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View Full Version : 2011 MB E5504 vs. BMW 550ix


dave70
01-05-2011, 10:36 PM
I was about to order the 550ix, but MB offered me more on a trade in for my mercedes and 10k off a new E5504. Although there is an obvious bias on this board (and justifiably so as I tend to be a bigger BMW fan), I was wondering if anyone had any insightful thoughts and opinions....beyond the pure economics of better MB deal.

Thanks!

highyo
01-06-2011, 04:20 AM
I was about to order the 550ix, but MB offered me more on a trade in for my mercedes and 10k off a new E5504. Although there is an obvious bias on this board (and justifiably so as I tend to be a bigger BMW fan), I was wondering if anyone had any insightful thoughts and opinions....beyond the pure economics of better MB deal.

Thanks!

Brand image being what it is, the MB vs the BMW really comes down to your personal taste. I'm not a doctor, so the MB doesnt appeal to me. I have been marketed to very well i assume. Im sure they are both great cars but i believe my response will not be unique on a website known as bimmerfest. The BMW is a no brainer ;).

Munich77
01-06-2011, 04:38 AM
The cars will drive totally different. The one big upside about the MB is that the engine is does have direct injection and a turbo charger. MB does not have factory maintenance standard although you can buy it (which I highly recommend based on the service costs of my wife's 2008 MB E-class). Since you drive an S-class the E-class should give you a reminiscent feel.

The BMW will give you a lot of smiles per mile. BMWs are awesome cars - much more involved than an MB. Either way you cannot go wrong - I would test drive both. I do think that MB looks better considering the higher trade-in they are offering.

B R A N D X
01-06-2011, 08:48 AM
In the past month we've purchased a 550i and a 2011 E350 4Matic wagon. Obviously very different takes on higher-end German cars, but we love them both........possibly even equally.

The E350 Wagon makes for a perfect family car; especially if you take road trips, have kids who play sports, have a large dog to take to the vet and groomers (prefer to keep your crumb munchers out of your 550i as much as possible :D) etc....

I was truly surprised by how quickly I fell in love with the MB. Shocked by how well it handles especially given its ride quality. The 4Matic, no doubt, helps in that regard.

My wife, who's a hardcore wagon girl, prefers it to the two BMW wagons (E39 and E60) that she's owned and really prefers it by a wide margin to the '08 X5 we just sold.

I believe/hope that after years of trading cars every year or two that we now have two we just might keep for 10 years.

TJPark01
01-06-2011, 08:58 AM
The cars will drive totally different. The one big upside about the MB is that the engine is does have direct injection and a turbo charger.

The DI, 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 is not available yet in the 2011 E550. So you will be getting the carry over engine in the E550 which debuted in 2006. It has less power than the Bimmer and gets worse fuel economy.

Rafa
01-06-2011, 09:10 AM
If you test drive both, I believe you will choose the BMW. However, there are other factors to consider that might make you lean towards the Benz. They (MB) are certainly giving you a good deal. Both are fine cars, but different rides IMO. Tell us which one you end up choosing, and why.

fkim011
01-06-2011, 11:05 AM
There is money back on MB's as well from my understanding when I was researching last month.

I was offered the E550 close to the discount that I got my BMW 550. It was 7 grand off MSRP for the MBZ.

Bruno008
01-06-2011, 01:52 PM
Both are excellent cars; I test drove both and decided to trade in my 2005 MB E500 for the 2011 550ix. Before this move, we had always had at least one MB car since 1995. I only started adding BMWs to the family stable a couple of years ago and now we only have BMW cars, which must say something.

The thing I miss most from the MB are the seats -- couldn't contort them as much as I can with the F10's, but I could sit in them comfortably for hours -- and the star on the hood (kept me company driving long distances). The F10 is more fun to drive day to day -- power, handling, ride quality, gadgets, etc. -- but I would pick the MB if I had to choose one to drive cross country. Oh, so far (2,000 miles in), the F10 has been a lot more reliable.

My advise is, test drive both, then pick what works better for you.

Emilner
01-06-2011, 04:15 PM
I owned a 2010 E550 for about 4 months after trading in my 2007 E550. I HATED the car. Frankly I bought it with barely looking at it (yes I learned a lesson). I figured MB took the last gen E550 and made everything better. It was nothing compared to my 07. The 07 was faster, felt more stable and did nearly everything better.

Try out the stereo in the E, my car was so bad I started removing trim pieces the third day I owned it to make sure the speakers were working correctly. The imaging was coming directly from the drivers mirror in nearly all possible settings. The stereo on the 550ix is the best I have ever heard from a stock audio system. It rivals a solid fairly high end aftermarket system from only a few years ago.

The gas mileage will be better on the E550, even though I had terrible mileage on my car. Most people get 17-18's around town and 27-28 on the highway (my car could not break 20mpg in cruise control at 75 mph). The 550ix will be closer to 15-16 around town (metro NY roads) and 25-26 on the highway. (my 2007 E550 was amazing- it would get 19 around LI roads and 28-29 on the highway).

The styling is subjective but I think the MB is a very short term trend, I cannot seeing it being considered beautiful 5 years from now. The 5 series is stunning and IMHO will be timeless just like the last E class.

Interior- No comparison- BMW owned MB here. The E is very cold, reminds me too much of the CTS. It was the least favorite part of my E550. The BMW is very upscale, it has the feeling of high end luxury but also is very business oriented.

