2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

Pros & Cons

  • Superb ride and handling balance
  • potent engines
  • extensive array of luxury- and safety-related features
  • spacious sedan interior.
  • Occasionally fussy COMAND interface
  • sedan's controversial exterior styling.
List Price Range
$9,499 - $16,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Enjoyable to drive, offering superior quality and available in a host of different body styles, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury-car triumph that deserves serious consideration.

Vehicle overview

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class boasts a lineup that presents a wide array of alternatives for drivers with a taste for automotive excellence. Last year, the selection of body styles included just a sedan and a coupe, but this year those choices are joined by an all-new convertible and the returning E-Class wagon.

Attractive and versatile, the latest E-Class wagon is a worthy choice in the admittedly small premium-wagon segment, and it returns to the E-Class family after a brief hiatus. Most notable for its quirky rear-facing third-row seat, the wagon offers an accommodating, highly functional nature, along with all the refinement you'd expect from an E-Class model. One downside to consider is that unlike other E-Class body styles, this wagon is available with just one engine, the 3.5-liter V6.

Pick the new E-Class Cabriolet -- which replaces the discontinued CLK-Class drop top -- and you'll get a stylish cruiser that seats four and comes with a long list of luxury features. The E-Class Cabriolet is less sporty than the 2011 BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G37 convertibles, and it has a traditional soft top rather than a more elaborate (as well as heavy and expensive) retractable hardtop. When it comes to refinement, though, this Mercedes is a class leader as evidenced by its peerlessly serene ride quality.

Of course, most people will be looking at the traditional E-Class sedan. Solid and seemingly over-engineered, the stately E-Class sedan boasts unflappable composure, and its taut chassis and communicative steering translate into impressive handling. The 2011 E350 Bluetec is new; its clean-diesel engine promises more than 30 mpg highway fuel economy. For more performance-minded drivers, the sedan line also includes the E63 AMG variant, which is neck and neck with many sports cars in straight-line acceleration and actually outpaces some smaller sport sedans when the road gets curvy.

With this accomplished lineup, Mercedes has crafted not just one but instead four cars that are hard to beat. Certainly, there are other choices, especially among sedans. The BMW 5 Series is sportier, the 2011 Jaguar XF is more stylish and the 2011 Infiniti M37 is less expensive, but none of these choices has the E-Class sedan's well-rounded excellence. Whether you choose the sedan, coupe, wagon or cabriolet, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class represents the best of the best for discerning shoppers.

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class models

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available in sedan, wagon, convertible (Cabriolet) and coupe body styles. The sedan is available in E350, E350 Bluetec, E550 and E63 AMG variants, with the numbers and descriptors indicating different engine choices. The E-Class coupe and convertible come in E350 and E550 trim levels only, while the E-Class wagon is offered in just the E350 trim.

The E350 and E350 Bluetec sedans come standard with 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power front seats with memory functions, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, MB-Tex premium vinyl upholstery, the COMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer and auxiliary audio jack. The E350 coupe is similar, but adds a panoramic sunroof and sport seats. The wagon adds to the sedan a power tailgate and rearview camera. The Cabriolet adds standard leather upholstery, a full power cloth roof and the AirCap wind-deflector system.

Compared to the E350 model, the E550 sedan adds a V8 engine, an air suspension and leather upholstery, while the E550 coupe adds 18-inch wheels, a sport body kit, a sport suspension and shift paddles. Relative to the E350 convertible, the E550 drop top adds a V8 engine and 18-inch wheels.

The Premium 1 package available on all E350 and E550 models includes a power rear sunshade, a hard-drive-based navigation system, voice controls, a rearview camera, heated front seats, and a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system with digital music storage, HD radio, satellite radio and an iPod/MP3 player interface. The Premium 2 package adds all the Premium 1 items, plus features such as adaptive bi-xenon headlights, adaptive high-beam assist and keyless ignition/entry. The sedan and wagon are available with a Driver Assistance package that adds a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control and a lane-departure warning system.

Stand-alone options on the sedan include parking sensors and a rear-seat entertainment system. Both the sedan and the wagon are available with a panoramic sunroof, infrared night-vision camera, expanded leather upholstery and a multicontour driver seat with massage.

The E63 AMG includes most of the E550's equipment plus a larger V8, sport transmission, adjustable drive settings, adaptive sport suspension, high-performance brakes and a sport steering wheel. Premium 1 and 2 and Driver Assistance packages are available, along with an AMG Performance package that adds 19-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, even sportier suspension tuning and a leather/faux-suede steering wheel.

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2011 Highlights

For 2011, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class adds a convertible to the lineup, and sees the return of the wagon body style and optional diesel-fueled V6 engine. There have also been minor exterior and interior upgrades, with the coupe getting new grille mesh, and all body styles getting restyled headlight control switches and relocated ESP controls.

