|EPA Est. MPG||21|
|Drive Train||Rear Wheel Drive|
|Curb Weight||3757 lbs|
Along with greasy food, morally corrupt politicians, and that episode of "Gilligan's Island" when Gilligan and Skipper both go completely bald, Americans have always had a particular fondness for midsized sedans with oversized V8 engines. The formula for developing these cars is simple: take a relatively inexpensive and unassuming sedan, plop the biggest V8 possible underneath the hood, and keep it clandestine. Legends produced with this formula include the Pontiac GTO, the Plymouth Roadrunner, and the Chevrolet 396 Chevelle.
But all of those cars are long dead. The last year an American company produced a car based on this formula was 1996. The car was the Chevrolet Impala SS. With stealthy black paint and a 260-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8, the SS was a cult hit. Too bad the 2000 Impala is but a shadow of that car, hobbled with front-wheel drive and an evergreen V6. The big-engine, midsize sedan still exists, but one has to look to Europe in order to find it. Oh, and it's no longer inexpensive. In fact, it's downright budget busting.
The AMG-modified E55 is the big V8-powered midsize sedan from Mercedes-Benz. It starts life as a regular E-Class, then is handed off to AMG, a former semi-independent, Mercedes performance-tuning company, now fully owned by DaimlerChrysler.
The regular E-Class comes with either a 3.2-liter V6 or a 4.3-liter V8. In the E55's case, AMG shoehorns in a modified version of the 5.0-liter V8 engine from the S-Class sedan. Bored, stroked, and fitted with a variety of high-performance parts, the E55's 5.4-liter V8 is mated to an upgraded five-speed automatic transmission. There might be a bit of sneakiness with the badging (Mercedes vehicles are almost always named after engine size, so why isn't the E55 an E54?), but there is no sneakiness with the resulting power. Mercedes lists it at 349 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, and 391 foot-pounds of torque at 3,000 rpm. Compared to a '99 Chevrolet Corvette, the E55 produces 4 more horsepower and 41 more foot-pounds of torque. Wow.
Turn the ignition key, and the whole car twists as the V8 fires. You can feel that there is a big, mean lump of an engine in front of you. But you'll never know it from opening the hood. The V8 is covered with vast swathes of black plastic. You won't be able to tell anything by listening to it, either. If you stand outside the car with the hood open, all you hear is an idling engine that just whirs and clacks. It actually sounds more like a diesel engine.
But it sure isn't a diesel when you step on the accelerator. The automatic transmission, flat torque curve, and curb weight (3,765 pounds) all conspire to make the E55 seem slower than it is. Its power delivery is completely linear, like a passenger airliner at takeoff. Only near redline can you hear proper V8 noises. The trick for realizing speed is to watch the speedometer. Based on numbers from Edmunds.com's performance database, the E55 will turn a zero-to-60 time of 5 seconds flat, and a quarter-mile time of 13.6 seconds. Keep going, and the car accelerates right into its 155-mph electronic speed limiter. We'd like to see a stock Pontiac GTO do that.
The five-speed transmission cracks off wonderful shifts. It actually has a computer that reads driver inputs and adjusts its shift points accordingly. We found the computer to be exceptionally intuitive in all driving conditions. It's always a good mark of an automatic transmission when you don't even notice it, and that's the case here. For slippery road conditions, the transmission can be switched to Winter mode, aiding acceleration from a dead stop. It would be nice to have a sequential-shift option for the transmission, but it is by no means necessary. Gas mileage is acceptable for this type of car, with an EPA cycle of 16/23 mpg.
As you would expect, 391 foot-pounds of torque being transmitted to the rear wheels causes major traction problems. So Mercedes has fitted the E55 with both stability-control and traction-control systems. Mercedes calls them ESP and ASR, respectively. Hitting the ESP button on the console turns off both of them. Do so, and a stern yellow light takes residence in the gauge cluster. "Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?" the light seems to say (think HAL from "2001: A Space Odyssey," but with a German accent). "If you do something stupid, it is your own fault." It seemed to us that ESP was tuned to be very conservative in terms of how quickly it activated to reign in the car. This makes sense from Mercedes' point of view, given the engine's power and the unknown factor of driver skill. However, more skilled drivers will feel limited by ESP in spirited driving, and turning off ESP places the car at unnecessary risk. Something like the "competition mode," a feature found on the Chevrolet Corvette's stability system (a setting between maximum computer override and turning the whole system off), would be welcome on the E55.
In more normal driving situations, the E55 strikes an excellent balance between comfort and handling performance. AMG has equipped the car with stiffer springs, special Bilstein shocks, thicker antiroll bars, and 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot XGT Z4 245/40ZR18 tires in front and 275/35ZR18s in back. Make no mistake; the E55 does not ride as nice as a regular E-Class. It doesn't soak up broken pavement as well, and the larger tires generate more road noise. But then, an E320 can't pull 0.88 lateral g, either. The E55 has plenty of grip for cornering, and the oversized brakes haul the car down from speed in exceptional and confident fashion. The steering system is light, and allows easy positioning along curvy roads.
