After my 1993 BMW 740i gave me a never ending string of problems and then caught on fire (please read my opinion on that car), I've decided it is time to upgrade to a Benz. I was not willing to shell out 100k for the S, and personally I found the E class very attractive. The obvious choice was the E430, after a brief test drive. I have not been so impressed with a car in my life. The performance of this sedan is simply breathtaking.
Do not believe what car magazines have stated about performance comparisons (BMW 540, GS400...etc.), I repeat, do not believe them. After a few stop light drag races and freeway contests in real life, I have blown away cars such as M3s, 540s, GSs, and even 911s on the road. Maybe I am just one of the lucky ones that has an unusually fast E430 (lucky me), but I know for a fact that the only cars that can beat this car in acceleration performance are the super muscle cars, tuner cars, and the exotics.
Besides the thrilling acceleration, the car is simply beautiful, comfortable, and rock-solid. The E430 also has a very impressive traction/stablization system; I tried to make the car spin out in an empty parking lot on purpose with absolutely no luck. Granted, this car is not a sports car, but the handling performance is impressive enough for most situations. The build quality on this car is also top-notch. I haven't had a single problem on this car for the 20 months ownership.
Get this car, tint the windows (both for look/function), and have a big smile on your face whenever you are driving it with its smooth ride, thrilling acceleration, exceptional control, and with your favorite music playing on the excellent sound system. By the way, in the future, if for some odd reason you decided to sell this car, you will know that the resale value is much higher than any of its competitors.