2007 Mercedes-Benz E550 Review
This isn’t the next generation E-Class, but rather the mid-generation, a substantial makeover of Mercedes-Benz's current bread-and-butter car. The redesign consists of 2,000 improvements over the 2006 E and most of them are not even physically noticeable. The all-new eighth generation due out in 2009 will be a radically different automobile, but for now, the trusty engineers at Sindelfingen, Germany, piped into the 2007 edition more style, more safety, more sport and more value.
You will notice the larger chrome grille sporting its own badge, in addition to the three-pointed star hood ornament, like on the new S-Class. The air intake in the lower part of the front bumper is larger as well, contributing to a more dynamic look. The more stylish side mirrors integrate form and function, reducing drag and wind noise. They also do a better job at water displacement for improved visibility. Looking at the rear, you might discern the new tail light design with larger clear elements, and the addition of a chrome line along the trunk. That’s about all you’ll see that’s different, though.
Step inside and there is a new steering wheel, a new shifter with integrated start/stop button, more cup holders and a “Max Cool” auto button for the climate controls. The lack of such a button had been a frequent complaint amongst American consumers. Our sports-oriented E550 tester came in pewter with 18-inch, 10-twin-spoke alloy wheels and a sport rear bumper with dual exhaust pipes. Black interior trim and near-white Sahara Beige leather is highlighted by black Birdseye Maple, matte chrome surroundings and a white-gauge instrument panel.
The redesigned E offers a more direct steering ratio and optimized suspension, but this still isn’t a car ready for the track. The E550’s V8 comes standard with an Airmatic adjustable suspension with three settings. For even more performance, the 507-horsepower E63 AMG is available at more than $82,000. You can save money and gas with the V6-powered E350, or go with the ultra-clean-burning E320 BLUETEC diesel when it arrives this fall.
Safety-oriented drivers will be happy to hear that Mercedes-Benz’s Pre-Safe technology has been added, along with active front head restraints and an intelligent headlight system that adapts to city or highway driving situations.
With added value from now-standard equipment such as a sunroof, Pre-Safe and a premium sound Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 digital surround sound system with in-dash 6-CD changer, this new E-Class is a totally lovable car for 95 percent of what we use cars for these days. And even Mercedes-Benz’s J.D. Power Initial Quality score has improved. Max cool!
Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty; 24-hour roadside assistance.