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2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class continues its reputation as the "everything to everybody" mid-size luxury vehicle. With the recent addition of the 2-door E-Class Coupe, the E-Class Wagon and the 2-door E-Class Cabriolet convertible, it's possible for the consumer to get a Mercedes-Benz E-Class in a surprisingly large number of flavors. No matter which 2012 E-Class variant is chosen, drivers can expect nothing less than the definitive Mercedes-Benz experience, with ride quality, luxury and comfort standing out in a segment that is among the most competitive in the auto industry today.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2012 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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If the prestige value of owning a Mercedes-Benz is of no importance to you, you may find competitors such as Cadillac, Infiniti and Lexus offer lower-priced vehicles that fully suit your needs.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 E-Class now boasts an E63 AMG Wagon, while the rest of the line features a set of new engines with substantial improvements in both power and fuel economy. The BlueTEC diesel engine is the only carryover from 2011. Along with some option and package changes, the 2012 E-Class brings a revised 7-speed transmission and minor design tweaks.

Driving the E-Class

Driving Impressions Despite vastly improved power for 2012, there will always be faster cars on the road than those in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class line. However, few can boast the same blend of...

comfort, luxury and performance. With individual shocks constantly adjusting to road surface changes and driver demands, the car is both firm and responsive through tight bends and smooth on the highway. Its suspension inspires confidence and the steering is reasonably informative. All this helps make the E-Class a remarkably enjoyable and comfortable vehicle to drive. If you'd like to step out closer to the edge, the E63 AMG brings an upgraded engine, suspension and transmission to bear with giggle-inducing speed and precision. The 2012 E63 AMG is available as either a Sedan or Wagon.

Distronic Plus Safety Package
It's tough to get excited about safety features, but the Distronic Plus Safety Package's features are truly special. The Pre-Safe Brake system uses radar to warn the driver of imminent collision and even applies the brakes to minimize impact.

Sport Package
Ok, so the Sport Package only shows outwardly with bigger wheels and comes with a swanky contrasting interior. You should buy it for the stiffened (and lowered) suspension, which properly livens up the car's handling.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Details
Interior

Every 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes rich with standard equipment, providing comfort and convenience expected from the marque. From burled walnut interior trim accents to 14-way power seats with memory settings to the premium audio system and "mbrace" navigation system, the E-Class doesn't leave much room for options (though there are some). New available assistance systems, such as the Lane Keeping Assist (in both passive and active forms) and Blind Spot Assist, take a bow for 2012. Also new in the 2012 E-Class cabin are the steering wheel and instrument cluster display. Front head and legroom is very good on all models. The rear seats, however, 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, which has ample usable trunk space.

Exterior

Visually, the 2010 revamp of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was a "love it or hate it" affair, sparking strong argument from both sides. Combining elements of 1950s sedans and coupes with muscular rear fenders, not to mention its now-signature front-end design, the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is both distinctive and recognizably Mercedes. The two-door Coupe's lack of a B-pillar gives it a smooth aesthetic and an air of class. The Cabriolet convertible shares the Coupe's modified grille and boasts an elegant soft top that blends nicely into its sharp bodylines. The soft-top look is classic and weighs a lot less than a hardtop. The Wagon is an unsung hero. From some vantage points, its roofline appears to carry a descending angle from front to back, while from locations it seems a straight line to an expansive rear cargo area. New for 2012 are standard LED daytime running lights, a design touch pioneered by Audi and now practically mandatory market-wide.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 E-Class models come with an impressive list of standard features. Electronic Brake Assist is standard across the line, as is the 7-speed transmission with paddle shifters fitted to the new multifunction steering wheel. Other standards include the 8-speaker, 6-disc CD/DVD system, a 7-inch LCD display and a plethora of comfort and convenience features. Safety features include a litany of airbags plus the LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system. Electronic stability control, long a standard on most Mercedes-Benz, is now required by the government to be fitted on all 2012 cars.

Optional Equipment

Options of note on the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class models include both Sport and Luxury Design Packages, the Distronic Plus Package with Pre-Safe Braking and Parktronic parking assist and Premium Packages offering Bluetooth connectivity, iPod/MP3 capability, HD radio and more. For the sedan and wagon, leather upholstery is optional and across the line seating is available with heating, ventilation and even massage functionality for the driver.

Under the Hood

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class line continues to feature four engines, three of which are new for 2012: The 210-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 BlueTEC diesel; a 302-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 in E350 variants; a 402-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 for the E550 cars and the monster 518-horsepower, 5.5-liter V8 in the E63 AMG sedan and wagon. All E-Class engines run through a freshly revised 7-speed automatic transmission with optional manual paddle shifting. The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive (AWD) system can be mated to either the 3.5-liter V6 or the 4.6-liter V8. The E63 AMG cars are equipped with the tuner's Speedshift transmission with Race Start and rev matching.

