The new 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is not what you’d expect it to be. For the past few years, the overall quality of many Mercedes-Benz models has gone down a few notches in an effort to appeal to more potential customers. While Mercedes-Benz did see some modest sales increases in some markets, longtime fans of the brand felt left out in the cold. Where was the supremely engineered German autos that they had grown used to? The recent redesigns on the C and S Class models signaled a change in direction, and the E-Class has cemented, or rather, re-cemented, the Mercedes-Benz persona.
As far as styling goes, the new E-Class is a mix of the old and the new. There are still hints of the old boxy Mercedes-Benz design, but it has been paired with some more aerodynamic styling cues. This allows the E-Class to cut its aero-drag, allowing the car to get better fuel economy. Helping this increase in economy is the diet the E-Class went on for this redesign. A few careful trims and this generation is able to add in the array of gadgets and electronics from the S Class and yet still weigh less than the previous generation.
New safety features are also a big addition to the E-Class. It of course comes with the regular array of airbags and antilock brakes, but it also includes a collision mitigation system tied into radar cruise control. Essentially, the E-Class has radar components that will detect the distance between you and the car in front of you. If you start to get to close, a small alarm will sound to warn you. If you still get closer to the car, the seatbelts will automatically tighten and slight pressure will be applied to the brakes. Get closer still, and the brakes are applied fully. For those who spend a lot of time on the highway and rely heavily on cruise control, this is a great feature that will keep you safe.
The drive is what you would expect: solid. The V6 model can seem a little sluggish when it comes to throttle responsiveness, but that is more than compensated for with the quality of the ride. A new suspension design helps the E-Class stay sturdy and comfortable. Also, if you upgrade to the V8 model, you won’t find any of that sluggishness. Lastly, the steering has been adjusted so that despite the long wheelbase of the E-Class, the car handles like a much smaller vehicle. Cars of this size aren’t normally known for their maneuverability in tight spaces, but this one does it.
In all, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a welcome redesign on the classic model. It’s designers learned from their experiences with the previous generation and the car that resulted is a solid mix of new technologies and that old magic that made that E-Class a classic.