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#1

in 2010 Luxury Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $24,303 - $30,458
Original MSRP: $48,600 - $58,800
MPG: 18 City / 26 Hwy
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2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the few luxury cars on the market this year that wasn’t designed with a modern, high-tech theme in mind. It emphasizes old-world luxury. Still, there is no shortage of advanced electronics -- some reviewers find the COMAND climate and entertainment control system too high tech -- but the ambience inside the cabin recalls classic Mercedes cars. There is little aluminum trim, even limited use of burled walnut, but gathered leather lining the door panels lend it a timeless feel.

  • "Not only is there no evidence of cost-cutting, but in terms of interior luxury, the E-Class actually moves closer to the flagship S-Class sedan." -- The New York Times
  • "Softer seats and an attractive interior will put you at ease while you waft down the road." -- Car and Driver
  • "Angles are sharp, the materials first-rate and when adorned in monotone color schemes and dark wood trim, the look is decidedly somber -- in other words, very German." -- Edmunds
  • "The switchgear and surfaces feel like they're built for the end of time." -- Motor Trend
  • "The squared off edges inside and out don't just conjure memories, but trigger the same ‘Mercedes’ synapses in your brain. That feeling will be reinforced by the high-quality plastics and spare use of wood and aluminum trim, as well as touches like the pleated leather door panels and the longitudinally stitched and perforated seats." -- Jalopnik

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Seating

The standard seats found in the E-Class are comfortable for the long haul, but the big news inside is that the exceptional multi-contour seats found in the S-Class are now available on E-Class cars. These seats, built around 11 separate air chambers, can be re-shaped according to the driver’s needs, using the COMAND interface system. They are also heated, cooled, and offer a massage function. Most of the cars Mercedes has provided to the press have included the multi-contour seats, so we found few comments relating to the standard-equipment seats.

  • "Seats are comfortable and supportive. The S-Class' multi-contour seats with a massage function in the backrest are newly optional in E-Class sedans and coupes." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In terms of space and comfort, the E-Class sedan is excellent. The seats are firm, but offer endless comfort and support over the long haul. … The sedan's backseat is incredibly spacious, matching the BMW 5 Series as the most welcoming rear quarters in the midsize luxury class." -- Edmunds
  • "The cars we drove featured poly-adjustable heated and cooled massaging seats, but the normal chairs are also shaped for a perfect long-distance driving position. Rear head- and legroom are carefully planned for this car’s pivotal role in the German taxi trade." -- Motor Trend
  • "The seats are ridiculously comfortable, and drivers with lower-back issues are urged to throw in $650 for the Drive Dynamic Multicontoured Driver Seat: its lumbar support can hug your spine like a WWE wrestler, and there's also a stress-beating massage feature." -- The New York Times

Interior Features

Mercedes redesigned the cabin of the E-Class to feel more open and spacious than the previous generation. In most cases, the cabin’s measurements are very similar to those of the 2009 car, but subtle differences, like a shift lever mounted on the column instead of the center console, have given it a more open and spacious feel. 

Reviewers are still torn on the usability of Mercedes COMAND system. A single knob that controls all climate and entertainment functions, COMAND has its fans -- but others find it difficult to master. Unfortunately, luxury car buyers who’d like to avoid such an interface have fewer options than ever this year. Even Lexus, the last holdout among the major luxury marques, has built a similar system into its cars -- though reviewers often say the Lexus system is the easiest of the group to learn. Those who want to avoid a COMAND-like interface at all costs might want to look in an unconventional direction -- the far-less expensive Hyundai Genesis offers similar luxury trappings without the old-world reputation of the E-Class, but with a separate button for every function.

  • "The E-Class cabin gets a luxury transfusion straight from the S-Class, including lovely slices of burled walnut, an electronic column-mounted shifter and the latest interface for electronic controls, called COMAND, with a seven-inch display screen for navigation and audio chores." -- The New York Times
  •  "Mercedes moved the shift lever from the center tunnel to a stalk on the column, a minor move that provides outsized returns in terms of opening up the cabin. Visually, it makes the front area feel more like a single space instead of cockpit and passenger areas." -- Autoblog
  • "The controller dial for the COMAND system that programs audio and navigation systems is within easy and comfortable reach on the center console in both body styles. The system still requires quite a bit of work to access and establish settings." -- Consumer Guide
  • "COMAND interface is occasionally fussy to use." -- Edmunds

Cargo

At 15.9 cubic feet, the trunk of the 2010 E-class is typical for a large luxury sedan. Reviewers say its shape makes it easy to load and unload. Reviewers so far have had little to say about storage within the passenger cabin.

  • "Sedans feature a deep, flat-floored trunk." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Mercedes says the new car's trunk is roughly the same size as its predecessor's - an impressive 15.9 cubic feet, which ties the A6 and beats the 5 Series, M and most other contenders. Optional folding rear seats no longer require you to flip the cushions forward first, a necessary step in the previous E-Class." -- Cars.com

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