My wife and I looked at BMW,Lexus, Audi, Jaguar and Cadillac. We test drove each car twice, on separate occasions. We recommend you doing this. It does talk a lot of time but if you are spending $50,000 plus, we think it is worth the effort. We consider the exterior design, the comfort of the ride, the interior design, the trunk capacity, and the interior noise level. The Mercedes E350 we test drove was our final choice and we are very happy we chose to purchase this vehicle. It is elegant, quiet and very responsive We thought the BMW was a nice car but the ride was not comfortable and the steering stiff. The Lexus was nice, but it did not have the luxury interior we wanted.
The car is FAST. But it's also solid and stately as well. I really like how it handles and although the ergonomics took some time to get used to I am very happy with the layout of the interior. The seats are quite comfortable with the bolsters (comes with the appearance package) and the integration of the phone/ipod etc is quick and easy. The cupholders are perfect. The back seat has enough room for a short trip for people over 5'8" and a long trip for people under 5'8". I would say 6'0" is the limit in the back seat. The trunk is roomy for a coupe! The car looks really good in person (better than the pictures). Prepare to spend a lot for gas though, I am avg 15.9 MPG.
This is a car I could definitely keep for the long haul. That was my thinking when I purchased it. I'm happy with the 6 years I've had it. I'm considering a newer vehicle. Not because of any deficits- but because I'd like to take advantage of technology advances.
This is my first Mercedes and overall, I am extremely pleased. I have owned 6 BMWs and most recently, an Infiniti G37 Coupe, all with manual transmissions, so this car with auto/paddle shifters was a leap. Before buying I looked at a BMW335 Coupe, another G37 Coupe and an Audi A5 Coupe. While the A5 design is great, it felt a little cramped inside especially since the sunroof doesn't slide open - weird. The E350 looks great, inside and out. Interior is spacious and the panoramic sunroof adds to that. Road and highway handling are excellent, but it could use a bit more power and some muffler resonance. Overall, it's a Grand Touring Coupe that I am truly happy to drive.
Really stumbles off the line due to major intervention from traction control. Disengagement still leaves safety net. It'll allow about 2 seconds of wheelspin, then puts an end to it. Best run made in Manual mode (which shifts automatically at redline), with virtually no wheelspin. Ultra-smooth upshifts and a somewhat mellow engine note. Quicker than a Camaro SS to 60 mph!!
Medium-to-firm pedal effort with virtually no hum or vibration from ABS. Car stays very level -- no dive, especially in Sport mode. Very good fade resistance.
Skid pad: Very well balanced on the skid pad with only minor throttle adjustments needed to alter course when the stability control is disengaged. Once stability control active, the throttle closes a little earlier but not enough to change results. Slalom: Very frustrating car because it understeers past a cone, and then when you try to catch up by dialing in more steering, the rear lets go. Classic pushy-loose handling syndrome. With this car, it's generally a good idea that the stability control is never fully disengaged even when it's switched off.