2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec Diesel Three Month Review and Report

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MERCEDES-BENZ E350 INTERIOR

The E350 BlueTec’s interior is decidedly elegant, in part thanks to our selection of beige leather seats and a black cloth roofliner (standard with the Sport Package).  The panorama sunroof adds another layer of sophistication thanks to the sheer inner sheath that shields occupants from the sun.

Everything, from the Comand display to the large gauges, is easy to read and controls, switches, and knobs are exactly where they are supposed to be, illustrative of Teutonic engineering at its best.

Fit and finish are superb and the materials used throughout the cabin are rich without being ostentatious. The only complaint I have are the cheap-looking plastic door locks.  The interior is roomy and, from the passenger cabin, this feels like a full-sized luxury sedan instead of just a mid-sized one.

The cockpit is decidedly driver focused.  Mercedes puts a sophisticated multifunction color display in the center of the dashboard and this provides everything from navigation instructions and arrows to safety alerts.

The incredible active multicontour driver seat has adjustable lumbar support, side bolsters, and improved shoulder support.  The side bolsters can be set to “active,” which means they automatically increase lateral support when cornering – or in the event of an accident.  This puts almost every other car seat I’ve ever sat in to shame.

Starting with June 2011 production, the E350 BlueTec gets several new features including the aforementioned color LCD multifunction display in the dashboard, Comand 4.5 (which has numerous new features that we’ll cover separately in the coming months), and the relocation of the iPod connector to the center console from the glove box along with a USB connection.  Our E350 was manufactured in July 2011 so it includes these updates.

You can send a destination to the car’s navi from Google Maps or from the Send2Benz feature in the Mercedes mbrace iPad app.  You can also ask the mbrace call center to download a destination to the car.  The Send2Benz app had problems with finding locations in Washington, D.C. because the District of Columbia  is not a state, and someone forgot to include DC along with the two-letter abbreviations of the 50 states of the union that are listed.

BOTTOM LINE

As we’ve seen with our first two long-term cars, the BMW 335d and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI,  spending a few months with a car is far different than spending a week. It may sound obvious but you really get to know the car.

Immediately upon taking delivery of the Merc, TDD European Editor Christian Stampfer and I spent a week driving in Germany and the Netherlands from Stuttgart to Maastricht to Cologne to Arnhem to Bremen and Bremerhaven,  More recently, over a three-week period, we drove it to and/or through New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia including an ascent up Mount Washington.  The car currently has over 4100 km on the clock (2548 miles).

The E350 BlueTec’s fuel economy exceeded my expectations.  While individual trips did get even better numbers, the average fuel economy for the entire 2508 km trip was 6.7 l/100 km or 35.1 mpg.

We’ll continue our reports on the Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec in the coming months – next up is a look at Mercedes’ safety features, to be followed by telematics.

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VIRTUAL TOURS
VIRTUAL DRIVE – THE DRIVE TO KENNEBUNKPORT

THE ROAD TO MAASTRICHT – PART I

THE ROAD TO MAASTRICHT – PART II

A DAY AT THE MERCEDES-BENZ KUNDENCENTER

THE MERCEDES-BENZ E350 BLUETEC AT THE KUNDENCENTER

THE MERCEDES-BENZ E350 BLUETEC ARRIVES

THE FIRST DRIVE

2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec
Base price/price-as-tested $50,900 / $65.360
Drivetrain Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine 3.0/210 hp/turbocharged V-6
HP/Torque 210/400
Transmission 7-speed automatic
Curb weight  (lbs) 3,825 (4273)
Wheelbase  (inches) 113.1
Length x width x height  (inches) 191.7 x 75.9 x 57.7
0-60 mph (seconds) 6.6
City/Highway fuel economy (mpg) 22/33

 


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