2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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Flash Drive: 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic

This 2010 review is representative of model years 2010 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos

Mercedes-Benz has updated the conservative E-Class with more aggressive and distinctive styling that makes this midsize sedan shine; the front fascia and the bold rear fender lines in particular really up the attitude. Under the skin, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic is still a conservative sedan, but one that is absolutely loaded with all the latest high-tech gadgetry and really delivers everything you need in a luxury daily driver. The sweet 268-horsepower direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine is mated with a smooth 7-speed automatic transmission that the driver can control with steering-wheel paddle shifters. Our test car delivered the power through the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, which helps to increase stability and traction in adverse road conditions. The tech highlight has to be the Attention Assist Driver Drowsiness Monitor, which alerts a drowsy driver that it's time to take a break. The lane departure warning is a little disconcerting, though; the driver is alerted by a vibration in the steering wheel. –Mike Meredith

The new E-Class is a great-looking sedan. And as the newest model from the German car company, it has all the latest electronic gadgetry. Much of this seems a bit overbearing, but it's easy to use. In fact I quickly found myself relying on it. The Adaptive Cruise Control allows the driver to keep a set distance behind the car directly in front, slowing all the way to a complete stop when necessary. A vibration in the steering wheel warns you if you venture across the lane marker. And an alarm sounds if you appear to be too tired to be driving. It's the ultimate car for the driver who doesn't want the responsibility of driving. Which is really too bad, because the new E-Class is wonderful car to drive — the ride is comfortable, the handling is surprisingly good for a car this size, and even this base-level engine provides more than adequate power with reasonable fuel economy. –Perry Stern

The Mercedes Benz E350 feels impeccably well-made. It has conservative mechanical engineering matched to progressive styling and electronics. The engine feels traditional but definitely not powerful; it suits a more relaxed driver. Styling is progressive in a good way, but the electronics are not. All the recent marketing from Mercedes suggests that the automatic braking, lane monitoring and driver attention systems are a big step forward, but in practice they are much more likely to make driving a lurching, neck-straining affair as rush-hour traffic triggers bursts of sharp deceleration when you least expect it. I was forced to keep my foot at least lightly on the throttle at all times to keep the systems from intervening. It is possible to turn all these badly implemented systems off, but the E350 would be far better if they weren't there in the first place. –Paul Hagger

The new Mercedes Benz E350 is a car for someone who does not really want to drive. And that is a sad thing. With all the optional computerized components like radar cruise control, lane change warnings, parking guidance and a driver drowsiness monitor, the E350 does about everything for you except fill itself up at the gas station. Overall, the E350 is a finely crafted machine, with great leather and wood panels in the interior and spacious headroom and legroom. If you don't mind the E350 taking some of the driving control away from you, then the E350 is the automobile for you. –Joe Chulick

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BB04 - 9/18/2014 8:52:15 AM