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    2003 E55

    Last Thursday a teenager decided to drive in the wrong lane and collided head on with my wife's car. Fortunately, this happened at very low speed (< 40mph) so is seems that no one is hurt. As a result, our family car is gone.

    We've managed to locate a silver 2003 E55 nearby. The dealer wanted 10K over, negotiated down to 5K I am pretty sure that with enough time we could find something at MSRP, but we do need a car now. Picking it up today.

    This car is going to be a primary kids hauler, so reliability is a must.
    I dont' think I'd care to raise the speed limit as it is totally useless in the US. But I do want the best handling possible for such a big heavy thing. Any suggestions for a new owner?

    Cheers

    Re: 2003 E55

    Congrats--you'll love it! I keep my suspension setting in sport mode 2, and the handling is excellent. I've driven Porsches since 1989, and while a 4,200 lb car can't handle like a Carrera, the E55 handles great. I also keep the transmission in sport mode (also use the manual mode occasionally, but not too often), and the shifts are very crisp.

    I used the car raising function the other day before going up a steep driveway--works great, and the kids thought it was cool feeling the car rise!

    Re: 2003 E55

    Congrats--you'll love it! I keep my suspension setting in sport mode 2, and the handling is excellent. I've driven Porsches since 1989, and while a 4,200 lb car can't handle like a Carrera, the E55 handles great. I also keep the transmission in sport mode (also use the manual mode occasionally, but not too often), and the shifts are very crisp.

    I used the car raising function the other day before going up a steep driveway--works great, and the kids thought it was cool feeling the car rise!

    Re: 2003 E55

    Congrats for your new family car.

    I already have 3000 km on my E55 and it seems to be reliable.
    However I encountered some electronics flaws which will be looked into it tomorrow at my dealer:
    1. my APS 50 phone froze and I didn't get any incoming calls.
    When my dealer checked the phone with the Mercedes tester, the APS 50 did itself a reset because it encountered a problem. Since then, no problem with the phone anymore. It is my understanding that US cars with APS 50 don't have a phone, so this is actually no problem for you.
    2. the airbag warning light came on three times, accompanied by a message to visit the dealer at once. It seems this is one of the typical new E-class problems, a defective seat sensor mat for the child restraint set.
    3. sometimes the APS 50 doesn't come on when I enter the car (and I didn't shut it off when I left the car), sometimes the seat and the steering wheel don't move away to ease the entering of the car (as it was programmed by me)
    4. at around 30-35 mph, the gearbox shifts into 4th gear and doesn't downshift too easily. Very annoying in the city because you have to press at least around 50% throttle to get a good and decent acceleration. Unfortunately you get too fast if you do so, so I wish the gearbox would downshift if I press the throttle only gently. My gearbox specialist will look into it tomorrow.

    Please have my assurance that the E55 is a very fine and powerful car and as Poursha said: if you want it sporty, switch to the sport setting 2 all the time and you'll have a very sporty setup for such a huge limousine. You can also turn the ESP off to experience less ESP involvement which sometimes is pretty annoying. And the good thing is: the ESP isn't turned off completely, so if you play it too hard, the ESP might still save you from kissing a tree.

    I'll keep you updated with all developments regarding the problems I mentioned and if you have any questions, ask.
    End of this month I'm at AMG, so maybe you have some questions which don't come with easily available answers.
    The speed raise is not approved for the US, AMG won't do it (you can get it through other "channels" but you're right, you don't need a 188 mph limousine in the US).

    Re: 2003 E55

    Congrats for your new family car.

    I already have 3000 km on my E55 and it seems to be reliable.
    However I encountered some electronics flaws which will be looked into it tomorrow at my dealer:
    1. my APS 50 phone froze and I didn't get any incoming calls.
    When my dealer checked the phone with the Mercedes tester, the APS 50 did itself a reset because it encountered a problem. Since then, no problem with the phone anymore. It is my understanding that US cars with APS 50 don't have a phone, so this is actually no problem for you.
    2. the airbag warning light came on three times, accompanied by a message to visit the dealer at once. It seems this is one of the typical new E-class problems, a defective seat sensor mat for the child restraint set.
    3. sometimes the APS 50 doesn't come on when I enter the car (and I didn't shut it off when I left the car), sometimes the seat and the steering wheel don't move away to ease the entering of the car (as it was programmed by me)
    4. at around 30-35 mph, the gearbox shifts into 4th gear and doesn't downshift too easily. Very annoying in the city because you have to press at least around 50% throttle to get a good and decent acceleration. Unfortunately you get too fast if you do so, so I wish the gearbox would downshift if I press the throttle only gently. My gearbox specialist will look into it tomorrow.

    Please have my assurance that the E55 is a very fine and powerful car and as Poursha said: if you want it sporty, switch to the sport setting 2 all the time and you'll have a very sporty setup for such a huge limousine. You can also turn the ESP off to experience less ESP involvement which sometimes is pretty annoying. And the good thing is: the ESP isn't turned off completely, so if you play it too hard, the ESP might still save you from kissing a tree.

