VMR Scorecard (1 worst - 5 best)
|Cost to Own
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class represents the 9th generation of this luxury midsize car. Priced less than the outgoing models, the new E-Class featured an all-new chassis, steering and braking system and a fourth-generation 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system. A new two-door coupe model was available in addition to a four-door sedan. The series offered many new safety technologies standard such as Attention Assist, Adaptive High beam Assist, LED daytime running lights, and available Lane Keeping Assist. Additionally, upscale luxury features helped renew Mercedes quality image in the luxury class. It earned excellent safety scores, offered a comfortable ride, and provided an attractive, spacious interior. However, its infotainment system could be tricky to use, and it had below-average fuel economy estimates for the class. Also, be aware that the E-Class has some of the highest ownership costs. You’ll have to look for 2011-and-newer models if you’re looking for the wagon or convertible body styles, or a diesel V6 engine.
The 2010 E-Class included E 350, E 550, and high-performance E63 AMG trims in sedan and coupe body styles. A base model 2009 E350 sedan retailed for $54,075, while the 2010 model starts off at $49,475 9 ($4,600 less). The bigger 2010 E550, with 382-hp 5.5L V-8, starts at $57,175. Add another $2500 for 4MATIC editions on both. The 2010 E350 coupe, a replacement for the CLK-Class, retailed for $48,925 -- a slightly lower price than the 2009 CLK350 ($48,975). An E550 coupe will set you back $55,525.
The E350 sedan is powered by a 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, the E550 by a 5.5-liter V8 engine that makes 382 horsepower, and the high-performance E63 AMG has a 6.3-liter V8 that generates 518 horsepower. All engines were paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission with optional manual shifting, while the E63 gets an AMG transmission that offers rev matching and Race Start. Last year's floor-mounted shifter was replaced with a column shifter, much like in the S-Class and several Mercedes SUVs. Rear-wheel drive is standard (4wd on Canadian E350 and E550 models), with all-wheel drive optional (rear wheel drive only on Canadian coupes and AMG). Power for all these engines lagged, often badly, compared to similar offerings from competitors. Mercedes addressed this (mostly) for the 2012 model year.
The base sedan came well-equipped. Standard features include 18” alloy wheels, sunroof, leatherette upholstery, 14-way power-adjustable heated front seats, split folding rear seats, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, power tilt and telescoping and a multifunction heated steering wheel. Safety features include a driver drowsiness monitor, a Pre-Safe forward collision warning system, Parktronic parking, guidance, anti-theft alarm, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The base model also comes with the COMAND infotainment system with a 7-inch display, an auxiliary port, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker stereo. Coupes had many similar features to the sedan but with17-inch alloy wheels, a dynamic handling package, hill start assist and an agility control suspension with adaptive damping.
Moving up to the E550 4MATIC got you three-zone automatic climate control, navigation system, 4GB hard-drive music system, voice control, media interface, three-spoke AMG sport steering wheel, leather upholstery, and emergency calling system. Finally, the E63 AMG added AMG sport suspension, Harman/Kardon Logic7 surround sound system, AMG leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner, and rear window sunshade.
Many safety features
Tech learning curve
Mid-pack fuel economy
Reviews of the revised body styling of the new generation, which broke somewhat from the traditionally conservative E class look, were mixed. The terminology used to describe the outward appearance of any automobile is creative and frankly, sometimes a little creepy. Descriptors of the Mercedes E Class ran from refined, to curved rear, to sharp corners and well-pressed creases, to googley eyed and on it goes. So who’s right? Bottom line is you are. Just look at the car and if you like how it looks take the next step and if you don’t, simply move on.
In Canada, all E-Class sedans came with the AMG body kit that according to Autos.ca sports an aggressive looking lower spoiler and odd L-shaped LED daytime lights. Additionally, they feel that the E’s sporty 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels would be more appropriate on an E 63 AMG performance sedan. In their words, “I can’t see traditional E-Class buyers, who are mostly conservative, middle-aged sedan lovers, warming up to this aggressive styling”.
The E-Class sedan seats up to five people (4 for the coupe). Leatherette upholstery (that’s vinyl folks) came standard. Many no doubt were upgraded to leather. Heated front seats, ventilated front seats, multi-contour massaging front seats, split-folding rear seats, and a wood-and-leather trimmed steering wheel were available. Mercedes paid attention to interior quality with the use of top-grade materials close to what was found in the more upscale S-Class. The cabin could be trimmed with several upscale -- and expensive -- options. Last year's floor-mounted shifter was replaced with a column shifter on sedans much like in the S-Class and several Mercedes SUVs. With the shifter moved off the console, space is freed up for a pair of cup holders. Coupes retained a console-mounted shifter. The COMAND infotainment system requires a learning curve. All the E 350’s interior control buttons and switches are either backlit or illuminated with a small spotlight for easier operation at night.
|The cabin is first-rate, as you'd expect. A myriad of design options were available.
|Unlike most manufacturers, Mercedes has never abandoned the wagon. This iteration is quite handsome.
The 2010 E-Class sedan grew in size: longer by about 1 inch and wider by 1.5 inches. This translates into1 inch more rear legroom and 2 inches more elbowroom. The front seats are wide and comfortable with plenty of leg room, and the back bench fits three adults with legroom being adequate but not generous. Seatback angles and headroom are both good. It’s a completely different story in the coupe where most adults will find headroom and legroom lacking. Additional comforts could be paid for with options that included massaging seats, bolster-adjustable seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped dash and a panoramic moon roof.
Driver visibility to the front and sides was good but the high rear deck makes parallel parking not an easy task. The E 350’s front and rear parking sensors assist with this. The cabin is quiet with V8s being slightly quieter than V6s under acceleration but neither had much wind or road noise to speak of. Interior storage space was class competitive.
Trunk capacity on the sedan increased 2.2 cubic feet to 19.1 cubic feet (540 litres). The fully carpeted trunk offers ample space. The coupe trunk is smaller and the floor rises slightly at the back, just behind the rear seats. Optional folding rear seats increase the space and no longer required you to flip the cushions forward first as in the previous E-Class.Continued on page 2
Mercedes E-Class, Page 2