Do we really need hybrids?
The E-Class can handle itself pretty well on sinuous country roads; the suspension keeps body motions well under control and the steering offers a decent amount of feedback at higher speeds. However, this car’s cup of tea is gliding leisurely down a stretch of highway or a city street.
This is one of those few cars that will calm you down, that will make you feel serene and seal you away from the horrors of the outside world. Crank up some jazz on the Harman/Kardon 5.1 surround sound system, and you’re sure to relax. Just don’t forget you’re still driving.
The car’s cockpit is impeccably finished; our tester included dark ash wood trim which, on a personal note, doesn’t get my pulse racing; the open-pore Brown Ash trim looked fabulous in an E-Class I drove last fall, although it wouldn’t really match the silver exterior paint, now would it?
No problem with the E’s sheetmetal, though. I’ve heard only positive comments about the car’s knight-in-shining-armour styling; its angular lines, rising side creases and aggressive front fascia suggest powerful elegance and good taste.
Despite the car’s outside dimensions, the E350 doesn’t boast a cavernous interior; then again, neither do any of its mid-size competitors. The back seat has three seat belts, but don’t count on getting one of your adult friends to sit in the middle, as his or her head will ungracefully scrape the headliner. For a four-passenger car, however, the E-Class delivers. Even trunk space, rated at 540 litres, is typically German-sedan immense.
Alas, nothing’s perfect. The COMAND APS multimedia interface lacks user-friendliness. BMW improved its iDrive by adding a few buttons around its control knob to access main features more quickly; Mercedes should do the same.
Also, the dashboard’s business-like design could benefit from a more emotional appeal, and that awkwardly-placed turn signal/wiper stalk, which sticks out on the lower left side of the steering wheel, is hard to reach when driving with your hands in a 9-and-3 position.
Other Reviews Available For The 2011 Mercedes E-Class Wagon
Auto journalist & Consumer Ratings
Editor's Review Highlights
2011 Mercedes E-Class Wagon Specifications