Much more so than other versions of the new E-class I've driven, this particular example has that old-school Mercedes vibe. The suspension (lowered, and retuned, part of the optional Sport Package) is firm but with relatively modest seventeen-inch wheels, the ride isn't harsh. The steering effort is consistent and not overly light. You sit on large, firm, flat seats (the optional Drive Dynamic Multicontour seat, with all the bells and whistles turned off), which are upholstered in tough MB Tex. And then of course there's the diesel engine gurgling away under the hood. The whole effect is very Germanic, although some might question why a $60,000 Mercedes, with the optional premium package, doesn't have leather -- and they would have a point.
- Joe Lorio, Senior Editor