Review: 1997 Mercedes AMG E50

Discussion in 'Other Cars' started by RyanV, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Here we?ve got my first Mercedes :D It?s a 1997 Mercedes AMG E50 that I picked up through Mark at Brave Auto. Always striving to purchase vehicles in good (if not great) condition this one was a 4B at auction with about 102,500 kms. It came with the owner?s manual, service records and four keys?yup, four keys LOL. Enough about that, what do I think of the car?

    Exterior

    I?m still not sure what I think of this car. The AMG package definitely gives it a much more aggressive look over the standard E class. When I see standard E classes of the same age driving around they always seem to look terrible, but when I see my E50 I think it looks much better. However, to me it seems like the front of the car doesn?t match the rear. The front seems very dated, but the rear doesn?t look like it?s that old. From some angles I think this car is absolutely stunning while from others I don?t really care for it. Maybe part of this is the ?foggy? headlights. I don?t know why Mercedes didn?t use glass headlights.

    Interior

    This is where things are much better. The seats have to be the most comfortable seats I?ve ever sat on in a car, and the front seats seem to be adjustable in every direction so anyone can get comfortable. Heated seats are nice too since leather can get cold. Heated rear seats is a bonus as well :D The dash is relatively well laid out and the interior just feels like a nice place to be. I also like how the sunroof cover has little slots at a couple of locations. They seem to be well placed that just a nice amount of extra light is let in, but you don?t get the sun beaming down on you. The only thing that?s a bit tacky is the aftermarket screen someone has put in the car.

    The trunk isn?t huge, but it?s nice that it has the ski chute so you can carry longer items. There?s a 12 disc changer in the trunk, but I?m sure that doesn?t matter to most people. I might be one of the last people around still using CD?s. Maybe it?s just me but the spaces on the side of the trunk have worked out well for me too. I?m not sure if they are really intended to be pockets, but it?s nice to have a spot to put things where they won?t fall over.

    Engine and Transmission

    No doubt this car is quick, but cars are almost never as fun to drive when they are an automatic. They always lumber around in the highest gear and there always seems to be that delay when you put your foot down. Sure you can put it in 2,3,or 4 by manually selecting, but then you have to bump it up when it?s time to shift and if I?m trying to go 2-3, I always seem to push it too far and end up in 4th. However when you are driving around normally it does shift quite nicely from one gear to the next.

    The engine is the party piece and really the whole reason I bought the car. On this side I have definitely not been disappointed. Car in second gear, foot down, and it?s like you?ve been launched from a sling shot. Instant power and a glorious V8 rumble. All the while the engine is running super smooth. Some would say this is stupid because you are supposed to feel a V8 as well as hear it. Nah, I love that it packs such a punch, but when you come to a stop light you have to look at your tach to see if the car is still running.

    Brakes, Steering and Suspension

    Not much to say about the brakes really. They stop this car VERY fast. No complaints.

    The steering is too light for me. Sure this is a luxury feel, but it leaves the driver (or at least me) feeling detached from the driving experience. Not completely detached but enough that I don?t like it. That said, it does get a bit better if you are taking corners more aggressively, and the light steering is nice around town and in parking lots.

    I?m a little conflicted on the suspension because I think I have become accustomed to a very firm suspension. The suspension feels soft on the E50, but I think that?s only because I?m comparing to my Land Cruiser and BMW that have really stiff suspension. I haven?t driven the E50 enough to really pay attention to any body roll in the corners, but I have a feeling that it?s actually pretty limited.

    Summary

    The first thing I thought about when I was driving this car was James May describing a car on Top Gear. I can?t remember exactly which car he was talking about, but he was saying about the car ?wofting along,? and I feel that?s the experience I feel you get in this car. It?s very comfortable and smooth and it accelerates and rides effortlessly. I think even the light steering that I?m not a big fan of contributes to the effortless feel of the car.

    Bottom line I think this is a great car, but I don?t find myself getting a real urge to want to drive it. I think it?s actually quite similar to an Aristo, but there?s something about the Aristo that makes me want to drive it, and I just don?t get that feeling with this car. I?d be happy to drive it every day and no doubt it would put a smile on my face when I bury my right foot into the carpet; however, I think there are other cars out there that give me more satisfaction.
     
  2. Soren

    Soren Hiatus is the best way to control the urges..

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    Great review Ry, Merc up until the last few years has been off my radar, but the interior of the amg C55 that ben posted the other day.makes me want to start looking at one. I think I will wait for another body style, but I may just get over my fear of the europeans yet!

    I'm with you on the looks, somewhat spotty, but from some angles, possibility arises!
    Interested to see if you connect with it or not over time
     
  3. CP9A

    CP9A New Member

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    Great review, someone should hire u as a journalist
     
  4. Greg

    Greg Local Grumpy Moderator

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    Nice cars...I just can't do those headlights...
     
  5. SilverStar

    SilverStar New Member

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    Nice review Ryan! I can't believe the car came with four keys, they run about $150 each from the dealer.

    I agree about the headlights, they should have used glass. The yellowing is due to oxidation of the clear coat. It's hard to tell from the pic you posted but it looks like the car has Hella's and not Xenon lights.

    Any plans for the car?
     
  6. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    Thanks guys! :) Every time I try a different car I get tons of thoughts running through my head, and I always think I should do a write up, but I think this is the first one I've done.

    I think you mean E55 :) I'd love to get my hands on a C55, but they are a pretty rare beast. One was at auction a few weeks back, but it was cancelled and Bulldog Bros had one showing on their website for a bit, but it's not there now.

    No need to fear European cars. There is tons of information out there about them. I was actually surprised how much information I was able to find on this car. In the past when I've reasearched Merc's I haven't been able to find a lot of good info, but I haven't had much of an issue so far with the W210 chassis of the E Class.

    Only two of the four are the remote/flippy keys though. Still, I'm pretty impressed it came with that many.

    I believe it's the Hella's. It has an aftermarket HID system wired in that was actually done very well, and the lights still have good cut off, so I'm not blinding everyone driving around with them.

    Plans....Fix any issues that come up. That's about it. I think the car has been pretty well cared for. I was going to change the air filters when I was doing an oil change, but the filters looked almost new. I think it's the first car I've brought in where I didn't need to change the air filter(s).
     
  7. lenglish

    lenglish Exiled Cult Member

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    Nice review Ryan, I'd like to see some more pics.

    I don't know if it will happen, but I'd like to own a V8 at some point. They just sound fantastic.
     
  8. RyanV

    RyanV Member

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    The sound and the power from a good V8 is awesome. The power delivery is so much different than a turbo car. Fuel economy isn't so great, but if you are highway cruising it's not bad at all. Lots of stop and go in town or idling in traffic and it will be bad.

    I'll post some more pics after I do a good detail. I might get a wax done tomorrow night. I'm hoping so, but we'll see what happens.

    *edit Just added first fuel up on fuelly and I got just under 20 mpg which I think is damn good considering it was mixed driving and the highway driving was on Nanaimo's stupid bypass highway that has lights every 3-4km.



    Damn Nanaimo has been giving some awesome sunsets since I've been here...:)

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