Quality » 9
Shopping for a new Mercedes-Benz E Class? MSRP: $51,900 - $61,400
GET A FREE PRICE QUOTE
QUALITY | 9 out of 10
The enriched cabin gets a restyled dashboard and gauges, a handsome analog clock, aluminum-look switches, and striking wood or metal trim. There's a heightened sense of fit-and-finish; corners and joints are executed with a precision nearly befitting an S-class.
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 cabin's always filled with the ripe, mature sound of a big V-8 barking out orders like it's in charge. That's life with an AMG. Either you're in, or you're out.
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 some very different vehicles. The sedan and wagon share most of their interior space and functionality, while coupes and convertibles are closer to each other, in having less of both.
For now, we'll fill you in on the sedan and wagon; we'll be driving the updated coupe and cabriolet soon to bring you fresh driving impressions.
There's more interior room in any E-Class than in models from just a few years ago. The latest editions ride on a wider and longer platform than before, with particularly roomy layouts to be found in the sedan and wagon. They're 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.
In front, passengers will get deep front foot wells, and a couple of fingers of headroom even with the standard sunroof. The base power-adjustable seats can seem pretty pedestrian in construction--and synthetic material remains the standard base-level upholstery, though in the U.S., the majority of cars are sold with leather. AMG versions have their own grippy, multi-adjustable seats, and on many versions, Mercedes offers adaptive seats that inflate and deflate air bladders in the bolsters as you push limits through corners. If it sounds gimmicky, it is, but it also works well.
As for the rear seat, three adults will truly fit, and leg and elbow room are very good for two passengers in either the E-Class sedan or wagon. The back seat itself is easy to access and flip forward for more space, thanks to a split-folding design.
Small-item storage is decent, with a two-tier glovebox sized just about right for an actual pair of gloves. Cup holders are hidden beneath a slide-forward console lid, and behind and below them is a somewhat shallow storage bin. In terms of cargo space, the latest E-Class sedans got a significant boost in trunk volume; wagons are of course the most versatile for cargo, and they include a couple of temporary-use, rear-facing third-row seats.
In all the members of the E-Class family of cars, the plush interior fittings and classy trim set a stylish baseline that can be fluffed up with designer touches. Wood trim, improved cup holders, a quieter cabin, and generally improved fit and finish add to the current generation E-Class's luxurious feel. 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 quietness is among the best in this class unless you do go for the most powerful models. Then it's all engine note, all the time, almost always for the better.
An enormous cabin suits the E-Class sedan and wagon--and if you can spend into the adaptive seats, you have our blessing.