2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
Reviewers say the 2010 E-Class is nearly as athletic as the BMW 5-Series. The V6 engine found in the E350 is merely adequate, but the V8 found in the E550 is impressive -- and both cars handle with a newfound sporty character. Buyers looking for a true sport sedan as large as the E-Class may still want to test drive the BMW and the Audi A6 before putting money down. But the E-Class is not as far behind those cars in performance as it once was.
- "Within its segment, the E is by far the most adaptable, rewarding and confident car for the widest variety of surfaces and situations." -- Edmunds
- "Along the road, the new E feels tranquil but less tranquilized than the departed model, with a bit more steering sensitivity through curves. But as ever, the Mercedes's strengths are its comfort, quietness and unshakable stability." -- The New York Times
- "While it's still no 5-series, the Mercedes has newly found something called ‘steering feel,’ which apparently has something to do with ‘control,’ which when combined with ‘responsive suspension’ actually makes it ‘fun to drive.’ Who knew?" -- Jalopnik
- "Serene and refined driving experience." -- Car and Driver
Acceleration and Power
The 2010 E-Class is available with either a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 268 horsepower (in the E350 sedan), or a 5.5-liter V8 making 382 horsepower (in the E550). Both engines send their power through a seven-speed automatic transmission, which can also be shifted manually. Reviewers say the V6 is adequate for most drivers’ needs, but lags behind V6 engines offered by other German luxury automakers. Both the BMW 5-Series and Audi A6 offer more powerful V6 options.
The V8, however, offers enough power to turn the E-Class into a sport sedan. An E63 AMG version, reviewed separately, offers even more power.
The EPA rates the E350 sedan for 18 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, the E550 for 16 and 24.
- "Mercedes quotes 6.5 seconds 0-60 mph for the E350 sedan and 5.2 for the E550 sedan…All seem credible in our test drives" -- Consumer Guide
- "While the E350's 3.5-liter V-6 is a smoothie - and is well served by the excellent seven-speed automatic transmission - its 268 horsepower trails 6-cylinder competitors by about 30 horsepower…The E350 will be swept aside by 6-cylinder cheaters from Audi and BMW, which use supercharging and turbocharging to juice up their respective A6 3.0 and 535i sedans." -- The New York Times
- "The V8 hauls its 4,145-pound mass to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. We were told that V6 models are expected to make up about 75% of U.S. sales, but if you lay out the extra $7,700 for the E550 it will be apparent with almost every mile and throttle input where that money went." -- Autoblog
Handling and Braking
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a heavy, full-size sedan. As such, it’s doesn’t have the crisp handling of a sport sedan. But most reviewers say it handles well, with a new athletic poise that the outgoing model lacked. A pair of driving modes, Comfort and Sport, give the driver the ability to vary the ride according to their tastes, though, the Sport setting will provide a bumpier ride that is too stiff for some.
- "Ride is remarkably buttoned-down and just as comfortable as before, but the new E is now a commendable handler with a taut chassis and communicative steering to boot." --Edmunds
- "Steering is superbly accurate and never nervous and imparts just enough road feel to give you confidence." -- Motor Trend
- “Switching from ‘Comfort’ to ‘Sport’ in either the E350 V6 or E550 V8 delivers a noticeable improvement in dynamics, firmer body control and sportier shift mapping." -- Jalopnik
- "Braking is highly responsive, easy to modulate, and impeccably secure." -- Consumer Guide