    I'll keep you updated with all developments regarding the problems I mentioned and if you have any questions, ask.
    End of this month I'm at AMG, so maybe you have some questions which don't come with easily available answers.
    The speed raise is not approved for the US, AMG won't do it (you can get it through other "channels" but you're right, you don't need a 188 mph limousine in the US).

    congrat.

    and sorry about the accident, glad to hear no one was hurt.

    one suggestion for you, is to look for a retrofit DVD navigation system, Mercedes said it is impossible to do so, somehow i believe otherwise. Those aftermarket company have away to get around things.

    Good luck and congrat.

    congrat.

    and sorry about the accident, glad to hear no one was hurt.

    one suggestion for you, is to look for a retrofit DVD navigation system, Mercedes said it is impossible to do so, somehow i believe otherwise. Those aftermarket company have away to get around things.

    Good luck and congrat.

    First impressions

    We have had the car for two days by now.

    We bought the car without test-driving it first (did the same thing with Turbo) so in essence the past two days were an extended test-drive. I thought I'd share my first impressions.

    The car is quite decieving in many respects. One aspect of it is the size. At first glance it looks quite compact. So when you enter it you are immediately surprised with how spacious it is inside (trunk is really big too). If you look at it for awhile you see that the car is big. Someone must have done a pretty good job of designing the exterior to hide the bulk.

    Then you start driving it. Again, in many respects it feels like a much smaller, lighter car than what it is. It turns in really well and stays quite flat through the turn. Exiting the turn you realize that those 265 rear tires should have been much bigger to keep traction. I guess if one really wanted to exploit the potential of this car both the front and the rear tires should be significantly upsized. But then again, this is a family sedan, not a sports car - right?

    Another decieving thing is the suspension feel. The ride is very comfortable even in Sport2 mode. Yet the body roll is quite small and the suspension reaction time is quite fast. This is probably due to the Airmatic suspension. I did not drive the car at the traction limit so I can only wonder how easy it is to read feedback from the wheels filtered through all that stuff.

    I do not have much to say about steering. Far from the limit as during normal street driving the feel is only slightly weird. Much better than most of the big sedans but not as good as Porsche. I do not know yet how much feedback it gives at the limit.

    Brakes are quite adequate for street driving. Is there a way to know that ABS has activated?

    To conclude, let me say that I wouldn't buy E55 as a "dual purpose" street/track car. As a street-driven family sedan, it seems like a very very good choice.

    First impressions

    We have had the car for two days by now.

    We bought the car without test-driving it first (did the same thing with Turbo) so in essence the past two days were an extended test-drive. I thought I'd share my first impressions.

    The car is quite decieving in many respects. One aspect of it is the size. At first glance it looks quite compact. So when you enter it you are immediately surprised with how spacious it is inside (trunk is really big too). If you look at it for awhile you see that the car is big. Someone must have done a pretty good job of designing the exterior to hide the bulk.

    Then you start driving it. Again, in many respects it feels like a much smaller, lighter car than what it is. It turns in really well and stays quite flat through the turn. Exiting the turn you realize that those 265 rear tires should have been much bigger to keep traction. I guess if one really wanted to exploit the potential of this car both the front and the rear tires should be significantly upsized. But then again, this is a family sedan, not a sports car - right?

    Another decieving thing is the suspension feel. The ride is very comfortable even in Sport2 mode. Yet the body roll is quite small and the suspension reaction time is quite fast. This is probably due to the Airmatic suspension. I did not drive the car at the traction limit so I can only wonder how easy it is to read feedback from the wheels filtered through all that stuff.

    I do not have much to say about steering. Far from the limit as during normal street driving the feel is only slightly weird. Much better than most of the big sedans but not as good as Porsche. I do not know yet how much feedback it gives at the limit.

    Brakes are quite adequate for street driving. Is there a way to know that ABS has activated?

    To conclude, let me say that I wouldn't buy E55 as a "dual purpose" street/track car. As a street-driven family sedan, it seems like a very very good choice.

    Re: First impressions

    Quote:
    To conclude, let me say that I wouldn't buy E55 as a "dual purpose" street/track car. As a street-driven family sedan, it seems like a very very good choice.



    I've owned 3 Porsches in 15 years, and never tracked one! Most Porsches (or other high end sports cars) never come anywhere near a track. One reason I got the E55.

    Re: First impressions

    Quote:
    To conclude, let me say that I wouldn't buy E55 as a "dual purpose" street/track car. As a street-driven family sedan, it seems like a very very good choice.



    I've owned 3 Porsches in 15 years, and never tracked one! Most Porsches (or other high end sports cars) never come anywhere near a track. One reason I got the E55.

    Re: First impressions

    Quote:
    To conclude, let me say that I wouldn't buy E55 as a "dual purpose" street/track car. As a street-driven family sedan, it seems like a very very good choice.



    Track racing the E55 would be like marrying Pamela Anderson and make her clean the house.
    It would be fun to learn the E55's potential on the track (I might do that one day) but track racing it against other sportscars wouldn't make much sense.

    Re: First impressions

    Quote:
    To conclude, let me say that I wouldn't buy E55 as a "dual purpose" street/track car. As a street-driven family sedan, it seems like a very very good choice.



    Track racing the E55 would be like marrying Pamela Anderson and make her clean the house.
    It would be fun to learn the E55's potential on the track (I might do that one day) but track racing it against other sportscars wouldn't make much sense.

     
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