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Did you know that considerably more used cars are sold than new cars? We think this second-hand system is nothing short of fantastic. However, it goes without saying that it gives rise to different methods and tactics: Some sellers will disguise a car that's been in an accident under a fresh coat of paint, tamper with the odometer or conceal theft. This is one of the less appealing aspects of buying second hand. Our goal is to establish trusting relationships between buyers and sellers, since this is the best way to help customers make the right decision. Your new car should be reliable and make you feel safe, as well as make you feel like you haven't paid too much.
But more than anything else, we don't want you or your family unknowingly sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle that isn't 100% safe. This is why we strive to take these vehicles off the road, which not only makes the used car market safer but our streets safer too.
CARFAX — 35+ Years of Experience in Vehicle Histories
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1996 Mercedes-Benz E-Class - Roadtest
A Precisely Calculated Step On The Wild Side
The large oval headlamps are reminiscent of a prairie dog's gaze when frozen in the beam of a 747's landing lights. Their attention-getting boldness comes not so much from the shape-cars like the Dodge Neon and Toyota Celica already have doe-eye oval headlights-but from the fact that they adorn the volume sedan of such a steadfastly conservative automaker as Mercedes-Benz. There's no mistaking the new E-Class for any other luxury car on the road, and that's just what its designers had in mind.
The most intriguing question has been what lies behind the wide-open orbs. If eyes are truly the window to the soul, then these ovoid peepers offer a glimpse into Mercedes' rejuvenated spirit. You see, the new E-Class is a product of turbulent times. Intense competition within the luxury arena combined with unfavorable monetary exchange rates has put Mercedes in a double bind and has forced the company to reassess itself. "Change can be uncomfortable," says Mercedes-Benz North America President Michael Basserman, "but if you're going to stay on top, you're going to have to get used to being uncomfortable." And this philosophy goes far beyond just conceding to cupholders.
Over its 11-year existence, the previous E-Class has been the U.S. 's all-time best-selling import luxury car. Yet the era of the decade-long platform is over. This new generation is expected to run a seven-year lifespan. Moreover, production costs also have gone under the surgeon's knife. In fact, in a company that's been traditionally driven by engineering-"build the best vehicle possible and let the price fall where it may"-the new E-Class, amazingly enough, is the first Mercedes built to a specific cost target-a way of life at most other automakers. The result is a healthy 20-percent reduction in production costs over the previous model. To Mercedes' credit, these cutbacks are hard to detect in the new car.
The current '96 E-Class lineup for the U.S. consists of the E320, with a 3.2-liter DOHC 24-valve inline-six engine, and the E300 Diesel, powered by the 50-state-legal 3.0-liter 24-valve diesel inline-six. The E420, motivated by a 4.2-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8, will make its debut this spring as a '97 model. A wagon version of the 320 is expected in the fall of 1997. Meanwhile, the current E320 Cabriolet is scheduled to remain in production through the end of 1995, and no replacement is expected. For this test, we obtained a production E320 and a pilot version of the E420.
The E-Class' distinctive front end is an attempt to forge a new, fresher image, one that will stand out from the conservative luxury crowd while attracting more female and younger buyers. It was a styling stretch that met controversy within Mercedes ranks, but it's one that in our estimation works. Beyond the front end, the body shapes quickly metamorphosize into traditional Mercedes cues. A gently raked rear window lends the sedan a sportier roofline. In the rear, oval fog/backup lights on the trunklid attempt to carry over the front's theme, though it seems less inspired here, as if designed more by committee than passion.
The E-Class' wheelbase has grown by 1.3 inches, and the body has been stretched by 1.6 inches in length and 2.3 inches in width. This translates into a significantly roomier cabin, especially in the rear seat area, where passengers enjoy an added 1.7 and 1.4 inches of knee and shoulder room, respectively.
Inside, luxury appointments abound. New interior amenities include a power tilt/telescopic steering column, three-position memory system (for front seats and headrests, side mirrors, and steering-wheel height), an integrated, sunvisor-mounted garage-door opener, dual front and rear cupholders, and a "smart" dual-zone automatic climate control. An especially nifty feature of the last item is an outside sensor that detects carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen; the system automatically switches to recirculation mode (signaled by the word "smog" appearing in the digital display) to prevent the gas and odor from entering the cabin. We found that the system is sensitive enough that merely pulling up behind a car at a stoplight will activate the recirculation mode.
In addition to dual front airbags, the E-Class is the first production car to include in-door side airbags (Volvo's side bags are housed in the seats), which are nicely integrated behind leather trim panels. These are accompanied by new seatbelt force limiters, which reduce the belt's pulling force during an impact to minimize the chance of chest injuries and allow the occupant to contact the airbag sooner. In addition to improved front and rear crumple zones, the engine subframe detaches in a severe frontal impact, allowing the drivetrain to slide under the passenger compartment.
The E-Class' driving characteristics have been further refined as well. A double-wishbone front suspension replaces the previous strut-type, while the rear multilink design has received some fine-tuning. Although firmer springs are used, their longer travel in combination with softer shocks provide a more compliant ride without sacrificing any road-hugging stability or crisp cornering performance.
To shave both weight and cost, the familiar recirculating-ball steering system has been replaced with variable-assist rack and pinion. This conveys a slightly lighter feel, with only a hint of the previous system's on-center vagueness, along with good, linear turn-in and accurate response.
Both the E320 and E420 powerplants are essentially carryover, though they segue nicely into the new generation. The 320's muscular 3.2-liter inline-six boasts 217 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, yet it's the engine's ability to come on strong down low and maintain a smooth, linear delivery all the way through 6400 rpm that is most impressive. The inline-six is complemented by a responsive four-speed automatic transmission that comes through with well-timed shifts and instant kickdowns. On the test track, the E320 muscled its way to a respectable 0-60-mph time of 7.9 seconds-well ahead of the Lexus GS 300's 9.4, and about on par with the V-8-powered Lincoln Continental's 7.7 and BMW 740iL's 7.9.
The 420's 4.2-liter V-8 pumps out an ample 275 horses and 295 pound-feet of torque and is coupled with a new five-speed automatic transmission. It delivers abundant power on demand-effortless passing and scampering up mountain grades are no-brainers-and the five-speed keeps the engine in the meat of its powerband. On the track, our test car ran the 0-60 dash in 7.5 seconds, on par with a Lexus LS 400 (7.4) and Jaguar XJ6 (7.6). However, since the rear axle gearing in our pilot vehicle was a little taller than the production ratio, this time could drop slightly in production trim.
Standard on the E320 is Mercedes' Electronic Traction Control (ETC) system with brake-applied compensation. The more sophisticated Acceleration Slip Control (ASR 5) system (with brake and engine compensation) is standard on the E420 and optional on the E320. Mercedes' advanced Electronic Stability Program (ESP) "anti-spin" control system is optional only on the E420. Meanwhile, the former 15-inch wheels have been upgraded with 16-inchers on both models, while more-aggressive 215/55HR16 tires are used in place of the previous 195/65HR15 rubber.
In instrumented handling tests, the lighter-weight 320's 63.9-mph slalom speed and 0.83g skidpad held the edge over the 420's 61.1-mph and 0.81g results; both sets of numbers are about average for their classes. Both models employ four-wheel disc brakes with standard ABS, which pulled them down from 60 mph in 127 feet, again average for class.
