This metallic Palladium Silver 2010 E350 is the perfect example of what Mercedes Benz has to offer for their entry level mid size customer who doesn’t want to trade in all the fun stuff that comes with a luxury limousine for the shorter wheelbase. Starting at around $48,000 our E350 came equipped with a sensible power package along with every creature comfort and electronic safety amenity that the German engineers could pack in, this all new redesigned Mercedes E-Class features almost every luxury that Mercedes can offer for around $60,000. With options like KEYLESS GO and DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE, Mercedes Benz is sure that new car owners will have more gadgets then they know what to do with and enough to never get bored.
The German automaker Mercedes Benz has given their full size luxury offering a complete makeover for the 2010 model year. Gone are the old E-Class’s round headlamps and oversized wraparound taillights, in their place the Mercedes Benz design team has come up with a set of stretched out illuminated elements both front and back that completely changes the visual appeal of the new car while remaining unmistakably an E-Class. At the same time Mercedes Benz’s marketing department has managed to slash almost $5,000 from the new car’s price tag compared to last year’s model.
Even though the E Class lineup has grown to include everything from coupes and convertibles all the way up to an AMG tuned powerhouse, this 2010 E350 with its 3.5 Liter V6 making 268 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque under the hood; all new light clusters, LED driving lights and stylish 17 inch split five spoke wheels on the outside as well as the supple Ash Leather wrapped massaging driver’s seat and Burl Walnut trim on the inside is the most well rounded of the bunch. Offering a practical four door five passenger layout with plenty of storage space in the trunk, our test car also benefits from being one of the most economical of the group consuming an estimated 18 MPG around town and as much as 26 MPG on the highway. While we might have asked Santa for an E63, this is the 2010 E Class that your mother will most likely be seen in.
Continued after the jump.
Like we mentioned before, the E-Class has undergone a complete makeover for 2010 with the most dramatic change being the lighting, their elongated horizontal design means that both the front and back of the new E go quite well with the car’s more angular profile and upright front end. Like most new luxury cars these days, our E350 came with a pair of very trendy strips of LED driving lights, however if it a more traditional fog lamp that you are after, Mercedes also offers a set of round projector style lamps as well.
Adding a bit of flare to our E350 were a set of split five spoke 17 inch alloys, but despite their best efforts they were unable to overpower the new 2010 E’s reserved appearance. The large black glass roof was a big hit as far as we were concerned as well as the bold chrome grill as well as a few highly polished tasteful accents throughout which is finished off with a horizontal bar on the trunk that ties the two tail lights together. There really aren’t any design cues worked into the all new E Class that reach out and slap you in the face as it passes by, instead Mercedes leaves the fun loving drop top cabriolet and fire breathing wide body AMG personas up to the other models.
The interior of our 2010 E350 is both elegant and classy. Unlike the all new exterior, the inside is chock full of familiar Mercedes elements like the four spoke steering wheel, upright seating position and luxurious trim. The materials used are of the utmost excellence, the passenger compartment comes complete with fine Ash Leather wrapped seats and door cards, while a strip of Burl Walnut encircles the entire cabin to break up large gray dash. The wood theme continues down into the center console and along the way passes by the E-Class’s center stack that houses the traditional Mercedes controls for items like the climate, radio and navigation system; the latter being displayed on a rather large LCD screen integrated into the dash. One of the more interesting features that the German design team incorporated is a pair of storage compartments integrated into the front seats, however our favorite option had to be the massaging driver’s seat, perfect for lengthy drives.
Our 2010 Mercedes Benz E350 was powered by a 3.5 Liter V6 that is good for a total of 268 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque while consuming an estimated 18 MPG while driving around town and as much as 26 MPG on the highway. While the smallest of the E-Class’s power plants gets the job done, you really have to stand on the throttle to get the 3,825 lb. sedan moving. Not to mention that the transmission is a bit slow shifting, but after all that is what the driver expects from this plush sedan. The four door E-Class feels planted on the road, however pushing the new E anywhere near its limits is nowhere on the luxury car’s menu. Instead the upright seating position and big car feel make the E Class experience more about enjoyable cruising and long distances jaunts in more comfort than a barcalounger, while an assortment of electronic driver aids makes sure that you are safe.
Why to buy?
If you are a well to do member of society and are in the market for stylish and reliable transportation, then the all new Mercedes E350 is for you. Our E Class started at a very reasonable $48,000 and climbed all the way up closer to $60,000 by the time we were done with the options. For an extra $6,350 our car came equipped with a 40 GB hard drive navigation, enhanced voice control, harman/kardon LOGIC7, 6 GB music register, Sirius satellite radio with real time traffic, iPod/MP3 connectivity, HD Radio, back up camera, power rear sunshade and heated front seats as part of the Premium 1 Package while the Premium 2 Package adds the electronic trunk closer, bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive high beam assist, LED daytime running lights, heated headlamp washers and KEYLESS GO.
However it is the $2,900 Driver Assistance Package that brings the 2010 E Class into the 21st century with DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE, a radar based system that monitors the vehicle ahead and adjusts your speed accordingly, allowing for a seamless cruise control experience. At the same time the DISTRONIC Proximity Warning System lets you know if you need to slow down, if so the PRE-SAFE Brake system primes the brake booster and can even engage up to 100% of the E’s braking power if deemed necessary. Blind Spot Assist is another radar derived device that alerts the driver with a red triangle in the side mirror if another object is detected in the car’s blind spot and will even let you know if you are about to make a big mistake. Lane Keeping Assist is an innovative system that keeps an eye on the lines in the road and gives the driver a bit of a vibration through the steering wheel should he or she begin to wander.
As far as the rest of the add ons are concerned; the metallic paint was an extra $720, the plush Ash Leather wrapped interior was another $1,590 and the Panoramic sunroof was $1,070 more. But our favorite of all the extras was the Drive dynamic multicontour driver seat with massage that was well worth the $650. Also if you take the limited amount of 2010 models currently on the road into consideration, the new E-Class becomes a very attractive and exclusive new car.
Why not to buy?
Although Mecedes has taken almost $5,000 off the 2010 E-Class’s sticker price, dealers will be charging a hefty premium for the new car. The nice thing about the new E-Class is that if there is something about the sedan that rubs you the wrong way, Mercedes will also offer a sporty CLK replacing E-Class Coupe as well as a drop top version. High performance enthusiasts will also be pleased to know that AMG is working their magic on a more hardcore E63 wearing a set of wider fenders with a hand built 6.2 Liter V8 under the hood complete with the new stretched out headlamps.
If you just can’t bring yourself to buy a Mercedes, but you still crave German engineering then check out a BMW 5-Series, although they do have the motor sport inspired M5, there are no drop top or coupe versions available. If that is what you are after then you will just have to step up to the 6–Series.
Top Speed Final Verdict
Driving around in the new E350 made us feel like dusting off our chauffeur’s caps and pressing our finest suits in preparation to tote around some very important people. With its economical V6 and laundry list of absolutely wonderful creature comforts made our E350 a pleasure to drive. However if we could have things our way there would have been a hand built 6.2 Liter V8 under the hood.