Feature

New cars: Mercedes-Benz E350

What the critics say about the $53,000 (est.) Mercedes-Benz E350

Automobile
The E350 used to be a rather stodgy, slow chariot “characterized by plenty of body roll and early understeer. Not anymore.” This V6 likes to be revved in the 4,500 to 7,500 rpm range, and sprints to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds. The all-around handling and ride are better than those of the Audi A6 3.0T or BMW 528i.

Car and Driver
The E350 has traded its old ovoid headlights for “a hipper set of squared-off lenses,” but essentially this year’s model is pretty much the same as last year’s. There’s the “chiseled yet still conservative body”;
the 268-hp, 3.5-liter V6; and the seven-speed automatic transmission. In other words, this is a “convincing Lexus impersonation,” with an interior that harmoniously blends wood and leather.

AutoWeek
The E350 adds “gadgetry galore,” though most of it’s optional. Blind Spot Assist uses radar and audible cues to sense when cars cross into side blind spots. A lane-­departure warning system recognizes when the driver is drifting off-lane. And a Pre-Safe braking system uses audible and visual warnings if it senses that the driver is becoming drowsy.

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