2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

  • Enjoyable to drive, offering superior quality and available in a host of different body styles, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury-car triumph that deserves serious consideration.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Superb ride and handling balance; potent engines; extensive array of luxury- and safety-related features; spacious sedan interior.

  • Cons

    Occasionally fussy COMAND interface; sedan's controversial exterior styling.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class adds a convertible to the lineup, and sees the return of the wagon body style and optional diesel-fueled V6 engine. There have also been minor exterior and interior upgrades, with the coupe getting new grille mesh, and all body styles getting restyled headlight control switches and relocated ESP controls.

Full 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class adds a convertible to the lineup, and sees the return of the wagon body style and optional diesel-fueled V6 engine. There have also been minor exterior and interior upgrades, with the coupe getting new grille mesh, and all body styles getting restyled headlight control switches and relocated ESP controls.

Introduction

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class boasts a lineup that presents a wide array of alternatives for drivers with a taste for automotive excellence. Last year, the selection of body styles included just a sedan and a coupe, but this year those choices are joined by an all-new convertible and the returning E-Class wagon.

Attractive and versatile, the latest E-Class wagon is a worthy choice in the admittedly small premium-wagon segment, and it returns to the E-Class family after a brief hiatus. Most notable for its quirky rear-facing third-row seat, the wagon offers an accommodating, highly functional nature, along with all the refinement you'd expect from an E-Class model. One downside to consider is that unlike other E-Class body styles, this wagon is available with just one engine, the 3.5-liter V6.

Pick the new E-Class Cabriolet -- which replaces the discontinued CLK-Class drop top -- and you'll get a stylish cruiser that seats four and comes with a long list of luxury features. The E-Class Cabriolet is less sporty than the 2011 BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G37 convertibles, and it has a traditional soft top rather than a more elaborate (as well as heavy and expensive) retractable hardtop. When it comes to refinement, though, this Mercedes is a class leader as evidenced by its peerlessly serene ride quality.

Of course, most people will be looking at the traditional E-Class sedan. Solid and seemingly over-engineered, the stately E-Class sedan boasts unflappable composure, and its taut chassis and communicative steering translate into impressive handling. The 2011 E350 Bluetec is new; its clean-diesel engine promises more than 30 mpg highway fuel economy. For more performance-minded drivers, the sedan line also includes the E63 AMG variant, which is neck and neck with many sports cars in straight-line acceleration and actually outpaces some smaller sport sedans when the road gets curvy.

With this accomplished lineup, Mercedes has crafted not just one but instead four cars that are hard to beat. Certainly, there are other choices, especially among sedans. The BMW 5 Series is sportier, the 2011 Jaguar XF is more stylish and the 2011 Infiniti M37 is less expensive, but none of these choices has the E-Class sedan's well-rounded excellence. Whether you choose the sedan, coupe, wagon or cabriolet, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class represents the best of the best for discerning shoppers.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available in sedan, wagon, convertible (Cabriolet) and coupe body styles. The sedan is available in E350, E350 Bluetec, E550 and E63 AMG variants, with the numbers and descriptors indicating different engine choices. The E-Class coupe and convertible come in E350 and E550 trim levels only, while the E-Class wagon is offered in just the E350 trim.

The E350 and E350 Bluetec sedans come standard with 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front seats with memory functions, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, MB-Tex premium vinyl upholstery, the COMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer and auxiliary audio jack. The E350 coupe is similar, but adds a panoramic sunroof and sport seats. The wagon adds to the sedan a power tailgate and rearview camera. The Cabriolet adds standard leather upholstery, a full power cloth roof and the AirCap wind-deflector system.

Compared to the E350 model, the E550 sedan adds a V8 engine, an air suspension and leather upholstery, while the E550 coupe adds 18-inch wheels, a sport body kit, a sport suspension and shift paddles. Relative to the E350 convertible, the E550 drop top adds a V8 engine and 18-inch wheels.

