Saturday, December 21, 2013

DTO: Se7en Passenger: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Wagon W211

The W211 generation Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG should be on any hoonatic's short list of modern, luxury missiles to pick up.  Mercedes even built them in wagon configuration for the ultimate 7 passenger rocket ride and today they can be picked up for 30 cents on the dollar.  Find this 2005 Mercedes E55 AMG Wagon for sale in NYC, NY currently bidding near $11k, with reserve not met and 7 days to go.

Don't mistake the AMG E55 for a simple E-Class wagon - it is fully transformed from stately cruiser to 155+ mph tire shredder by the fine craftsmen at AMG.  This writer has ridden in a W211 E55 (not this one, but a sedan) on many occasions and can testify to a bone crushing wall of torque that accompanies any full throttle expeditions between 20 and 90 mph. Note from Editor CFlo: I've feared for my life in the very same E55 and can second that emotion.

AMG hand built each one of the 5.4 liter M113 engines and stuck a lysholm supercharger on top of the V8 to produce 469 horsepower and 520 ft-lbs of torque (power is sent to the rear wheels via a 5-spd slushbox auto). The E55 is one of those vehicles that defies logic as it squats on its haunches and obliterates speed limits.  Grey paint is low key and the exhaust note is throaty but not loud, so you won't attract too much attention from the authorities unless it looks like the other cars around you are driving backwards.

Speaking of being backwards - the sensation of accelerating in the rear facing jump seats will be akin to sitting in a backwards steward's jump seat in a 747 during takeoff...except more tire smoke.  The traction control in the E55 is only partially defeatable (the throttle control portion can be disabled, but the inside wheel brake nanny will always be on since the E55 lacks a proper limited slip diff) but the engine has plenty of torque to overwhelm the computers/brakes/angels who try to kill your fun...

See a better car for hauling kids around?


  1. I'd ditch the schlepwagen for a schnellwagen any day!

  2. Already at $22k, cue the "you could have [insert obscure wagon type car] that's faster and more reliable and still have enough scratch for 2 spec miatas and a cup of coffee" comments.

    Speaking of schnellwagons - for comparisons sake I just offloaded my '05 Legacy GT w/314awhp for $9k cash to the first guy who showed up to look at it. This Merc will go for 2.5-3x that price and is worth every penny.

  3. Hyperbole galore in the listing. This was not likely a special order and has few if any options. That's the point of an AMG. You write the check, and you get the car MB thinks you should get. There are no watered down look a likes sold at the dealer. This 2005 has every feature that any other 2011 of the same class has. Its a rolling test lab.

  4. I spent 2 years looking for one of these cars... and one day one pops up for sale with 65,000 miles and a $26.5k asking price. I contact the owner and the next day I am on a 6 a.m. Amtrack train from San Diego to Santa Barbara, check in hand. The car is absolutely beautiful... I purchase the car and driving home is just a dream. I keep saying to myself "I can't believe I own this... I can't believe I own this!". But as the weeks pass the combination of the near 5000lb curb weight combined with the 5 speed-auto slush box start to dull what I thought would be a fun daily driver. Then the highly annoying traction control, which, as previously mentioned, cannot be fully defeated, shows up to the party. Lastly, the incredibly wooden steering that is also very high in effort during really radical maneuvers takes any hint of remaining fun right out of the equation. I sold the car a year after I bought it for $32,500. The market for these AMG estates is very strong and there are a lot of buyers looking for them. Other random thoughts... I got 7mpg when flogging the hell out of it and 20mpg steady state on the freeway... premium of course. The air suspension will fail on you right around the 75,000 mile mark and costs roughly $1000 per corner to rectify if you know where to go for parts on the web. Stereo is great but Nav system is like something out of, well, the early 90's and is hard as heck to interface with. Interior quality is top notch and the car has a great stance and a ever better sound under full throttle. If you are the type of "enthusiast" that just likes to cruise down the road and be seen in a fast sleeper, this car is hard to beat. If you are more about driving through your side windows while your tires go up in smoke, get a E39 BMW M5. It is by FAR a better drivers car in my opinion. To bad the M5 Estate never made it across the pond. In fact, I believe the only rear wheel drive, manual transmission, high horsepower estate car sold in the U.S. that has defeatable traction control is the Cadillac CTS-V wagon. And that model brings it's own unique issues not the least of which is the possible silk shirts and gold chains associated with that brand...


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