2001 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)
After 8 BMWs over the past 15 years, plus an assortment of others (Infinity, Jaguar, Cadillac, etc.), I replaced my tired Volvo V70 T5 w. a beautiful white '01 E320 I found near Charlotte, NC, w. just over 100k mi.. It's a 2-owner local car w. no accidents, clean & no problems except for the new set of Chinese tires (why???) it wore. I corrected that today w. a set of Z-rated Michelin Pilot Sport A/S+. After a thousand miles in 2 weeks on combined high-speed interstate & rural highways, I couldn't be happier. W. transmission fluid/filter & differential oil, coolant & plug change, it looks, runs & drives like new, all for under $8k. W. due diligence, still plenty of good ones out there.
Great build quality, quick, smooth & quiet. Far more of a driver's car than I expected - this baby is fast! The engine is a gem, far stronger than 221HP should be but not coarse - very smooth. Comfortable seats, auto climate control, rain sensing single-wiper, digital MPH readout, keyless remote fob (new one from the local dealer is pricey but works perfectly). Built-in garage door opener. Moonroof. Headlight bulbs are cheap & easy to replace. Center armrest has plenty of storage (& lower level has an A/C vent!) Beautiful leather & wood. Premium Bose sound system & trunk-mounted CD changer, although my favorite entertainment is simply driving this subtle, elegant car w. the 3-pointed star.
You can tell the German engineers didn't really want to put cup holders in this car - the Rube Goldberg device on the center console works but is a bit unhandy compared to current models. More than one power outlet would be nice in this age of multiple devices (GPS, radar detector, satellite radio). MPG could be better (averaging about 25mpg), but for a spirited car w. great driving dynamics & power, it's acceptable. Dual spark plugs means replacing 12 when the time comes, but only every 100k miles.
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