The latest Mercedes-Benz E-Class saw most of its infotainment features updated this past model year, so it's largely carried over, with the new 2014 E250 BlueTEC rear-drive sedan becoming the entry-level model.
All E-Class models get the standard-issue package of features and equipment, including cruise control; power windows, locks, and mirrors; power front seats; tilt/telescoping steering; dual-zone climate control; ambient lighting; a sunroof; rain-sensing wipers; an AM/FM/CD/DVD player with an SD car slot; Bluetooth; and a multi-function instrument display. Every E-Class also sports the mbrace2 smartphone connectivity suite, which integrates streaming audio via Pandora, and a host of other connected-car features.
The basic E-Class also comes with M-B Tex synthetic upholstery, while leather is an option, and burl walnut or ash trim are offered. Wagons all get a power tailgate and rear air suspension, along with a small fold-out third-row seat.
Most E-Class sedans and wagons are trimmed out as Sport models, which means sport exhaust tips, 18-inch wheels and tires, and distinct gauges, along with a trimmer grille with an outsized Mercedes logo at its center. A minority of E-Classes are Luxury models, with 17-inch wheels and tires and a three-slat grille with a discreet Benz badge at the top.
Major option packages include features like a rearview camera; the new surround-view camera; a navigation system; satellite radio; surround sound; and heated and ventilated front seats. Parking Assist and Lane Tracking are their own packages, as is a new Keyless-Go package with pushbutton start, a power trunklid closer, and a trunk opener that works by waving a foot under the bumper--a system like the one found on the Ford Escape.
Stepping up to the top-of-the-line E63 AMG gets you upgraded materials throughout, including a flat-bottom steering wheel and Alcantara trim, plus AMG badges and performance-tuned stability and traction electronics--in addition to a high-performance transmission and the AMG-built 550-hp or 577-hp V-8. A nice, round, 200-mph speedometer is also included. We'd definitely recommend the "S" upgrade, with carbon-ceramic brakes, red brake calipers, and the higher output--but we'd also save room for the $6,400 Bang & Olufsen sound system, with 1200 watts delivered through 14 speakers.