2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class vs. Its Competition

2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class 4-door Wagon Sport 3.5L 4MATIC Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class, Audi A6, and BMW 5-Series are all close rivals, and the Infiniti M Sedans and Jaguar XF are also good alternatives in some respects.

The Audi A6 was completely redesigned this past year, and its interior feels a class above, but its back seat is quite small.

The BMW 5-Series lineup offers a firm sport-sedan personality, along with just as many, if not more active-safety features and high-tech options.

Infiniti's M sedan is a suave counterpart from Japan, with a choice of six- and eight-cylinder engines, and rear- or all-wheel drive.

Meanwhile, the Jaguar XF is a surprising enthusiasts' choice, with a classy look inside and out plus an eager performance driving feel.

Another off-the-radar choice might be the Hyundai Genesis, which has a high-$30,000 price tag, a fantastic interior, rear-drive power delivery, and a nearly 400-horsepower V-8.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class 4-door Wagon Sport 3.5L 4MATIC Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mercedes-Benz E ClassBrowse Used Listings2012 Audi A6 4-door Sedan FrontTrak 2.0T Premium Plus Side Exterior View2012 Audi A6Browse Used Listings2012 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo 4-door Sedan 550i Gran Turismo RWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 BMW 5-SeriesBrowse Used Listings2012 Hyundai Genesis 2012 Hyundai GenesisBrowse Used Listings2012 Jaguar XF2012 Jaguar XFBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.2
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class models have sharper driving appeal than in the past, while also returning to the classy interior appointments and vault-like construction that have made them longtime luxury benchmarks.
8.4
It's the same V-6 blast to drive as the far more sexy A7, which makes the 2012 Audi A6 a little irrelevant for those not fixated on five seats or four cylinders.
8.6
The 2012 BMW 5-Series appears somewhat conservative on the outside, but it packs an armada of advanced-tech firepower, and new fuel-efficient engines, without interrupting its sport-sedan mission.
8.0
The Genesis' impressive details and execution make it a pragmatic luxury-car choice, especially in the quick, plush V-6 version.
8.4
Scorching acceleration, nimble handling, and true luxury-car refinement complement style and fashion to swoon over in the 2012 Jaguar XF; backseat space remains its only reality check.
MSRP From    
$49,800$41,700$46,900$34,200$53,000
Gas Mileage    
15 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas V6Gas V8
EPA Class    
Subcompact CarsMidsize CarsMid-SizeLarge carMidsize Car
Style Name    
2-Door Coupe E 350 RWD4-Door Sedan FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 528i RWD4-Door Sedan V6 3.8L4-Door Sedan
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
45555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style    
CoupeSedan4dr Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission    
AutomaticContinuously Variable RatioAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomatic w/Manual Shift