The E-Class sedan received its most dramatic styling changes for 2010 since adopting circular headlights 15 years earlier, and the redesign also brought a long list of new safety and luxury features. The lineup grows for 2011 with the addition of a station wagon and a 50-state diesel engine option for the sedan. In addition, Mercedes has introduced an E-Class coupe and Cabriolet for 2011 with unique styling and features. The E-Class sedan is available with four engines and rear- or all-wheel drive, and the wagon comes one way, as the E350 4Matic with a gas V-6 and all-wheel drive. Competitors include the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Infiniti M.
(Skip to details on the: E63 AMG, E-Class Cabriolet)
The 2010 redesign of the sedan was a radical departure from the previous look, and, according to Mercedes, 4 percent more aerodynamic. The headlights have slotlike inboard bezels, while the outboard portions resemble those on the C-Class. Eyebrowlike fog lights sit in the three-piece lower air dam. In comparison, the taillights are much more reserved. The E350 has oval exhaust pipes, and the E550's are trapezoidal.
- Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 18-inch wheels
- Optional xenon active headlights
- Rear air suspension on wagon
The dashboard's layout mirrors Mercedes' GLK SUV, with an attached housing connecting the gauges to a center information display. Mercedes' knob-based Comand interface includes primary controls at hip level, ahead of the center armrest, like the systems in the C-Class and flagship S-Class. The E-Class has Mercedes' new "mbrace" telematics system that includes the ability to connect to the car with a smart phone. Optional folding rear seats no longer require you to flip the cushions forward first, a necessary step in the previous E-Class.
- Wagon has seven-seat capacity with standard rear-facing third seat and power tailgate
- Standard "mbrace" telematics system
- Leather upholstery optional
- Optional massaging, bolster-adjustable seats
- Optional trizone automatic climate control
- Panoramic moonroof option
Under the Hood
The E350 sedan carries a 268-horsepower V-6, while the E550 has a 382-hp V-8. Rear-wheel drive is standard on both, with all-wheel drive optional. The new wagon comes only with the 268-hp V-6 and all-wheel drive, and the new diesel engine is available only in the sedan with rear-wheel drive. The standard adaptive suspension alters shock-absorber settings to react to changing road conditions. A sport-tuned version with more dynamic settings is optional. All-wheel-drive models include Mercedes' Airmatic air suspension with driver-adjustable Comfort and Sport settings.
- 210-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V-6 (E350 BlueTec)
- 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (E350)
- 382-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 (E550)
- Seven-speed automatic transmission for all models
The E-Class offers a long list of safety features. Besides antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system, the E-Class has nine standard airbags. Mercedes' Pre-Safe system, also standard, cinches up seat belts, repositions seats and attempts to close the windows and moonroof if it senses an imminent accident.
Hot on the heels of Mercedes' launch of its new E-Class sedan, the automaker's high-performance division, AMG, has produced its own variant of the midsize luxury sedan. Dubbed E63 AMG, it features a high-powered V-8 engine, chassis modifications and revised styling inside and out.
The E63 AMG is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 518 hp and 465 pounds-feet of torque. The V-8 teams with a seven-speed automatic transmission, and Mercedes says the sedan can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph.
The sport sedan features an adaptive suspension called AMG Ride Control. The suspension uses front steel springs and rear air springs, and the dampers are varied automatically based on the driving situation. The suspension also includes three modes — Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus — to suit the driver's preference. Additional changes include a quicker steering ratio and an AMG brake kit.
Exterior styling changes include wider front fenders, more aggressive front and rear aprons, larger rocker panels, tinted headlights, unique chrome tailpipes and 18-inch alloy wheels. Cabin enhancements include AMG sport seats, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, an AMG-specific instrument panel and stainless steel pedals. Attention Assist, a system designed to tell when the driver is tired, is standard.
The optional AMG Performance Package increases the top speed to 186 mph and equips the car with a firmer suspension, a locking rear differential, a three-spoke steering wheel and 19-inch rims. Back to top
Available in E350 and E550 versions, the four-seat Cabriolet is a soft-top convertible that replaces the CLK-Class convertible. It's based on the new E-Class coupe, with nearly identical dimensions inside and out. The top opens or closes within 20 seconds when driving 25 mph or slower. In lieu of the hardtops' curtain airbags, the Cabriolet uses "headbags" that deploy upward from the doors.
Notable options include the Airscarf, a feature that blows warm air at the back of front-seat occupants' necks from just under the head restraints. Airscarf uses electric heat, so it warms up faster than the car itself. The new Aircap option raises a spoiler from the top of the windshield frame; at the same time, the rear head restraints rise, deploying a windscreen. The two provisions direct the onrush of air higher over the cabin, reducing turbulence. Back to top
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