2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

E350 RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6 auto trans

2010 mercedes-benz e-class Reviews and News

0907 05 Pl+2010 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG+front View
0907 05 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG+front View
Is the Horsepower War Almost Over?
War is hell, unless it's a horsepower war, in which case it's kind of fun. For more than a decade, the cars from AMG have been on the front lines of the horsepower wars, which have seen the top autobahn rockets - most, naturally, from Germany - zoom past 300, then 400, and now 500 horsepower. But all good wars must one day come to an end, and for the horsepower wars, that day is starting to feel very close indeed. The new E63 AMG, for example, uses the same engine as the previous model (AMG's near-ubiquitous 6.2-liter V-8) and pushes its headline figure ahead by only 11 hp.
Still, we're talking about 518 horsepower here, easily enough to send this luxurious four-door sedan down the autobahn at (a governed) 186 mph. The thing is, the previous E63 AMG, with only 507 hp, was also capable of 186 mph. Evidently, at the peak of the super-sedan pyramid, there simply isn't much more performance to be had.
The goal: Better driving dynamics
Where, then, did the AMG folks hope to move the needle with this new car? "We wanted a sharper car - better driving dynamics," says Tobias Moers, head of overall vehicle development at AMG. Here again, though, we'd argue that AMG's high-volume mid-liner already made its big move in the chassis department with the switch from the old E55 AMG to the new-for-2007 E63.
0907 06 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG+front Three Quarters View
Nonetheless, in the quest for even better driving dynamics, AMG engineers tossed out the front air springs (still used on the standard E-class) in favor of steel springs and struts. Air springs are retained at the rear, because of their ability to manage the widely varying loads on the rear axle. As before, the dampers are adjustable, this time in three steps: Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. An available performance package - a seemingly redundant option on a fire-breather like the E63 - makes the three settings a bit firmer still. When we sampled both versions on the beautifully maintained roads around Stuttgart, the standard car in its mellowest setting delivered a pretty comfortable ride, but when we cranked it up a notch to Sport or two notches to Sport-plus, the E63 telegraphed every slight bump or bit of creased pavement we could find. In the performance-package car, Comfort is the equivalent of the standard car's Sport setting, so your choices are Stiff, Stiffer, and Stiffest. Combine that with the 30/35-series tires (front/rear) and that is likely to feel pretty harsh over the crumbling highways that plague so much of America.
Unfortunately, those seeking ultimate bragging rights will want to opt for the performance package anyway, as it includes the reprogrammed electronics that allow for that 186-mph top speed, rather than the standard 155 mph. Otherwise, though, the stiffer spec is hardly necessary. Despite tipping the scales at a shade over two tons (about the same as before), with either setup, the E63 turns in aggressively, remains deliciously balanced through fast corners, and emits barely a peep from its Pirelli PZero tires. A new, fixed-ratio steering rack is quicker than before at 14:1 but is perfectly weighted and never nervous. For those eager to explore the handling limits, the stability control includes a more liberal Sport mode and also can be switched off completely.
0907 01 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG+engine
A new transmission grabs the powertrain spotlight
The same 6.2-liter V-8 that powered the previous E63 is under the 2010 E63 AMG's hood. AMG engineers were able to boost peak horsepower to 518 hp, chiefly by lowering the exhaust backpressure. The engine's surprisingly sharp, aggressive bark and deep rumble have been preserved. Overall, though, the more significant powertrain change is the adaptation of the Speedshift DCT seven-speed automatic transmission from the SL63 AMG, which replaces the old car's seven-speed automatic. The Speedshift box uses a wet clutch in place of a torque converter and provides faster shift times and very sweet, rev-matched downshifts. Surprisingly, despite the absence of the torque converter, the transmission still beats any automated manual - including BMW's M-DCT - and most dual-clutch setups with its smoothness both in take-off from a stop and in its automatic shifts. And yet its shift speed effectively gives away nothing to those supposedly sportier gearboxes.
As you'd expect, the driver can tailor the transmission's behavior via a choice of modes. The mellowest, C (for Controlled Efficiency, says Mercedes) is really too mellow for a car like this. It's the economizer setting, starting off in second gear, upshifting as soon as possible, and even relaxing the throttle response. Controlled Efficiency might be great for squeezing out the best-possible mpg rating on the EPA test cycle (expected to be 13 city/19 highway, though official figures aren't yet available), and it's the chief reason AMG is able to boast of a 12 percent improvement in the E63's fuel economy. But, really, who on earth is going to hypermile their nearly-$100,000 German super-sedan?
