Used 2001 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E55 AMG Review
The E-Class offers state-of-the-art safety and performance technology wrapped in a somber but classy body.
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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This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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