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View Full Version : 530xiT vs. E350 4-Matic


platypus
05-25-2005, 10:37 AM
Any of you potential wagon owners out there shopping the roundel vs. the 3-pointed star? I've always been a BMW owner myself (currently on my fourth), but the E350 definitely deserves a look, and dare I say it on a BMW forum, is a better looking vehicle IMO.

I priced both cars out using Euro Delivery as the means of purchase and assumed $1500 over Euro invoice for the 530 and Euro MSRP for the MBZ (can't seem to find any info on whether ED MBZs can be discounted). With the options that we would choose, I end up with a price of about $46K-$47K (6-spd vs. step) for the 530 and $51K for the E350. The 530 price also includes my $1000 CCA rebate. These include D&H but are before TT&L, of course. As configured, the cars would be almost identical with the exception of xenons which are standard on the 530 and an option that we would waive on the E350.

The car would be my wife's and she used to always be a manual tranny driver, but after the last six years of minivan ownership, she's really starting to sway to the AT side. Personally, I would rather have us choose the 6-spd manual, but ultimately, it will be her decision.

So, does the premium of $4K-$5K make sense for the MBZ? It's certainly no chump change, but OTOH, when you spend $50K on a car, what's another few grand. :p

The big plus the MBZ has going for it seems to be the flexibility of the third row seat. We've got two young kids, and my wife will haul around their friends from time-to-time. Having this option would be nice when it's needed. Also, the MBZ has more cargo capacity at 24 ft3 vs. 17 ft3 for the 530 (with rear seats in place). 17 ft3 seems awfully small for a wagon being that one of its primary purposes is to be utilitarian, isn't it? In fact, both of these vehicles fall well short of the Audi All-Road at 36 ft3, and even the compact S4 wagon at 28 ft3.

Would be interested in hearing the thoughts of others pondering the E61. Anyone owned or driven the E-class?

And no thanks, but I'm not interested in the X3 or X5. :yawn:

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-25-2005, 10:42 AM
If she wants a manual, get the 530. If she wants an auto, get the benz.

Ågent99
05-25-2005, 10:44 AM
So why no interest in the Audi? You appear to be well-informed; would be curious to hear why you aren't considering Audi.

platypus
05-25-2005, 11:39 AM
So why no interest in the Audi? You appear to be well-informed; would be curious to hear why you aren't considering Audi.
We tend to keep our cars for a relatively long time, 6-7 years/100k miles, and Audis, with their turbocharged engines, have always worried me in this regard. Perhaps my worries are misplaced, but they are there, nonetheless. Also, I've spent some time over the last few years lurking on the Audi message boards, and there always seemed to be a fair share of complaints from owners about the tiptronic when coupled with the 2.7T engine. This would force us into a MT equipped car, which is great in my book, but may not be what the wife wants. I've seen the same sorts of postings more recently on the Toureg (sp?) V8. Granted that Audi and VW are two separate marques, but they carry a lot of the same parts, and with all the quality issues that have been well reported in the press at VW over the last coupla years, well frankly, it just doesn't inspire confidence in me. Not that BMW and MBZ haven't had their fair share of quality issues, but it seems that MBZ's were more focused on the M-Class and BMW's on the electronics of the newest 7-series vehicles.

FWIW, I really like the looks and capabilities of the Allroad (high level of cargo capacity, added ground clearance option), but the other factors I mention above have always outweighed the positives in my book.

Nick325xiT 5spd
05-25-2005, 11:44 AM
VAG products make BMW and Mercedes look reliable. :eeps:

wagonman
05-25-2005, 11:46 AM
We tend to keep our cars for a relatively long time, 6-7 years/100k miles, and Audis, with their turbocharged engines, have always worried me in this regard. Perhaps my worries are misplaced, but they are there, nonetheless. Also, I've spent some time over the last few years lurking on the Audi message boards, and there always seemed to be a fair share of complaints from owners about the tiptronic when coupled with the 2.7T engine. This would force us into a MT equipped car, which is great in my book, but may not be what the wife wants. I've seen the same sorts of postings more recently on the Toureg (sp?) V8. Granted that Audi and VW are two separate marques, but they carry a lot of the same parts, and with all the quality issues that have been well reported in the press at VW over the last coupla years, well frankly, it just doesn't inspire confidence in me. Not that BMW and MBZ haven't had their fair share of quality issues, but it seems that MBZ's were more focused on the M-Class and BMW's on the electronics of the newest 7-series vehicles.