The next two modes, Sport and Sport+, are subtly different in their programming but virtually indistinguishable on the road. Happily, both seem to intuitively understand the enthusiast driver, unfailingly anticipating gear choices, downshifting under braking, snapping off upshifts with lightning speed, and beautifully matching revs on every downshift, whether automatic or manual. Speaking of manual, if the driver calls up his own shifts via the steering-wheel-mounted paddles, after a few moments of inactivity, the box will resume giving its own orders. Turn the control knob to Manual, however, and the transmission will defer almost totally to the driver; the gearbox will not upshift even at the 7200-rpm redline nor will it kick down in response to a booted throttle.
0907 02 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG+cockpit
A final, fifth, position on the transmission control knob is RS, for Race Start (or should that be valet mode?). It's a bit fussy to deal with, though. With the stability control in Sport, you hold your left foot on the brake, choose Race Start, when prompted quickly tap the upshift paddle once to confirm, then immediately floor the accelerator (if you're not fast enough the whole sequence is cancelled and you have to start over), and let off the brake. The E63 effects a wheelspin-free blast that should have you to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.
The buttons to select the transmission, ESP, and damping modes are alongside the gear selector, which is a console-mounted lever rather than the wimpy column shift in the standard E-class. Sitting next to them is a fourth button, labeled AMG, which - like a BMW's M button - can program and store a driver's preferred settings for transmission, stability control, and damping.
As you'd expect from a car with 518 hp, the E63 is a always ready to drop a couple of gears, let out a deep bellow, and tear ahead down the highway. The massive V-8 makes this car a star of the quick, two-lane pass. A new option for hauling it back down again is carbon-ceramic brakes, although they won't be available in the U.S. market until next year. Like all carbon-ceramic brakes, these offer fade-free, racetrack-ready performance, at a price (expect to be $8000 to $10,000), but unlike most they're - almost - squeal-free and fairly easy to modulate.
0907 04 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG+rear Three Quarters View
For AMG: typically subtle appearance changes inside and out
Compared with the standard E-class, the AMG version has a unique front-end design, with a wider, deeper front fascia with functional side slits (they extract air from the engine oil cooler). Wider front fenders make way for the increased front track and ultrawide rubber - 255-series up front; while the rear tires are 285, whether on standard eighteen-inch or optional nineteen-inch wheels. There is also AMG-specific lower bodywork on the sides and at the rear. Inside, there's the aforementioned center console buttons, a unique gauge cluster, sport seats, and available carbon-fiber trim. As before, the overall affect is muscular but refined.
Rumbling into dealerships this fall
The new E63 goes on sale this November, at a price that should come in below the outgoing car's upper-$80,000 base sticker. The wagon version again will be available, but only by special order. The new E63 does not offer a great leap in horsepower over the outgoing car, but it makes measurable progress in chassis dynamics and it offers a more entertaining transmission, even if it's not a stick-and-clutch manual. Its already spectacular predecessor was already arguably at the peak of the performance-sedan mountain. The new model marks only incremental progress, but when you're starting at this level, there's only so much higher you can go.
0907 03 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG+shifter
2010 Mercedes-Benz AMG
Price: $87,000 (estimated)
Engine: DOHC V-8
Displacement: 6.2 liters
Horsepower: 518 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Steering: Rack-and-pinion with power assist
Suspension, front: Damper struts, electronic damping
Suspension, rear: Air springs, electronic damping
Brakes: Vented discs, front and rear, ABS
Tires: Pirellit PZero, 255/35 ZR19 front, 285/30 ZR19 rear
L x W x H: 192.6 x 75.9 x 56.8 in
Wheelbase: 113.2 in
Track F/R: 66.2/62.8 in
Weight: 4058 lbs
Fuel Mileage: 13/19 mpg (estimated)
0902 13 Pl+2010 Mercedes Benz E Class Coupe+side View
0902 13 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E Class Coupe+side View
Back in the 1980s, Mercedes sold its midsize E-class in both four-door and two-door form, the latter with either a fixed steel roof or a convertible cloth top. It wasn't a particularly sporty car, but it-like all 124-chassis Mercedes E-classes-was built like a nuclear bunker. And priced accordingly.
