2016 E-Class New Car Test Drive
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class delivers elegant comfort and abundant luxury in a full range of models. The quintessential Mercedes-Benz, the E-Class lineup ranges from a thrifty diesel engine to a super-performance 577-horsepower AMG V8, with three stops in between. Body-style choices include a sedan and a wagon, or coupe and cabriolet (convertible). Rear-wheel drive and 4MATIC four-wheel drive are available.
The lineup includes the E250 BlueTec (diesel) sedan; E350 sedan or wagon; E400 sedan, wagon, coupe, or cabriolet; E550 coupe or cabriolet; and E63 AMG sedan or wagon. The E400 Hybrid has been dropped.
With an E-Class, you get unmistakable German presence that's both elegant and sporty. Not only is the E-Class a comfortable midsize luxury motorcar, it can even be enjoyable to drive.
Inside the roomy cabin are excellent materials and trim elements: the kind long associated with the brand. Controls feel solid. Standard leatherette upholstery and wood can be upgraded to supple leather and aluminum or carbon-look trim.
The 3.5-liter, direct-injected gasoline V6 that comes in the E350 produces 302 horsepower and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds. The 3.0-liter twin-turbo E400 V6 makes 329 horsepower. The 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 in the E550 whips up 402 horsepower. Topping the line, the E63 AMG's 5.5-liter biturbo V8 now generates 577 horsepower and is capable of accelerating from zero to 60 in 4 seconds. A 7-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Top fuel-economy choice is the E250 diesel, which loses a little acceleration but is EPA-rated at 42 mpg in highway driving. The 2.1-liter BlueTec four-cylinder makes 195 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Even the performance-focused gasoline versions include fuel-saving technologies like Eco mode and engine stop/start.
Numerous active-safety features can monitor blind spots, detect driver drowsiness, automatically control high beams, maintain distance from vehicle ahead, and help you stay in your lane. A stereo camera system enables 3-D imaging of traffic and road obstacles ahead.
Every E-Class gets the mbrace2 smartphone connectivity suite. For 2016, mbrace adds three pay upgrade options: mbrace Secure, Concierge, and Entertain. For 2016, AMG models get S equipment that was formerly optional.
Two body styles have earned Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but the E-Class gets a disappointing four-star overall crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
E250 BlueTec Sport or Luxury Sedan ($52,650) includes the diesel engine, MB-Tex leatherette upholstery, power front seats, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, power-adjustable steering wheel, foglamps, sunroof, and eight-speaker audio, and 17-inch wheels. E250 also comes with 4Matic all-wheel drive ($55,150).
E350 Sport or Luxury Sedan ($53,100) holds the 302-horsepower, 3.5-liter gasoline V8 engine. Sport models include sport exhaust tips, side sills, 18-inch wheels, and distinct gauges. E350 also comes with all-wheel drive ($59,900).
E400 Sport Sedan ($63,100) gets the twin-turbo 329-horsepower V6 and 18-inch wheels, as do the Coupe ($54,200) and Cabriolet ($62,250). All-wheel drive is available for Coupe ($56,700) and Sedan ($65,600).
E550 Coupe ($60,300) and Cabriolet ($68,700) include a 402-horsepower, 4.7-liter V8.
AMG E63 S 4Matic Sedan ($101,700) and Wagon ($104,300) get a 577-horsepower biturbo V8, AMG-tuned suspension, and 19-inch wheels.
Up to eleven airbags are standard in sedans and wagons, including a driver's knee airbag. Rear side airbags are optional. So are a rearview camera and parking sensors. An available surround-view camera shows obstacles in any direction, at parking lot speeds.