I just retired my '86 300E in favor of a new (2003) 325i - actually an "executive car" with 5000 miles. So far, so good. I am very impressed by the handling and ergonomics, and the level of fit and finish is very high.
The car was built in South Africa.
The engine/automatic transmission control is awesome. In normal driving, you really cannot feel the trans shift.
To some extent this was an impulse buy but I have lost faith in the newer Mercedes because of the quality problems. From a styling perspective, I thought the 325 had it all over the C-class.
We'll have to wait to see what the future holds, but for now, life is good.
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe