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Discussion Starter #1
As much as I love my Jetta, I need a car that is a bit more comfortable and "grown up" for a daily driver. I figured you Lounge Lizards would be a good place to get some perspective on my two choices. So give me your two cents on the Bimmer and the Benz.
I'm looking at model years between 1997 and 2000 for both cars, with mileage somewhere around 80k. I want the six cylinder models, and have no interest in the V8 models. With the E-Class, I have no choice but to get an auto tranny, but if I go with the 5 series I'll most likely try to find one with a manual. I don't plan to heavily modify the car mechanically, most modifications will be cosmetic (coilovers, 19 inch wheels, upgraded exhaust, you get the point).
Which car would you choose and why? How do they stack up against one another in terms of drivability, reliability, cost of ownership, performance, etc? Are there other cars that you would suggest I take a closer look at in that price range/class?
Oh and one more thing: I need inspiration for modifications. Post any pics of particularly good looking examples of these cars you have.
Thanks, and
's for all.
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528i w/ manual trans all the way. These were and still are superb cars, an amazing mix of a beautiful ride and great handling, and of course that terrific weighty, natural-feeling BMW steering. These cars are built like tanks and cost of ownership-wise I think you'll be way better off than with the Mercedes, but these cars do have their known trouble spots, for example they seem to like to eat their entire cooling system. But from what I understand the parts prices arent outrageous for that stuff, and if you buy a CPO or a good extended warranty, you should be ok.
With the extreme exception of the E55, I hate the Mercedes W210 cars.
 

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Re: E320 vs. 528i (UdubVdub)

Since you aren't as concerned with all out performance, it basically comes down to looks. for 6-10 year old european lux cars, cost of driving is likely to be about the same. I would guess the BMW will be the better performer. I would chose the 5-series.
As far as cosmetic mods go, the only way to go with the BMW is the M-package. This means your car is going to look more racy, and you may not want that. Mercedes is going to look more relaxed. I'd still take the BMW
 

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Re: E320 vs. 528i (UdubVdub)

As a Passat B5.5 owner I would go for another one (I noticed you also had one). Dont forget the A6 Quattro which was also available with a manual tranny.
And to answer your question I'd probably go 528i
 

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Re: (kraut_pauer79)

W210 were very 'soft' cars.( - the E55) Big, bouncy, highway cruisers. You'll also see alot more W210 than 5 series' running around. (If thats what your into.)
 

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Re: E320 vs. 528i (UdubVdub)

we had a 2000 528i until we traded it in a few months ago for a new 525i. We bought the car new, and it had around 65k miles when we returned it. We had pretty much zero problems, the one thing being we had to replace the radiator, and after 6 years of abuse it still accelerated, braked, and handled like new. I'd definetely do it again.
 

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Re: E320 vs. 528i (Markasaurus!)

Go 528i. Great handling, easy to maintain, reasonably quick for its power and size. Upgrade to the mtechnic bumpers.

Not my car.
 

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Re: E320 vs. 528i (Code-7)

I used to have an E39 528 5spd, and by far and away it is the better choice of the two. If you get a '28, make sure it is a stick as you will not want to miss out. The tranny shifts like butter, and it really makes the car that much more enjoyable. Plus, the sound of a good rev match down shift is great.
Good power, great steering, fantastic brakes, and a tail that you can hold out for hours around corners make it one of the best all around cars in that price range.
Drive both, but once you drive a good 528, you wont think twice about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: E320 vs. 528i (KARMANN_20V)

Quote, originally posted by KARMANN_20V »
As a Passat B5.5 owner I would go for another one (I noticed you also had one). Dont forget the A6 Quattro which was also available with a manual tranny.
And to answer your question I'd probably go 528i

I've always really liked the looks of the Mercedes and have seriously considered one, but for the most part it's pretty much between the 5-Series and another B5.5, especially after listening to everyone's overwhelming love for the E39. One good thing about getting another Passat is I would have a use for the pile of parts I have sitting around that I never got a chance to put on the first one! It'll probably come down to whatever I find first in the color/options combo I want.
Well, while we're on the topic, why don't we have eveyone post pics of their favorite e39's or B5 passats?

 

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Re: E320 vs. 528i (Fritz27)

Quote, originally posted by Fritz27 »
Are those little "bazookas" in the front grille supposed to be intakes or something?

Depends, really. That's an active autowerks grille, on the M5 it comes with the AA intakes. On a 540i you can get that grille and it pipes into your brake ducts. It's definitely functional.
As for pics:









Modified by Code-7 at 8:27 PM 7-5-2006
 

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Re: E320 vs. 528i (ElixXxeR)

Pretty much everyone is recommending the BMW. It makes sense, they're awesome cars. I think that if it were at all possible to be objective-that is, if you took out matters of personal preference-the bimmer would still be the better choice.
I, personally, would choose the Benz, however. For one thing, I don't think that any car of this size and weight would be *fun* to drive. I'll probably get a lot of crap for saying that, but it's jsut how I feel. With that in mind, I'd want something big, heavy and isolated. So, I'd choose the Benz. Something about sitting on the rock-hard seats, swinging that slow ratio steering around turns and peering over that long hood onto that hood ornament appeals to me.
Also important to me is the fact that you can find a turbodiesel E but not a diesel 5 in the US. That may not be important to you, though.
I always drive a stick shift, and only the 5 came with a manual in the states. Even with that in mind, I'd choose the E, but if you absolutely cannot live with an automatic, then your only choice is the 5.
Both cars would be amazing to own. To me, a BMW driver looks like a yuppie, where a Benz driver looks like an a$shole.
 

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I've always thought the previous gen E-class (the one in discussion here) was pretty ugly. Never warmed up to it. The current E, however, is beautiful, IMO.
As for the BMW 5, I think the E60 is pretty blah, but the E39 might be the most attractive BMW design ever.
 

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Re: E320 vs. 528i (UdubVdub)

I'm going to against TCL on this one. I'll take the 5-series with a slushbox.
Quote, originally posted by UdubVdub »
As much as I love my Jetta, I need a car that is a bit more comfortable and "grown up" for a daily driver.
 
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