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2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

4dr Wgn 3.2L *Ltd Avail*

Starting at | Starting at 20 MPG City - 28 MPG Highway

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  • $50,750 original MSRP
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2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

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2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

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2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class delivers a combination of attributes surpassed by few cars or trucks anywhere. This sedan is luxurious, comfortable and fast, yet the cost of operating it, measured by fuel consumption and anticipated maintenance, is reasonable. The E-Class can be both sporty and practical. It employs some of the world's most advanced safety technology. It's relatively roomy inside, but it's also exceptionally maneuverable and not at all bulky, and it can be equipped with weather-busting all-wheel-drive. It expresses status in elegant, understated fashion.

It's no surprise that, still fresh from a thorough redesign, the E-Class has reasserted itself as one of the best-selling Mercedes models in the United States. It's the company's best selling line worldwide.

The E-Class revamp for model year 2003 was complete, including chassis, exterior styling, interior and engines. Mercedes introduced loads of new E-Class technology to go with athletic new looks and much sharper, sportier driving dynamics. The all-new E-Class sedans were more spirited than ever, but every inch a Mercedes-Benz.

For 2004, Mercedes expanded the lineup with two E-Class wagons that seat seven and offer exceptional versatility when hauling cargo and people. All-wheel drive, called 4Matic, was made available for sedans and wagons. And the mighty E55 AMG sports sedan was launched. Boasting 469 horsepower, with an amazing combination of lightning acceleration, handling, braking and luxurious accommodation, the E55 is one of the finest, and fastest, four-door sporting cars Mercedes-Benz has ever built.

The E-Class line expands further in 2005 with the new E320 CDI, powered by a high-tech direct-injection turbodiesel engine. Though popular in Europe, this is Mercedes' first diesel-powered sedan for the United States in eight years. We think it may be the best diesel car ever sold here. With diesel fuel selling for 20 percent less than gasoline in many markets, not to mention the E320 CDI's outstanding performance and 700-mile fill-up range, Mercedes' timing might be spot-on.

The E-Class is one of the most compelling cars in one of the most competitive market segments. The mid-size luxury sedan category includes more than a dozen solid choices and some of the finest cars in the world, including standards such as the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. The E-Class will go toe-to-toe with any of them, and offers buyers more choices than most.

Model Lineup

With so many choices available, choosing the best E-Class car for your needs can be daunting at first. Nine distinct cars, each available with literally dozens of options, comprise the E-Class. Fortunately, it isn't too difficult to narrow the selection to the appropriate model.

There are really only two primary choices: four-door sedan or wagon. From there, it's a matter of choosing the engine, and whether or not you want all-wheel-drive.

Understanding Mercedes' alpha-numeric nomenclature helps, and it's actually not that difficult. The letter or letters at the start designate the car: C for the compact C-Class sedan, E for the mid-size, S for the big luxury sedan. The numbers after the letter designate the engine size, if you imagine a decimal point after the first number. E320, for example, means an E-Class car with a 3.2-liter engine. E500 models come with the more powerful 5.0-liter engine. Somewhat of an exception to this is the super high-performance AMG cars, which get only two numbers. But the process is the same: The E55 AMG has a 5.5-liter engine.

The E320 ($49,220), powered by a 221-horsepower V6, is the least expensive and most popular E-Class. It comes with the standard equipment buyers expect in this class, starting with fully automatic dual-zone climate control, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power front seats with leather seating surfaces, real burl walnut trim, a nine-speaker stereo, power windows with one-touch express operation up and down, auto-dimming mirrors and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Popular performance options include 4Matic full-time variable all-wheel drive ($2,500) and a Sport Package that includes high-performance tires and the Airmatic computer-controlled air suspension.

New for 2005, the E320 CDI ($49,795) is equipped identically to the E320. The distinction is the impressive CDI turbodiesel engine. If you haven't driven this sedan, you don't know about the latest in diesel-powered cars. However, due to late changes in emissions mandates, the CDI is not offered for sale in California or the Northeast. For now, the E320 CDI is a 45-state car.

The E500 ($57,620) has been gaining sales ground on the E320 in recent years. Powered by a 302-horsepower V8, the E500 comes more standard equipment than the E320, including a seven-speed automatic transmission, a four-zone climate control system with separate temperature adjustments for both sides of the cabin, front and rear, and the variable ADC air suspension.