FWIW, I really like the looks and capabilities of the Allroad (high level of cargo capacity, added ground clearance option), but the other factors I mention above have always outweighed the positives in my book.
the bimmer is superior to merecdes on several front. first and foremost in my humble opinion it is better looking. the 530 xit is fresh, it integrates classic lines with a modern aggresisve styling. the mercedes is nice, no doubt but arrent quality issues still there with benz? also, i agree regarding the audi. you should give it a look. arguably audi quality surpasses mercedes. fyi, a loaded 530 xit is more like 52k with a deep ed discount (1500 over invoice) and the bmw cc rebate. i dont know where you are getting figures like 46-47? i think it boils down to your preference. i chose the 530 xit myself. i pick mine on on june 7th.

06530 xit titanium grey/beige ZPP, ZCW, logic7, sat, rear side air bags, NAV.

platypus
05-25-2005, 12:09 PM
i dont know where you are getting figures like 46-47?
We would not option out a fully-loaded model.

Euro Wholesale Pricing

530xiT: $42,770
D&H: $695
Leather: $1,450
Rear Window Shades: $250
Rear Door Airbags: $350

Total: $45,515

Price over Invoice: $1,500 (assumption)

Sub-total: $47,015

BMWCCA Rebate: ($1,000)

Total (before TT&L): $46,015

Adding step would bring it to $47,225.

Is it OK for me to post this pricing info here?? :confused:

be-em-veh-808
05-25-2005, 12:19 PM
Both are excellent cars. E350 Estate is a slightly bigger car. The cargo capacity is the leader for full size wagons. Forget the stats (24 vs 17 vs 36 or 28 sf). Go take a live look at the cars. You will see that the E350 Estate has the biggest cargo area (with 3rd row flat), but 2nd row up. Plus you get a bigger, more powerfull (HP & Torque, and a flat torque map)

While the E350 Estate might be labelled as a "Mom's Car," one might get away with the 530ixT as it seems much sportier.

Reliability wise, based on my lurking around the mbworld.org site, it seems that the E-Class in general are still prone to lots of electronics problems. So, beware.

As for the A6 Avant, great car, great engine, but to me it still carries a VW stigma.

MaxBuck
05-25-2005, 01:12 PM
If you do not require the "status" of owning a German automobile, you might also want to consider the excellent Subaru Legend wagon (marketed as the "OUTBACK 3.0 R VDC LTD. WAGON"). Subarus are pretty much bulletproof, and the Legend is pretty well appointed. It's not as much cheaper than the Bimmer and Benz as you might think, though.

mbforme
05-25-2005, 01:16 PM
I've ordered a 530xiT for my wife (ED pickup June 2th) as a replacement for a 325xiT. We considered Audi, Mercedes and BMW before making a decision, but BMW is definitly the most sporty one of the three, it's also the one available with a manual transmission (a big plus for us).

About the Mercedes, remember MB does no longer include scheduled service starting MY 2005, so you need to factor that in your pricing.

platypus
05-25-2005, 02:41 PM
If you do not require the "status" of owning a German automobile, you might also want to consider the excellent Subaru Legend wagon (marketed as the "OUTBACK 3.0 R VDC LTD. WAGON"). Subarus are pretty much bulletproof, and the Legend is pretty well appointed. It's not as much cheaper than the Bimmer and Benz as you might think, though.
Funny you mention the Subie. When this latest generation came out last year, I really had my eye on an Outback 2.5XT, but after my wife saw one, it was quickly ruled out. ;)

About the Mercedes, remember MB does no longer include scheduled service starting MY 2005, so you need to factor that in your pricing.
Good point and thanks for mentioning it. I had not thought about this and it definitely merits consideration.

350 Estate is a slightly bigger car. The cargo capacity is the leader for full size wagons. Forget the stats (24 vs 17 vs 36 or 28 sf). Go take a live look at the cars.
Hmmm, interesting. Are you saying this from the standpoint that the stats cannot be compared because of differences in the method of measurement among vehicle makers, or is it more from the standpoint of getting a hands-on feel for the actual size of the cargo area?

be-em-veh-808
05-25-2005, 04:05 PM
Funny you mention the Subie. When this latest generation came out last year, I really had my eye on an Outback 2.5XT, but after my wife saw one, it was quickly ruled out. ;)


Good point and thanks for mentioning it. I had not thought about this and it definitely merits consideration.


Hmmm, interesting. Are you saying this from the standpoint that the stats cannot be compared because of differences in the method of measurement among vehicle makers, or is it more from the standpoint of getting a hands-on feel for the actual size of the cargo area?


I'm pretty all manufacturers use an industry (EPA??) standard to measure cargo volume, so the stats hold up. However, I've seen, sat in, and placed things in the cargo space of the E350, 525iT ('2002), and A6 Avant ('03). The E350 is definitely biggest.

sjhwilkes
06-10-2005, 10:19 PM
Mercedes ED discount is 7%.

Me and the wife looked at the E61 & E350 this afternoon.
I expected to prefer the Merc and my wife expected to prefer the E61...We both switched.
I was highly prejudiced against iDrive, but found I liked it much much better than the hundred buttons on the E class console. E61 feels much bigger inside too for some reason.

Bit worried about the shark fin impeding surf board racking, anyone got any experience there?

We plan to look at Allroads sometime soon then reach a decision. She won't let me get a stick, otherwise the E61 would be a lock. The Audi in the same price bracket is the 4.2, the extra power is quite attractive. We'll see.

fm_illuminatus
06-13-2005, 12:25 AM
A father of a friend of mine bought a 320ML (the ugly suv thing) from mecedes. When he took it in for service, they rented him a dodge neon as a loaner. I think that in itself is enough to keep me from ever walking in to a Mercedes dealership (without being paid). I've also heard...well, read (in car and driver) bad things about Mercedes reliablity... and brakes.

gojira-san
06-13-2005, 06:17 AM
If I was choosing I would pick the BMW over the Merc, but I am biased (as an E39 Touring owner) :)

When he took it in for service, they rented him a dodge neon as a loaner.The BMW dealer here uses Enterprise as their extra loaner cars. I have never gotten a BMW loaner car.

njbimmerman
06-13-2005, 06:42 AM
I drove a 5 series wagon a couple of weks ago. If I were to buy one it would be manual shift but the demo was auto.

I felt the car seemed a little on the large side, at least for me. I didn't get a sense of intimate relationship with the car. Of course, I'm used to the 3 series. And I wasn't all that impressed with the manu-matic. First, shift direction seemed backwards to me (Am I correct that BMW has had it in different directions (on diff models even during the same year?). Second, it didn't seem like I could time acceleration and shift points well (could be me, or brand new trans). I also didn't like the I-Drive (I know, that's a personal thing).

So, I needt to drive a 5 series sedan AWD manual to get a true sense of what the 530XiT might be like in manual.

btw, I test drove a new 330i right after the 530XiT. I felt much more connected in the 3 series.


So for me, I need to drive the new 325XiT this fall and see if the additional 30 HP makes it sporty enough for me. Choice will probably come down to either 530XiT or 325XiT.

platypus
06-13-2005, 10:29 AM
Well, my wife and I hit the local BMW and MBZ dealerships this weekend to test drive the 530xiT and E-350 4-matic. Both had auto tranny and we didn't play with the manu-matic shifting modes in either.

The results? It was pretty much no comparison. Both of us clearly favored the BMW for its driving characteristics over the MBZ. It really was night and day between the two cars. Both of us commented that when driving the bimmer, we didn't even feel like we were in a wagon. The handling was crisp, the suspension firm but not harsh, and the new 3-liter, in-line 6 was oh so smooth.

The MBZ was also nice - don't get me wrong, but it wasn't the bimmer. The dash seemed more cluttered (BMW's i-drive actually does a nice job at cleaning up the dash), the V6 wasn't as refined (it sort of gurgled at idle), and the rear seat felt a bit tighter. I believe that MBZ decided to offer less passenger room in the second row to allow for a larger cargo area and third row seating capability. As noted, cargo area is larger on the MBZ but it didn't seem to be a dramatic difference. When driving, the car felt smooth, but heavier and definitely less agile than the BMW. You really felt like you were in a luxury car as opposed to the BMW which felt like a sports car.

About the only thing my wife didn't like about the BMW was the interior trim selection. She's not a fan of brown wood, and the anthracite maple gives off this horrible zebra effect. So, after looking at several color combinations, we decided that black was the best interior color choice to help downplay the look of the brown wood. It's too bad that BMW no longer offers the aluminum/titanium trim on the 5-series as in 2004 when the E60 first came out. :tsk:

Oh yeah - one more thing - it's pretty much decided that she wants a stick. :D Both cars we test drove were autos, and the BMW was just begging to have the 6-spd manual to go with it! I guess it didn't hurt that I let her drive my M3 on the 30-minute drive down to the dealership. ;) We drove the bimmer first, and the first thing she said when she climbed into the driver's seat of the MBZ was: "You mean I can't get this car with a manual?" :thumbup:

Ågent99
06-13-2005, 12:26 PM
...the first thing she said when she climbed into the driver's seat of the MBZ was: "You mean I can't get this car with a manual?" :thumbup:
Gotta love a woman with that attitude!! :rofl:

:thumbup:

fm_illuminatus
06-13-2005, 01:05 PM
If I was choosing I would pick the BMW over the Merc, but I am biased (as an E39 Touring owner) :)

The BMW dealer here uses Enterprise as their extra loaner cars. I have never gotten a BMW loaner car.

