Jalopnik Reviews: 2006 Mercedes E350 4Matic, Part 2

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
Jalopnik ReviewsAll of our test drives in one convenient place.

Exterior Design ***
What a drag it is getting old. You go for something sensible and safe and people call you a fuddy-duddy. You go for some fresh and funky and flame-surfaced and people call you a barbarian. Mercedes plays it straight down the middle with a classically proportioned three box design. It s stunning in its unobjectionality. I still can't abide those weird-ass swoopy headlights and the woosy little grill it engenders.

Acceleration ***
After ten years niche chasing with bizarre automotive mutations, MB finally got around to freshening-up the E-Class' pokey powerplant. This bigger, more highly valved, twice overhead cammed V6 has finally got the goods to go Bimmer chasing. Lots of horses (268) and loads o torque (258 ft-lbs.) make it an ostensibly frisky fillie. Ostensibly cause the E350's throttle was designed by a Driver s Ed instructor who got tired of putting a tennis ball behind the accelerator.

Advertisement

Braking ****
Plenty mushy, plenty powerful.

Ride ***
On smooth surfaces, you couldn t ask for a better Buick. On broken surfaces— especially through the twisty bits— everything goes a little pear-shaped. In fact, the ride gets so nuggety it s a wonder McDonald s doesn t sell it in little cardboard boxes.

Handling **
The E350 doesn t handle per se; it sashays around corners like a ballroom dancer on Ludes. The only problem— and I mean this in the nicest, most luxury loving kinda way— is the way it feels once you turn in. It doesn t. There s no feeling whatsoever through the helm— which makes dialing-out steering lock an entirely intellectual process. OK in parking lots. Murder at speed.

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
Advertisement


Gearbox *****
Mercedes makes some of the world s best gearboxes. Although it s nothing new or special, the E350's five-speed is perfect, slurring changes like a professional slide guitar player. [NB: The rear-wheel-drive E350 has the new 7G-Tronic gearbox. Reports are filtering in about excessive and unnecessary gear hunting ]

Audio/Video ***
Nice stereo. No iPoditude. And...?

Toys *
Low celestialism due to the peculiar fact that our test car was lightly specced. Where s the fun in that?

Advertisement

Trunk ***
What a trunk! The trunk of my dreams! