Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help




Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum > Technical Information and Support > Tech Help

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-23-2003, 02:43 AM
Meza's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SC
Posts: 148
Mercedes Benz or a BMW

After owning 12 BMWs (3 and 5 series) and nothing other than a BMW I decided to buy a 93 2.6L 190e MB for the first time from a friend who initally bought the car for his wife that did not like the way it drove. My friends gave me hard time because I am a big BMW fanatic and shocked to see me driving a Benz. Anyways, smoking a cigarette on the front porch, I questined my self which is a better car?
looking at the problems I have seen with my BMWs, they can be summarized as I can think of: Idle, vacuum leaks, poor A/C perfromance in most MY 80s and some problems with the instrument cluster due to dead batteries in a circuit board along with other things I don't consider major. I currently own an 84 528e. I get about 26/30 mpg city/highway, idles good, drives smooth, accelerate strong, excellent handling, feels solid and safe, no oil leaks or any added between oil changes. reasonable prices for the most part and easy to find parts.
Looking at my 190e, I replaced the wiper motor, never been happy with gas milage, fan clutch bracket (bearing came off/broke belt and left me stranded in the middle of no where), can't get the tires to balance, new Voltage regulator, 1 quart of oil almost every 500 miles and getting ready to pull the head for a valve job, transmission doesn't shift as smooth as any BMW I had, part dept. at local MB dealer is a pure ass, car body doesn't feel solid and overall car handling feels Ok when compared to BMW handling. Did I just buy the lowest quality MB made? Is it any better with other models. Do I really want to buy another one?
I just want to share my thoughts and experience with both cars.
__________________
Meza
1993 190E 2.6
Advanced Diesel Systems Test and Research Engineer
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-23-2003, 08:59 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: England
Posts: 1,841
Its just preference. Many people give the exact same stories as yours with BMW and Mercedes reversed, it all depends on what cars you get (all those you mention are over 10 years old), what your priorities are etc.

All your dislikes about your Merc have plus sides to those of us who like them. The not-so-smooth gearshift is also very quick to change, quick reacting, and doesn't suck the torque like BMWs autos are known to.. matter of preference

No ride quality mentioned - ever compare E30 3-series to 190E? One is tuned for ride, the other for handling.. you presumably prefer the former, many prefer the latter

Cant balance the tyres? come on!

And of course, there are those who will ask you to compare both cars at 250,000 miles (or if one of them will even be running at that)



IMO: Just enjoy driving whatever you have and try not to worry about the grass on the other side of the fence
__________________
190E's:
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
http://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall.jpghttp://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall2.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-23-2003, 09:25 AM
ddb ddb is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 47
I have one of each

I have a 2000 323Ci (ordered new) and recently purchased a 1994 E320. I don't think it is really fair to compare these two cars (because of age difference, 5 speed vs. auto, coupe vs. sedan, etc.). Having said that, I've had the BMW in the service dept. for many problems that shouldn't happen on a new car. I bought the E from my uncle, so I know its service history well and have all of the service records (112,000 miles). It has also had many issues. I think once I "modernize" the E with all or most of the conveniences that I'm used to (keyless entry, upgraded stereo, cupholders, etc.), I probably will prefer to drive it. Maybe I'm getting old, but I love the auto transmission and the engine's power. I think the ride and handling are terriffic for a car of this size. The interior is comfortable and has a classy look. I usually drive my Cherokee everyday, I'm finding myself driving the E320 more and more frequently because I think it is a fun and comfortable car. In conclusion, once I get the E like I want it, I'm selling the BMW. I will however probably purchase both makes in the future.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-23-2003, 12:05 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 788
I'm not really siding here with MB or BMW, but I think your assessment is fundamentally flawed. If you are doing a scientific experiement, for example, you want everything other than what you are testing to be as equal as possible. That way you isolate what it is you are trying to find out and nothing else can come into play. Now, with your BMWs. Since you are obviously a BMW enthusiast you know exactly what you are looking for when you buy one and you probably maintain them meticulously. With the MB you bought, I am assuming there wasn't much maintenence history that came with it. Many people on this forum absolutely preach that whenever someone purchases any MB, esp. older ones, that you get documented service history with it or don't buy it. I don't know how BMWs are, but with older MBs, they are wonderful, reliable cars if they have been maintained with every i dotted and t crossed. However, if they have been at all neglected, they can be hell to own. So, who knows how your 190 has been maintained? Who knows how it was driven in its earlier life? Also, this is just one model and one car.

Just like others here said, it is mostly preference. Just like Ford and Chevy, this "debate" so to speak will never end.
__________________
'86 420SE Euro
904 Midnight Blue, Gray Velour
Dad bought it new, now I own it.

"A Mercedes-Benz is like a fine wine, it only gets better with age."
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-23-2003, 12:56 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
If you want a true comparison you must repair MB problems with MB fixes not BMW fixes. Yes, on a BMW one must take the head off and might as well do a whole valve job to solve valve guide oil seal problems (a quart of oil every 500mi). But this is just a waste of time on a MB whose seals are almost as easy to replace as spark plugs.

My experience is so vastly different than yours. I have worked on both car lines for almost 30 years. my experience is also weighted with personal considerations. My experience is both as a technicain and as a driver. I have owned probably 50 MBs, ten as personal drivers. I have owned 2 BMWs (so our experience as drivers is reversed). The first was a red 2002 that I bought for my second daughter's 16th birthday (it was an automatic and as most BMWs of the day had no performance that I noticed).

I currently drive a E39 540i BMW and there is no better driving car produced by MB. Power is comparable maybe even surpased by the various V8 "E" chassis, but the handling isn't close.

I have owned the car for 2.5 years and I can say I have never owned a vehicle that made me pay so much for the pleasures it gives. Radiator, water pump, electric thermostat (probably took out the radiator - the water pump was later). The car has 54k on it now and these failings are premature but could be considered aberations except for all the cheap POS problems that are occuring. Six months ago the little flap that covers the rear window child lock out as part of the main window switch, fell off. Its part of a $250 switch package that has to be reprogrammed when replaced. The reason it failed was its design had it work by flexing a hinge point made ofthis plastic. The previous owner must have sat there pushing the button up and down as I would never even use it (I don't haul people in the back seat - we take the wifes MB). Next after detailing I notice the right side colder temp button on the $500 A/C assembly (programmable of course) has disappeared. I probably have never touched it.

Early in my ownership I had to machine plastic headlight adjusters when the originals (only available as part of $800 assemblies) turned to powder and my headlights bobbed. As a direct result of my BMW ownership experience I have initiated programs in our business to do more BMW repairs. I mean that from both aspects; both as a wonderfull driving machine and as one needing countless costly repairs.
__________________
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-23-2003, 07:13 PM
Meza's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SC
Posts: 148
I think I would have to agree with all of you that it is a matter of preference. I would have to agree with Steve. Yes, BMWs are a pleasure to drive but they do have issues with small items here and there that somtimes could cost a fortune to replace. You are right. I believe a well kept MB or BMW will go many many miles without any major problems. I have never bought a new car to actually experience the different failures that happen even with good maintenance. I probably need to mention that my wife likes the MB better than the BMW. I do agree it is a better family car. I think if I want a car for my self, I would buy a bimmer. for the family, I would go for a Benz. I guess my next car will be Benz. Special thanks to Steve. You are a very knowlegable person and I have a lot of respect for you. Thanks to all other members for their opinions.
__________________
Meza
1993 190E 2.6
Advanced Diesel Systems Test and Research Engineer
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-24-2003, 02:03 AM
Holson Adi's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,561
I'm hunting for a W124 500E just because it's fast, elegant, has a very very NICE interior, and just feels amazing to drive.

However I have come across a 1988 M6 Euro!!! Now I don't know which one I want. The M6 is a very pretty coupe, and very BMW. Plus, it's a manual

But the interior can't be compared to the Benz (the BMW's doesn't look as classy/expensive). Maintenance on the M6 is also supposed to be VERY expensive...

so I don't know.. I like 'em both..... both rare and elegant cars.
__________________
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-24-2003, 02:13 AM
ymsin's Avatar
Driver, Mercedes-Benz
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 1,645
I have always found the 3 series to be a little too small for driving pleasure. And the view, yes, the rear view mirror hangs too low for my liking. Impedes the view, I feel.

The 126 has superb power and driver's sight is excellent.
__________________
... Kerry

126 tailed by a 203, 129 leading the pack.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-24-2003, 08:51 AM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
The M6 BMW does nothing for me. The handling that the E39 v8 impressed me with is no where to be found on that old dog.

Take the 500, it probably don't handle any better than the M6 although the propensity to shake is way less with the MB. The MB will handle those monster tires that have to go with either package better. Until the E39/38 v8 suspension (for some reason the E39 6cyl is totally different) all BMWs were rather wobbly.
__________________
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-24-2003, 10:22 AM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
I would compared 5 and 7 series BMW's to Porsche products, except they have four doors. They are superb when rolling down the road, but the service/repair costs are staggering and build quality is marginal. My Porsche was precisely like that. Fast, attractive, and costly to own.

Mercedes is a little different. Not that an MB E/S is Corolla like in it's long term operating costs, but less than the BMW. You give up some "driving excitement."

My wife is hunting for a new car right now. We found a very cherry 540i, but she doesn't like the fuel economy. Then she found out the long term costs of owning one, and immediately striked it off her list. I would be more willing to live with the costs to have the driving pleasure, but not her.

Now, it depends on your context. We have always owned Japanese or German cars. We had a 1997 528i that we sold to our neighbour. She LOVES the car, and finds the operating costs low. She thinks it's deadly reliable. Talking to her, I was surprised at all the "minor" problems they've had, and was even more surprised that she was still happy with the car. BUT! Their old car was a Dodge Intrepid. They're comparing the two, and the BMW seems like heaven to them. If they had a Toyota previously, I'm sure they'd be singing a different tune.

I feel that the AMG products are the best of both worlds. Our C36 was as reliable as any other C-Class (which is pretty good) and could run with some pretty big dogs.
__________________
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

http://img31.exs.cx/img31/4050/tophat6.gif
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-24-2003, 07:39 PM
Holson Adi's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,561
Quote:
Originally posted by stevebfl
The M6 BMW does nothing for me. The handling that the E39 v8 impressed me with is no where to be found on that old dog.

Take the 500, it probably don't handle any better than the M6 although the propensity to shake is way less with the MB. The MB will handle those monster tires that have to go with either package better. Until the E39/38 v8 suspension (for some reason the E39 6cyl is totally different) all BMWs were rather wobbly.
damn... really?

The M6 does cost 1/4 of the 500E though :p

However in the long run it'll probably cost the same.. hmmm..
Maybe I should take the M6 for a drive and see what I think. I've driven the 500E and I was nothing but impressed.
__________________
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-24-2003, 08:47 PM
Meza's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SC
Posts: 148
It's not fair...

I don't think its fair to compare an E500 to an M6. I believe the E500 is has a V8 and I know the M6 has an in-line 6 not to mention that production stopped in the late 80s where as MB has MY2003. Iam not sure what years are we comparing here. Try comparing a new E500 to one of the newer M5 like MY2002 or even 540I 6 spd with a V8. I personally don't think the E500 can touch the 540i or the M5 in any way (handling, braking, ..etc). M5 is a race bread car and can play really hard. I do believe the E500 is powerful car, however,without a question its a more practical daily car than the M5 and pretty sure cost less to maintain. I may be a huge Bimmer fan, but I would still favor the MB for practical daily life uses and the BMW as my only personl car (no one drives it but me). Just my opinion with all respect to all MB lovers.[COLOR=darkblue]
__________________
Meza
1993 190E 2.6
Advanced Diesel Systems Test and Research Engineer
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-24-2003, 09:33 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
The W124 500E/E500 was sold in the US for model years 1992-1994. It was compared to the M5 of it's day, not the new 394hp M5.

Going up against it's contemporaries, the W124 E500 is a winner. It lacks some of the edge of the M5, but is much more reliable, cheaper to maintain, and has held it's value much better.

An M6 can be one expensive car to own. M parts are $$$$$$$! Most of the E500 is off the shelf bits and not unique "racing" parts like M engines.
__________________
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

http://img31.exs.cx/img31/4050/tophat6.gif
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-25-2003, 01:30 AM
Holson Adi's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,561
I know it's not fair.

However I am not too impressed by the E34 M5. Yes the E39 540i and M5 are probably nicer than the E500. However the 540i is almost common in Boston and the 500E is still a rarer sight than an M5. Not to mention that an E39 M5 could get me two and a half 500E's

The M6 looks better than both the E39 and E34 IMO. The E24 and E31 have been long time dream cars for me just like the W124 500E and I'm just trying to get one of 'em. The M6 I was interested in just happens to be around $10k (less than actually) and it's in Black/Black with 18" BMW BBS rims. The car just looked so beautiful...

The E31 just seems too expensive a car to maintain. I'd take the V-12 850 with 6-speed over a 500E if I had the cash to maintain it though

Don't tell me it's not a fair comparison again. I just think that these are the rarer MB's and BMW's and i like cars that way.
__________________
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-25-2003, 09:36 AM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
I probably put less emphasis on looks than you do. I deal with technology and I am impressed by performance.

The E24 and E31 body are in fact beautiful but the E24 and all the others with 4 and 6 cylinders leave me unimpressed. The M version might stretch its legs on the interstate, but without v8 torque it has no performance for the street. The suspensions on E24, E28, E32, E34 are crude compared to MB. With 18 inch tires a comfortable ride at a hundred is inconcievable.
__________________
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2011 Pelican Parts - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page