Like all other E-Class sedans, the E55 is capable of transporting five adults. Front-passenger, side, and head airbags are standard, as is antilock brakes. AMG has fitted the car with special leather upholstery trim on the seats, doors and steering wheel. The overall level of quality is good, but it's nowhere near a Lexus LS 400. The seats adjust in just about every direction, but there is no adjustable lumbar support.
We'd gladly take some lumbar support and trade in some of the many buttons found in the E55. There are lots of buttons to chose from. It's a virtual cornucopia of buttons, in fact. And without reading the owner's manual, you won't know what half of them do. Frustrated with all these buttons, we counted them up. The total? Eighty-eight of the suckers for the front passengers. And the little pictograms for the buttons are absolutely no help. Maybe that's why there are separate instruction manuals for the phone, radio, service information, and vehicle care. That's in addition to the standard 173-page owner's manual. It seems that Mercedes understands the manuals might be overwhelming, so it also includes a 25-page "Quick Tips" manual. Jeez, what are we driving, a car or a VCR?
Once sorted, the buttons operate a great sound system and an automatic dual-zone climate-control system. Our test car was also equipped with the optional trunk-mounted CD changer and integrated cellular phone. If there's a mechanical problem (or you stuffed your E55 into a canyon wall because you turned off ESP), Mercedes offers 24-hour roadside assistance. One nice touch is a full-size 18-inch spare tire. Mercedes offers a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.
The E55 didn't attract as much attention as we expected. Its looks are very subtle, and the unwashed masses won't know the difference between it and a regular E-Class. The tip-offs are the AMG-derived sport package exterior visuals, rear deck badge, and AMG insignias on the steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, and gauge cluster. Mercedes says this subtlety is on purpose, which kind of makes sense. If you want to be looked at, buy a Viper. Still, for a car of this type, it seemed to be overly staid. Some additional character wouldn't hurt.
There are two factors to consider in the purchase of an E55. The first is whether an E55 is worth the $20,000 premium over an E430. If you are a practical type of person, we'd say no. The E55 pulls feats unattainable by an E430, but those gains aren't worth the 30 percent price increase. However, we would guess most people looking to buy an E55 are doing so because it's simply the fastest Merc available. In this case, the E55 is a spectacular car. But buyers should also look at the other two ultra-performance sedans competing in this market: the Jaguar XJR and the 2000 BMW M5. Pricing for all three is remarkably similar. The M5 is faster; the Jag has more personality. Pick your $70,000 poison.
What's a good price on a used 1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class ?
Price comparisons for used 1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class trim styles:
The used 1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 is priced around $2750 with average odometer reading of 128900 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
What options are available on the 1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?
Available Mercedes-Benz E-Class 1999 Submodel Types: Coupe, Convertible, Wagon, Diesel, E63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, AMG E 43 4MATIC, E63 AMG, Sedan, E 63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, AMG E 63 S 4MATIC, AMG E 63 4MATIC S-Model, E 63 AMG 4MATIC, E55 AMG, E63 AMG 4MATIC
Available Mercedes-Benz E-Class 1999 Trims: E350 4MATIC, E 350 Sport 4MATIC, E350, E 400 4MATIC, E350 Sport 4MATIC, E 350 Luxury 4MATIC, E 400, E 300 Sport 4MATIC, E350 Luxury 4MATIC, E550, E550 4MATIC, E350 Sport, E63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, AMG E 43 4MATIC, E 300 Luxury 4MATIC, E 400 Sport 4MATIC, E 550, E350 Luxury, E500 4MATIC, E550 Sport 4MATIC, E63 AMG, E 63 AMG 4MATIC S-Model, AMG E 63 S 4MATIC, E 250 Sport BlueTEC 4MATIC, E250 Sport BlueTEC 4MATIC, E320, E320 BLUETEC, E 250 Sport BlueTEC, E 300 AMG Line 4MATIC, E 300 Sport, E350 BlueTEC, E500, E 350 Sport, E320 CDI, E420, E430 4MATIC, AMG E 63 4MATIC S-Model, E 250 Luxury BlueTEC 4MATIC, E 350 Luxury, E 400 Luxury 4MATIC, E 63 AMG 4MATIC, E250 Luxury BlueTEC, E300TD, E320 4MATIC, E350 Sport BlueTEC, E430, E55 AMG, E63 AMG 4MATIC
