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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.

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.

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

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


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Photography: AlphaMedia

PSV082609 (Updated 08/28/09 SV)