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View Full Version : E550 4MATIC versus 535xi


abe
05-26-2007, 01:00 PM
OK, so a potential deal fell through on a 6 series so I'm back to AWD cars. I'm thinking about either of these.

I would say one advantage of the MB is that it's normally aspirated and the extra 82 HP I'm sure come in handy. I'm thinking the interior of the MB might be nicer?

Obviously there's a price difference between the two, but spec'd out the 535xi I'm considering would be $66K MSRP. The E550 would be $69K.

What have you heard about the E550's, good or bad? I'm not very informed on MB cars, other than JD Power thinks they suck... :)

Other than the power, would driving a 530xi give me an idea of what the ride quality would be like with a 535xi? I want to know if the driving and road feel would be comperable.

Thanks for the help!

itzeug
05-26-2007, 01:22 PM
e550 is a great car.. but its no bmw. it drives so different. only a test drive can tell you which one you'll like more. just test drive em both one right after the other and see which one you feel at home in. interior and such is great on both those cars. its about the driving experince. i'd personally take the e550 though, cause i dont like the 5 series, but then again, i never drove one with a twin turbo engine ;)

abe
05-26-2007, 02:54 PM
Would the 530xi be representative of the ride quality of a 535xi?

ANZAC_1915
05-26-2007, 03:07 PM
Pretty much, although dealers are now getting demo 535xiT's.

The E550 has a pretty small back seat for the size car it is. I looked at it and didn't like it.

jsf1993
05-27-2007, 07:44 AM
Hi:

I have the E500 4matic (not the 550), so please bear this in mind when you read my comments. The 550 is a bit more powerful, as I'm sure you already know.

After owning a 2001 BMW 530i, I purchased the MB 500 4matic 3 years ago (fully loaded with all available bells and whistles) because I wasn't fond of the changes that BMW made to the 5 series at the time and I also needed a 4 wheel drive car. (BMW's "new" 5 series did not offer the 4 wheel drive version at the time.) After 3 uninspiring years of driving the MB, I'm going back to BMW. I've got a 535xi on order and should be taking delivery in the next 2 weeks.

Bottom line for me is that nothing drives like a BMW. Once you've owned one, you'll be hard pressed to be happy owning a MB (even if there are some features on the MB that are better - drive dynamic seats and the storage bins at the seat fronts spring immediately to mind). The interior of the MB is a bit more luxurious - at least that's what I used to think. (I'm tired of the MB interior after owning it for 3 years.) But, the car simply failed to "grow on me" as time went by. My experience with BMW is just the opposite. While BMWs may not be perfect and one may think that they are less obviously "luxurious" as compared to MB's when first purchased, one tends to appreciate BMW's more and more during the ownership period. They are much more "fun" to drive and, candidly, I think that they have better build quality, as well.

All I know is that I NEVER tired of my prior BMW's. I'm REALLY tired of driving the E500 4matic and (obviously) I'm looking forward to getting my new 5 series!

abe
05-27-2007, 11:43 AM
jsf, thanks so much for your thorough review. I agree that MB's seem to have a much more luxurious interior; I'd rather have more buttons than less, truthfully.

I think tomorrow I'll be able to get to MB and compare the E550 with a 535xi; dealer just up the road has a 535xi that I was able to take a short test drive yesterday...

jsf1993
05-27-2007, 08:14 PM
jsf, thanks so much for your thorough review. I agree that MB's seem to have a much more luxurious interior; I'd rather have more buttons than less, truthfully.

I think tomorrow I'll be able to get to MB and compare the E550 with a 535xi; dealer just up the road has a 535xi that I was able to take a short test drive yesterday...

I'll be curious to hear how that goes. After writing my comments above, I checked out the E550 4Matic specs for 2007 and noticed that the E550 is more than just a bit more powerful than my E500 (which is what I mistakenly wrote above). MB apparently pumped up the horsepower and torque of the V8 significantly since 2004. While I honestly don't think that the additional horsepower/torgue would significantly change my views (as my "fun to drive" comments relate more to "feel," handling and cornering than to power off of the line), the additional power "punch" should certainly be noticeably better than what I have been experiencing with my E500. (Apparently, the MB's horses were increased by almost 30% and torque by almost 16% over my model year - 382hp vs. 302hp, and 392 pound feet of torque vs. 339 pound feet of torque in my E500.) More power does often translate to more fun.

