2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
A luxurious interior and an improved powertrain make the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class a top choice among luxury sedans.
There’s a reason why the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is at the top of the luxury large car heap. Although Mercedes redesigned the E-Class in 2010, the automaker continues to tweak and improve the E-Class sedan. Autoblog says, “If we didn't know any better, we'd swear the E-Class is trying to be a better S-Class."
Inside, the E-Class is basically unchanged for 2012. Test drivers find the same comfortable, opulent interior seen on the 2011 model, and although critics love the high-quality materials and excellent build quality, they do have a few concerns. They note that the E-Class’ price can inflate quickly with options, and while the E-Class comes standard with Mercedes’ COMAND system, a handful of test drivers say that it complicates audio, climate and navigation functions.
However, the E-Class still has a spacious back seat, a large trunk and some significant updates under the hood. Both the E350 and E550 have increased power and fuel efficiency for 2012, and the E550 now comes standard with Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive. Shoppers looking for great fuel economy may also want to consider the diesel-powered E350 Bluetec.
With so many available options, there’s an E-Class that will suit every shopper’s needs, provided you’ve got the cash to buy one.
Other Cars to Consider
While the E-Class offers the performance and comfort most luxury large car buyers demand, it’s still not the sportiest car in the class. If you’re looking for a more engaging driving experience, consider the Audi A6 or BMW 5-Series. Reviewers say both are more enjoyable from a performance standpoint, and the A6 and 5-Series also match the E-Class’ top safety scores.
Another similarly-priced option is the Infiniti M, which also performs well in crash tests and carries a similar price tag. Some test drivers prefer the M’s interior tech, which still offers separate controls for climate, navigation and stereo.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class: The Details
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan is available in three trims that are based primarily around the engine: the V6-powered E350, the clean-diesel E350 Bluetec and the V8-powered E550 4Matic. All-wheel drive is standard on the E550 and optional on the E350, while the E350 Bluetec is only available with rear-wheel drive. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe is reviewed separately.
For 2012, the base E350 and E550 see substantial improvements under the hood that boost power and fuel economy compared with the outgoing 2011 model. In addition to more power, the E550 now carries all-wheel drive as standard equipment. The diesel-powered E350 Bluetec rolls into 2012 basically unchanged. See the full 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class specs.
- "Though base prices look attractive, costly option packages quickly inflate the bottom line." -- Consumer Guide
- "Overall, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class remains a top choice against a plethora of competitors, including those from Audi (A5, A6, S5), BMW (3 Series coupe and convertible, 5 Series, M5), Infiniti (M37 and M56), Jaguar (XF) and Porsche (Panamera)." -- Edmunds
- "And, all the new electronic gizmos aside, the new generation models are more comfortable, more solid, quieter, and more agile than any previous E-Class." -- New Car Test Drive