Performance & mpg

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan, wagon, convertible and coupe are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the E350 Bluetec sedan comes with a turbodiesel 3.0-liter V6 engine good for 210 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard. In performance testing, the E350 convertible and coupe sprinted from zero to 60 mph in a brisk 6.8 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy with the 3.5-liter V6 is 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined for the sedan; the E350 coupe and convertible are very similar. The new wagon has a 16/23/19 mpg estimate and Mercedes says the E350 Bluetec will achieve 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway.

The E550s are powered by a 5.5-liter V8 good for 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. The seven-speed auto is again standard. In performance testing, the E550 sedan and coupe went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 5.3 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 15/23/18 for the sedan.

Both the E350 and E550 sedans are available with either rear-wheel drive or 4Matic all-wheel drive, while the E350 wagon is offered solely with the all-wheel-drive powertrain. All E-Class coupes and convertibles are available only with rear-wheel drive.

The E63 AMG has a 6.3-liter V8 that pumps out 518 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. It's coupled to a sport-tuned seven-speed automatic with a paddle-shift manual mode. According to Mercedes, the E63 will go from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds, which is stunning for a large, four-door vehicle. Fuel economy, should you worry about such things, is 13/20/15 mpg.

Safety

The 2011 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 is Attention Assist (a driver drowsiness and alerting monitor) and PreSafe (it anticipates an imminent crash and automatically takes measures to better secure occupants). The Driver Assistance package adds a blind-spot warning system, a lane departure warning/correction system and PreSafe braking. Rear side airbags are optional on the sedan, coupe and convertible, while an infrared night vision system is optional on the sedan and wagon.

In government crash testing, the E-Class sedan earned a solid four stars and a perfect five stars for frontal- and side-impact protection, respectively. The sedan also got a "Good" rating -- the highest available -- in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Driving

The 2011 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 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a remarkable 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 4.4 seconds would certainly warrant that descriptor. Its myriad performance upgrades -- suspension, steering, brakes, wheels, tires and transmission -- make for a serious performance machine.

Interior

The 2011 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 somber, 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 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.

