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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
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.
Car and Driver
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.
Luxury and infotainment features are hard to miss in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and there are more of them for the new model year.
As before, every E-Class comes standard with the usual power windows, locks, and mirrors; cruise control; dual-zone climate control; rain-sensing wipers; ambient lighting; an AM/FM/XM/CD player with USB port; HD radio; Bluetooth; and a multi-function instrument display. All E-Class vehicles add the Mercedes mbrace2 smartphone connectivity suite, which integrates streaming audio via Pandora, and a host of other connected-car features.
E350 sedans come in either Sport or Luxury trim. The Sport versions have 18-inch wheels, distinctive exhaust outlets, and their own gauge package. The Luxury versions roll on 17-inch wheels, and get a standard sunroof and the COMAND infotainment controller--but come with synthetic upholstery, not leather.
Wagons also get a power tailgate and rear air suspension--plus the short-sting, rear-facing third-row seat.
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. 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.
Stepping up to the top-of-the-line E63 AMG gets you upgraded materials throughout, plus AMG badges and performance-tuned stability and traction electronics--in addition to a high-performance transmission and the AMG-built 518-hp V-8. Adding its Performance Package lifts output to 550 horsepower. Wagons come standard with a panoramic sunroof.
It's hard to imagine a driver not satisfied by the 2013 E-Class' options and features, but the pricetag rises quickly from a high base.