Nearly all the upgraded equipment on the E500 is available as options on the E320, and there are dozens more options offered on all E-Class models, including the high-tech stuff people expect in luxury cars. The extras include radar-controlled Distronic adaptive cruise control, which maintains a set distance from cars ahead; Keyless Go, a credit card-sized transmitter which allows unlocking the doors and starting the car by touching the door handle and the gear selector; Parktronic obstacle warning, which helps with parking and enhances safety by alerting the driver to objects in front of and behind the car. Also available: DVD-based GPS navigation integrated in the in-dash information management system; voice operation for the phone, audio controls and navigation system; ventilated massaging seats; and solar-powered interior ventilation for those hot summer days when the car is parked for long periods. There's even a power trunk closer.

The E320 wagon ($51,470) and E500 4matic wagon ($61,220) are equipped comparably to the respective sedans. The 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, optional on the E500 sedan, comes standard on all E500 wagons; the system is also available for the E320 wagon. And while there may still be social baggage associated with station wagons, anyone put off by that image is losing out. The E-Class wagons give up almost nothing to the sedans in performance, fuel economy or handling dynamics. They simply

Walkaround

The E-Class is considered by many to be the most successful design among Mercedes' current sedans. The four-headlight theme introduced on the previous-generation E-Class, now the company standard, has been refined in this car. Its front end is lower and is more steeply raked. An E-Class sedan has the look of a coupe. It looks fresh and youthful yet elegant.

The design presents a class-leading 0.27 coefficient of drag, helping minimize wind noise and maximize fuel economy.

With its lower body cladding and huge, 18-inch spoked wheels, the E55 AMG is clearly the raciest and most aggressive-looking E-Class. That said, those body add-ons add slightly more drag, if you can call 0.28 more drag.

The E-Class wagons will never be mistaken for anything but a wagon. Nonetheless, they are impressively sleek, and some critics find the tear-drop taper of the rear roof more aesthetically pleasing than the truck deck on the sedans.

Though it looks sportier, the 2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is slightly larger than the pre-2003 models. It's about an inch longer in wheelbase and overall length and a half-inch taller in overall height than the 2002 model. It's a bit heavier (by 50 to 150 pounds, depending on model), but comes with improved crash protection and more standard equipment. The E-Class is the first Mercedes to use aluminum body components extensively, starting with the hood, front fenders, trunk lid, front crossmember and front subframe. Aluminum is lighter and stronger but more expensive than steel. Aluminum amounts to 10 percent of the body's weight. About 37 percent is high-strength steel, almost twice as much as before, which is stronger but more expensive than regular steel.

Interior Features

The E-Class has all the traditional Mercedes interior cues, updated with some fresh features. It's conservative in some respects, daring in others, and impressively executed throughout.

The dashboard sweeps from each side and blends into the doors and center console. Nicely crafted wood trim is complemented by splashes of chrome. Plastic panels are rich in appearance, thanks to a new soft-touch finishing process. All are sprayed with a polyurethane coating that delivers impressively consistent color.

The instrument cluster uses black script on white gauges with LED lighting, framed by a three-spoke steering wheel. There's a big speedometer in the middle, with a menu-operated display for diagnostics, feature selection, ambient temperature, date and other information in the center. To the left sits a large analog clock, to the right the tachometer. On either end of the cluster are neat bar gauges that resemble thermometers, displaying fuel level and coolant temperature. An indicator with an icon of the car lets the driver know if any of the doors are ajar and, if so, which one, a welcome upgrade from the previous-generation cars.

A cluster of switches between the visors on the headliner controls cabin lighting and the Tele-Aid SOS call button. The panel also includes a switch to operate the sunroof. HomeLink buttons are located on the bottom of the rearview mirror and can be programmed to control garage doors, house lighting, gates, etc. Redundant controls on the steering wheel hub operate the phone, radio and information display.

The main audio, telephone and navigation controls are located in a new COMAND module, spread around a 16:9 ratio LCD display screen. The system is a big improvement over Mercedes' previous control center, but still requires some learning to master. A single row of switches operates door locks, flashers and seat heaters.

