2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon Performance
This performance review was written when the 2008 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon was new.
The 2008 Mercedes Benz E-Class Wagons have impressive power under the hood, especially in the E63 AMG trim. Handling is also very good, with the E350 trim tuned more for comfort and the E63 AMG for taut sportiness.
Acceleration and Power
The 2008 Mercedes Benz E-Class Wagon comes in two performance trims, the E350 and the E63 AMG. The E350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Although it's the lower-end of the two E-Class Wagon engines, the V6 is powerful. "The base-model Mercedes-Benz E350 Wagon has a strong and reasonably fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 engine that provides ample acceleration for most motorists," says Forbes. The Boston Globe says the engine is "smooth, powerful, and quiet." Consumer Guide finds it to be a little slow off the mark, calling it "stately from a stop," but they add that it "gathers speed quickly" and "has fine passing power." AutoWeek, however, was less enthusiastic: "This particular car drove heavy ... It's in no way a dog, even with nearly two tons of heft at to drag around, but power is definitely a little lacking." The Environmental Protection Agency rates the E350 for 16 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway.
The high-end, performance-tuned E63 AMG has a 6.3-liter V8 that generates 507 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, giving it a drivetrain that Kelley Blue Book calls "ferociously powerful The EPA rates the E63 Wagon at 12 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway. "This is a thirsty car," says the Boston Globe, "but if you can afford the sticker price, a few hundred dollars a year extra for gasoline likely won't dent your wallet."
The E350 uses a five-speed automatic transmission, which Consumer Guide says "provides smooth, timely shifts." The E63 has a seven-speed automatic with Touch Shift manual mode. Forbes calls it "sophisticated" and notes that it "can skip as many as three gear ratios when downshifting for added power on command when needed." Kelley Blue Book finds it to be "nearly transparent in its operation."
Handling and Braking
The E350 Wagon is tuned for gentle, comfortable handling, not necessarily for a sporty ride. Still, reviews have good things to say about it. Consumer Guide says the E350 is "Stable always, with an impressive blend of comfort and control." Auto Week says, "The ride was always comfortable ... and the body felt well controlled in all driving circumstance." Forbes adds, "Ride and handling qualities tend to be a bit on the softer side in the Mercedes E350 Wagon, especially compared to the performance-oriented E63 AMG version."
The E63 is far and away the sportier of the two vehicles. Motor Trend says, "The E63 AMG's helm even manages to transmit tingles to the rim over gritty surfaces." It also has the more sophisticated suspension of the two models. Forbes notes that its Airmatic air suspension "allows a motorist to choose between four different ride modes that deliver either a softer ride or a stiffer, but more-responsive feel." Kelley Blue Book says that this suspension combines "a smooth highway ride with firm handling." The optional (but free) Sport package offers a tauter, lower suspension on E-Class Wagons.
Steering is a strong point on all E-Class models. "Any E-Class corners with grippy assurance," says Consumer Guide, "though some testers find models feel ponderous in fast corners." Motor Trend says, "Response to steering inputs is snappier, and the heft at the helm feels appropriate." Of the ventilated disc brakes, Consumer Guide says simply, "Powerful brakes deliver short stops."
All Wheel Drive
The E350 is available with Mercedes' very capable 4Matic all-wheel drive. According to Forbes, "The system delivers added handling abilities and surefootedness on wet pavement, though it only comes with the previous generation's five-speed automatic gearbox."