2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
With the economy still in question, car sales continue to suffer, no matter what the brand, or how well-heeled the customer. So as Mercedes-Benz prepared the launch of their all-new E-class, they made the decision to hold nothing back. They wanted to make their mid-size sedan and coupe as appealing as the flagship S-Class, but for a lot less money. Now it’s time to see if they’ve succeeded.
The E-Class is the proverbial backbone of Mercedes-Benz, and the all-new 2010 edition arrives with an edgier look and more techno-goodies than we can count.
Joining the classic sedan is a new E-Class Coupe, replacing the CLK.
We tested both the sedan and coupe side by side. While our duo shared the same deep black finish, and crease styling theme, each body style has plenty of unique details.
Let’s dissect the sedan first. Both in Luxury and Sport forms, it is more aggressively-styled, borrowing elements from the ConceptFASCINATION show car.
Oval front lamps have given way to wedgy housings, with hockey-stick LED driving lamps below. Still, our Sport model’s tri-bar grille is most familiar, as is the standup three-pointed star.
Strong fender flares and brawny character lines lead back to a thick rear also decorated with LEDs, along with dual exhaust cutouts.
The 5-passenger interior is less dramatic, defined by lots of wood and fine grained upholstery, but now filled with S-Class like luxury and technology.
Our sedan’s multicontoured seats look flat, but use active bolsters to help maintain body position during cornering.
Much of the new technology is for safety’s sake. Standouts include Nightview Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, and Lane Keep Assist. There’s even standard Attention Assist that monitors your inputs and will alert you if it thinks you’re falling asleep at the wheel.
And in addition to the normal front and side impact airbags, there are now two front pelvic airbags and one for the driver’s knees.
In the center of it all is Mercedes’ latest, and now standard COMAND interface, it governs the sound system, Bluetooth interface, and available navigation.
The sedan’s rear seat is both comfortable and spacious, and the low lip trunk provides a sizeable 19.1 cubic feet of space.
The E-Class coupe sheds both wheelbase and length, for an even more athletic shape.
You instantly think it’s capable thanks to a more open, twin-bar grille that surrounds an oversized star logo.
From there, lines flow pass its clamshell hood and along frameless doors and a pillarless greenhouse for a true two-door hardtop design.
Taillights and rear deck treatments are also sharper, for a nicely dynamic rear-view.
The Coupe’s interior is a more intimate, four-seat layout, but the standard panoramic sunroof keeps it from feeling confined.
Other differences include less wood and chrome, a dark surround to the five-gauge cluster, sportier bucket seats, plus steering wheel and console mounted shifters compared to the sedan’s column mounted flip switch.
The rear seat is expectedly tighter than that of the sedan, especially in legroom. The 15.9 cubic foot trunk is also smaller, but still accommodating.
Power for the E-Class is carryover. The E350 is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 with 268-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque; with the E550’s 5.5-liter V8 doling out 382-horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque.
Both tied to a 7-speed automatic which feeds the rear wheels for now.
A 4MATIC all-wheel drive sedan will be available later in the model year, along with the road-scorching E63 AMG, and a super thrifty E350 BlueTech clean diesel.
At the track, the E350 sedan will trot from 0 to 60 in 7.0 seconds, with a quarter mile of 15.5 seconds at 92 miles per hour. The 3.5 seven-speed combo isn’t a powerhouse, but it’s a decent performer with quick shifts.
The multi-link suspension with standard Agility Control yields a very nimble response without a harsh ride. Throughout our test the sedan remained firmly planted with plenty of grip.
Brakes were impressively solid too, with virtually no dive and minimal fade. Our 124 foot average from 60 to 0 rates great.
The E550 Coupe conquered our 0 to 60 run in just 5.6 seconds, with a fast quarter mile of 14.1 seconds at 105 miles per hour. Power never stopped building, with the deep and throaty exhaust note just egging us on.
Through the cones, our E550 Coupe felt a good bit stiffer than the E350 Sedan thanks to the standard Dynamic Handling Suspension’s adjustable shocks and modified throttle response. It was actually a little twitchy, especially at lower speeds. But the faster we went, the more precise it became.
Our only disappointment were the brakes. Stops were solid, but at 135 feet from 60 to 0, a tad long with noticeable fade.
Mercedes-Benz has honed E-Class aerodynamics to make them sip fuel like smaller rivals. Our slippery E350 Sedan has Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 17 city/24 highway on Premium gas, with a 23.6 miles per gallon test loop.
Ditto the E550 Coupe with 15 city/23 highway, and 21.5 miles per gallon on mixed roads.
Pricewise, the E-Class is also a better value than last year. The Sedan starts are $49,475. That’s a drop of about $4,800. The Coupe begins at $48,925, or about the same as the less well equipped CLK.
So competitors beware. The new 2010 E-Class is even more formidable than before. With artistic styling, top drawer luxury and technology, and the addition of a new coupe, the “E-Class” remains the spear carrier of the Mercedes-Benz lineup.
- Engine: 5.5-Liter V8
- Horsepower: 382
- Torque: 391 Lb Feet
- 0-60 MPH: 5.6 Seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 14.1 Seconds @ 105 MPH
- 60-0 MPH: 135 Feet
- EPA: 15 MPG City/ 23 MPG Highway
- Mixed Loop: 21.5 MPG
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined