Mercedes' E-Class is offered in four body styles and a choice of engines, including diesel and hybrid drivetrains. Rear- and all-wheel-drive versions are offered, as is a high-performance E63 AMG edition. Depending on the body style, the E-Class seats four to seven people. Competitors include the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Infiniti M.
(Skip to details on the: E63 AMG, E-Class Cabriolet, E400 Hybrid)
New for 2013
The biggest news for 2013 is the introduction of a hybrid version of the E-Class. Powered by a 302-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 and a 27-hp electric motor, the E400 Hybrid is expected to get an estimated 24/31 mpg city/highway.
Meanwhile, all E-Class coupes and convertibles gain heated front seats, electromechanical power steering, mbrace2 telematics and wheel upgrades. The sedan and wagon also come with mbrace2 standard.
The E-Class' headlights have slot-like inboard bezels, while the outboard portions resemble those on the C-Class. Eyebrow-like 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. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
- Standard LED daytime running lights
- Optional adaptive xenon headlights
- Rear air suspension on wagon
- Standard power tilt/sliding sunroof
All E-Class models feature Mercedes' knob-based Comand interface that 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 mbrace2 communication system that includes the ability to connect the car with a smartphone. Interior features include:
- Wagon has seven-seat capacity with standard rear-facing third row and power tailgate
- Optional heated and ventilated front seats
- Optional leather upholstery
- Optional massaging, bolster-adjustable seats
- Optional tri-zone automatic climate control
Under the Hood
The available adaptive suspension alters shock-absorber settings to react to changing road conditions. The available Airmatic air suspension includes driver-adjustable Comfort and Sport settings. Mechanical features include:
- 210-hp, turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V-6 (E350 Bluetec)
- 302-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (E350)
- 302-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with 27-hp electric motor (E400 Hybrid)
- 402-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 (E550)
- 518-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 (E63 AMG, 550 hp with optional Performance Package)
- Seven-speed automatic transmission for all models
Besides antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system, the E-Class has nine standard airbags. Mercedes' Pre-Safe system is also standard; it cinches seat belts, repositions seats and attempts to close the windows and moonroof if it senses an imminent accident. Additional safety features include:
- Standard Attention Assist system measures steering behavior and other parameters to sense driver fatigue
- Optional automatic high-beam headlights
- Optional blind spot and lane departure warning systems
- Optional night vision system
The automaker's high-performance division, AMG, has produced its own variant of the midsize luxury sedan. Available as either a sedan or wagon, the E63 AMG features a high-powered V-8 engine, chassis modifications and revised styling inside and out.
The E63 AMG is powered by a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 engine that produces 518 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque. With an optional Performance Package, the engine pumps out 550 hp and 590 pounds-feet of torque. The V-8 teams with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Fuel-saving stop/start technology is standard on the E63 AMG.
The car 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 features include a quicker steering ratio and an AMG brake kit.
Exterior styling cues include wider front fenders, more aggressive front and rear aprons, larger rocker panels, tinted headlights, unique chrome tailpipes and 19-inch alloy wheels. Wagon versions gain a panoramic moonroof. 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. Back to top
Available in E350 and E550 versions, the four-seat Cabriolet is a soft-top convertible that replaced the CLK-Class convertible. It's based on the 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 coupe's curtain airbags, the Cabriolet uses "headbags" that deploy upward from the doors.
Notable options include 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 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
The new E400 Hybrid features compact hybrid components attached to Mercedes' familiar 3.5-liter V-6 engine.
The gas-electric hybrid system — which includes auto stop/start, regenerative braking and pure electric driving, depending on speed — offers an estimated 24/31 mpg, according to Mercedes. The system, which was originally featured on the S-Class, improves gas mileage by about 17 percent over the regular E350. Back to top
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