Which would you choose?

I'm going to replace my '97 E320 with 38K miles and am trying to decide between two M-B models; I'd keep the "winner" for about five years - the
duration of its warranties. Looking for safety and comfort from a car whose (costly) complexity will be covered by a warranty.
I found a 16 month old '04 S430 with 13K miles for about $60K. Included is 68 months of M-B extended warranty coverage. 275 HP V-8, seven speed automatic - 4000 lb car. Has front and side air bags and side head curtains, also lots of options: Parktronic, Xenons, drive dynamic ventilated seats, chestnut wheel and trim etc. S class cars come with heat reflecting glass and laminated UVA reducing side windows, a consideration in California. Its Desert Silver (gold) - is not a great color - however, this car has an attractive interior. A new S class will be offered in '06 so there's an aspect of almost instant obsolescence with this '04 - although I prefer its style to that of the more athletic E class and soon to be shown '06 S class.
The other choice is to buy a new '06 E350 built exactly to order. It would have the new 3.5L 24 valve 268HP V-6 (3600 - 3700 lb car) and a seven speed automatic. I'd order it with ventilated leather seats, keyless go, tire pressure monitor and a wood and leather steering wheel. No sun roof. Has front and side air bags and side head curtains. But it lacks heat reflecting glass and UVA reducing laminated side glass. This would probably cost about $55K to $57K with a 12 month warranty extension - to 5 years.
As a variation, I'd consider the E320 CDI diesel if its then sold in California.
As far as I can determine the used S430 would cost about 15% to 20% more to own and operate than a new E class car - a consideration but not critical to the decision. (The E class depreciates fewer $, is slightly less costly to insure and run.)
If you were about 60, and retired, which one would you choose?
Thanks for your opinions.
Tom
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I believe the E320 CDI is being replaced by the E350 CDI?

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Hi Karl,
I don't know about the CDI engine size - I've read of a 24 valve 3.0L 90 degree V-6 with a counter rotating balance shaft - a new engine that replaces the in-line six 3.0L CDI. Production has started so that's probably what we'll get - if any diesel.
As to the S430 vs E350 / CDI, emotionally I'm with the old S430 but can't ignore the new car's features and lower cost. Everyone so far is for the new '06 E class.
Tom
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Tom Nice postion to be in. I lost too much in the market at the last crash to have any such inklings. But if it was me I'd wait for the diesel, and if not available in CA my next choice would be the 06 E350, the way you want it.
--

73
Hank WD5JFR
"T.G. Lambach" < snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net> wrote in message
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Are you tall? You may find the seating position in the E is actually better than in the S. I'm 6'3" and I just cannot get comfortable in an S-class. I don't seem to have enough headroom. On the other hand, the seating position in the E is almost ideal. Also, the E350 will probably feel a little more spunky than the S430. If it were me, I'd go for the E. However, I'd seriously reconsider omitting the sunroof option. While you may not want it, when it comes to resale value, it's worth more than is initial cost. Actually, if I were getting a new E, I'd go for the panorama roof. With the shade closed, you'd never know it was there, and since it opens to the outside, there's no toll on headroom.
--

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T.G. Lambach wrote:

Why not ML 350 CDI?
Reg: Harri
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He's in California and they don't allow new diesels to be registered there.
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Take the new E-Class. You got my vote for it. Obviously better equippment, plus, it's new. And by the way, congrats on having the money to buy such a car. :) (i'm from Croatia, nobody here has that kind of car)
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T.G. Lambach wrote:

Tough decision. If it were I, I'd choose the E.
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Tom,
I would personnally wait for '07 or '08 because of the '06 E re-design. I ordered 6 months ahead for the '96 which replaced the good old '95 E, and had a lot of problems with my car, which I blame a good part on the model change. Mine is a diesel, but most of the problems were electrical and body rust.
Jacques
dans l'article snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com, T.G. Lambach snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net a crit le 10/02/05 20:59:

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The MY2006 E is not a "redesign". Instead, it's just a simple facelift, with many of the changes already having been put in place (most of the interior changes went in as of the November builds and the 3.5L engine is already out).
--

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dans l'article snipped-for-privacy@giganews.com, Rodney T. Grill snipped-for-privacy@grill.org a crit le 14/02/05 12:06:

You're right, I had mis-read Tom Lambach's post, where he mentions about the S-Model being a "redesign".
My comment would have been different had I read it right. My personal choice would be going with a new E-Model, and dielsel if available.
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