Overall, the new generation has been honed to a, well, "E." It's strong, taut, and as solid as the Federal Reserve, yet friendlier than its predecessor, a tad softer in the right places, and with a few new tricks up its sleeves. As for the spiffy new lamps, they're like Bob Dole learning to play a sax; a hip twist on an otherwise serious, no-nonsense personality. The icing on the cake is an aggressive pricing plan that has the E320 holding the line of the '95 model at $43,500. Considering the added standard equipment of the '96, Mercedes claims the price actually represents a 5.7-percent decrease. The E420 is even more attractive with a $49,900 pricetag, $2,600 less than the '95's sticker and an eye-opening 9.7-percent decrease on a feature-for-feature basis. This makes the E-Class offerings not only impressively engineered automobiles, but downright bargains, as well. Cost-effective, stylishly innovative, and consumer aware: What is Mercedes coming to? Whatever it is, we give an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Tech DataMercedes-Benz E320
of North America, Inc.,
|Location of final assembly plant||Sindelfingen, Germany|
|EPA size class||Midsize|
|Body style||4-door, 5-passenger|
|Drivetrain layout||Front engine, rear drive|
|Airbag||Dual front and side|
|Price as tested||$47,230|
|Options included||Glass sunroof, $1070; metallic|
paint, $665; integrated CD changer/
cellular phone package, $1400
|Ancillary charges||Destination, $595|
|Typical market competition||Lexus GS 300, BMW 528i,Lincoln Continental|
|Track, f/r, in./mm||60.2/59.9/1529/1521|
|Ground clearance, in./mm||5.6/142|
|Manufacturer's base curb weight, lb||3355|
|Weight distribution, f/r, %||53/47|
|Cargo capacity, cu ft||18.4|
|Fuel capacity, gal||17.2|
|Weight/power ratio, lb/hp||15.5|
|Type||Inline-6, liquid-cooled, cast-aluminum block and heads|
|Bore x stroke, in./mm||3.54 x 3.30|
|89.9 x 84.0|
|Valve gear||DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder|
|Fuel/induction system||Multipoint EFI|
|hp @ rpm, SAE net||217 @ 5500|
|lb-ft @ rpm, SAE net||229 @ 3750|
|Recommended fuel||Unleaded premium|
|Transmission type||4-speed automatic|
|60 mph in top gear||2400|
|Front||Upper and lower control arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Rear||Multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Type||Rack and pinion, power assist|
|Turns, lock to lock||3.3|
|Front, type/dia., in.||Vented discs/11.8|
|Rear, type/dia., in.||Solid discs/11.4|
|Wheels and tires|
|Wheel size, in.||16 x 7.5|
|Wheel type/material||Aluminum alloy|
|Tire mfr. and model||Michelin Energy MXV4|
|Instruments||160-mph speedo, 7000-rpm tach, temp, fuel, digital clock|
|Warning lamps||ABS, brake, ETS, belts, check engine|
|AND TEST DATA|
|Standing quarter mile|
|sec @ mph||15.9 @ 89.3|
|Lateral acceleration, g||0.83|
|Speed through 600-ft|
|Speedometer error, mph|
|Interior noise, dB|
|Idling in neutral||45.2|
|Steady 60 mph in top gear||64.7|
|EPA, city/hwy., mpg||19/26|
|Est. range, city/hwy., miles||327/447|
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1996 MERCEDES-BENZ E320 3.2 USED CAR PRICES
^ Price Guide:
Price When New (EGC): Price shown is a price guide only based on information provided to us by the manufacturer and excludes costs, such as options, dealer delivery, stamp duty, and other government charges that may apply. When purchasing a car, always confirm the single figure price with the seller of the actual vehicle.
** Private Price Guide: Represents what you may expect to buy or sell this vehicle privately. It may vary to a dealer's retail price because the dealer may prepares the vehicle more thoroughly, both mechanically and aesthetically, and may provide a consumer warranty.
Price Range: Refers to an estimated range of prices that the vehicle may be available for sale (utilising both Price When New (EGC) and Private Price Guide prices, where available).
* If the price does not contain the notation that it is "Drive Away No More to Pay", the price may not include additional costs, such as stamp duty and other government charges. Please confirm price and features with the seller of the vehicle. Optional extras may also be subject to additional Stamp Duty costs when there is no Drive Away Price displayed.
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Price 1996 mercedes e320
Used 1996 Mercedes-Benz E320 For Sale Near Me
The response is instantaneous. You apply pressure with your right foot and the sleek sedan moves off with authority. As the tachometer needle climbs, it's increasingly obvious that the car under you wants to get on with it. There's a restless urgency here that's rare in a luxury car. That's the result of a 4.2-liter aluminum V8 with twin overhead camshafts and 32 valves, an engine that's made the latest addition to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class--the E420--one of the most delightful combinations of performance and luxury in its class. BMW's 540i used to have sole possession of the honor. Now it can be viewed as a tie ballgame. There's more here than the new engine, of course. And, where it counts the most, less. When the E420 rolled into showrooms in April, its $49,900 pricetag was $2600 less than the previous model. Adjusted for additional new standard equipment, including door-mounted side airbags, that represents a 9.7 percent price reduction.
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