The W124 E-class sedan was replaced for the 1995 model year, and a few years later, the E-class coupe's spiritual successor of sorts debuted in the form of the 1998 CLK. Mercedes' new nomenclature reflected the fact that this coupe was no longer simply a two-door variant of the E-class; indeed it was based on the smaller C-class, but styled more similarly to the E-class. And it was far, far less expensive than the old E coupe.
The CLK enjoyed two generations (the 1998 C208-chassis and the 2003 C209-chassis), the second being the far better car, with interior materials again befitting a vehicle wearing a three-pointed star. (If we're being honest, the C208-like many late 1990s Mercedes models-wasn't quite up to the quality and reliability standards that buyers of Daimler-Benz vehicles had come to expect.)
Thankfully, Mercedes has cleaned up its act considerably-in terms of quality, and now it's cleaning house in terms of its naming scheme. The CLK name proved confusing to customers, not by virtue of the particular three letters, but because there are so many other vehicles in the Mercedes lineup. Quick quiz: what's the difference between a C, CL, CLK, and CLS?
You get the point. To help customers keep track of what Mercedes is what, the CLK is being renamed the E-class coupe for the C207-chassis. Unlike the old C124, it's not merely a two-door version of the sedan. In fact, it's not really based on the sedan at all. Mercedes insist that sixty percent of the coupe's structure and parts comes from E-class, but of course that means that the other forty come from somewhere else. In this case, it's the C-class.
Sure, Mercedes could have called the new coupe a D-class, as D is halfway between C and E in the alphabet. BMW did something similar with the 6-series coupe (based on the 5-series sedan) and so did Audi (the A5 is a two-door based on the A4). But since the company wants to simplify its naming scheme, the coupe reverts to E nomenclature.
The 2010 E-class coupe goes on sale this summer in two forms: the V-6-powered E350 and the V-8 E550. In both cases, the powertrain is familiar from the current E-class sedan, which the coupe is styled to look like. In terms of size, the coupe is still C-class.
The E350 will start at $48,925, about $50 less than last year's CLK350 coupe. Despite the price reduction, the E includes a substantial amount of standard equipment that wasn't included in the CLK350, such as a sliding glass panorama roof, three additional air bags (two pelvic bags and a driver's knee bag), Bluetooth, auto dimming mirrors, and the COMAND user interface. Also included is Mercedes' new Attention-Assist system, which warns the driver that he or she may be losing concentration due to fatigue. It monitors seventy factors to make its decision to scold the driver with a coffee-cup and a message on the instrument cluster display.
The E350's 3.5-liter V-6 produces 268 hp and is matched to a seven-speed automatic, propelling the coupe to 60 mph in a claimed 6.2 seconds.
The second E-coupe is the $55,525 E550. Under its hood is the torque-monster V-8 we know and love from other 550-badged Mercedes, producing 382 hp, 391 lb-ft of torque, and two strips of black rubber on the asphalt, if asked to. It uses the same seven-speed automatic, and can scoot to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, according to Mercedes.
Replacing the E350's conventional suspension, and in place of the Airmatic air suspension found on the E550 sedan, the E550 coupe uses a new system called Dynamic Handling. It uses computer-controlled adjustable shocks to allow both a smoother ride and better body control than the E350's. Mercedes says it chose this new system instead of Airmatic because it provides a more sporty driving experience. We suspect cost--the air-spring system isn't cheap--played just as important of a role in that decision.
The two E coupes share their steering gear--a rack-and-pinion layout that has an overall ratio of 14.7:1, much quicker than the E-class sedan's 17.0:1. Indeed, the quicker steering helps to make the E coupe feel lighter and smaller than the sedan-but then again, it actually is smaller and lighter than the sedan. Over the road, though, it doesn't feel small at all: road and wind noise are unusually well hushed. In fact, the E coupe seemed to provide near S-class levels of quietness on the open road, even at its 130-mph speed limiter.
The E coupe is more of a high-speed grand tourer than it is a sports car. The seven-speed automatic is smooth in normal driving, but can be slow to react and clumsy in manic driving. Typical of most Mercedes, the steering is devoid of feedback on-center, where there's an appreciable amount of play in the system. In crosswinds, the E requires more input than one would expect to keep it traveling in a straight line. Unfortunately, there is also a substantial amount of lateral compliance in the rear (C-class-based) suspension, which results in an unsettling yaw moment as the rear takes a set.
0902 08 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E Class Coupe+front Three Quarters View
There are no complaints about the E's cabin, which is filled with first-rate switchgear and very high-quality materials. It lacks the E-class sedan's ambient lighting, but it uses the sedan's new, straightforward climate control, which operates effectively and quietly. The front seats (optionally heated, ventilated, and highly adjustable) are aggressively bolstered and very comfortable. The rear seats are also buckets, and there's plenty of legroom, but the low roofline restricts headroom for passengers approaching six feet tall. Headroom is tight up front, too, for very tall adults. The optional Harmon/Kardon stereo plays well with iPods and offers excellent sound reproduction.
It's the interior's feeling of quality that's the E-class coupe's best attribute. Like the CLK, this two-door will sell on emotional appeal rather than logic. (In other words, people will buy it because of the way it looks.) It's in that area that the new C207-chassis is a little awkward. It's a mish-mash of styling cues from all over the map, including rear fenders that have a modern interpretation of the rear flare from 1950s Ponton-fendered Mercedes. Not only do the fenders look a little out of place on a vehicle with such an aggressive face (especially on the E550, which gets standard AMG body-styling), it's obvious that they were flared to help distract the eye from what would otherwise be a big ol' expanse of plain steel. The relatively short doors leave an emormous rear quarter panel. And the LED taillight treatment-though pretty-isn't particularly distinctive.
As with most modern Mercedes-especially the S-class-the E coupe looks best in motion, painted in a dark color. Under such conditions, the eye notices less of the awkward details and more of the traditional Mercedes cues-the trapezoidal grille, CLS-like arching roofline, and get-out-of-my-way headlights. It's then that the new coupe becomes glamorous enough to proudly wear its E-class badge.
0903 02 Pl+2009 Mercedes Benz E220 CDI+side View
0903 02 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz E220 CDI+side View
For years, Mercedes-Benz has fed its U.S. customers a diet of ever-more-powerful engines in its E-class sedan. It's been decades since the forebearer to today's E-class had a four-cylinder engine behind its signature radiator grille - at least in America. Our lowliest E-class Benz, which isn't so lowly at all, has instead come with a six, with a V-8 as the move-up engine, and, for a time, a supercharged V-8 in the AMG version, which has since switched to a normally aspirated big-block (6.2 liter!) V-8.
In Europe, Mercedes offers those same engines, but they're the tippy top of a much larger pyramid. Four-cylinder gasoline engines and diesels, considered insufficiently muscular to power a compact C-class over here, comprise the bulk of E-class sales over there. For 2010, the redesigned E-class has a new family of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines at the base of its powerplant pyramid.
The two gasoline engines are turbocharged and direct injected. Both displace 1.8 liters. The more powerful version makes 201 hp, which isn't much shy of a typical V-6's output and is enough to send the E250 CGI from 0 to 62 mph in a not too shabby 7.7 seconds. With its five-speed automatic, the E250 CGI is rated at 32 mpg (combined city/highway, European test procedures). Its lesser powered but more economical sibling is good for 181 hp and is a full second slower to 62 mph, but returns 35 mpg in the E200 CGI, which has a standard six-speed manual.
0903 01 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz E220 CDI+engine
The diesels, however, are even more impressive. The three four-cylinder units are all the same size: 2.1 liters, and all three are turbocharged (naturally) and use common-rail direct injection. Output of the three engines varies much more in torque than in horsepower. The E200 CDI, with only a single-stage turbocharger, is rated at 266 lb-ft of torque. The E220 CDI upgrades to a dual-stage turbo and musters 295 lb-ft of torque. The E250 CDI pumps out a V-8-like 369 lb-ft. Interestingly, all three diesels achieve the same, 44 mpg combined fuel economy rating, with their standard six-speed manual gearbox.
Curious to see how a 44-mpg diesel E-class would meet my American expectations, I grabbed an E220 CDI for a spin during the launch of the new 2010 model. Unfortunately, it was equipped with the optional automatic, thus making it a 39-mpg diesel E-class. Still, that's a long way from the mid-20s combined fuel economy of the U.S. market's gasoline V-6.
