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2015 E-class Review, E400 Part 1 of 4: Performance, exterior, interior

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

2015 E-class Review, E400 Part 1 of 4: Performance, exterior, interior

 
Old 02-01-2015, 03:38 PM
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2015 E-class Review, E400 Part 1 of 4: Performance, exterior, interior

Over the years, I've benefited greatly from this forum, so I hope to return the favor a bit by posting a detailed review of my 2015 E400 in four parts. I'll check in to answer questions for a few days, but apologies in advance for not being a frequent visitor/responder.

The Car:
2015 E400, Lunar Blue Metallic, Silk Beige Leather
Sport Package, Adaptive Lighting Package
Premium, Keyless Go
Ventilated Seats, Active Multi-contour Seats
Drive Assistance Package, Parking Assistance Package
Coming from a 2006 BMW 550i Sport with Active Roll Stabilization

The engine/drivetrain:

Smooth and competent. Not as linear as a BMW: the MB requires an accelerator kickdown or running in Sport mode to show off its power, which in all modes is much more than adequate for any daily driving and passing situations, including on steep hills. Shifts are imperceptible. Generally, very satisfying. I’m not a fan of engine noise, and wish there was less of it. It’s not unpleasant, but I find the E400 sounds more like the E250 Blutec than the E350 gas engine. Note the E400 comes with a different tire package than the E350 (wider in the rear). I should say that despite my recent sedans’ engines, I’m not a big-engine guy. If you are, you’ll like it even more.

Handling/suspension:

Lovely. The car doesn’t have the tightness/stiffness of some sport suspensions, but it also never feels perturbed. Plunge it into a corner, and it will dip a bit but then stay composed in that stance throughout. On badly maintained urban roads, you feel and hear the surface, but no harshness shows up in the cabin. A curious note: my kids say the back seat ride is similar to the 550i (i.e. as stiff/bumpy). This may be because the seats haven’t broken in yet, and I had put better tires on the 550i (Michelins) than come stock with my E400 (Continentals).


Interior / Exterior:

The leather seats, the stitchings on the door and on the dashboard (the latter’s leather is dark brown) are high quality and elegant in the opinion of my wife, who has the better eye for such things. Everybody loves the Lunar Blue / Silk Beige leather combination. The Beige tends to run on the dark side. I will try to post photos later.

I like the accessible MB layout more than BMW’s or Tesla’s, although they are all beautiful and endearing in their own way. For example, I prefer seat adjustments on the door, rather than hidden out of view like the BMW’s, and similarly I prefer a button on the ceiling for the sunroof rather than access through the “iPad” screen on the Tesla. The MB screen, evidently the smallest in the luxury category, doesn’t bother me except a bit when using the parking cameras.

In general, MB cabin amenities are a better match for my preferences to other manufacturers in terms of utility lighting, storage compartments, ergonomics, function access via buttons and similar amenities. For example, storage tends to be ample, no compartment is overly huge, and neither is too “specialized” for holding one thing or another. As another example, trunk lighting is on the sides of the trunk, pointing deep into the interior, versus on the trunk hood and at a sub-optimal angle when the trunk is open on some other brands.

I find the aggressive grill, giant star and the rear spoiler a bit off-putting, but they’ve gotten complements from a diverse group of people, which indicts my boring taste rather than the cars design!
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:53 PM
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Very nice and detailed review!!!
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:36 PM
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Great review. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:53 PM
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You will see much more improvements over BMW soon. For example activation of cruise control is very easy and intuitive. Regarding small screen, it is actually much sharper than BMW has, so finally you have win, because can see street names when use navigation. I counted over 20 improvements MB has over BMW.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:51 AM
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Great review! I love reading quick and simple, well written real user opinions on the car as opposed to a magazine journalist who only gets to test drive the car and write his "expert" opinion on it.


Thank you!
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