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Shopping for a new Mercedes-Benz E Class?
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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class represents the most electronics-intensive model line Mercedes has offered to date, and most of the new computer-managed systems focus on safety.
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All E-Class models come with Mercedes' COMAND electronics interface, which combines a large display screen, a control knob and dash-mounted buttons. There's a bit of a learning curve involved, but it's generally neither better nor worse than similar systems from Audi or BMW.
To make the experience a bit less breezy back there, Mercedes has introduced a gizmo on the E-class called Aircap. This is a retractable spoiler that’s mounted on top of the windshield, intended to divert air over the passenger compartment.
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Enhancements to the business end of this newest W212 series station wagon include a now standard power tailgate, programmable to a maximum height for use in low-clearance garages (the cargo shade even rises automatically).
In addition to Aircap technology, the E-Cab offers a much-improved version of its Airscarf in-seat neck vents, seat warmers and a trick HVAC system that automatically compensates for whatever position the top is in.
Mercedes will most likely tout the new Mercedes E-Class' cutting-edge safety features in its marketing material, but the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class also boasts myriad high-tech comfort features.
Standard equipment includes cruise control, interior ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, a multi-function instrument panel display, rain-sensing wipers, and more.
Luxury and entertainment features abound in the 2011 E-Class. Luxury versions feature standard 17-inch wheels; COMAND infotainment and climate control; cruise control; sunroof; power doors, locks, and mirrors; and surprisingly, vinyl seats.
Sport versions get larger 18-inch wheels; unique gauges; and stylized exhaust outlets. Optional upgrades include voice-controlled navigation; Sirius and HD Radio; rearview camera; heated seats; numerous electronic safety assists; massaging seats; Bluetooth; an upgraded, 610-watt audio system; and much more.
The E63 AMG gets a range of upgraded materials and a high-performance design theme, plus AMG badges and performance-tuned stability and traction electronics.
Two premium packages, a driver assistance package, a sport package, and a wheel package divide up most of these options into convenient groups. Many options can be had a la carte, as well, though it may be tough for those with peculiar tastes to find the exact combo they're looking for on a dealer lot.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class can't be considered a bargain with a minimum $48,850 MSRP, but its features list certainly justifies the price.