3.0-liter V6 Turbodiesel
210 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm
400 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-2,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/32

3.5-liter V6
302 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 (Sedan), 19/28 (Coupe), 18/28 (Cabriolet), 19/27 (AWD Wagon)

4.6-liter V8 Twin-Turbo
402 horsepower @ 5,000-5,750 rpm
443 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/26 (AWD Sedan), 17/27 (Coupe), 16/25 (Cabriolet)

5.5-liter V8
518 horsepower @ 5,250-5,750 rpm (550 horsepower optional)
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700-5,000 rpm (590 lb-ft of torque optional)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 (Sedan), 15/23 (Wagon)

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2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 138 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Great car

By on Friday, August 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "I have not found any in 1.5 years"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I like the "feel" of the diesel and appreciate the economy. No problems finding fuel and now it is cheaper than midgrade, but it fluctuates. Great features, especially econ mode and lane occupancy indicators."

2011 E350 Premium 1 w/ Sport Package

By on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Beautiful design, Quiet interior, Low-end torque"

Cons: "Slow response from paddle-shifter selections"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great car so far. I love the design of this generation of E-Class cars. The interior is very luxurious and comfortable. This is the first car that I have owned that I am able to drive on a 12 hour road trip and not be exhausted when I arrive at my destination. This car is a highway cruiser for sure. It has a very quiet interior. With 63,000 miles, the interior has yet to develop any annoying squeaks or rattles. The 7-speed transmission shifts very smoothly; when using the paddle-shifters, however, the transmission is a bit slow to respond to manual gear changes. I can live with that. The engine seems to have great low end torque which makes lane changes in the city very user friendly. The power seems to drop significantly as the revs climb, but overall the engine is sufficient. The exhaust note is low and sounds powerful which is pleasant while accelerating from low speeds. The voice control in this car actually works pretty good compared to all of my other terrible experiences with this option in other vehicles (*ahem... Ford). The user interface with the COMAND system is a bit challenging at first, but very easy to use once you get the hang of it. It is much better than the overly complicated systems I've used in an Audi. The handling is decent albeit a bit soft during cornering and braking. This is far from a race car, but I imagine most people looking to purchase an E-Class are not concerned with their car's Nurburgring lap time. If you are concerned, I'm sure the E63 AMG can cure your ailments. The brakes on this car have great stopping power and the AMG sport package adds to the appearance of the car by including a set of cross-drilled rotors up front. Overall, I have been pleased with my experience in the 2011 E-Class bearing in mind I've only clocked around 3,000 miles on the odometer. I am interested to see how, if any, my opinion changes as time passes. One thing is certain, my commute to and from work each day has improved drastically and that is always a plus in my book!"

Few Flaws

By on Sunday, August 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfortable premium seat package, drives nicely,"

Cons: "Voice command is awful, no back up beep alert"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I would prefer NO ashtray/lighter on the console, much prefer the gear shift on the console to the steering wheel. The backup camera is great however it lacks a "beep" sound to alert when you are close. Our Infiniti offers this feature. The voice command system is problematic. Using it for navigation is beyond annoying as 99.9% of the time it is useless. Entering a destination, address, etc. requires the car be parked and manually inserted. As for voice command to make phone calls, it often fails here too. Our Infiniti is far better at voice command. The seat cooling affect is not noticeable, not really sure it actually works."

Very nice, comfortable, classy, sporty, fun, quiet

By on Friday, August 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Ride, fit and finish, quick"

Cons: "expensive oil changes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought used (certified), had it 6 months now. Feels good, very quiet, good blue tooth. Quite pleased."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

This MB is show room new with less than 5,000 mile

By on Thursday, July 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "best experience you'll ever have"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is an E550 4 MATIC with 4,900 miles. Garaged and covered, never in snow or rain only driven on weekends locally."

13 people out of 22 found this review helpful

fun to drive, great looks, lots of positives

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"First, I am old/older...used to a comfortable ride...such as Lincoln, BMW 7 series, even Avalon. I love to drive this car but the low profile tires report every bump, ridge and imperfection. On a smooth interstate it is wonderful...on other roads...rather tiring. Wish they built it so one could install regular profile tires. Positives: great convertible top operations and features, strong performance, superb handling on curves, good mpg, nice interior features though seats are a tad firm. Will I keep it...not sure...may have to go back to a comfy old man's car."

15 people out of 35 found this review helpful

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