TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class in order to give you an expert opinion. TheCarConnection.com's car experts researched available road tests on the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class to produce this conclusive review and to help you find the truth where other reviews might differ.
If you appreciate luxury and complex engineering solutions, then you'll love the 2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. TheCarConnection.com's editors have put thousands of miles on various Mercedes-Benz E-Class models and truly enjoy their performance. The lineup is graced with a classic and tasteful interpretation of a formal Mercedes-Benz grille and roundish headlamps. Higher-performance models get a more aggressive front air dam and bigger wheels, but the car never looks "boy racerish."
Mercedes-Benz keeps improving the E-Class and 2009 is no different. For the new year, all E-Class models come standard with PRE-SAFE and feature a new COMAND system with a 6.5-inch color display screen; an in-dash, six-disc CD/DVD changer; and Bluetooth. The E350 and E550 Sport sedans now come with the AMG Sport Package as standard equipment and new seven-spoke 17-inch wheels.
Big news for 2009 is the availability of 4MATIC all-wheel drive for all E-Class models at no increase in retail price. Full-time four-wheel drive provides year-round traction and stability with negligible weight and fuel-efficiency trade-offs.
The engine lineup of the E-Class goes like this: normal, super efficient, powerful, and super powerful. The base powerplant is a 3.5-liter V-6 engine producing a satisfying 268 horsepower for the E350 sedan; a 3.2-liter clean diesel producing exceptional economy along with 210 horsepower is available in the E320 Bluetec Sedan; a 5.5-liter V-8 makes 382 horsepower in the E550 sedan; and the 6.2-liter high-performance V-8 develops 507 horsepower in the E63 AMG sedan. The E320 and all V-8 models enjoy the increased acceleration and fuel economy provided by a seven-speed automatic transmission, while the E350s make do with a five-speed automatic gearbox.
The cockpit of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is roomy for front and rear occupants. Materials and fit and finish are excellent, but in such an expensive vehicle, that's what one would expect.
When it come to features, all 2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class models are loaded and include a standard sunroof and an upgraded Harman Kardon stereo with six-disc CD changer. A new option for 2009 includes giving non-AMG models a more aggressive look with AMG front and rear aprons, 18-inch five-spoke wheels, dual chrome exhaust, and AMG steering wheel with shift paddles. Other options include a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power trunk closer. The adaptive cruise control is a real joy to use and makes driving in some types of traffic much easier, but we'd skip the nav system, as it's not user-friendly. An available iPod interface allows users to safely adjust their Apple audio player from the steering wheel controls.
Standard safety items on all 2009 E-Class cars include four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Brake Assist, side-impact and head-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, automatic slip control, and active head restraints to help reduce whiplash injuries.
The Bottom Line:
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class family can be the right fit for a wide range of luxury buyers--even those who want the very frugal or the very fast.