Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

CAR OF THE MONTH September 2009

2010 Mercedes-Benz E550 Review

Make a Luddite Cry

A three-quarter front view of a white 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550

In short: A powerful, tech-stuffed and safe mid-size luxury sedan.


"I
f it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” applies to messing with a good thing. Usually. However, when Mercedes-Benz created their ninth-generation E-class models for 2010, they managed to take that proverbial good thing to new heights. Building upon a long history, this aerodynamic E550 sedan is marked by angles and chiseled motion lines, giving it a distinctively masculine appearance. In addition to its conservative panache, this mid-sized executive sedan is stuffed with enough technology and safety accouterments to make even a mild luddite cry. The rear-wheel-driving E550, available in a luxury or sport trim, is equipped with a fun-loving 5.5-liter V8 engine that revs the four-door car from 0-60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. A stiff unibody chassis, all-wheel independent suspension with AIRMATIC, and optional all-wheel drive give this luxury vehicle the deft handling on the road to match its dynamic acceleration.

An interior view of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550
A view of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550's V8 engine

Inside the E550’s cavernous cabin are a standard hand-polished wood trim, power sunroof, interior ambient lighting, heated and fourteen-way power-adjustable front seats, and multifunction leather steering wheel. Music lovers will enjoy the automobile’s eight-speaker AM/FM/WB radio with a six-disc DVD/CD changer. An auxiliary input jack (in the glovebox) and Bluetooth interface are also included. Standard to all E-class cars is the attention assist, a drowsiness-detection system that measures a driver’s steering behavior for signs of fatigue. If a sleepy driver is detected, the auto will activate a warning signal. This is, however, hardly the only unique safety feature on the E550. Available safety tech includes a night view assist plus with pedestrian detection; blind-spot assist; lane-keeping assist; adaptive headlights and automatic emergency braking. Other optional gizmos and accessories, all depending on the feature package, include a panoramic sunroof; rear-seat entertainment system; multi-contour driver’s seat with massage; navigation system; iPod/MP3 media interface; power rear sunshade; and a rearview camera.

A three-quarter rear view of a white 2010 Mercedes-Benz E550

This X generation bread-and-butter model simply got better and certainly delivers more value than its outgoing sibling. Our tester peaked at over $70,000, but you can get much of the same experience in the E350 sedan, which starts at $46,800. You get S-class amenities at a discount price. We’d drive this spacious, luxe ship to the office, the country estate, while taking the kids to school, and why not, for a road trip. We certainly felt secure in it. Congrats, Stuttgart!

Read a review of the 2007 Mercedes-Benz E550
and the 2006 Mercedes-Benz E350

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty; 24-hour roadside assistance program.


QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $56,300 / As tested: $70,555

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 5.5-liter, 32-valve DOHC V8
Horsepower: 382 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 391 lb-ft @ 2,800-4,800 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed driver-adaptive automatic

Curb weight:
4,145 lbs
Wheelbase: 113.1 in
Length/Width/Height: 191.7/75.9/57.7 in
Turning circle: 36.2 ft

Brakes:
all-wheel power-assisted disc brakes with ABS and brake assist
Suspension: all-wheel independent with AIRMATIC

Traction: electronic stability control; traction control

0-60 mph: 5.2 seconds
Top Speed: 130 mph

EPA City:
16 mpg
EPA Highway: 24 mpg


Safety: front dual-stage airbags; front side airbags; driver and front passenger pelvic airbags; driver’s knee airbag; front and rear side curtain airbags; attention assist driver-drowsiness monitor; pre-safe system; steel-reinforced cabin with front and rear crumple zones; tire pressure monitoring system

Likes: spacious; safe; luxe and style
Dislikes: n/a

 

Check out other Mercedes-Benz models
See all of our Automobile Reviews
Visit the Mercedes-Benz website

Photography: AlphaMedia

PSV082609 (Updated 08/28/09 SV)

Shopping for a die-hard beauty junkie? From anti-aging retinoid pads to a paraffin bath set, the products on GAYOT's list are worthy of any spa.

From the classic vaudeville of the Marx Brothers to the outrageous antics of Will Ferrell's Frat Pack, these films never fail to leave us laughing out loud.