Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The E-Class comes in an array of four different body styles--Sedan, Coupe, Cabriolet and Wagon--and five different engines.

All E-Class models come with a 7-speed automatic transmission. E350 models are the starting point up the price ladder, with their 302-horsepower, 3.5L V6. Above that, it's the E400 powered by a turbocharged 3.0L V6 making 330-horsepower. 4MATIC all-wheel drive is standard on the E400 and available on most E350 models. At the top of the line, there's the performance-focused E63 AMG, with its 518-hp, 5.5L biturbo V8.

Environmentally minded shoppers have a couple of good options. The E350 Bluetec packs a strong 3.0L turbo-diesel V6, making 210 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile the E400 Hybrid offers the E350's gasoline V6, paired with a 27 hp, 207 lb-ft electric motor system that supplements its output, permitting both electric-only operation in some situations and the engine to be detached during high-speed coasting, or "sailing." The Hybrid also has the first lithium-ion battery pack designed specifically for automotive use, Mercedes-Benz says. Both of these models are rear-wheel drive only.

No matter the model, the E-Class has a classic luxury-sedan interior, with interior trims that are impressive and upscale yet not too flamboyant. Coupes and Cabriolets have less backseat space--with seating for four instead of five--but an AirCap system in Cabriolet models helps limit air turbulence with the top down. Ride comfort is top-notch through the lineup, too, and a driver-adjustable suspension system is included, while V8 models get air shocks to increase comfort without additional body motion.

On E63 AMG models, standard equipment includes a navigation system, enhanced voice control, a rearview camera system, an Active Multicontour Driver seat, heated and active ventilated front seats, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, bi-xenon headlamps with Active Curve Illumination, additional corner-illuminating lamps, an electronic trunk closer and Keyless Go.

Standard equipment across the E-Class model line includes power front seats (with 3-position memory), Smart Key entry, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, an integrated garage-door opener, rain-sensing intermittent wipers and ambient lighting. The COMAND screen- and controller-based system is also included, wrapping together radio, DVD/CD and a Bluetooth interface, as well as other media through a memory-card slot.

All E-Class models also include Attention Assist, a feature that studies the driver's steering patterns, alerting the driver with a coffee-cup icon and instrument-cluster message if when between 50 and 112 mph, it suspects drowsy driving.

The E-Class has several other noteworthy active-safety options. Night View Assist Plus uses infra-red light from beams mounted within the headlights to help see ahead nearly 500 feet--and see pedestrians up to 300 feet earlier than without the system, thanks to a screen built into the instrument cluster. There's also Distronic Plus, a sensor system that now includes Blind Spot Assist and Park Assist. Distronic Plus cars also have Pre-Safe, a system that can automatically apply full braking for an impending collision.

Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist are offered together in a Lane Tracking Package, while the Driver Assistance Package brings Distronic Plus, Active Blind Spot Assist, and Active Lane Keeping Assist. Some of the desirable luxury features and conveniences are grouped together into Premium 1 and Premium 2 packages, while standalone options include a rear side airbag, Parktronic parking guidance, split folding rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a 115-volt power outlet and a rear-seat entertainment system, among many others.

Editors' Review

Looking and feeling like a three quarter-scale S-Class, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz E450 sits in the middle of the E-Class range. It offers significantly greater performance than base models while being more approachable (and affordable) than the souped-up AMG version. Potent yet poised, spacious and sumptuous, the E450 is close to the ideal luxury sedan and a stellar alternative to traditional rivals like the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.

Fresh off a 2021 midcycle update, Mercedes-Benz made minimal changes to the E-Class for 2022. Automatic high beams are now standard, as is a heated steering wheel in the AMG E53. Rounding out the list of alterations, nautical blue metallic paint (a $750 option) joins the palette and gives this example a dark, almost brooding appearance.

Helping make the E450 the most well-rounded E-Class is a smooth I6 nestled under the hood. This turbocharged unit displaces 3.0 liters and is augmented by an EQ Boost mild-hybrid system, which helps improve efficiency and performance. Altogether, this engine delivers 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, enough kibbles and bits to get the stately E450 to 60 mph in a curt 4.9 seconds. That performance is aided by a responsive but occasionally lumpy nine-speed automatic transmission. Upshifts can feel ragged, and downshifts are often quite noticeable while rolling to a stop.

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The Good ~ Sumptuous and comfy interior ~ Potent performance ~ Magic-carpet ride

The Bad ~ Clunk-Matic transmission ~ Terrible touch controls

The Bottom Line This midrange E450 is the total package and then some.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9
  • Features 9
  • Design 8.5
  • Media 8.5

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