The center console has a funky pop-up cupholder and a large storage bin (two bins if you don't order the telephone package). There are storage bins in each door, and map pockets on the front seatbacks.

The nine-way adjustable front bucket seats are firm enough for good support when driving fast, but not hard on the back when cruising. They grip bodies of various sizes nicely, and there's more than enough adjustment via Mercedes' patented door-mounted seat controls to accommodate just about everyone. The sport seats have enough bolstering to keep a bronze bust in place. But if you don't dive into corners like Stirling Moss, then you probably don't need them because they make getting in and out a little more difficult.

Our gripes? The outside mirrors are small, no doubt in deference to sharp styling and good aerodynamics, and they limit the driver's field of view. More significant is the cruise control. Mercedes' system is managed with a stalk on the left side of the steering column, above the turn signals. On the new E-Class, the cruise stalk may be even closer to the turn signals than before, and at some point, no matter how long you've driven the car, you are going to hit the cruise control when you intend to turn on the blinker. Mercedes engineers insist that theirs is the most effective cruise-control operation going. We've yet to meet anyone who prefers it. On the other hand, we've met few people who dislike the cruise control to the point that they'd overlook all the strengths of a Mercedes-Benz to avoid having to use it.

Also, the new E-Class features ambient cabin lighting, the latest trend in interior design. These strips of soft, low-level cabin lighting in the headliner remain on during darkness, like a fancy nightlight in the bathroom. It's disconcerting while driving at night, at least initially, because we're used to nothing but the instrument lights. The distraction goes away as you become accustomed, but we're not sure the benefit of being able to see around the cabin outweighs t

Driving Impressions

Our first impression behind the wheel of a Mercedes E-Class is that it's smooth, serene and quiet. There's very little vibration anywhere in the cabin, and almost no wind noise. Even the high-performance E55 AMG is so quiet that the driver forgets just how powerful and fast it is until the throttle is opened up.

Performance from the E320 is somewhat disappointing. Its 3.2-liter V6, which produces 221 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque, lacks the responsiveness of the other E-Class engines, including the new E320 CDI diesel. Nonetheless, the E320 cruises well at high speeds and the V6 is smooth and quiet. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, according to Mercedes, and that's more than adequate in the most hectic traffic situations.

New for 2005, the E320 CDI is flat impressive. It's turbocharged inline six-cylinder diesel engine features all the latest high-tech goodies, including CDI, the common-rail direct injection system, which delivers fuel to the engine at an incredible 23,000 psi, compared to 100-250 psi in the typical gasoline engine. Yet the technology matters far less than the results. Forget everything you know about diesel-powered cars built in the 1970s, '80s or '90s. Slow starting? Not anymore. Like all diesels, the E-Class version still needs electric glow-plugs to heat the combustion chambers before starting. Yet during our week-long evaluation, in early spring in the Midwest when mornings are more than cold enough to leave a coating of dew on the landscape, the E320 CDI never started more slowly than a gasoline engine. Indeed, we never saw the glow-plug indicator light. Certainly it might take longer to start in the dead of winter, but we can't imagine that it will require more than a second or two.

Unpleasant odors? You'll still get that oily diesel smell when you fill the E320 CDI's tank, but once the filler cap is back on and the car is running, you'll notice no unpleasant fumes inside or out of this E-Class. Excessive engine noise? At idle, during warm-up, you'll hear the rapid tick-tick of diesel noise more loudly than anything coming from the gasoline-powered E320's engine. But once the diesel is warm, there's very little difference in the amount of engine noise reaching the cabin compared to other E-Class models. The diesel engine is also surprisingly smooth, and the extra bit of noise comes with some excellent benefits.

Start with better acceleration. The E320 CDI's 201 horsepower is impressive by diesel standards, but that's not the half. This engine produces a whopping 369 pound-feet of torque, more even than the E500 gasoline V8, and it's the twisting power of torque that generates acceleration. Dip the accelerator pedal on the E320 CDI and it jumps, quickly enough to spin the back tires just by jabbing the gas, if you switch the traction control off. The CDI will leave the gasoline-powered E320 in its dust, up to about 90 mph. Moreover, the CDI engine breathes freely enough that it keeps pulling strong up to the transmission's shift points.

