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What's New for 2016
The E400 Hybrid has been discontinued, as have the regular E63 AMG models, leaving the hopped-up E63 AMG S sedan and wagon as the only AMG offerings this year. Otherwise, the E-Class receives only minor equipment changes.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup is so extensive that it could almost be its own brand. With four body styles (sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible); countless feature combinations; and no fewer than five engines (ranging from a fuel-sipping diesel four-cylinder to a fuel-swilling twin-turbo V8); this midsize Mercedes would have no trouble filling a showroom by itself. Pleasingly, there is also a consistent level of excellence despite the car's dizzying diversity. There are certainly newer rivals on the market, but the Benz continues to appeal with its tasteful styling and remarkably broad skill set.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available in four body styles.
If you're up on the news, you'll know that an all-new E-Class is on the horizon. But there are still good reasons to give the 2016 E-Class a chance. For one thing, there's the old bit of wisdom that cars at the end of their production cycles are more reliable, as the engineers have had time to "work out the kinks." For another, the current E-Class remains fully competitive against its fresher foes, lacking only a certain sportiness when you're driving it around turns - a familiar Mercedes trait that its successor may well share.
Also familiar is the controlled yet supremely supple ride, which only falters in the AMG S trims with their unyielding performance suspensions. Moreover, the E-Class offers world-class engines in every body style, and its safety technologies are second to none. The simple fact is that this Mercedes is one of the best all-around cars in the world, and that will continue to be the case regardless of how its replacement turns out. It's hard to imagine feeling disappointed from behind this Benz's wheel.
The midsize luxury segment is chock full of alluring alternatives, most notably the 2016 Audi A6, the BMW 5 Series and the Lexus GS. Although none of them can match the variety that Mercedes offers, the Audi and Lexus are more athletic, while the BMW can match the E-Class for curbside appeal. There's also the brand-new 2016 Jaguar XF with its slinky styling and spirited performance. Nonetheless, we'd be hard-pressed to say there's any midsize luxury car on the market that's out-and-out better than the Benz. It's not to be missed if you're shopping in this segment.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2016 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), turbocharged V6 E400 (all but wagon), V8 E550 (coupe and convertible) and turbocharged V8-powered E63 AMG S (sedan and wagon only).
The E250 and E350 sedans 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 feature different wheels, a two-bar grille with an integrated three-pointed star and a sport-tuned suspension. Inside, the Sport boasts aluminum pedals, 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, 10-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar), front-seat 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 is also offered in Luxury or Sport form, and it includes a power liftgate, a rearview camera and a rear-facing third-row seat.
The E400 sedan comes only in Sport form and adds 18-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery and both the Premium and Lane Tracking packages (detailed below).
The E400 coupe and convertible come standard with most of the E350 Sport sedan's accoutrements, and they add LED headlights (non-adaptive), a panoramic sunroof and heated leather sport seats to the mix. The E550 coupes and convertibles also have adjustable suspension dampers to go with their standard 18-inch wheels. All convertibles receive a power-folding soft top, a rear center pass-through and a pop-up air deflector.
Numerous packages can be specified on the E-Class if they aren't already standard. The Premium package adds a rearview camera (standard on wagon), power-folding mirrors, heated front seats (standard on coupe and convertible), split-folding rear seats (sedan only), COMAND with navigation, voice controls, 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).
The Lighting package (sedan and wagon only) features adaptive LED headlights and automatic high-beam headlight control, while the Keyless Go package tacks on keyless entry and ignition, a power trunk lid (sedan only) 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 a blind-spot monitor. The Driver Assistance package (roughly equivalent to the Premium 3 package on two-door models) includes adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, active blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and forward collision warning/mitigation (with automatic braking).
Note that the coupe and convertible can be equipped with a Premium 2 package that essentially combines the Lane Tracking and Lighting packages.
The E400 coupe and convertible are additionally eligible for a Sport package that includes 18-inch wheels, a body kit, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded front brakes, a flat-bottom steering wheel and upgraded (multicontour) front seats. The E550 coupe and convertible come standard with nearly all of these features, so their Sport package consists merely of the multicontour seats.
Finally, the speed-freak E63 AMG S sedan and wagon boast numerous AMG-developed or tuned components (engine, transmission, adjustable suspension, steering, brakes, exhaust, exterior and interior trim); 19-inch wheels; a limited-slip rear differential; and sport seats with adjustable bolsters and driver massage functions. They also come standard with the Premium, Lighting, Lane Tracking, Driver Assistance and Keyless Go packages. Any E63 can be outfitted with carbon-ceramic brakes.
Other notable options include an automated parking system, illuminated door sills, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof (standard on the E63 AMG S-Model wagon), a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and a WiFi hotspot.
Powertrains and Performance
Most trim levels of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup are available with either rear- or all-wheel drive (4Matic). However, the E550 coupe and convertible are rear-wheel drive only, while the E350 wagon and both E63 AMG S models are 4Matic only. Note that the AMG version of 4Matic sends more power to the rear wheels - 67 percent versus the usual 55 percent - for a sportier driving feel.See also:
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