The Premium 1 package available on all E350 and E550 models includes a power rear sunshade, a hard-drive-based navigation system, voice controls, a rearview camera, heated front seats, and a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system with digital music storage, HD radio, satellite radio and an iPod/MP3 player interface. The Premium 2 package adds all the Premium 1 items, plus features such as adaptive bi-xenon headlights, adaptive high-beam assist and keyless ignition/entry. The sedan and wagon are available with a Driver Assistance package that adds a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure warning system.

Stand-alone options on the sedan include parking sensors and a rear-seat entertainment system. Both the sedan and the wagon are available with a panoramic sunroof, infrared night-vision camera, expanded leather upholstery and a multicontour driver seat with massage.

The E63 AMG includes most of the E550's equipment plus a larger V8, sport transmission, adjustable drive settings, adaptive sport suspension, high-performance brakes and a sport steering wheel. Premium 1 and 2 and Driver Assistance packages are available, along with an AMG Performance package that adds 19-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, even sportier suspension tuning and a leather/faux-suede steering wheel.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan, wagon, convertible and coupe are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the E350 Bluetec sedan comes with a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 engine good for 210 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. In performance testing, the E350 convertible and coupe sprinted from zero to 60 mph in a brisk 6.8 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy with the 3.5-liter V6 is 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined for the sedan; the E350 coupe and convertible are very similar. The new wagon has a 16/23/19 mpg estimate and Mercedes says the E350 Bluetec will achieve 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway.

The E550s are powered by a 5.5-liter V8 good for 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. The seven-speed auto is again standard. In performance testing, the E550 sedan and coupe went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 5.3 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 15/23/18 for the sedan.

Both the E350 and E550 sedans are available with either rear-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive, while the E350 wagon is offered solely with the all-wheel-drive powertrain. All E-Class coupes and convertibles are available only with rear-wheel drive.

The E63 AMG has a 6.3-liter V8 that pumps out 518 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. It's coupled to a sport-tuned seven-speed automatic with a paddle-shift manual mode. According to Mercedes, the E63 will go from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds, which is stunning for a large, four-door vehicle. Fuel economy, should you worry about such things, is 13/20/15 mpg.

Safety

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, front pelvic airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.

Also standard is Attention Assist (a driver drowsiness and alerting monitor) and PreSafe (it anticipates an imminent crash and automatically takes measures to better secure occupants). The Driver Assistance package adds a blind-spot warning system, a lane departure warning/correction system and PreSafe braking. Rear side airbags are optional on the sedan, coupe and convertible, while an infrared night vision system is optional on the sedan and wagon.

In government crash testing, the E-Class sedan earned a solid four stars and a perfect five stars for frontal- and side-impact protection, respectively. The sedan also got a "Good" rating -- the highest available -- in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a cabin done in a style that is meant to recall solid, dependable Mercedes from the past. Angles are sharp, the materials first-rate and the look is decidedly somber, especially when adorned in monotone color schemes and dark wood trim -- very German, in other words. The general design is the same regardless of body style, except for the available three-spoke sport steering wheel and electric gear selector (column-mounted in the sedan and wagon; console-mounted in the coupe, convertible and AMG).

All E-Class models come with Mercedes' COMAND electronics interface, which combines a large display screen, a control knob and dash-mounted buttons. There's a bit of a learning curve involved, but it's generally neither better nor worse than similar systems from Audi or BMW.

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. The coupe and AMG models feature sport seats that offer a closer fit, designed to keep you in place through turns. The sedan's backseat is quite spacious, matching the BMW 5 Series as the most welcoming rear quarters in the midsize luxury class. With the wagon, you get a generous 57 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity, and a rear-facing third-row seat. The convertible offers comfortable seating for four, provided rear passengers are about 5-feet-9 or less, and its cabin is one of the most serene of any convertible due to its AirCap system. In the coupe, the rear seat's legroom is about the same as in most luxury two-doors, but headroom is limited.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class strikes a brilliant balance between ride quality and handling ability. Within its segment, the E is by far the most adaptable, rewarding and confident car for the widest variety of surfaces and situations. Although it's not the most athletic pick, it nevertheless offers highly tactile steering, strong engines and a chassis that inspires confidence. Regardless of body style or engine, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a remarkable luxury car to drive.

The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is even more remarkable. Anything that can seat five people in comfort and go from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds would certainly warrant that descriptor. Its myriad performance upgrades -- suspension, steering, brakes, wheels, tires and transmission -- make for a serious performance machine.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Initial problems resolved - awesome

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A)

This is the 2011 E-Class sedan with the sport package in obsidian black with grey interior. After some initial problems with the airmatic suspension (replaced rear air springs) and rattles in the rear of the vehicle (replaced seat belt rollers and roller blind system), the vehicle is now unbeatable in style, comfort and performance.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Highly impressed after 12,000 miles

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I have owned the E350 sedan for a year and a half and alternate it between a 2009 S550 and a 2007 BMW 530i. I live in Costa Rica where the roads consist of endless pot holes and hap-hazard patches with undulating curves and steep inclines. The E350 has proven to be a very capable car and is the one I choose for the twisty mountain roads. It is not outright sporty, but extremely agile and confident on the curves and absorbs the rough surfaces without completely isolating the driver, no simple feat considering the coil suspension. The engine and transmission make short work of passing and climbing steep hills and the brakes don't exhibit fade on long downhill treks. Overall, highly impressed.



3 of 15 people found this review helpful

Beautiful design; initial problems resolved

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A)

I bought this car because of its truly beautiful lines. The car is a typical Mercedes---solid, airtight, good fit and finish. My car had some initial issues with rough shifting and Mercedes was able to correct the problem to my satisfaction. Overall, I think Mercedes builds solid, well designed cars and this model is a respectable entrant in the mid-size luxury sedan category.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I have owned three Mercedes E Class cars since 2000. Subtle cut backs on quality, trying to keep the cost down, did not distract from the overall performance. The ride, handling and performance are still first class, making the car a good value for the money.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Nice car

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

Have had two Lexus ES350 and one RX350. All were nice, but the RX wasn't the good quality as expected, and was boring. My wife loved the RX, so it took some prodding to change. So far we have 900 mi on the MB E350 and it is much more fun to drive with good quality. Will likely miss the Lexus free maintenance, but this car seems worth it. Very quiet, great music system, nav, etc. The panorama sunroof sold my wife, but it uses a screen to keep out sunlight instead of a solid cover. So in Texas the screen allows some heat through. Keep that in mind. A/C is extremely cold though, so no worries. The Command interface works well for me. Transmission lever is cool but different.



6 of 53 people found this review helpful

Brand new e-350 mb- don't

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I bought a brand new 4Matic E-350 Benz in JAN 2011. The car needs a transmission. I have been fighting with MB USA to just give me an even trade. I now see I paid TOO MUCH for it because they want me to take a $16K negitive equity. I'm very dissapointed in the customer service that I have received. I would never recommend anyone purchase an E calss or any other car from MB in Alex, VA. I needed a car with all wheel drive so I traded in my 2002 S-class for the 2011 E-class; BIG mistake. I went back the next day to get my car and they sold it. What does that say? All I want to remedy the situation is a fair trade in. They have offered to pay my notes for 2 months! NOT HAPPY.



Talk About The 2011 E-Class

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Discussions See all Started By

hbtrojan
hbtrojan
10-11-2013

ghstudio
ghstudio
09-01-2011
I am a new Mercedes customer....I leased a 2011 e350 BlueTek and I love the car....26+ mpg around my city is just terrific...the car is a Premium 2 with some additional bells/whistles....


skeefy
skeefy
07-15-2011
My wife and I are considering a purchase of a 2011 E-Class E350 Wagon (options below). I'm trying to get at what I should pay for this car. I'm aware of the $4,000 "Conquest" program that ...



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