Mercedes-Benz E-Class, 2010-2013
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, 2010-2013. Click image to enlarge

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Article and photos by Justin Pritchard

Vehicle Type: Luxury Sedan, Wagon, Coupé, Convertible

History/Description: The E-Class has long competed with models like the Lexus GS, Audi A6, BMW 5-Series and Acura TL for the dollars of premium sedan shoppers. In its last generation, which launched in 2009 as a 2010 model, the E-Class is called the ‘W212’ by enthusiasts and Mercedes engineers.

Available in rear or all-wheel drive, this model was perhaps most commonly known as a luxury sedan – though it was available in coupe, wagon and convertible variants, too. Power came from a V6 or V8 engine, automatic transmissions were standard, and rear- or all-wheel drive, which Mercedes calls 4Matic, was available.

Feature content included all of the world-class must-haves – including navigation, premium audio, automatic climate control, available automatic high-beams, radar-guided cruise control, keyless locks and ignition, LED accent lights and plenty more. Advanced safety features included lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.

Leather seating with heating, ventilation, power adjustment and memory functions were also on offer. Drop seats were available in the wagon too—allowing drivers to show off their adorable offspring to any motorists following behind.

Engines / Trim: Look for V6 or V8 power on standard E-Class models, with 3.5L gasoline V6 engines creating either 268 horsepower (2011 and older) or 302 horsepower for 2012 and on. These ones are called E 350.

The E 550 models got a 5.5L, 382-horsepower V8 early on, and then a smaller-displacement, turbocharged unit with a tick over 400 horsepower.

An E 300 model lowered the access-point to the E-Class range, putting a less powerful 3.5L V6 under the hood and less feature content inside. E 350 Bluetec models got a 3.0L turbodiesel engine for better mileage, alongside highly robust low-end torque output.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class, 2010-2013Mercedes-Benz E-Class, 2010-2013
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, 2010-2013. Click image to enlarge

Mercedes’ 4Matic AWD was standard on gas-powered E-Class Sedan models, and unavailable on the Coupe and Cabrio variants. No diesel-powered Coupe or Cabrio variants were available. No V8 or diesel-powered wagon variant was available either, and all wagon models got AWD. There was even an extreme-performance AMG-tuned model available, though we’ll cover this animal in a separate story.

Still with me? Point is, you’ll have no trouble finding an E-Class in the used market to suit virtually any need or budget. Okay, maybe any budget is a stretch. Just remember when shopping used E-Class ads that ‘4Matic’ means All Wheel Drive, ‘Bluetec’ means diesel, and 300 or 350 mean V6, while 550 means V8.

What Owners Like: It’s largely the pedigree of the E-Class, alongside its lengthy list of premium features and world-class comfort that drew shoppers in. Power, performance, handling and ride comfort were all rated top notch by most owners on several forums.

Favourite features included the ventilated seats and radar-guided cruise control. Space and flexibility in the wagon model is highly appreciated, and one E 550 Coupe owner said his car was an “old-man muscle machine with incredible luxury.” Many owners enjoy the paddle-shift functionality available from the seven-speed automatic, too.

What Owners Dislike: Some complaints include easily scratched rims, ‘delicate’ tires, and the wish for more power from earlier models with the V6 engine, which made a less-than-competitive 268 horsepower. Others wish for easier access to the rear seats on two-door models [might we suggest a sedan? –Ed.], and an easier-to-use ‘COMAND’ system. This central infotainment interface was the Mercedes answer to BMW’s iDrive system, though it wasn’t free of gripes. Anyone who can use an iPod or Nintendo Wii remote should be able to figure it out in a few minutes.

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