer, if that is a concern MB is the choice.
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Although I have a Mercedes, my '78 530i was the best car I ever owned. The engineering was amazing. The Mercedes is over engineered. Where an American/Japanese car would do something with 3 bolts, Mercedes would use 5, BMW would have and interlocking mechanism with a locking clip to secure the whole thing using 0 bolts.
-Kent
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I also owned a '78 530i. That was probably the most difficult car to work on that I have ever owned. Repair access was almost nonexistant. BMW was ahead of their time because it took Mercedes another 20 years to design their cars with the same poor repair access that BMW had in the late 1970's. My 530i was an otherwise nice car except for it's poor emergency handling and it's poor fuel economy. I never got more than 15 mpg no matter how carefully I drove the car. And I learned to rebuild an automatic transmission when I owned my 530i. The planetary gears broke apart in my 530i. I rebuilt it with 4 pin planetary gears from a 7 series BMW.
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brake by wire feels like normal braking system, at emergency stops you feel it is better than conventional system.
Problems mostly with electronics, radio, hands free phone.
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Richard I have now owned(it's actually my wife's car) a 2000 E320 and my brother has a 2003 E320. My car is the 4matic that I got off lease.\ I got her the Starmark 100K warranty as we tend to keep cars a while.
I should say we had a 1990 Audi 90 Quattro and we stumbled into the E320 on the urging of my brother who loved his..I was leaning towards an A6 4.2 or an A8...but there are very few coming off lease.
So far the car has been in the shop for
Noisy steering which was fixed ...then subsequently still makes a different noise after driving that the dealer claims is not fixable...so you have to "live with it". I haven't challenged them yet although they have been very very good about dealing with my usual nitpicks.
rear window up and down mechanism broke..fixed under warranty.
Odd behaviour my wife said the trip computer was flashing zeros...then correcting and seemed to work..dealer couldnt duplicate the prob.
Failed rear window defroster SAM Unit? ...fixed on warranty
I must say Im a little worried about the overall reliability of the car based on my impressions about Mercedes....the car was spotless and all the maintenance checked out..I took it to an independent Mercedes shop that looked it over and said it was a solid buy.
My wife and I were discussing the car the other day..I was lamenting not finding an A8.......
The car rides extremely well..and with 4 people in it...is extremely comfortable on long trips. Things appear to be very well thought out. The Mercedes dealer here has been exceedingly helpful and no hassle considering. My only concern is whether all these little issues will keep cropping up... The car is surprisingly peppy given the weight and 3.2 litre engine.
If I had to do it over again..I would likely wait know I know what I know for an Audi...but that is just my overall impression.
I don't plan on getting rid of the Benz unless a pattern appears that tells me I might have a problem child.
My brother loves the car but isnt as picky as I am. He tends to trade cars in every 3 years..I keep them for 10.
Hope this helps.
TC

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<TC> wrote in message

But that is two different cars, is'nt it? Yours is the w210 and your brothers is a w211?
--
Thomas



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On Tue, 2 Dec 2003 07:21:19 +0100, "Thomas Kaarud"

Yes they are..my only point being was that he got me thinking about Mercedes...in general because he liked the car.
As for the Brake By Wire Rich.....I don't have enough experience yet to tell you the reliability or any issues with premature wear.etc. The car brakes very nicely and predictably...we have only put 11,000 miles on the E320 since we got it in June of this year. TC
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I am glad that new 5 series design keep away potential or casual buyers.

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I've been driving a 5 series for six years. I am thrilled with the way the new 5 series drives and am really put off by the way the car looks.
I'm giving serious consideration to an E320 and have asked some straight forward questions to MB owners concerning brake by wire and reliability etc.
Can you explain what you mean by your comment?
-- Rich

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Rich,
May I ask what is your buyout price for the 520?
Thanks, Reuven

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