The E-Class keeps its crown for the
second year in a row, with high resale values, luxurious appointments and a
diesel engine that puts out a hefty 400 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes is serious
about safety — Attention Assist (which monitors drivers for drowsiness) and the
PRE-SAFE collision-preparation system (which tightens seat belts and rolls up
windows if an impending accident is detected) are standard, along with nine
This E-Class, a heavy overhaul of the current model, relies on a greater array of sensors than previous Mercedes and especially two cameras mounted high on the windscreen which scan the surrounds. They build a 3D map of an area up to 50m in front and have a range 10 times that. Software adds up all these inputs and steers for you.
Cars Price $50,000 and Over:
Sticker price: $53,105 (E350 Sport BlueTec)
TrueCar national average price: $49,521
Resale value: 3-year: 53%; 5-year: 36%
MPG: City: 22; Hwy: 32
In one sense, this is just the next step. But it's a biggy. One small beep for a car, one giant leap for vehicle-kind. The next S-Class, the model up from the E and the traditional techno flag-bearer for the brand, will take this even further. One limit to these systems is their ability to interpret complex environments, such as a busy main street. Humans are better at thinking outside the box.
The other limit is regulation, although rules are already being relaxed in some US states and in Europe. The E-Class is core Mercedes, used in Europe in more rudimentary forms as taxis and as executive expresses in their performance guises. It comes as a sedan, wagon, coupe and cabriolet with a bewildering variety of engines that bear little, if any, relation to the badge on the back. An E250, for example, does not run a 2.5-litre engine or have any meaningful dimension that corresponds.
The luxury market has been typified by a few trends recently, with Mercedes -- in this market at least -- often taking a lead. These include the shift to smaller capacity turbocharged engines, higher levels of standard equipment or price cuts or both, and simplified line-ups.
Price Seems pretty high but one cannot
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