Wagon Week: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate

When I first came across this listing I thought I had found an E55 AMG Estate at an incredible bargain, but after reading through the details (and a heads up from out trusty editor in chief) I found that this car is in fact an E500 wearing big brother’s name tag. I’ve seen E500 AMG Sports before but not ones doing a full on E55 impression. At first I was annoyed and was going to skip writing it up but then after thinking about the rarity of the Dark Green over Tan color way, the great sound of the AMG exhaust hooked up to any V8 and the low mileage, I decided this car deserves a helping hand in its search for a new home. The seller notes that it had  “very interesting prior ownership” and while that may sound ominous to some, I’m actually quite curious to know what it means. Maybe this was a Mercedes Benz exec’s weekend warrior, maybe the previous owner was a celebrity or maybe the car belonged to Guy Fieri. Hard telling not knowing I suppose, though I highly doubt it was the last option, I don’t think Dark Green is his color.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate on eBay

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2004 Mercedes Benz E500 4Matic Estate

 

If yesterday’s 2008 E350 wasn’t quite doing it for you, then perhaps stepping back four years will get you on board with the long roof Benz program. This 2004 E500 4Matic Touring looks crisp as can be in Capri Blue and the grey leather interior with dark wood accents really ties the whole package together. I think this is one of the best color combinations you can get on these or just about any car really. The polished silver wheels and chrome grille isn’t bothersome as usual when paired with this paint , a testament to just how nice a shade of blue it is. Given that the car has had 4 owners, all whom have lived in climates known to be less than friendly to cars so I’d look very closely for pitting and chips in the paint. It appears to be in the claimed “Like New” condition but until you see it in person, you never know.

What is clear is that the original buyer wanted to maximize the sporting aspirations of this 5.0L V8 powered wagon. AMG wheels and a factory installed AMG bumper do give this example a tastefully aggressive look. The aforementioned lump has just enough juice to backup the attitude, 302hp from a 5.0L engine isn’t the best hp per litre ratio, especially in a 4,320 lb car. However, with 339lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds, I don’t think you or your passengers would say the car is slow, especially if the folks in the rear facing third row seat.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes Benz E500 4Matic Estate

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2008 Mercedes Benz E350 4Matic Estate

 

I am officially dubbing this week “Mercedes Week” for myself. The majority of my recent posts have been BMW’s as that is mostly what I am in the market for but since the universe sadly does not revolve around me, I figured I best mix it up. What spurred this line of thought was a friend who suddenly found himself in the market for a new vehicle and asked for my help finding one. He wanted a wagon, preferably one with AWD as he lives up a particularly nasty dirt road in Vermont and his budget was about $10k. As with most folks in my native state, his first choice was a Subaru Outback and he found a couple solid examples right away. However given that he wasn’t completely married to the idea of having a Subie, he asked me what else he could get in the same price range with similar functionality. A4 wagon prices have stayed strong, particularly on the manual ones but the E-Class wagons, well those have depreciated significantly despite being a rather reliable rig. I found a few of these in his price range and a few that were decidedly not, clearly this one is the later.

At first glance I didn’t much care for this particular example, I’m not a big fan of tan interiors or light woodgrain accents. I much prefer a nice alcantara or perforated leather wheel, subtle dark wood trim if wood at all. However the more I scrolled through the pictures the more I began to appreciate the vibe this car is putting out.  It conjures up images of trucking kids to private school and neighbors in a freshly minted subdivision waving to each other in acknowledgement of their mutual success. While that might not sound all that great I think it perfectly captures why this car is a solid option for the enthusiast with a family, ultra sleeper status. Nobody expects they grey wagon with a beige interior to be a fun drive anymore than they expect the Inquisition. A set of sticky tires, upgraded sway bars, bushings, and CAI would make for an entertaining and very incognito daily driver indeed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Mercedes Benz E350 4Matic State

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2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

EDIT: This is post is being republished because it was lost in transition to our new server. Sorry for the inconvenience! Also, please note the car had some spotty history as noted by a few of our commenters; Jim and Bart both found this Mercedes-Benz Forum link regarding this car – Post #1363
http://mbworld.org/forums/mercedes-vehicles/394687-wtb-e55-amg-wagon-i-know-s-long-shot-55.html#post6357144

The other day I wrote up two S6 Avants, one of which was a nicely presented lower mileage example. However, the asking price on that particular car – nearly $20,000 – had me questioning why you would select the C5 S6. Now, I’m a huge Audi fan, and 340 horsepower is certainly nothing to sneeze at – but for about the same money, I suggested that the E55 AMG Estate was perhaps a better bargain. That’s because the W211’s M113 supercharged 5.4 liter V8 churned out a simply staggering 470 horsepower and 520 lb.ft. of torque – and that was stock, with a warranty. Unlike the Audi, it was channeled completely through the rear wheels. And if anything, the W211 E55 AMG managed to look both really special, really understated and super aggressive at the same time. It signaled the passing of the torch from Audi to Mercedes-Benz for the mega-wagon market (at least, in the U.S.) and remains a seriously potent bit of kit which is available today for only a fraction of its original purchase price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on eBay

