Positioned between the entry-level Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the top-of-the-line S-Class, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the automaker's best-selling brand. The lineup is huge, available in sedan, coupe, convertible, and even a station wagon body style, and offers several different gasoline engines and a diesel one. The only thing missing is a hybrid model...so far.
Mercedes updated the E-Class in 2010 so there were few changes in 2011 and 2012. The E-Class's equipment list is long, and much of it is high-tech. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class convertible, for example, uses a system called Airscarf to blow warm hair on the driver's neck to keep him or her warm, while another system called Aircap redirects the wind around the convertible to make the interior quiet all when the top is down. Many technologies, like Attention Assist, focus on safety. Attention Assist actually monitors the driver to see if they're getting drowsy behind the wheel, then alerts them via audio and visual signals to wake up.
Body styles: convertible, coupe, sedan, wagon
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6, 3.5-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8, 5.5-liter V-8
Transmission: seven-speed automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec, Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan, Mercedes-Benz E550 Sedan, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe/Wagon, Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe/Wagon, Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Wagon, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
The huge Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup (there are at least 11 distinct models) underwent a shakeup for the 2010 model year. Even so, Mercedes makes significant changes for 2012.
The E-Class gets a new steering wheel, color instrument cluster and infotainment display. The 3.0-liter V-6 (exception: diesel engine), 3.5-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8, and 5.5-liter V-8 engines undergo more tuning to deliver even better power and fuel economy. The Mercedes-Benz E350 convertible and coupe get 17-inch wheels while the Mercedes-Benz E550 gets electromagnetic steering. The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG sports wagon returns to the lineup, while the E350 wagon, which also gets electromagnetic steering, is now standard with all-wheel drive, third-row seating, power tailgate, and rear air suspension. Finally, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG sedan gets fuel-saving ECO Stop/Start system and 17-inch wheels.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class underwent a major revision to its design in 2010 and thus the automaker makes no significant changes to the exterior for 2012. There are four different body styles for the E-Class (convertible, coupe, sedan, and wagon) with several models, four different engines including a diesel, and plenty of standard and optional features. The Mercedes E350 coupe and convertible receive new 17-inch five spoke wheels while the E63 AMG sedan gets 19-inch 10-spoke wheels.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class underwent a major revision to its design in 2010 and thus the automaker makes no significant changes inside for 2012. The interior is refreshed, primarily with the placement of higher-quality materials and design. The steering wheel is new with standard features like paddle shifters for the transmission. The driver-side instrument cluster is now in color and several controls have been moved.
Performance & Handling
All Mercedes-Benz E-Class vehicles are strong performers, especially for such heavy vehicles. Of course, any of the sport-tuned AMG trims are tops in acceleration and pulling power; same with the Mercedes E350 Bluetec sedan and its diesel engine which has the additional advantage of hybrid-level mileage. Overall, the E-Class is a cruiser, with a comfortable ride and tight steering characteristic of German vehicles. However some models, especially the E550 models, do have stiffer suspension which may not suit everyone's tastes.
The Mercedes-Benz E- Class comes standard with front airbags; driver's knee-protection airbag; front-passenger side airbags; and head-protection curtains airbags with optional rear passenger side-impact airbags. Other safety technologies include antilock brakes system (ABS); electronic stability program (ESP); traction control; and stability control systems. Active safety systems like a driver drowsiness warning system is joined this year by active lane keeping assist (which affects the vehicle's braking to keep the driver within a lane); and Active blind spot assist systems.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mercedes-Benz E350 Sedan: 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway*
Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec: 21 mpg city/32 mpg highway*
Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan: 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway*
Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe/Convertible: 18-19 mpg city/28 mpg highway
Mercedes-Benz E550 Sedan: 16 mpg city/26 mpg highway*
Mercedes-Benz E550 4Matic Sedan, E550 Coupe: 16 mpg city/26 mpg highway*
Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG: 15-16 mpg city/23-24 mpg highway*
- Variety of options
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