2015 Mercedes-Benz E Class

What's new for 2015? For 2015, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup sees a new E400 style with a turbocharged V6 engine. Other changes are less notable, consisting of minor equipment shuffling.

Say what you want about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but undeniable is that Mercedes has made an extraordinary effort to build an E-Class suitable for your tastes.

Really, whether you want your midsize luxury car to be a fuel-sipping diesel sedan, a turbo V6-powered convertible or a road-burning 577-horsepower wagon, there's bound to be an E-Class much to your liking.

That diesel E-Class earns an EPA estimated 33 mpg combined (that's compact economy car territory) while still being able to sprint to 60 mph in a fairly swift 7.6 seconds. But if outgunning sports cars up the on-ramps is more your thing, you may consider the E63 AMG S model, which can rip to that same speed in under 4 seconds. And sitting in between those two extremes are no fewer than three additional engine choices.

Since its debut for 2010, this generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been one of our favorites, thanks to its trifecta of refinement, performance and cutting-edge technology. Last year's number of improvements only made it more so. If you're looking for the best all-around midsize luxury sedan (or wagon, coupe or convertible), the 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an excellent place to start your search.

Exterior Highlights
Available as a midsize sedan, coupe, convertible or wagon. Available trim levels are diesel E250 Bluetec (sedan only), V6 E350 (sedan and wagon), gas-electric E400 Hybrid (sedan only), turbocharged V6 E400 (all but wagon), V8 E550 (coupe and convertible) and turbocharged V8-powered E63 AMG (sedan and wagon only)

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available as a midsize sedan, coupe, convertible (Cabriolet) or wagon.

Each body style offers various trim levels that correspond to the engine: diesel E250 Bluetec (sedan only), V6 E350 (sedan and wagon), gas-electric E400 Hybrid (sedan only), turbocharged V6 E400 (all but wagon), V8 E550 (coupe and convertible) and turbocharged V8-powered E63 AMG (sedan and wagon only).

The E250, E350 and E400 four-doors are split into two basic types: Luxury and Sport. Luxury models come with 17-inch alloy wheels and a traditional grille with a separate hood ornament, while Sport models switch to 18-inch wheels, a two-bar grille with an integrated three-pointed star and a sport-tuned suspension. Inside, the Sport boasts subtle white-faced gauges and a three-spoke steering wheel in place of the Luxury's four-spoke design. Both Luxury and Sport come standard with LED headlights, LED taillight accents, adaptive suspension dampers, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a center-mounted analog clock, 14-way power front seats with memory functions, MB-Tex simulated leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors, the COMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The E350 wagon also includes a power liftgate, a rearview camera and a rear-facing third-row seat. The E400 Hybrid is essentially a Sport model by default (though its wheels are 17-inchers) with a hybrid powertrain. In addition to the E350 Sport features, the E400 Sport further includes different wheels, keyless ignition and entry, leather seating and both the Premium 1 and Lane Tracking packages (detailed below).

The E400 coupe and convertible come standard with most of the E350 Sport sedan's accoutrements, including 18-inch alloys, and they add heated leather sport seats to the mix. The E550 coupes and convertibles also have an adaptive suspension to go with their standard 18-inch AMG wheels. All convertibles receive a power-folding soft top, a rear center pass-through and a pop-up air deflector.

A wide array of packages is optional for the E-Class. The Premium 1 package adds a rearview camera (standard on the wagon), power-folding mirrors, split-folding rear seats (sedan), COMAND with navigation, satellite radio, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system and a power rear window sunshade (except on the convertible, which gets the AirScarf neck-warming system instead), as well as active ventilated front seats for the E550 sedan and heated front seats for the other sedans.

The Lighting package features adaptive LED headlights and automatic high-beam headlight control, while the Parking Assist package adds a surround-view camera system with front and rear parking sensors along with an automated parallel-parking system. The Keyless Go package tacks on keyless entry and ignition, a power trunk lid (sedan only; wagon has a standard power liftgate) and, for the sedan and wagon, a hands-free feature that either opens or closes the trunk or liftgate when you wave your foot under the rear bumper.

On the safety front, the available Lane Tracking package alerts you if you're drifting out of your lane and also includes blind spot warning. The Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, active lane tracking/blind spot/rear cross-traffic assist and collision warning/mitigation (with automatic braking).

Note that the coupe and convertible are additionally eligible for the Sport and Redline packages. The Sport package includes 18-inch AMG wheels, painted front brake calipers (standard on E550), a flat-bottom steering wheel (also standard on E550) and upgraded (multicontour) front seats. The Redline package kicks it up another notch with black AMG wheels (choice of 18- or 19-inch), an AMG body kit, gloss black body accents (including front and rear spoilers), upgraded brakes and suspension, AMG sport multicontour seats and the flat-bottom steering wheel.

The speed-freak E63 AMG sedan and wagon boast numerous AMG-developed components (engine, transmission, adjustable suspension, steering, brakes, exhaust, exterior and interior trim), 19-inch wheels and sport seats with adjustable bolsters and driver massage functions. They also come standard with the contents of the Premium 1, Lighting, Keyless Go and Parking Assist packages (except for the surround-view camera, which costs extra), along with heated rear seats (optional on wagon) and leather upholstery. The AMG S-Model package (optional on sedan, standard on wagon) features an even more powerful engine, a limited-slip rear differential, different 19-inch wheels and red brake calipers. Any E63 can be outfitted with carbon-ceramic brakes.

Other notable options, depending on trim and body style, include illuminated door sills, a panoramic sunroof (standard on the E63 AMG S-Model wagon), a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system, a 120-volt household-style power outlet and twin iPad docks behind the front headrests.

"Three-tube" gauge cluster, COMAND electronics interface, comfortable and spacious, generous trunk space, firm yet supportive seats

The cabin of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is at once handsome and functional. A "three-tube" gauge cluster adds visual interest, and all but the AMG versions have a steering-column-mounted gear selector. A Mercedes-brand analog clock adds a touch of class, while three available wood veneers range from warm to austere -- a nice no-cost opportunity to personalize your Benz.

All versions come with the COMAND electronics interface, which combines a large display screen, a control knob and dash-mounted buttons. As with every knob-based infotainment system, there's a learning curve, but we generally prefer COMAND to rival systems due to its relatively simple menu structure. Its voice command functionality is also first-rate.

Each E-Class is relatively comfortable and spacious by segment standards. The seats are firm, but offer impressive comfort and support for the long haul -- especially the optional multicontour driver seat. The two-door and AMG models feature snug front sport seats that capably hold you in place during aggressive driving. The backseat in four-door models is pleasantly spacious.

The sedan's trunk measures a slightly above average 15.9 cubic feet, while the wagon offers up to 57.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume in addition to its trademark rear-facing (and strictly-for-kids) third-row seat that gives it seven-passenger capacity in a pinch. The coupe drops to a still-commendable 13.3 cubic feet of trunk space, while the convertible brings up the rear at 11.5 cubic feet (8.8 with the top down).

The E-Class comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, a driver drowsiness monitor, front and front-side airbags, front pelvic airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Also included is the mbrace telematics system, offering smartphone integration and Web-based apps that include remote controls, driver monitoring and emergency services. The convertible additionally features automatically deploying rollover hoops.

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