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.
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.
Traded my 2010 E350 in for a 2011, in black. Couldn't resist the 2000 loyalty cash, 3 years free Mbrace services including stolen vehicle recovery assistance, plus 1.9 % financing for 66 months. This 2011 has the LED daytime running lights, and the vehicle is much quieter than my 2010 was. Ride is also smoother, at least it seems that way. No problems with the 2010, and no problems with the 2011. I felt that the shifting was a bit buffeting, but when I told the service manager, he said that would go away after a few days when the computer gets used to the way I drive. Well, he was right - unbelievable. Still the best car on the road for the money.
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.
Great beauty from the get go. The overall looks are amazing. No one can say that it's just another mid sized car! It definitely has its personality. Drive is fun but you must learn to use the paddle shifters to gain optimal performance, don't expect it out of the box. Overall the drive is smooth, but a few strange sounds have come in the past couple of months when I have backed it out of my drive way making me thank God that I still have warranty.
There's an optimal wisp of spin that gets the E350 off the line smartly, but ultimately it makes little difference. Consistent runs across the board. Upshifts at redline whether in Comfort or Sport mode.
Belt-cinching with each full-ABS panic stop from 60 mph. Acceptable amount of fade without pedal effort change. Short distance for a 2-ton convertible.
Slalom: Good balance and crisp turn-in had me smacking cones with the rear wheels, forcing me to take what felt like a wide line. Eventually, understeer became the limiting factor. However, having the ESC on eliminated the understeer and improved the ultimate speed through the cones. Skid pad: Remarkable amount of grip here -- more even than E550 coupe. Easy to balance with the throttle to maintain smooth, consistent arc with ESC off. Steering is a little "distant" but has the precision and feel of a sports car. With ESC on, it subtly keeps the car dead on the painted line with no steering.