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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
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 152 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

E350 doesn't begin to compare to the S550

By on Thursday, March 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "1st 2 years have been trouble free"

Cons: "Not designed for 6 foot drivers"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Mercedes builds a solid, safe car - however I absolutely hate the ECO feature that turns the engine off when you come to a stop and then restarts the engine when you let off the brake. The ECO feature can be disabled however it automatically enables every time you start the car. The ECO feature is on all Mercedes. The E350 ride is a bit rigid. Service is pricey and I would be scared to own a Mercedes without an extended warranty. The Nav system and phone interface on this car are marginal compared to what's available. Cooling re circulation motor continues to run for hours after the car is turned off. Operator interface to vehicle options could be better."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Base Luxury model has Great Ride, and all you need

By on Saturday, March 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"If you are looking for a long distance cruiser - the MB E350 is your car. If you value comfort and safety this is also your car. If you want ultimate performance, look elsewhere. This car combines the best of many different styles of cars. I'm a senior citizen, comfort and safety matters to me. This car has both. While it isn't a hard core sport sedan the handling is more than fine, with tight steering feel, immediate feedback and without the harsh ride of many competitors. The luxury trim version has an amazingly comfortable ride, yet provides great control in all conditions. The base car is the best value of all. Mine is a 2015 model, with standard LED low beam lights and the standard Bluetooth interface. I can use Google or Apple map apps, along with Sirius/XM radio apps, seamlessly, allowing me to get both navigation and Satellite radio without any extra cost. The stock radio is also HD capable with very good, but not audiophile quality sound. The standard seat controls are 14 way with 3 passenger memory storage, another welcome feature. The memory storage also keeps mirror and steering wheel settings - a nice bonus. There are storage boxes under each front seat -- large enough to hold maps, gloves, even electronics. Standard transmission is a very smooth 7 speed, providing both economy and sport modes - giving you the choice of aggressive or relaxed shifting. The V6 engine is smooth with adequate, but not excessive power, and doesn't suffer from turbo lag like many newer 4 cylinder engines. There is also standard paddle shifters, a nice touch. Sunroof is large and well placed, opens/tilts and is tinted. The glove box has the ability to blow A/C air, keeping storage items immune to summer heat. If you are a sports car fan, the BMW 5 may be more "sporty", but it's not as comfortable (I've owned it), and rides much harder (run flat tires are standard on BMW); Audi A6 is a nice car, but the 4 cylinder turbo/8 speed transmission is jerky and not fun to drive; Jaguar XF has a very high side door with little glass area - also has a very aggressive A pillar, making it very challenging for shorter drivers to find a comfortable position. Lexus GS is a high quality choice, but the driving position and road noise get tiring. MB has an extended CPO warranty that has no mileage limitation - great for "road warriors". I also got great financing and "free" 20K and 30K service coupons since my car is a CPO purchase. There are many fine cars in this category, but I truly believe that the E350 is the best of the lot. The latest Consumer Reports (April 2016) rates the E350 as the best car in its class, followed by the Audi A6. Give it a try before you decide - you will be glad you did."

15 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Graphite Mercedes Coupe W/ Every Bell & Whistle

By on Monday, February 01, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, upgrades, Gray/ Deep Red interior"

Cons: "2 minor paint touch ups..They are hard to find..."

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

"From the black wood and leather steering wheel to the air cooled seats, this car has practically every upgrade possible, even the Graphite colored exterior and the dark red interior were upgrades. Both front seats have over 10 points of adjustments, there are 2 just in the lower back and one that closes on your back holding you stable thru turns. On performance, as with any low mileage Mercedes equipped with their latest technology, the car is awesome. It is fast, handles perfectly and gets great gas mileage."

8 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Money Pit

By on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Looks nice"

Cons: "Open your wallet"

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

"I was under the impression this was fine German engineering. Buying CPO three years ago, as soon as the warranty expired, so did the fine German engineering. In the past year alone, we have had to put $10,000 in repairs with a car with less than 100,000 miles. Back to less than fine American engineering!"

29 people out of 36 found this review helpful

2014 E350 4MATIC - Great Car So Far

By on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Safety options and scores, style, comfort."

Cons: "Cost, Maybe future repair costs."

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

"Have 14000 miles over 22 months - not a single problem. Ride is a little "Sporty" - Get a "luxury" version if you want a gentle ride. The 350 has a significant torque gap at 30-45 mph - learn to use paddle shifters if you need passing power at these speeds (or buy an E550). Amazing mileage on trips for a large heavy car - 29-31 mpg. Very comfortable on the highway. Bought it mainly to get best safety options available - They are really worth the (very expensive) cost. Drivers assistance is really good for highway driving. Blind spot warnings have saved me about 5 times now. I have about 50 CD's loaded on the hard drive (Premium option). Lighting option is also good for safety - a study of the 2011 MB safety options found surprising statistical result about this. No problems with the car at all, but I'm worried about future maintenance costs. Blogs and other information are not very encouraging on this. They seem to indicate that repairs will be numerous and costly. My lease is up in June 2016. I'd like to get a 2015 or better - It has collision prevention at all times - 2014 has collision prevention only when cruise control is on. If stock market goes well (I'm retired) I'll probably get a well optioned E400, If not maybe a Subaru or keep my 2014. Subaru has the best safety options/results I've found in lower cost 4 wheel drive cars. If you can afford the Mercedes it's worth it."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Wish I'd Spent More Time Researching

By on Monday, November 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
4/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Tight steering. Creature comforts."

Cons: "Xenon lights. ROAD NOISE!"

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

"Polycarbonate headlight covers will discolor/fog directly in front of Xenon low beams. No fix possible except $4K for new lights. Known issue with Mercedes, although apparently rare in the wild. I just noticed one in a parking lot with an identical issue. But the real issue with the car is the road noise - e350 4Matic wagon. It seems to come from behind the driver's seat and either through inadequately insulated passenger doors or rear cargo area. Terrible in comparison to our 17 year old BMW e38. We like the 2011 Benz over new models as in-dash display becomes a giant ugly obstruction in newer models. Tight steering. Comfortable, even if noisy. Already realizing add'l roadworthiness from 4matic. Great brakes and decent handling for a wagon."

31 people out of 56 found this review helpful

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