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2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate

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I give a lot of credit to Mercedes-Benz for sticking it out with one conspicuous model in their lineup: the E-class AMG estate. “Sport” is an understatement with this vehicle, given the amount of power lurking under the hood. For three generations, Mercedes-Benz has offered an AMG-infused estate, with US customers gaining access over the last two generations. While AMG has lent its name on the tailgate of many of their SUVs, this fast five-door has the mettle to back up the aggressive stance. With a lower center of gravity and a lusty, naturally aspirated V8 under the hood, entertainment will ensue for the serious driver. This 2007 E63 AMG estate for sale in California has just over 62,000 miles and should give the kids a bit of a laugh if you decide to hoon a bit.

Click for details: 2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate on eBay

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10K Friday Practical Performance Edition: R32 v. S4 v. 330xi v. E500 Estate v. Cayenne Turbo

Edit: Thanks to several readers for pointing out several details that prove this Cayenne is a Turbo, but not a Turbo S. Only 450 horsepower, then!

It’s been a few weeks since my last 10K Friday entry, and I wanted to get something together for the impending snow New England is once again expecting. To remind us of the terms of the comparison, I’m looking for themed cars around $10,000 (give or take, we’ll see later). I try to generally find the newest cars possible, figuring that for many these will be a daily driver. In this case, I was looking for performance all-wheel drive cars that offered year round practicality with a touch of sport. So lining up the best I could find from Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche gives us an interesting amount of diversity for your hard-earned dollars. Today we have two sedans, a hatchback, a wagon and a S.U.V. to contemplated; which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Volkswagen R32 on eBay

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10K Friday Family Truckster Edition

I got to laughing the other day during a National Lampoon marathon on television when the memorable “Family Truckster” came onto the screen. The inclusion of that heavily ornamented and modified car in the movie was truly a stroke of genius, but once again a sad reminder that many of the wagons that previously were available to us are gone, replaced by crossovers, “GT”s, or SUV/SAV vehicles. Of course, because of this you don’t have to go back very far in time to find great deals on the last generation of premium 5-doors. Today, with that in mind, I’ve rounded up a set of all-wheel drive sporty wagons to consider – which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate 4Matic on eBay

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2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate

Scanning our Facebook page the other day, I came across a rather amusing comment in response to our LS1 powered M coupe: “haul a** much?” Well, that would certainly apply to this five-door specimen, the E63 AMG Estate. What seems an improbable creation to be sold in the US market has now been with us through a few generations, proving this cult car does have some staying power amongst the enthusiasts. And when a company like Cadillac all of a sudden decided to drop a V8 bomb in their CTS wagon, well, you know you are on to something. For sale at a Porsche dealer outside of Washington DC, this one is doing its best to blend in with a shade of burgundy.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

As car enthusiasts, many of us have found ourselves complaining that we can’t have exactly what we want. But sometimes, as the Rolling Stones would say, “you get what you need.” Such is the case with the AMG tuned E-class estates that Mercedes-Benz has offered for about the last decade or so. Your ordinary customer wasn’t going to waltz into the Mercedes showroom and purchase a 469 horsepower five-door monster, but for the family man having issues giving up his sports car, it was the perfect compromise. This 2006 E55 AMG Estate was brought to our attention by our reader Ry and is on offer in Texas at a rather attractive price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on BenzWorld

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10K Friday Family Truckster Edition: E500 Wagon v. 530xi Touring v. Passat 1.8T 4Motion Variant v. S6 v. Touareg v. Cayenne S

Family life – it’s a mixed blessing. I could never have imagined the unintended consequences expanding my family by 50%; in terms of space consumed, physics and logic told me that there was no way that the amount of space required with a small child would increase any more than…say, 50%. Yet, the reality of adding to my family is that the amount of space required for even what seems like the most miniscule trip increases disproportionately to the size of the package that arrives. Babies are a bit like those magic sponges in a capsule I got when I was a kid; once they hit air, they expand to 200-300% the size they were. So, long story short, when you have a family you likely need more space.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a general backing away from wagons towards the bane of most enthusiast’s existence, the S.U.V. and the “crossover” – many of which are really just tall wagons. So what are the options if you want to maintain an enthusiast’s lifestyle whilst still surviving the onslaught of baby-themed items? Well, for around $10,000 you can get some pretty diverse rides – so let’s see what’s the one you’d choose:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic Wagon on eBay

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