I'm going to assume though, that you get something nice like a cadillac, right?

Both dealers in my area, Crevier in Santa Ana, and Sterling in Newport Beach have their own cars that they use as loaners (Crevier gave me a 2005 325i loaner when I took my mini -which I since traded for a 325xi- in for service at the end of last year), but I do believe that if Sterling runs out they rent you a cadillac from enterprise.... at least that's what the guy at enterprise told me.

gojira-san
06-13-2005, 01:52 PM
I'm going to assume though, that you get something nice like a cadillac, right?LOL, nah, usually something nasty like a Ford Taurus or a Pontiac. :p

Oh, I know it is apples to oranges in a way, but I drove my boss' Merc C240 back from Logan airport to Cambridge. It was a mix of stop-and-go, some highway and some local roads, so it gave me a chance to compare it against my cars. I haven't driven a Merc in a very long time, so it was interesting.

First off, it's a couple of years old I think and has a 6-speed manual transmission. I was surprised how numb feeling the pedals were, particularly the clutch and accelerator. The clutch engages very,very low to the floor! That took a little bit of getting used to, especially coming out of the 330. The shift action was very rubbery/sloppy feeling; the shift gates felt like they were a mile wide. I found the gauges very hard to read. While the car took the few at speed turns I was able to get in just fine (no 10/10ths stuff - just my normal speeds on the highway ramps), the steering felt like there was some novocaine injected in there. The brakes worked fine though. He was also telling me how many electrical problems he has had with the car - makes me feel better about my cars! :)

Ågent99
06-13-2005, 04:24 PM
I'm going to assume though, that you get something nice like a cadillac, right?
I'm curious why you think that the rental car provided to you should be "something nice" like a Cadillac or whatever you deem as "nice."

I honestly don't understand what the big deal is...at most, you'll have the rental for 2 days. I've never had a rental for longer than 1 day...get it around 8 am...turn it back in around 5-6 pm.

I'm just happy that I get a rental in the first place that I don' t have to pay for. Each dealer is different in how they handle this I guess. For the first time in approximately 5 rentals, I finally got a BMW 325i many months ago but it wasn't any big deal to me....

:dunno:

njbimmerman
06-13-2005, 04:28 PM
My local BMW delaer used to provide BMWs as loaners. That was great as over the years I got a chance to try a lot of different models on potentiall all day test drives.

The dealership got sold and now they only provide 2-year olf Acura TLs. I appreciate the loaner, but this is a step down in my opinion. I can't beleive the new owners don't see the value in in letting their customers drive different BMW models. That's gotta be worth a few thousand diff. No?

cruisevirgin
06-14-2005, 07:46 PM
Have you considered the fact that MB no longer includes the free service for the first 4 yrs or 50K miles (whichever comes first); whereby BMW still includes this... This must be worth something as well (in $). How does one quantify this difference in the two cars. I have a MB 2003 which still includes the service and just ordered a 525xi not as replacement to MB but for wife.

MahuaC
03-20-2006, 02:40 PM
Where can I find invoice pricing of 2007 530i with Euro delivery?
If 07 pricing is not available, please point me to 06 pricing.

thanks a ton!

Asteroid
03-20-2006, 06:01 PM
2007 is posted in the E60 forum where you found this thread, :D http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137083

2006 is in the Ask a dealer forum, specifically: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=54563&d=1122481495

2002 tii
03-21-2006, 03:39 AM
Should you be interested the '07 Allroad looks interesting
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=104885

2002 tii
03-21-2006, 03:39 AM
Audis, with their turbocharged engines, have always worried me in this regard..... Also, I've spent some time over the last few years lurking on the Audi message boards, and there always seemed to be a fair share of complaints from owners about the tiptronic when coupled with the 2.7T engine.
N.B. for '06 the 2.7t motor is gone except for carry-over Allroad, which is to be replaced for '07. Choices for A6 Avant are 3.2 V6 & 4.2 V8, both NA. You are correct about the Audi tiptronic and the 2.7t, it appears to be at its worst with the Allroad, where pronounced off idle lag has prompted some NHTSA complaints. However, since Audi does not offer ED, it is likely not an option for you.

be-em-veh-808
03-21-2006, 09:34 AM
Should you be interested the '07 Allroad looks interesting
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=104885


'07 Allroad not likely to make it to US/NA market. Audi's pushing the Q7