The 2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans and wagons offer a lot of features, luxury, performance, handling, comfort, and style. This is all accompanied by the highest in class prices, but with the E-Class, you’ll certainly get what you pay for. There are some rivals that perform or handle better, some that offer a bit more luxury or edge out the E-Class on safety scores. But when all of the facets of a luxury sedan and wagon are added up, the E-Class comes out on top.
Body Styles: sedan, wagon
Engines: 3.2-liter V-6, 5.0-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: seven-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz E320 sedan, Mercedes-Benz E320 4Matic sedan, Mercedes-Benz E500 sedan, Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic sedan, Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG sedan, Mercedes-Benz E320 wagon, Mercedes-Benz E320 4Matic wagon, Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic wagon
For 2004, the E-Class wagon takes its turn getting a full redesign like the sedan did the previous year. A version of the wagon powered by a V-8- is also new, and the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is now an available option for both sedans and wagons. The DVD-based navigation system is now an available option as well.
The 2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans and wagons are available in several trims: E320, E500, and E55 AMG. The E320 and E500 trims can be had as a ""4Matic"" meaning that they use all-wheel drive. Moving up in trim numbers means larger and more powerful engines. The E320 has 16-inch wheels, and the option for an Airmatic air suspension. The E500 has the Airmatic as standard fare and 17-inch wheels. The E55 AMG uses 18-inch wheels. The redesigned body of the E-Class is rather stylish and aerodynamic.
Aside from the difficult control layout, the cabin is quite nice. It offers build quality, material quality, a great and appealing design, and many standard features as well as a number of toys, gadgets, and gear as options. Standard fare includes all of the requisites for a luxury car- power everything, leather seats with all adjustments and gadgets, premium sound system, memory settings, telecommunications system, and more.
Performance & Handling
The E320 starts off with a 221-horsepower, 3.2-lite,r V-6 engine producing 232 lb-ft of torque, while the E500 uses a five-liter V-8 that kicks out 302 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque. The supercharged, 5.5-liter V-8 in the E55 AMG sedan produces 469 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The rear-drive E500 uses a new seven-speed automatic transmission, while other models use a five-speed automatic. Rear drive and all-wheel drive are the available choices. The E55 AMG clocked in at 4.2 seconds in the zero-to-60-mph sprint, while the E500 did the run in 5.6 seconds. The E-Class are fine performers and will certainly handle all traffic situations.
The E-Class cars handle rather well with little body roll and a solid grip. They do not, however, meet the standards set by in class rivals from the BMW 5-Series. Just the same, the adjustable suspension can give some nice driving dynamics. The ride is soft and smooth, unless things are set for more performance. The E55 ANG strikes a nice balance between luxury ride and sporty performance. The steering is a bit heavy, but features like antiskid and all-wheel drive allow the E-Class cars to handle bad weather rather well.
Standard safety equipment for the E-Class includes anti-lock brake system, front and rear head airbags, dual front and dual rear side-mounted airbags, Sensotronic brake control, which is a brake-by-wire system, promises faster, more surefooted emergency responses, and Mercedes-Benz’s Electronic Stability Program. Adaptive front airbags deploy at a lower force in less severe collisions. Seat belt pretensioners and load limiters are also standard. In NHTSA testing, the E-Class earned four out of five stars or five out of five stars on all of the available tests. In IIHS tests, the E-Class earned either the highest rating of ""good"" or the second highest rating of ""acceptable."" This all makes sense since wagons are viewed as family cars and safety is one of the top priorities for family vehicles. Suffice it to say that the E-Class sedans and wagons meet the rigorous safety needs of family-oriented buyers.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz E320 sedan, wagon: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz E320 4Matic sedan, wagon: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz E500 sedan: 15/22 mpg city highway
Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic sedan: 14/19 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic wagon: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG: 13/19 mpg city/highway
- Upscale, refined design, inside and out
- Pleasing blend of ride and handling
- Safety features
- Available all-wheel drive
You Won't Like
- More expensive in class
- Control layout
- Brake feel
Most expensive in class for a number of good reasons.
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