0903 03 Z+2009 Mercedes Benz E220 CDI+profile View
As with so many modern diesels, the E220 CDI blows old notions of turbo-diesel driveability out of the water. The sound quality is different from a gasoline engine's, but it's really only discernable during acceleration, not when cruising or at idle. The two-stage turbo is seamlessly integrated, so throttle response is predictably linear.
I drove an automatic, which was a five-speed (with a traditional shift lever on the console) rather than the seven-speed automatic (with electronic, column-mounted PRND selector) that Mercedes puts in our V-6 and V-8-powered E-class cars. Factory-measured acceleration is a brisk 8.3 seconds from 0 to 62 mph, and indeed the diesel steps out quickly off the line, thanks to an ultra-low (1400 rpm) torque peak. Mid-range acceleration is more leisurely than with our gasoline engines, but would be plenty for most drivers. High-speed cruising, though, is effortless. The only time the E220 CDI feels slow is when you try to drive it hard through tightly curving back roads; this is not a car that wants to charge from one apex to the next.
Overall, though, this 39-mpg E-class comes across as a very convincing executive conveyance that just happens to be more economical than even the smallest econobox. Should the dark days of $4 a gallon gasoline return - and who thinks they won't? - Mercedes, with this engine, or better yet, the just as economical but even more potent 369-lb-ft E250 CDI version, could blow Americans' minds by providing hybrid-like fuel economy and a luxury-car driving experience.
0903 05 Pl+2010 Mercedes Benz E550+front Three Quarter View
0903 05 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E550+front Three Quarter View
An all-new E-class goes on sale this summer.
The E-class may no longer be the biggest-selling Mercedes in the USA, but this model, which traces its lineage back to the Pontoon sedans of the 1950s, remains the heart of the brand's now greatly expanded lineup. This year sees the rollout of an all-new model (the W212 chassis, for students of the three-pointed star), with the six-cylinder E350 and V-8 E550 in early July. The E-class range fills out with a new coupe (in the same two variants), which replaces the CLK and appears a couple of weeks ahead of the sedans; the AMG-tuned E63, which will debut at the New York auto show in April before heading to dealers in November; the all-wheel-drive 4Matic variants, which will appear in September; the new E320 Bluetec, a 50-state diesel that arrives early next year; and the last member of the family to arrive, the E350 wagon, which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show this fall and which will begin plying the streets of America's best suburbs sometime in 2010.
No direct-injection V-6 for America. Blame our gasoline.
In the United States, the 2010 E350 sedan uses the same 3.5-liter V-6 as the 2009 car, with 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, but the rest of the world gets a new 3.5-liter engine with direct injection and 288 hp. Unfortunately, that engine is not able to use our low-quality gasoline. For our first drive of the new E, we instead sampled the V-8 model, which also uses a carryover engine, a 5.5-liter SOHC unit that makes 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque in U.S. tune. Both the E350 and the E550 are paired exclusively to the same seven-speed automatic transmission that serves in today's E.
0903 09 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E550+front Passenger Seats
Brown is the new black in automotive exteriors.
Design-wise, the E-class follows a bit in the footsteps of last year's new C-class, with more straight lines and creases than we've seen on a Benz in a long time. The 2010 model is the third generation of the E-class to use a four-headlight front end, and it, too, has been squared off considerably. Despite the increased squareness, the car achieves a very impressive drag coefficient of .25 Cd. Inside, there's a mix of elements from both the S-class (the row of climate control buttons, the horizontal trim strip and dash vents) and the C-class (the Comand controller, the center console). While the Sport trim level has a horizontal stitching pattern on the seats, the Luxury version uses vertical pleats that are supposed to recall Mercedes interiors from the 1960s and '70s; they do, particularly in the tan-and-black interior, but an even bigger flashback to the Me Decade is the brown exterior color that Mercedes is highlighting - the weird part is that it actually looks good. Maybe it's because we haven't seen brown cars in so long, or maybe it just suits recessionary times.
0903 06 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E550+front Three Quarter View
Technology makes for safety.
There's nothing backward looking, however, in the list of standard and optional technological features that Mercedes has stuffed into the new E-class. The previous E-class went down the high-tech road and wasn't particularly well served. Its electronic braking system proved troublesome (it was later scrapped); its air suspension's firmer settings made for a brittle ride; and the radio/navigation interface could be frustrating. The new car uses a lot more advanced technology, but it's better-integrated and far more polished.
