Yes, new-car prices shot up during the pandemic—but a midsize sedan with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, faux leather upholstery, and a base price of $55,000? Yikes! As an automotive techno tour de force, however, the E 350 could well be worth it.
The E-Class slots between the smaller C-Class and the larger S-Class. It’s also available—with different powertrains—as a wagon, a coupe, and a convertible. Last year, Mercedes revised the E-Class’ styling and driving dynamics and filled it with a cornucopia of gizmos, from the latest safety features to an overly complex infotainment system.
The sedan’s sheet metal isn’t shaped to excite. But it is harmonious, elegant, and likely timeless. On the road, the E 350 is a chameleon—a sedate luxury sedan at times, an agile sports sedan at others. And although the 4-banger won’t pin your noggin to the head restraint, it provides lively performance and decent fuel economy (25 mpg combined). An inline 6 and a rip-roarin’ V8 are available.
The E 350’s exquisite build quality is unmistakable. That faux leather seat covering? Nice enough to pass for the real thing. And the front seats are uncommonly comfy. Yes, the E 350 is pricey—but excellence rarely comes cheap.