In terms of space and comfort, the E-Class sedan, convertible and wagon are excellent. The seats are firm, but offer endless comfort and support over the long haul. The coupe and AMG models feature sport seats that offer a closer fit, designed to 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. In the coupe, the rear seat's legroom is about the same as in most luxury two-doors, but headroom is limited.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love the car but...
prrs,03/11/2017
E350 BlueTEC 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
I purchased a 2011 E350 Bluetec with 80k miles. I did some research before purchasing and liked how the Diesel engines seem to take on lots of miles with out too many issues. I knew, however, that there were some issues and made a budget on how much I wanted to spend for the car and how much I expected to pay in the potential issues. That was probably the best thing I did. The Diesel engine for this year had two main issues that I came across in my initial search. The rear main main seal leaks as well as the seals or gasket on the oil cooler. Unfortunately for me, those were the first two things I had to replace... it was not unexpected but it would have been nice to have left the money in my bank account. The parts were relatively inexpensive but the labor cost was... well let's just say the mechanic I took it to was more than happy to do the work. I ended up spending about $2800 but that is far less than what it would have cost had I taken it to the MB dealership. That issue aside, the car is solid and drives extremely well. It's not a sports car but it is as fast as I need it to be. I drive primarily on the highway so 0 to 60 is not very important. I currently am averaging about 34 mpg. If highway traffic is light, I can get as much as 38 to 39 mpg. Heavy stop and go highway traffic and I am getting about 25 to 27 mpg. My work commute is over an hour so the time I leave from home or work does affect my mpg. Road noise is almost non existent... if traffic is light, I set the cruise control on 75 mph and just zone out to the road ahead. The day Mercedes sells an autonomous driving car will be the day I fall a sleep in the back seat. My wife drives a 2006 Lexus GX470 and it's not as quiet as the Mercedes. That being said, The interior is comfortable but it's not as comfortable as the Lexus GX470. I test drove the 2012 version of this car with the "real" leather seats and I could swear that the seats feel different (i.e. more comfortable) but I chose this one with the "fake" leather because of the price. The layout of the interior is good. My only issue is that the air condition controls feel too low in where it was positioned (a personal preference) and the cruise control seems out of place. I initially thought I would not like the position of the gear shift but after a while it did not bother me at all; I also thought that the knob in the center console would be annoying to use for the phone, radio, navigation but to the contrary I like it more than a touch screen. I really like this car and have been quite satisfied with almost all of it's features. It is not my first luxury car to own (it's my 4th) but is the first Mercedes I have owned. I will add, though, that maintenance is expensive. In fact, unless you can afford a good trustworthy mechanic, I would recommend you become a weekend technician. This means doing your own fluid changes (particularly the oil), minor engine repair and maintenance. My father is a retired Diesel mechanic so there is some advantage for me in owning this car but there are some things I just do not have the time for. Like the repairs I mentioned earlier. I left the car at the shop for 3 days on those two repairs. Funny thing is, I know how to do the job but I am not a certified technician that does stuff like that on a daily basis. If i can't do it myself over a weekend, then I have to go my mechanic... or I should say, my dad's friend who runs his own repair shop. Update: 19Sep2017- Still love the car... but still am going with what I previously stated. It is not cheap to maintain. Even as a DIYer. I change the oil every 6,000 miles rather than 10,000 using full synthetic but after some research on the Mercedes Bluetec engines, I use 10w50 or 10w60 oil in the hotter seasons. 0w40 or 10w30 in the colder season. Texas is generally hot so I primarily use the heavier weight oil. I read a Mercedes technicians blog who indicated the engines run hotter than normal despite what the dealership may say. Using only the recommended oil at the recommended oil interval change may actually cause damage to the engine causing excessive build up of oil sludge. If it's under warranty... dealership will fix... but if there is no warranty, you either have a giant brick or you fix it yourself (or your very happy mechanic). Either way, preventative maintenance goes a long way. Update: 9/23/19 Car still runs well. Stopped switching oil weights and have since stuck with the MB 229.52 recommended motor oils. The reason... soot really accumulated on the heavier oils. I replaced the EGR Valve because of it but in hindsight I may not have needed to. There is a cleaning process I go through on the intake and the DPF to avoid excessive soot and carbon. I do it before I change the oil. I’ve also installed an oil separator (oil catch can), which seems to work alright. I know it’s doing something cause I get better highway mpg (averaging 37 vs 34). Otherwise car runs well... I’m over 172,000 miles.
Nice Car
conroebird,06/23/2011
E350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
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.
Bad engine
Dwayne Cuff,02/22/2019
E350 BlueTEC 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
I purchased my 2011 Mercedes e350 blutec(diesel) 3 years ago and I will never purchase another Mercedes again. I have totally lost faith in this brand.. I have spent over $7,000 in maintenance cost on this vehicle in 3 years.. The timing chain broke at 60k miles and just two weeks ago the motors mounts had to be replaced at 109k miles.. I picked the vehicle up and within 4 hours the motor threw a rod and now I'm being told from the Mercedes Dealership it will cost $17k to replace the motor.. I lodged a complaint with Mercedes Benz(Corporate) today and advised them of all of the issues I had with their product. I explained that I would have never thought in a million years a Mercedes Benz diesel motor would go bad @ 109k. I would expect at least 200k to 300k life out of the motor if not more.. The customer service representative advised me someone from corporate would call me tomorrow to address my issues/problems..
Nearly perfect convertible
live1x,05/26/2011
E550 2dr Convertible (5.5L 8cyl 7A)
MB has produced an exceptional car with the near perfect ingredients of sport, luxury, comfort, convenience, and versatility. I have admittedly drank the cool aide on top down motoring. This is my sixth convertible (1964 Corvair Monza Spyder, 1966 Corvair Corsa, 1978 Fiat 124 Spider, 2001 SLK350, 2006 SC430). My assessment is based on those and other driving experiences (I've driven many other great convertibles: Mustangs, Corvettes, Porsches, BMWs, Audis). I have less than 10k miles on the car and yet I find myself inordinately happier with each passing mile (a first for someone who is considered a total car [violative content deleted], buying more than 30 new car over the last 25 years, yes my wife is encouraging me to get therapy).

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.9%

More about the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Overview

The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is offered in the following submodels: E-Class Sedan, E-Class Coupe, E-Class E63 AMG, E-Class Convertible, E-Class Wagon, E-Class Diesel. Available styles include E350 2dr Convertible (3.5L 6cyl 7A), E550 2dr Convertible (5.5L 8cyl 7A), E350 4MATIC 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A), E350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 7A), E350 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A), E350 BlueTEC 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A), E550 4dr Sedan (5.5L 8cyl 7A), E350 2dr Coupe (3.5L 6cyl 7A), E550 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD (5.5L 8cyl 7A), E550 2dr Coupe (5.5L 8cyl 7A), and E63 AMG 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 7A). Pre-owned Mercedes-Benz E-Class models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine or a 5.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 382 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes with rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a unlimited yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 4MATIC is priced between $10,995 and$17,995 with odometer readings between 49415 and163846 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 is priced between $12,500 and$14,995 with odometer readings between 90488 and113466 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E550 4MATIC is priced between $12,500 and$16,850 with odometer readings between 98800 and132297 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 BlueTEC is priced between $16,995 and$16,995 with odometer readings between 90830 and90830 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E550 is priced between $9,499 and$9,499 with odometer readings between 190550 and190550 miles.

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Which used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale near. There are currently 17 used and CPO 2011 E-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,499 and mileage as low as 49415 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Can't find a used 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale - 1 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $11,696.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $20,424.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $10,551.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 4 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $25,597.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz E-Class lease specials