Much of the technology is dedicated to the cause of active safety. Brake Assist Plus, which appeared first in the 2007 S-class, now comes to the E. It uses the forward-looking radar sensor of the active cruise control (the optional Distronic Plus), although the cruise control does not need to be engaged for it to work. If it sees that the car is closing in on an object ahead too fast, it first flashes a red triangle warning light, then beeps at you, then at 1.6 seconds before a projected impact, it will start to slow the car with up to 40 percent brake power. All these abilities are already available on higher-end Benz models (and some Lexus and Volvo models as well). What's new here is that at 0.6 second before impact - the point at which the driver has run out of time to avoid the object and a crash become inevitable - the car will apply full braking power, slowing the car and reducing the severity of the crash. A philosophical question might be: Why wait until a crash is unavoidable to apply full braking power? Why not do it earlier and perhaps avoid the collision? In answer, Mercedes engineers say they want to give the driver every opportunity to avoid the crash him- or herself - by swerving around the car ahead, for example - before the system slams on the brakes. This full-braking capability makes its debut on the 2010 E-class but will come to the S-class with that model's refresh this fall. The only unfortunate thing is that this braking technology is optional, bundled with active cruise control.
0903 04 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E550+interior
Adaptive headlamps light up the night.
Two other new driver aids are designed to help with night driving: adaptive headlamps and night vision. Both are optional; we found the first more useful than the second. The former uses a forward-looking light sensor behind the rearview mirror, but unlike the autronic eye automatic high-beam dimming feature in some late-1950s and 1960s American cars, it doesn't just switch between high- and low-beam. In the E-class, the high and low beams are in a single xenon fixture, which has a shutterlike device that continuously adjusts the cut-off. The unit is also able to move side-to-side to follow steering inputs. In practice, it continuously varies in steps between low and high beam and also adjusts the width and direction of the light pattern. It's pretty good at reacting both to the cars ahead and to oncoming traffic, but it's sometimes fooled by brightly reflective signs. On a dark, winding road with intermittent traffic, the system is pretty busy, which might drive some people nuts; and a driver who is paying attention could react faster to oncoming traffic, but overall the system is worthwhile because the beam pattern is so variable - you always get the maximum amount of light on the road. We were less enthralled with the night vision system, the latest version of a technology that first appeared on the current S-class (and which some other manufacturers offer as well). The enhanced pedestrian recognition works well - this would be great to have for driving through a busy subdivision on Halloween night - but, like all night vision systems, you really don't look at it much because you're looking out the windshield. Also, because it plays in the nav screen, you lose the navigation's map function.
Wake up! Or stop driving.
On the subject of night driving, one of its greatest dangers is fatigue, and the E-class includes as standard the first-ever drowsy driver recognition and alert system. The system, which is active at speeds between 50 and 112 mph, monitors driver inputs. An alert driver makes more, smaller inputs, while a drowsy driver sort of zones out mentally for brief periods and therefore makes fewer inputs, but they're larger and more abrupt. Before judging the change in driver activity, the system spends the first 20 minutes establishing a baseline of the driver's style. The change in steering patterns is the most important indicator of drowsiness, but the software actually uses more than 70 profile elements - including the length of the drive and the time of day - in order to decide when to give the drowsy driver warning: a coffee cup symbol and "time for a break?" in the info display.
0903 07 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E550+profile View
Two other warning systems new to the E-class are already widely seen elsewhere: lane departure warning and blind spot assist. The former vibrates the steering wheel when the car drifts over the line without using the turn signals. It's less obnoxious than most lane departure systems - there's no beeping, nor does the system brake a wheel to pull the car back into line. Furthermore, it's smart enough not to give the warning if the car is accelerating or braking (it assumes you're merging onto or exiting a freeway). And if you've got enough steering dialed in, it won't nag you for cutting the inside of a corner. Still, we find such systems to be of little value, except perhaps for the truly clueless and the cell-phone addicted. The 2010 E-class also gets a blind spot warning system, with a warning light in the side mirrors, which can be somewhat more useful. For the times when it's not, it, like all the E-class driver assistance systems, can be switched off.
