2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan

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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 302 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

  • Enjoyable to drive, meticulously built and available in a host of different body styles, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury-car triumph that deserves serious consideration.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Superb ride and handling balance; potent engines; meticulously constructed; extensive safety features; spacious sedan interior; innovative convertible features.

  • Cons

    Less sporty than some competitors.

  • What's New for 2012

    There are a number of significant changes made to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class for 2012. New, more powerful and more efficient engines debut in every model, while the E350 Bluetec turbodiesel carries over from last year. The E550 sedan now comes standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive, while the E63 gets standard stop/start technology for added fuel savings. All E550 and 4Matic-equipped models get electromechanical steering versus the hydraulic setup used last year. Finally, the E63 wagon returns to the lineup.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (16 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Initial problems resolved - awesome

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Highly impressed after 12,000 miles

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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 13 people found this review helpful

Beautiful design; initial problems resolved

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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.



5 of 50 people found this review helpful

Brand new e-350 mb- don't

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Vehicle: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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  • 30
  • highway
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Full 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

What's New for 2012

There are a number of significant changes made to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class for 2012. New, more powerful and more efficient engines debut in every model, while the E350 Bluetec turbodiesel carries over from last year. The E550 sedan now comes standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive, while the E63 gets standard stop/start technology for added fuel savings. All E550 and 4Matic-equipped models get electromechanical steering versus the hydraulic setup used last year. Finally, the E63 wagon returns to the lineup.

Introduction

Few cars offer the variety of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. There are four different body styles, four different engines, two sub trim levels and a multitude of options. Throw in the similar CLS sedan with its coupe-style roof and the family grows even further. Yet throughout this family, there isn't a bad apple in the bunch. Quite the opposite, really, as each E-Class iteration managed to earn the title Edmunds Recommended in our annual buyer's guide. Be it sedan, coupe, convertible or wagon, the E-Class is one of the finest cars on the road.

For 2012, they all get even better. With the exception of the carryover E350 Bluetec and its V6 turbodiesel, every E-Class has received a new engine that's more powerful and more economical. The gasoline-powered E350 now features a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 that bumps output up to 302 horsepower from its previous 268. The E550's V8 gets a more radical change, switching to a turbocharged, smaller-displacement mill that cranks out 402 hp and 443 pound-feet of torque. This V8 has also been paired with standard all-wheel drive this year in the sedan package, but if tire-blazing action is your thing, the E550 coupe and convertible still send their power rearward.

And let's not forget the maximum-performance E63 AMG. This year it gets a new engine: a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 good for 518 hp (the same as last year) and 516 lb-ft of torque (a lot more than last year). The E63 AMG Wagon also re-emerges for 2012, satisfying the small but wonderfully nutty subset of drivers who demand sports car performance and grocery-getting utility in one high-class package.

Overall, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class remains a top choice against a plethora of competitors, including the 2012 Audi A5, 2012 BMW 5 Series, 2012 Infiniti M37, and 2012 Jaguar XF. It's hard to argue against any of these, but the E-Class provides the unmistakable Mercedes virtues of meticulous engineering and a driving character that strikes a wonderful balance between responsive performance and handling. If your only choice is figuring out which of the many E-Class variants to get, we wouldn't blame you.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available in five-passenger sedan, four-passenger coupe, four-passenger convertible (Cabriolet) and seven-passenger wagon body styles. Each is further broken into different trims that correspond with its engine. The sedan is available in E350, E350 Bluetec, E550 4Matic and E63 AMG variants. The coupe and cabriolet are E350 and E550, the E-Class wagon is E350 4Matic and E63 AMG. 4Matic refers to the all-wheel-drive system.

The E350 and E350 Bluetec sedans are similarly equipped with 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, a sunroof, automatic wipers, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and memory functions, MB Tex premium vinyl upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, interior accent lighting, auto-dimming inside and driver-side mirrors, the COMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD/DVD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. The E350 sedan is further broken down into the Luxury and Sport sub-trims, which vary in suspension tuning, styling, interior trim and wheel design.

The E350 wagon gets standard all-wheel drive, a power liftgate, a rearview camera and a rear-facing third-row seat. The E350 coupe gets sport seats, leather upholstery, a 60/40 split-folding backseat and a console-mounted transmission lever with paddle shifters. The E350 Cabriolet gets a power-operated roof, a rear center pass-through, and the AirCap pop-up air deflector.

Every E550 adds bigger brakes, 18-inch wheels and leather upholstery (optional on E350). The E550 4Matic sedan comes with standard all-wheel drive and the Sport sub-trim items. The E550 coupe gets a sport-tuned suspension and a sport body kit.

The Premium 1 package adds a navigation system, a rearview camera, heated seats (E550 adds ventilation), a power rear window shade (sedan and coupe), satellite radio, a premium sound system and an iPod interface. The Cabriolet version of this package includes the AirScarf neck-heating system. The Premium 2 package includes the above items plus adaptive bi-xenon headlights with washers and automatic high beams, a power trunk lid and keyless ignition/entry. The Lane Tracking package adds a blind-spot warning system and a lane departure warning/keeping system. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control and more advanced versions of the Lane Tracking items.

Stand-alone options on the sedan and wagon include front and rear parking sensors, split-folding rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats (E350), a panoramic sunroof, enhanced front seats with adjustable bolsters, a heated steering wheel, an infrared night vision warning system and a rear seat entertainment system. The coupe and Cabriolet can also be had with heated front seats and the parking sensors.

The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG includes most of the E550's equipment plus a larger V8, various AMG-engineered and tuned components (transmission, suspension, steering, brakes, exhaust), headlight washers, a sport steering wheel, sport seats with adjustable bolsters, special styling elements inside and out, and the premium sound system with satellite radio and iPod interface. The sedan gets a standard power rear sunshade and a split-folding rear seat, while the wagon gets a standard panoramic roof. Options include the Premium 1 and 2 packages, as well as the Lane Tracking and Driver Assistance packages. Many of the same stand-alone items are also available along with a limited-slip differential, 19-inch forged alloy wheels and carbon fiber trim. Finally, the AMG Performance package adds additional power, more aggressive suspension tuning (sedan only), a sportier steering wheel, a higher top speed, red brake calipers and a carbon-fiber engine cover.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mercedes-Benz E350 models come with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard on every E-Class. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all but the wagon. All-wheel drive (4Matic) is standard on the wagon and optional on the sedan. In Edmunds performance testing, an E350 wagon went from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is average for the class, and we expect the rear-wheel-drive variants to be a bit quicker still. Mercedes estimates that the E350 sedan will achieve 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, while the others should get 1 or 2 mpg lower in each driving cycle.

The E350 Bluetec features a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 with clean-burning "Bluetec" technology, a liquid treatment that reduces emissions particulates. It produces a rather modest 210 hp, yet a very robust 400 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard. In Edmunds testing, an E350 Bluetec went from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. This is rather slow for the class, but then a scant few cars in the class can come close to its fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.

The E550 models get a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 that produces 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the coupe and Cabriolet, while the sedan gets 4Matic all-wheel drive standard. Mercedes estimates the sedan will hit 60 in a very rapid 5.2 seconds, while the coupe and Cabriolet should hit 5 flat or dip into the 4s. Mercedes-estimated fuel economy stands at 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway regardless of model.

The E63 AMG gets a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 that cranks out 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. With the AMG Performance package, this gets bumped up to 550 and 590, respectively. Standard is rear-wheel drive and the AMG seven-speed automated manual transmission. Mercedes expects it to hit 60 mph in about 4.2 seconds. Fuel economy is a Mercedes-estimated 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway for the sedan and 14/21 for the wagon.

Safety

The 2012 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 are the Mercedes-Benz mbrace emergency telematics service, Attention Assist (a driver drowsiness and inattention warning system) and PreSafe (it anticipates an imminent crash and automatically takes measures to better secure occupants). The Cabriolet features automatic rollover hoops.

The Lane Tracking package adds a blind-spot warning system and a lane departure warning/keeping system. The Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control and more advanced versions of the Lane Tracking items that can take evasive action should the driver fail to do so. Rear side airbags are a stand-alone option.

In Edmunds brake testing, an E350 sedan with all-season tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet. An E350 4Matic wagon with summer tires did it in 109 feet. Both distances are average for vehicles with those respective tire types.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2012 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 austere, 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 the 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.

Each E-Class model is relatively comfortable and spacious for their respective segments. The seats are firm, but offer impressive comfort and support over the long haul. The two-door and AMG models feature sport seats that offer a closer fit to help 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 that limits airflow to a trickle even at high speeds. 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 2012 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 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a special 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 4.2 seconds would certainly warrant that descriptor. Its myriad performance upgrades -- suspension, steering, brakes, wheels, tires and transmission -- make for a serious performance machine. However, if you're simply looking for a go-fast Benz without those other, more hard-core upgrades, the E550's new twin-turbo V8 offers the same sort of wicked acceleration that an AMG E-Class managed only a few years ago.

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