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2010 Mercedes-Benz E350

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2010 Mercedes E-Class Review
As Mercedes-Benz expanded its lineup to some 15 separate nameplatesnot counting the AMG modelsit resulted in mass confusion on the showroom floor and significant marketing challenges in promoting individual models. Things needed to get simpler, and now they have. The replacements for Mercedes mid-sized CLK-class coupe and cabriolet models will henceforth be identified as part of the E-class family. (The CL coupes will also become part of the S-class lineup.) The new E coupe has more suspension and powertrain bits in common with the E than the C, according to Mercedes-Benz USA product manager Bernhard Glaser. Dimensionally, however, the E coupe is much closer to the compact C than the mid-sized E, sharing the C-classs 108.7-inch wheelbase, and the exterior dimensions remain within an inch or two of the C even given the wider, longer, and lower bodywork. Compared with the E-class sedan, however, the E coupe has a three-inch-lower roof and five fewer inches of wheelbase, and is about 200 pounds lighter, seven inches shorter, and a whopping five-and-a-half inches narrower.

Mercedes clearly wants the E coupe to be seen as an E, and so it adopts the sedans design cues, including quad headlamps and the Ponton-inspired rear quarters. Few pieces are actually shared, however; look closer and youll notice that the fender contours are ever-so-slightly exaggerated compared with those of the sedan and that the low-beam headlamps are unique. Unique also describes the grille treatmenthere, it features two bars bracketing the three-pointed star, whereas the sedan has three or four grille slats with a vertical hood ornament. Most distinct, however, is the roofline, which like that of the CLK, remains pillarless (that is, if you dont count the mullion that forms the little rear quarter window). Wheels start out at 17 inches in diameter, with 18s optional on the E350 and standard on the E550. All E coupes get a full-length, partially retractable moonroof as standard equipment, the light from which is particularly appreciable from the snug rear bucket seats. In the front row, the low-mounted seats ensure a sporty driving position, and settling in is made easier as the seatbelts are presented upon startup by motorized arms. The driver faces a dashboard that recalls the sedans retro-inspired, angular cabinetry without copying it outright; differences include a subtle V-shape that helps reduce the designs imposing squareness, while a conventional console-mounted transmission shifteras found on the C-classstands in for the sedans column-mounted electronic gear stalk.

The driver faces arguably one of Mercedes best-ever gauge clusters, which combines five Porsche-like intersecting circles with clear, crisp displays. All E-classes feature Mercedes COMAND infotainment system that bundles secondary controls into a reasonably sensible screen-based interface, and E550 coupes add navigation as standard. Other options include front seat ventilation, pneumatically adjustable seat bolsters, and a five-channel surround sound stereo.