And that gutsy acceleration comes with outstanding fuel economy. According to the EPA, the E320 CDI beats its gasoline-powered counterpart by nearly 10 miles per gallon for both city and highway driving, estimated at 27 and 37 mpg respectively. Our test suggests that a 10 mpg edge overall is easily achievable in the real word. With predominantly highway travel, the CDI has a range of 600-700 miles per tank, so owners won't have to tolerate the smell of diesel fuel very often.

European engineers have wondered for decades why American drivers haven't taken to diesel-powered cars in greater numbers. The answer is simple: Compared to Europe, gasoline in the United States has usually been relatively cheap, and the economy advantage of a diesel has never been worth the trade-off. With the E320 CDI, we see no reason to choose the gasoline-powered E320, except

Summary

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has always been a benchmark among luxury cars. It's a fine car in a competitive class, with a combination of safety, luxury, practicality, sportiness, status, and cost of operation that's difficult match.

For 2005, the E-Class offers a wide range of choices, from a frugal, excellent-performing diesel engine to well-behaved, utilitarian station wagons to the ultra high-performance E55 AMG. All-wheel-drive is available with a choice of engines in both sedans and wagons. And the E500 has an industry-leading seven-speed automatic transmission.

Our choice in this model line is the screaming E55 AMG, as long as someone else picks up the $80,000 tab. For our money, we'd buy the $55,045 E500 for its responsiveness and overall balance; the 5.0-liter engine really wakes this car up. The new E320 CDI diesel is the most frugal and, given the times, perhaps the best choice; we'd choose the diesel hands down over the similarly priced, gasoline-powered E320.

J.P. Vettraino and Jim McCraw contributed to this report from Detroit.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$49,220
Model lineup:
Mercedes-Benz E320 ($49,220); E320 CDI ($49,795); E500 ($57,620); E320 wagon ($51,470); E500 wagon 4MATIC ($61,220); E55 AMG ($80,220)
Engines:
221-hp 3.2-liter sohc 18-valve V6; 3.2-liter dohc 24-valve turbodiesel inline-6; 302-hp 5.0-liter sohc 24-valve V8; 469-hp 5.5-liter supercharged V8
Transmissions:
5-speed automatic; 7-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
antilock brakes (ABS); Electronic Stability Program (ESP), traction control; seatbelt pretensioners; dual-stage front airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, front and rear curtain-style head-protection airbags
Safety equipment (Optional):
none
Basic warranty:
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in:
Sindelfingen, Germany
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Mercedes-Benz E320 CDI sedan ($49,795)
Standard equipment:
automatic dual-zone climate control, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel with multifunction controls, power windows with express up and down, auto-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, 10-way power driver and passenger seats with leather inserts and three-position memory, cruise control, walnut trim, nine-speaker stereo, Tele-aid emergency communication system
Options as tested:
Pewter metallic paint with charcoal leather seat inserts ($600); power glass sunroof ($1260); heated front seats ($680); Premium sound system with CD changer ($970)
Destination charge:
720
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$54,085
Layout:
rear-wheel drive
Engine:
3.2-liter dohc 24-valve turbodiesel inline-6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
201 @ 4200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
369 @ 1800
Transmission:
five-speed automatic with Touch Shift manual operation
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
27/37 mpg.
Wheelbase:
112.4 in.
Length/width/height:
189.7/71.3/57.2 in.
Track, f/r:
61.4/61.1 in.
Turning circle:
37.4 ft.
Seating capacity:
5
Head/hip/leg room, f:
37.4/52.4/41.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:
37.7/53.8/35.6 in.
Cargo volume:
15.9 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
N/A
Suspension F:
independent with upper and lower control arms, coil springs, gas-charged shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
Suspension R:
independent five link with coil springs, gas-charged shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
Ground clearance:
N/A
Curb weight:
3835 lbs.
Tires:
225/55HR16
Brakes, f/r:
11.6-in vented discs with four-piston floating calipers/11.8-in vented discs with two-piston fixed calipers; ABS, EBD, Brake Assist in.
Fuel capacity:
21.1 gal.

Printable Version

2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Body Side Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Rain Sensing Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Opt
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2005 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Miles

Months

Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

The MBCPO Limited warranty provides vehicle coverage for 12 months and Unlimited vehicle miles and begins at the expiration of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection Yes
Return/Exchange Program Yes. See dealer for details.
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

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