By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/24/2011
The Mercedes E-Class took its place as the 'everything to everybody' line after being revamped for 2010 and gaining a Coupe model. With the addition of a returning Wagon and convertible, it's now possible for the consumer to get an E-Class in a wide range of configurations and powertrains. No matter which E-Class is chosen, drivers can expect nothing less than the definitive mid-size luxury vehicle, with exemplary ride quality and comfort in a segment that is among the most competitive in the auto industry today
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is like a well-tailored suit; it will always look good, feel right and be in style. The wealth of standard features plus the sheer number of base-model options means there's something for everyone in the E-Class lineup
If owning a Mercedes-Benz holds no appeal, you may find competitors such as Cadillac, Infiniti and Lexus offering vehicles suiting your needs at lower prices.
Returning for 2011 is the E-Class Wagon; new are the V6- and V8-equipped Cabriolets, and the option of Mercedes' V6 BlueTec diesel engine in the E-Class Sedan. There have been minor exterior and interior design tweaks as well. The arrival of the Cabriolet and Wagon models expands the E-Class lineup. The BlueTec Diesel engine offers an option to an American market looking more and more for economy with luxury.
There may be faster cars on the road than the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class line, but there are few that can boast the blend of comfort, luxury, performance and image. Individual shocks constantly adjust to road surface changes and driver demands, making the car firm and responsive through tight bends yet smooth on the highway. With its confidence-inspiring suspension and responsive steering, the E-Class makes for a remarkable vehicle. If you'd like to step out onto the edge a bit, the E63 AMG brings an upgraded engine, suspension and transmission to bear with remarkably impressive performance and handling precision in a sedan that seats five.
It's tough to get excited about safety features, but the DISTRONIC PLUS offers features are truly special. The PRE-SAFE Brake system uses radar to warn the driver of an imminent collision and can even modulate the brakes to minimize impact.
Ok, so the Sport Package only shows itself outwardly with bigger wheels and comes with a swanky contrasting interior. You should buy it for the lowered, stiffer and sportier suspension, which properly livens up the car's handling.
Every 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes richly fitted with standard equipment, providing comfort and convenience expected from the marque. From Burl Walnut trim to 14-way power seats with memory settings to the stereo/speaker/CD changer setup and mbrace navigation/support, the E-Class models are very well-equipped. There are a few differences of note: The E-Class Sedan and Wagon don't come with leather seats as standard, and the 60/40 rear bench of the Wagon is optional with the Sedan. A couple of controls have been repositioned for the 2011 models, but aside from that there haven't been any major changes. Front headroom and legroom is very good on all models; rear seats can be a bit cramped in the Coupe and Cabriolet but are very nice in the Sedan and Wagon. Luggage space is impressive across the line, even in the Cabriolet, and the soft top folds on itself to leave more usable trunk space than most competitors in its class.
The 2010 revamping of the E-Class exteriors combined muscular rear fenders with a signature front end into a look that is unmistakably that of a Mercedes-Benz. The Coupe's lack of a B-pillar gives it a smooth aesthetic and an air of class all its own. The Cabriolet shares its grille with the Coupe, and has an elegant soft top that blends nicely into its lines. The look with the soft-top is classic and, as you might expect, it weighs a lot less than a folding hardtop. The Wagon is a surprising treat; its roofline at some angles appears to carry a descending angle from front to back, while at others it seems to be a straight line to an expansive rear cargo area.
All 2011 E-Class models come with some pretty impressive standard features. Electronic Brake Assist and Mercedes-Benz's Electronic Stability Program are standard across the line, as is the 7-speed transmission with paddle shifters fitted behind the multifunction steering wheel. Also standard are the 8-speaker, 6-disc CD/DVD system and a 7-inch LCD to display navigation information, radio information and the like. Safety features include a litany of airbags plus the LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system.
Options are available in a variety of packages or separately, and include Sport and Premium Packages. The Lane Tracking Package includes Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, and the Driver Assistance Package adds DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE Braking. Other options include Bluetooth connectivity, iPod/mp3 capability, HD Radio, upgraded sound systems and more. For the Sedan and Wagon, leather upholstery is optional, and across the line you can get heated and ventilated front seats - or even a driver's seat with built-in massage.
With the addition of the BlueTec Diesel, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class line features four engines: The 210-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 BlueTec diesel; the 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 of the E350 Series; a 382-horsepower, 5.5-liter V8 for the E550 cars and the monster 518-horsepower, 6.3-liter V8 of the E63 AMG. All E-Class engines run through Mercedes' seven-speed automatic transmission with optional manual paddle shifting. The E63 AMG is equipped with the tuner's Speedshift transmission with Race Start and rev matching.
3.0-liter turbo diesel V6
210 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm
400 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-2,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33
268 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,400-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (Sedan), 17/26 (Coupe), 17/25 (Cabriolet), 17/24 (AWD), 16/23 (AWD Wagon)
382 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
391 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 (Sedan), 15/23 (Coupe), 15/22 (Cabriolet), 15/23 (AWD)
518 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
465 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans start with Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) of around $50,000 for the E350 Sedan, about $52,000 for the E350 BlueTec diesel Sedan and around $58,000 for the E550 Sedan. The Coupes are near $50,000 for the E350 Coupe and over $56,000 for the E550 Coupe. The E350 Wagon starts at about $57,000. Adding the all-wheel drive (AWD) 4MATIC to either the Sedan or Wagon is $2,500. The E350 Cabriolet is near $58,000 and the E550 Cabriolet starts at almost $66,000; each can be fitted with options totaling $10,000 or more. The awesomely-performing E63 AMG Sedan starts at over $90,000 and, with options, can bump into the region of $100,000. Before buying a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, prospective customers should check the kbb.com Fair Purchase Price, which reflects that others in the area are paying for the car. As might be expected, E-Class resale values will hold equal to or better than competitors from Audi or Cadillac, but may not top those of BMW or Infiniti.