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.
In many respects, the current E Class models are a return to form, to the classy feel and plush interior appointments--combined with vaultlike construction--that made Mercedes-Benz such a longtime luxury benchmark.
With more interior space and luxury than the previous generation, thanks to a slightly longer and wider platform underpinning all variants, these are quite roomy cars--and especially in Sedan and Wagon forms, a step roomier in feel if not numbers compared to the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, and Jaguar XF. Back-seat leg and elbow room in particular have improved, though the Coupe and Cabriolet make compromises in the name of style, while the front seats of all models offer plenty of space.
By the numbers, the latest E Class Sedans gained significant trunk volume, and the back seat itself is easy to access and flip forward for more space, thanks to a split-folding design. Wagons are of course the most versatile for cargo, and they include a couple of temporary-use, rear-facing third-row seats.
Vinyl remains 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.
Interior appointments are comparable across the entire model line, although the key interface difference between Sedans/Wagons and Coupes/Convertibles is that the Sedans and Wagons get a column-mounted gear selector while Coupes and Convertibles get a center-console-mounted one.
Mercedes-Benz significantly improved the trims and finishes in the current E Class models in their last redesign, and they stand up well against any of its luxury rivals. Cabin noise, especially, is perhaps the best in this class.
In style, fit, finish, and cabin ambiance in general, the current-generation Mercedes-Benz E Class models are a return to form.