Exterior Colors: Polar White, Iridium Silver Metallic, Steel Grey Metallic, Palladium Silver Metallic, Obsidian Black Metallic, Arctic White, Lunar Blue Metallic , designo Diamond White Metallic, Selenite Grey Metallic, Capri Blue Metallic, Diamond White Metallic, Midnight Blue, Lunar Blue Metallic, Diamond Silver Metallic, Indigo Blue Metallic, Dolomite Brown Metallic, Mars Red, Platinum Blue Metallic, designo Cardinal Red Metallic, Alabaster White, Brilliant Silver, Desert Silver Metallic, Indium Grey Metallic, Granite Grey Metallic, Pearl Beige Metallic, Black, Cardinal Red Metallic, Flint Grey Metallic, Pewter Metallic, Tectite Grey Metallic, designo Mocha Black Metallic, designo Silver Metallic, Dakota Brown Metallic, Black Opal Pearl Metallic, Bordeaux Red, Bordeaux Red Metallic, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Desert Silver, Dune Silver Metallic , Everest Green Metallic, Glacier White, Iridium Grey Metallic, Jade Green Metallic, Olivine Grey Metallic, Pewter Silver Metallic, Piedmont Green Metallic, Quartz Blue Metallic, Smoke Silver Metallic, Spruce Green Metallic, designo Graphite, designo Magno Cashmere White, designo Mocha Black, designo Mystic Brown
Interior Colors: Black leatherette, Black leather, Silk Beige/Espresso Brown leatherette, Black leatherette, Natural Beige/Black leather, Silk Beige/Espresso Brown leather, Almond/Mocha leatherette, Macchiato Beige/Espresso Brown leather, Black Nappa premium leather, Red/Black leather, Almond/Mocha leather, Macchiato Beige/Black leatherette, Cashmere leather, Charcoal premium leather, Black/Silver Nappa premium leather, Saddle Brown/Black leather, Almond/Black leatherette, Chestnut Brown/Black leather, Macchiato Beige/Black leather, Nut Brown/Black leather, Black premium leather, Crystal Grey/Black leather, Crystal Grey/Seashell Grey leatherette, Espresso Brown/Silk Beige leather, Grey/Black leather, Natural Beige premium leather, Nut Brown/Black leatherette, Silk Beige/Espresso Brown Nappa premium leather, Almond/Mocha premium leather, Black Nappa w/Red Stitching premium leather, Crystal Grey/Black leatherette, Crystal Grey/Seashell Grey leather, Gray/Black MB-Tex leatherette, Macchiato Beige/Blue leather, Macchiato Beige/Espresso Brown premium leather, Macchiato Beige/Espresso leatherette, Porcelain/Black leather, designo Stone premium leather, Ash, Ash/Black leatherette, Ash/Black premium leather, Ash/Dark Grey leather, Ash/Dark Grey leatherette, Black Exclusive Nappa premium leather, Black leather/suede, Charcoal, Cognac Brown/Black leather, Deep Sea Blue/Silk Beige Nappa premium leather, Deep Sea Blue/Silk Beige leather, Espresso Brown/Black leather, Macchiato Beige/Blue Nappa premium leather, Red/Black Nappa premium leather, Stone premium leather, designo Sand Nappa, designo Sand premium leather, Almond Beige leather, Almond Beige premium leather, Almond/Black leather, Ash leather, Ash leatherette, Ash/Black leather, Ash/Black leatherette, Cashmere leatherette, Chestnut Brown (SPC) leather, Crystal Grey/Black Nappa (SPC) premium leather, Crystal Grey/Seashell Grey Nappa premium leather, Espresso Brown/Silk Beige Nappa premium leather, Grey/Black Leather Sport (SPC) leather, Grey/Black Nappa premium leather, Grey/Dark Grey Luxury leather, Grey/Dark Grey Luxury leatherette, Grey/Dark Grey Nappa premium leather, Java, Light Brown, Nut Brown/Black Exclusive Nappa premium leather, Nut Brown/Black Nappa premium leather, Nut Brown/Espresso leatherette, Oyster, Silk Beige Nappa premium leather, designo Macchiato Beige/Saddle Brown premium leather
Popular Features: Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Power Driver Seat, Stability Control, Trip Computer, Rear Bench Seats, Tire Pressure Warning, Pre-collision safety system, Bluetooth, Sunroof/Moonroof, Navigation, Automatic Emergency Braking, Back-up camera, Aux Audio Inputs, Upgraded Headlights, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Heated seats, USB Inputs, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Upgraded Stereo, Leather Seats, Blind Spot Monitoring, Post-collision safety system, Lane Departure Warning, Remote Start, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Parking sensors, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Keyless Entry/Start, Cooled Seats, Soft Top, 3500lb Towing Capacity, Adaptive Cruise Control, Third-row seating, 360-degree camera, Mobile Internet, Heads up display, AWD/4WD, Rear Entertainment System
Engine/Mechanics: 4, 6, 8 cylinders
Fuel Types: premium unleaded (required), diesel, regular unleaded
Drivetrains: rear wheel drive, all wheel drive
Used 1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Overview
The used 1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is offered in the following submodels: Sedan, Wagon, Diesel. Available styles include E430 4dr Sedan, E300TD Turbodiesel 4dr Sedan, and E320 4dr Sedan. Pre-owned E-Class models are available with a 0-liter gas engine or a 0-liter diesel engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The used 1999 E-Class comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic.