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 E-Class nameplate covers two very different vehicles, with the sedan and wagon sharing most of their interior space and functionality, and coupes and convertibles closer to each other in having less of both. In any of the four, the return to form for the interior's a welcome one: the plush interior fittings and classy trim that's available feel like the benchmarks that Mercedes-Benz long has been famous for.
There's more interior room in any E-Class than before, since this version rides on a wider and longer platform than before. The sedan and wagon are particularly roomy, on par with the BMW 5-Series by the spec sheet, visually a little more spacious, and much more open than, say, the Jaguar XF. Front seats on the base versions can seem pretty pedestrian, in the way they're constructed--but AMG versions are grippy and multi-adjustable in myriad ways.
Back-seat leg and elbow room have improved in the E-Class, more noticeably in the sedan and wagon. The Coupe and Cabriolet make big compromises in the name of style, though it's still possible to fit a pair of adults in the back seats without too many complaints, so long as the trip is a short one. It helps if the passengers are, too.By the numbers, the latest E-Class sedans got a significant boost in 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. Even coupes and cabriolets have a reasonable luggage hold, with enough room for a couple of roll-aboard bags.
Wood trim, improved cup holders, a quieter cabin, and generally improved fit and finish add to the current generation E Class's luxurious feel. Vinyl remains the standard base-level upholstery, though in the U.S., most cars will be sold with leather.
Interior appointments are rich 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. In the richest designer trims, the E-Class carries off a much more elegant, expensive look than it does in its plainer, standard-issue form. It's also a subdued place to ride, no matter which non-AMG drivetrain you choose--cabin noise, especially, is perhaps the best in this class.
A recent revamp gave the E-Class an interior more fitting for a Mercedes, and rear-seat space is good in the four-door versions.