Import Sport Sedan Comparison: Fifth Place: Mercedes E350

Posted on 19. Oct, 2009 by in Auto News

When my father was middle-aged hit in the '70 's, his first reaction to park a Mercedes in the garage was – a '75 450SE, which my mother had not been nicknamed The Mercedes sedans of the time beautiful cars "Henry." but damn if Henry does not turn heads – it was obvious that someone drove it important. Over time I learned to drive in 1979, had inherited Heinrich mom, and we had another German blitzkrieg machine – a BMW 733i. The two cars could not be more different – on the winding roads around my house, the BMW was an athlete, but Henry was an armored tank of a car that replied sternly: "no" if you tried to force him to back-street gymnastics . But Henry always impressed the general public – only dedicated transmissions has one double-take when she saw the BMW, while Henry was still looks in the late 1980s. Flash on three decades and little has changed: the BMW in this test is still an athlete with no fashion sense, while the all-new E350 is an impressive power suit of a car.

Stylistically plays 350E Mini-Me in the S-Class, the gently rounded (and this writer eye, far more beautiful) contours of the outgoing E-Class have given way to a pronounced wedge shape, fender flares, and a stern-looking, aggressive front -end treatment. The result is an expensive, imposing appearance, especially in dark colors, but the E350 is clearly designed to impress, not tie. For the Mercedes-target group, which is largely made up of status-seekers, that's OK, but if you want a look should fall to look elsewhere.

The E350 better style-wise from the inside; Entry and exit are easy, and the driver is greeted by a beautifully detailed dashboard in chrome and beautiful burled walnut trim. The vents and door locks repeat the trapezoidal theme of the outside, a nice touch. The only stylistic peculiarity of the hump on the top of the dashboard, the navigation, climate control and radio is receiving ads. The BMW has a similar hump, and manages the E350 is better stylistically, but the dash would look better if the C-Class' roll-up had. The steering wheel is pleasantly thick, and wrapped in very nice leather, the odd-looking instruments of the old E-class have been replaced by conventional dials, with a large digital display read out in the middle of the speedometer, trip and vehicle information.

Rear passengers get first class treatment in this new E350 – it's not as much space as the M35, but the comfort is top notch in this test, and the rear compartment is well designed, door panels with contrasting leather. Processing is also top notch, with remarkably high quality, durable-feeling materials.

The E350 can be dressed to impress, but the engine never makes a really good impression. The 3.5-liter V-6 is a holdover from the previous generation E-Class, and it makes 268 horsepower – the lowest in this test, which estimates the slowest acceleration (0-60 in 6.8 seconds Mercedes ). The engine note is too coarse displeasingly under hard acceleration, and during the 7-speed automatic transmission helps make the most of the limited power of the V-6, it runs consistently vetoes to redline. On the bright side, the torque delivery is stout – 258 lb / ft at 2400 rpm – what the E350 feel fairly spry enough from the line. Then it'll be creamed with every car in this test, especially the ballistic BMW and Audi, and all kinds of lesser cars. Mercedes clearly has to do some work under the hood.

Dynamic is the E350 a mixed bag – deaf and stupid on winding roads, but brilliant on the Interstate. Its suspension is classic Mercedes: tuned for comfort, even with the test car, the optional sport package (which was surprisingly a no-cost deal), and the steering is a bit numb and heavy. You can throw the E350 hard into the corner, and it will get the job done, but as Henry, this car will take no pleasure in it.

But put the E350 on an interstate, and it is an entirely different animal: the same heavy steering and overly flexible that it can help such a dud in hard driving Hunker Down track, just make like an arrow, and feel surprisingly stable , also against law speeds. As a long distance cruiser, no other car in this test touch E350 – the Lexus comes closest, but on the highway, the Lexus feels like a soulless automaton, while the Mercedes is fun clearly his work. Creating this car with the excellent Bluetec diesel and you can use the ultimate long-distance cruisers have.

Hopefully this is a long distance cruiser have a friendly banker. The E350's base price is a reasonable $ 48,600, but with the options that you would expect in this class of car – leather, sunroof, upgraded sound system and navigation and all-wheel drive – the test car weighed in at $ 58,585. To be fair, this is not for this class is not acceptable, in which price is often an afterthought.