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The E-Class offers state-of-the-art safety and performance technology wrapped in a somber but classy body.
Distinctive good looks, lots of standard and optional safety equipment, available all-wheel drive, refined powertrains, rock-solid engineering.
Stately rather than sporty, gimmicky COMAND system option, no manual transmissions available.
Available E-Class Models
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E320 sedans can now be ordered with the sport package, which includes AMG aerodynamic enhancements, specific foglights and 17-inch wheels and tires. E-Class sunroofs now feature one-touch opening.
The booming economy and generally healthy stock market of the mid-90s sent luxury sedan sales through the roof. Under these promising conditions, the very popular E-Class has proven to be a solid home run since its last redesign five years ago.
Four different models are available this year. The E320 Sedan and Wagon come equipped with a strong 3.2-liter V6 engine making 221 horsepower and capable of propelling these models from a standstill to 60 mph in 7 to 8 seconds, depending on equipment. The E430 Sedan, available with 4matic all-wheel drive, has a 4.3-liter V8 good for 275 horsepower and runs to 60 mph in the low- to mid-6s. The ground-tromping AMG-tuned E55 comes with a massive 349-horsepower 5.5-liter V8. All models have a Touch Shift automanual transmission, which lets the driver select her own gears or leave the slushbox to do the dirty work.
Outside, the E wears a familiar face. The CLK-inspired front end is tapered with a lower hoodline, raked-back dual headlamps and seamlessly integrated bumpers. Along the sides, exterior mirrors have integrated turn signals, and trim is body-colored. The base E320 Sedan can now be ordered with a sport package previously reserved for the more expensive E430 models. This package includes AMG aerodynamic enhancements, specific foglights and 17-inch wheels and tires. If you want more than just AMG looks, snag the E55 and get the more powerful V8 (good for 0-to-60 times of 5.4 seconds), 18-inch wheels and thicker stabilizer bars.
Inside, the multi-function steering wheel, large instrument cluster and central display screen for the optional (but not recommended) Cockpit Management and Data (COMAND) system provide the E-Class driver with a wealth of information. Side airbags are available in each of the four doors, and E320 Wagons come with inflatable side curtains for increased head protection. TeleAid is also a standard service and can put you in touch with emergency personnel if your airbags deploy or if you suffer a sudden medical problem.
In addition to TeleAid, E-Class comes with a full roster of standard safety equipment. Antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control and stability control keep the E-Class going safely and securely in the direction in which it's pointed. This year, all E-Class sunroofs feature one-touch opening, giving you even more time to play with COMAND. A BabySmart system automatically deactivates the front passenger airbag when a special dealer-installed child seat is present, but in an E-Class, there's plenty of room in back for the kiddies.
Thanks to a long list of safety and luxury features, the E-Class continues to represent the epitome of luxury, giving its owners a technologically magnificent vehicle in a striking package. The Mercedes E-Class cars make a statement. They say, "I'm rich." Then they add, "But I'm also an intelligent buyer who wants a comfortable and safe car, and that's what I'm paying for." Quite talkative, these cars. But they're correct.
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