One comment on the buttons in the MB, especially the navigation buttons. Candidly, they are a pain in the neck to use, especially the unmarked navigation side buttons that flank the screen. On my model, one can't know what the side buttons relate to until one presses them when in nav mode. And, inputting navigation addresses with the MB buttons is a slow process, at best. Plus, the Nav screen is set too low on the dashboard to use safely when driving. (The latter issue is minimized because MB does allow you to see the step by step Nav instructions in the center of the speedometer.)

Enjoy the test drives. I went through a similar process 3 years ago. My problem at the time was that I really wanted to like the MB because it was a 4 wheel drive car and I was upset by the changes to the BMW interior (absence of "cockpit" design that I loved). I realized I made the wrong choice the day I picked up my new MB (which I had ordered 3 months earlier as I wanted a "special" color) and drove it home.

I remember the experience because I had driven my BMW to the MB dealership and left it there. Returning home over the same route, it was obvious to me that my old BMW simply drove better than my new MB. While the MB ownership experience has been good, I have been quietly counting the months until my lease expires. After all, it's hard to complain loudly about having to drive a MB. I'd have to be a complete idiot not to recognize how spoiled I'd sound if I did.

abe
05-27-2007, 09:19 PM
Wow, good think you leased!

Yeah, all the V-8's in MB's line got a big boost to 382 HP this past year. I was originally looking at a CLS 500 but when I found out how much a perf boost it got I was waiting to find a CLS 550. Funny thing about that car. It's a lot better looking when it stands still, heh.

I'll post again and let you know what I think. I'm *really* leaning towards a 535xi because of the Stop & Go cruise control (sometimes the commute gets ugly) and the HUD. 3 series doesn't come with that, as far as I know. And the extra room is nice as well but I rarely carry passengers.

xiTouring
05-28-2007, 05:08 AM
After five MB's in a row, I just bought an e61. My last MB, an E430 4Matic was terrific with all wheel drive but lacked the quality and handling I was accustomed to in all the previous MB's. When we decided to buy an all wheel drive wagon, we put a new 2006 E500 next to a 535xiT, took them out and found there was NO comparison! The BMW was a blast to drive!!! The E500's handling felt dead to me, even more so than the E430's, which I would describe as Lexus-like. We also found the seats uncomfortable (too big, not enought support) and the styling dated. I love the response of BMW's inline 6 engine, which is similar to my late 24 valve 300CE. MB did away with the inline 6 as a cost cutting move.

In the end, after driving the BMW, I realize it's what this former "faithful" MB driver wanted my E430 to feel like all those years. Sadly, the E500 was even less so. Mercedes used to build a superior car but bowed to the (wrong) competition. I hope they get their act together but in the meantime, I'm very happy I've switched to BMW :)

nahugry
05-29-2007, 10:55 AM
After 3 uninspiring years of driving the MB, I'm going back to BMW.

Bottom line for me is that nothing drives like a BMW.
the car simply failed to "grow on me" as time went by. My experience with BMW is just the opposite. While BMWs may not be perfect and one may think that they are less obviously "luxurious" as compared to MB's when first purchased, one tends to appreciate BMW's more and more during the ownership period. They are much more "fun" to drive and, candidly, I think that they have better build quality, as well.



I cannot agree with him more. My wife drives an 07 e350 4matic, and My dad has an e550 4matic. I will go with my wife's car since I get to drive it more often than my dad's. Although the power cannot be compared to the e550, her car is fully loaded with everything MB has to offer, including a hefty price tag that does not live up to its expectations.
The interior may feel more "luxurious" than the BMW, but it gets old looking at it versus BMW interior (exterior too in my opinion) really grows on you.
My opinion is that after only 6 months having that car, I feel like "oh... this car again" everytime I get in the MB versus my car really make you feel welcome everytime you get behind the wheel of the car.
The drive itself is dissapointing on the 350 AND 550 in comparison with a BMW in it's driveability and feel. BMW delivers power more effectively than MB especially when you have a sports pkg on the BMW. I don't know how to put this in other way, but BMW offers so much more to drive than MB in every way. Plus, the interior room is bigger on the 5 than the E.
The proof for this statement is that my wife "disapears" in the morning to go to work and when I get ready to leave the house in the morning, only key that is hanging by the door is the key to the E. Also, my dad seems to be developing a similar habit on the summer weekends when we are over at his place with the kids. The upside is that my dad actually takes the kids with him...:thumbup: