My 2009 E320 BlueTec is a superb automobile. Subtle yet classy styling (black exterior/interior/wood trimmed steering wheel) that always draws compliments. Extraordinary performance (400 ft-lbs of torque mean effortless acceleration - the power surge is like a locomotive). Unbelievable economy (I'm averaging 33 mpg over 25,000 miles of mixed city/highway driving in the Washington DC area). Comfortably seats four adults - meaning large adults! - and can accommodate five. Huge trunk. Smooth, quick, confidence- inspiring, so solid it literally feels like a single piece of steel. This car is an absolute bargain and I never thought I'd say that about a $50K purchase.
I bought the E320 through USAA buying service through a professionally run dealership-American Service Center- Alexandria, VA. I impressed by the cars looks, engineering, fuel economy, and the torque of the turbo-diesel--it gets up and goes. The quality of the car and its materials are evident. While the controls are well-place and intuitive, this is not the case in the Command/NAV interface. In particular, the voice commands do not measure up to the technology in less expensive Japanese and Korean cars. The USAA buying service combined with Mercedes incentives made the car more affordable- -a once in a life time purchase--maybe not. I love this car.
Addressing the vinyl vs leather for such expensive vehicles, please note that Mercedes has a long history of offering the best vinyl seating ever made, which is better than most cars leather. For some reason Americans equate leather with luxury. In Europe many of the Mercedes sold have cloth/velour seating. A final note on the vinyl, you'll be very happy to have the vinyl 30 years from now when your E class interior looks almost as new. History and tradition are alive at Mercedes.
The Mercedes E 320 Blue Tec is a refined luxury sedan that is coupled with extraordinary fuel economy. The Blue Tec diesel engine provides excellent power and acceleration. The car is very comfortable with a luxury interior and the Mercedes i-Command system is easy to use and conveniently placed in the cockpit. The standard sound system is also great. This is the first diesel vehicle that I ever purchased and it won't be my last. It gets better fuel economy that the comparable Lexus hybrid. Test drive it, you'll buy it.
This was my first Mercedes purchase; a Japanese car loyalist up til this purchase. Car drives amazing & gas mileage is great for this size car. I averaged 29 mpg combined. However, build quality is a DISASTER. Literally, on evening home from dealership the night of purchase, the left headlight went out and I received an LCD error warning about headlight failure. Took it back to dealership and 3 days in shop w/$3200 bill (under warranty). The C series loaner I got had same headlight failure during loaner period. At 5,900 the BlueTec's power steering failed while driving and I almost wrecked; steering wheel wouldn't turn. Car towed back to dealership by MB - 5 days in shop. NIGHTMARE!