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.
-Well balanced car with great ride and handling.
-Smooth engine has broad torque band.
-Reliable, having gone through 12,000 punishing miles of rough serpentine mountain roads and pot-hole ridden, congested city streets without any problems. The car feels very well built, much more so than the previous 2 generations.
-Intelligent Headlight Sytem (IHS) illuminates un-lit roads perfectly, especially around corners. The HID beams have great throw.
-Plethora of safety features like Distronic and Blind Spot assist
-The firm seats are very comfortable, especially for long trips.
-Excellent Harman Kardon sound system.
-Classically styled interior with warm ambient lighting.
-Command system interface looks like it is from the 90's.
-Engine can do with more power, throttle should be re-mapped to eliminate the need to floor the pedal for quick response.
-Some cheap interior finishes like faux aluminum accents and plastic dash.
-Electronic gear shift slow to switch from drive to reverse and vice versa.
-Foot operated parking brake, are you serious?
-iPod/aux input connector in glove box and not the center console.
-Trunk lid hinges protrude into trunk space and can crush objects underneath.
-Panoramic sunroof screen should be solid a la S-Class and not translucent. It gets hot here!
Don't know why, but I meant to give just 2 stars for fuel economy. This car returns 26-28MPG on the highway, but in the congested city of San Jose, Costa Rica, the mileage can quickly drop down to a dismal 12MPG.
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