Comfort and Quality » 9
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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
One of the most impressive attributes of the E-Class Cabriolet is its quiet cabin when the top is up.
In terms of space and comfort, the E-Class sedan, convertible and wagon are excellent. The seats are firm, but offer endless comfort and support over the long haul.
As with any car, there are some issues. With the E350, the big ones are the placement of the function shortcut buttons for the COMAND system on the center stack instead of near the control knob, and the cheap-looking plastic pop-up door locks.
The rear-seat compartment, naturally, is a fairly intimate space, as passengers are staggered slightly behind the front seats, but there’s still room for a pull-down armrest between the rear seats, and the rear seats themselves are nicely sculptured, supportive, and comfortable.
Better still, gone are the days when a studied eye could find evidence of Benz beancounter cost-cutting in the cabin, and even the base model gets the aforementioned Aircap, along with dual-zone HVAC controls, leather and walnut trim.
The Mercedes-Benz cachet has lost some ground in recent years, as cost-cutting measures dented the brand's image for quality. Carrying forward the role of last year's model, the 2011 E-Class recaptures much of the fit and feel of old and takes big steps to returning the brand to the top of the luxury class.
The 2011 E-Class offers more space and luxury than the previous generation, thanks to a slightly longer and wider platform underpinning all variants. Rear seat leg and elbow room in particular is improved, though the Coupe and Cabriolet make compromises in the name of style, while the front seats of all models offer plenty of space. Vinyl is the standard base-level upholstery, though in the U.S., most cars will be sold with leather. Wood trim, improved cup holders, a quieter cabin, and generally improved fit and finish add to the current generation E-Class's luxurious feel.
The interior of the E-Class lineup is quite comfortable, even when filled with five occupants. The 2011 E-Class offers an optional sunroof, but the design costs some headroom.
The extra volume afforded by the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class's larger exterior has to manifest itself somewhere, and much of it is gained in trunk volume, up 2.2 cubic feet to 19.1 cubic feet. That expansive rear compartment is now more accessible as well, thanks to a revised split rear-seat design. If 19.1 cubic feet doesn't quite get the Mercedes E-Class to the top of the class, it is sufficiently large for most applications. Interior storage is impressive as well on the E-Class, with cubbies accessible to both driver and passenger.
Mercedes takes serious steps with the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class to improve the sense of quality and upgrade the finishes in the sedan. A wide range of optional color schemes and upgrade packages also make it easy to get the look and feel you want.
One noteworthy improvement over some Mercedes-Benz models from earlier this decade comes in the category of cabin noise. TheCarConnection.com's editors notice that the only real noise coming into the cabin during their test drives is the sound of the engine, which growls nicely under acceleration.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class's interior is excellent, nearly equaling the S-Class in quality and feel.