We were happy to see improvements in the car's carryover technologies as well. The E adopts from the C-class the Comand turn-and-push multifunction controller (for navigation, audio, et cetera), and the system's logic is, for the most part, easy to follow. The aforementioned Distronic active cruise control will automatically slow the car all the way to a stop, making it more useful in lower-speed, high-traffic driving.
The sportiest E-class ever.
The Airmatic adjustable suspension, which is standard on the E550, now has only two settings, comfort and sport. Frankly, we don't miss the previous model's hardcore ultra-firm option. We didn't find much of a difference between the two settings - in either comfort or sport, the new E-class has a firm, well-controlled ride. Nonetheless, bad pavement - what little we could find on our drive in and around Madrid - was well masked. The steering again uses electrohydraulic assist, but is significantly retuned. Whereas the previous car was somewhat relaxed in its responses to the helm, the new E is far more alert to even small steering inputs. A slightly increased effort level, which is also more consistent than before, keeps the steering from seeming nervous. And the fat steering wheel rim is great to grip. The chassis tuning is very well done overall.
0903 08 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz E550+front Three Quarter View
The new E-class has switched to the currently en vogue electronic PRND stalk shifter, freeing up console space for two huge cupholders. Upshifts and downshifts are accomplished via buttons on the back of the steering wheel spokes. The seven-speed automatic also has a sport/comfort button (separate from that for the Airmatic suspension), which changes transmission shift points but not throttle responsiveness. The V-8 is exactly the same engine as in the outgoing car, but subjectively at least, the response to a suddenly floored gas pedal feels less explosive than before (even though the factory claims a 5.3-second 0-to-62-mph time). EPA fuel economy numbers are not yet available, but given the carryover engine and transmission, they aren't likely to change dramatically from the 15/23 mpg rating of the 2009 E550.
At the E-class introduction, Mercedes played up the car's long heritage. And while the styling gives some nod to the past, the car's dynamics have changed. The relaxed, slightly floaty motions and responses that have characterized the E-class for years are gone. This new Mercedes is a sharper, sportier machine, much closer to a current Audi or BMW than to previous E-class cars. That, together with the unrivalled array of active safety equipment, should help the E-class expand beyond its traditional owner base and attract new buyers who might previously have written off the E-class as a ride for an aging burgermeister.
2010 Mercedes-Benz E550
Base price: $64,000 (estimated)
Powertrain: 5.5-liter SOHC 32-valve V-8
Horsepower: 382 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 391 lb-ft @ 2800-4800 rpm
Drive: Rear-wheel
L x W x H: 191.7 x 73.0 x 57.0 in
Wheelbase: 113.1 in
Cargo capacity: 19.1 cu ft
Curb weight: 4034 lbs
EPA fuel economy: N/A
Mercedes Benz Sunday Driver 3
We’ve all been there, stuck behind a Sunday or elderly driver taking their sweet time. Mercedes-Benz just released a new ad mocking Sunday and elderly drivers, who in this case, are two multiple Formula 1 world champions Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher.
Pied Piper's annual Prospect Satisfaction Index ranks dealers in order of consumer satisfaction, so, logically, any automaker would want to be at the top of the list. Mercedes-Benz has taken the gold in 2010, thanks to its sterling customer satisfaction.
A scant thirty hours in Abu Dhabi, and some truth in Advertising.
Unless you're willing to upgrade to an AMG (or approach third-party tuning firms), Mercedes-Benz owners looking for a little extra visual pizzazz have been largely ignored -- until now. At the 2010 Geneva motor show, the automaker will launch its new MercedesSport line of accessories for the 2010 E-class sedan, coupe, and cabriolet.

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2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
E350 RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
17 MPG City | 26 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
2010 Audi TTS
Base AWD 2-Dr Coupe I4
21 MPG City | 29 MPG Hwy
2010 Audi A5
Base AWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
18 MPG City | 27 MPG Hwy
2010 Lotus Elise
Base RWD 2-Dr Coupe I4
21 MPG City | 27 MPG Hwy
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
E350 RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
E350 RWD 2-Dr Coupe V6
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.5L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
17 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
26 MPG
268 hp @ 6000rpm
258 ft lb of torque @ 2400rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Unlimited miles / 999 months
NHTSA Rating Overall
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
No Test Planned
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
No Test Planned
NHTSA Rating Front Side
No Test Planned
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
No Test Planned
NHTSA Rating Rollover
No Test Planned
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Roof Strength

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