Technology, again, no comparison- The 5 will run circles around the E. the Idrive is a pleasure to use and is super fast. The nav screen is huge and controls SO much (such as being able to adjust how much heat goes to the back of the seat vs the bottom). BT is super easy to operate and is flawless, streaming is better than imaginable with audio or Pandora.

The engine is a no brainer- until the E gets the TT V8 there is no comparison.

Tranny- I actually prefer the 7 sp in the E. Hands down the most intuitive invisible tranny I have ever seen. The only problem is the day long wait to get an upshift or downshift. The BMW 8 sp is WAY faster but never seems to accurately predict what is on your mind like the MB. It is a great tranny until you drive in an E550.

Brakes- BMW- far more linear, MUCH less dust, no pulsation (every MB I have ever owned has had to go back multiple times for pulsation/squeaks).

Steering- BMW by far. The 2007 was a solid performer but in 2010 they made the car VERY twitchy. In corners you had to lock your hand against your leg to keep the car from swaying under pressure. They made is way too sensitive in response to those who wanted more feedback. The 5 has a great combo of sport and comfort, it is not the same steering as last gen 5ers, but is set up to show MB and Audi drivers what real world everyday steering SHOULD feel like.

Price- MB has it. They are discounting the hell out of the car to get them out the door. For me it was not a question of $5-10k, I wanted the best car....

A few months after I got my 2010 E550 the first interior/exterior pics of the F10 5 series came out. My heart sank into my stomach. I knew I was not going to be a happy camper. After owning both cars I frankly can't comprehend how MB will sell any more E's with the 5 available...

richschneid
01-06-2011, 04:41 PM
Both are excellent cars; I test drove both and decided to trade in my 2005 MB E500 for the 2011 550ix. Before this move, we had always had at least one MB car since 1995. I only started adding BMWs to the family stable a couple of years ago and now we only have BMW cars, which must say something.

The thing I miss most from the MB are the seats -- couldn't contort them as much as I can with the F10's, but I could sit in them comfortably for hours -- and the star on the hood (kept me company driving long distances). The F10 is more fun to drive day to day -- power, handling, ride quality, gadgets, etc. -- but I would pick the MB if I had to choose one to drive cross country. Oh, so far (2,000 miles in), the F10 has been a lot more reliable.

My advise is, test drive both, then pick what works better for you.

I have the comfort seats in my 550i xDrive and the long distance comfort is remarkable. The seat motion is very effective when turned on for long drives. So, I would use these as a basis of comparison to the MB, not the standard seats. Of course, these are an extra cost option, but not everyone is going to use the car for long distance driving. So, I wouldn't let the long distance comfort of the seats effect the decision. If that is a serious consideration BMW does offer the solution. And they work great.

Munich77
01-06-2011, 05:24 PM
The DI, 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 is not available yet in the 2011 E550. So you will be getting the carry over engine in the E550 which debuted in 2006. It has less power than the Bimmer and gets worse fuel economy.

I meant NOT - sorry I was typing this before my first cup of coffee for the day.

TJPark01
01-06-2011, 06:22 PM
Price- MB has it. They are discounting the hell out of the car to get them out the door. For me it was not a question of $5-10k, I wanted the best car....

I drove many iterations of the E class. Pretty disappointed at the whole execution of the car. 5-10k for someone willing to drop 60-70k, isn't gonna matter much. Like you, I wanted the better car.

Needsdecaf
01-06-2011, 07:03 PM
I drove an E350 a month or so ago. I thought it was very cheap and poorly designed inside. The COMAND system was a nightmare. Compared to iDrive or even MMI, it's as bad, if not worse, than iDrive gen 1. The materials are low rent for the price class. The seats aren't very comfortable. The ride, with sport suspension, was both harsh and floaty at the same time. The car felt underpowered and not at all spry. The back seat was tighter than the F10.

TO say I was disappointed was understatement.

Bruno008
01-06-2011, 08:37 PM
I have the comfort seats in my 550i xDrive and the long distance comfort is remarkable. The seat motion is very effective when turned on for long drives. So, I would use these as a basis of comparison to the MB, not the standard seats. Of course, these are an extra cost option, but not everyone is going to use the car for long distance driving. So, I wouldn't let the long distance comfort of the seats effect the decision. If that is a serious consideration BMW does offer the solution. And they work great.
I have the comfort seats too. And they are good. But I would still take the MB seats -- they were my favorite feature in that car. I don't know how they (MB) do it, but they are by far the best seats I have ever experienced in a car. You sit "on" them, not "in" them, and that seemed to work wonders for my back. So, yes, the seats are one thing I miss and would transplant if I could.

richschneid
01-07-2011, 03:10 AM
I have the comfort seats too. And they are good. But I would still take the MB seats -- they were my favorite feature in that car. I don't know how they (MB) do it, but they are by far the best seats I have ever experienced in a car. You sit "on" them, not "in" them, and that seemed to work wonders for my back. So, yes, the seats are one thing I miss and would transplant if I could.

Do you drive the BMW with the massage feature turned on? The feature is activated by pushing a button on the door.

Bruno008
01-07-2011, 04:49 AM
Do you drive the BMW with the massage feature turned on? The feature is activated by pushing a button on the door.
Yes I do. My E500 had dynamic seats with massager too, though that's not the main reason for my endorsement. I just like the way MB built seats -- even the ones in the two C-Classes I owned. Alas, one does not buy a car for the seats alone. And I prefer virtually everything else in my F10. Seats are pretty good there too.