2002 E-ClassNew Car Test Drive
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the company's most popular line. If you had to pick one model that symbolizes the image of Mercedes-Benz, it would be the E-Class. It says Mercedes in the way most people understand.
The E-Class introduced the trend toward oval headlamps. It's big, square but sleek, smooth, silent and powerful. It's built like a tank with a light touch, and comes out elegant. It's a masculine car where women feel at home. And in areas such as engine design and management, chassis, drivetrain, aerodynamics, safety and computer technology, Mercedes-Benz leads the automotive engineering world.
E-Class offers three engine choices in sedan and wagon body styles.
With an all-new E-Class coming for 2003, Mercedes-Benz is offering special packages designed to provide buyers with greater value: The E320 Special Edition sedan features new 17-inch wheels, Black Birdseye Maple trim, full leather upholstery, sunroof, rain sensing wipers, premium audio system all wrapped in Black metallic or Quartz Silver metallic paint, a value of $3,000 all at no extra charge. The E430 Special Edition sedan adds Xenon headlamps and heated headlamp washers, a value of over $3,500 also at no extra charge.
Three E-Class models are available:
E320 sedan ($48,450) and wagon ($49,650) come with a smooth and highly sophisticated 3.2-liter V6 rated at 221 horsepower.
E430 sedan ($53,850) is equipped with the standard highly sophisticated 4.3-liter, 275-horsepower V8.
E55 AMG ($71,350) boasts a whopping 349 horsepower from its 5.5-liter V8 hand-built by world-renowned tuner AMG.
E320 4MATIC ($51,300) and E430 4MATIC ($56,700) come with an all-wheel-drive system, which transfers power to the appropriate wheels when one or more wheels slip for enhanced safety on slippery7 surfaces.
A special option for $1050 is Parktronic, which uses sound waves to locate obstacles near the front or rear bumpers. A warning beep increases in speed until contact. It's useful in parking, of course; but more importantly, it would see an object behind the car that might be under your line of sight, such as a child.
The list of state-of-the-art features goes on for so long that it can be hard to escape Mercedes' big-brother-like electronic protective wing. A dedicated cellular link called Tele Aid provides 24-hour contact for emergency aid, general information or roadside assistance-each with a separate button on the dash. Automatic Collision Notification engages the emergency function (SOS) if an air bag deploys. Automatic Alarm Notification alerts Mercedes-Benz to contact you if the antitheft alarm is set off. Tele Aid also includes stolen vehicle tracking, and remote keyless unlocking service, should you lock the keys in the car. The first year's annual fee of $225 is included in the base price.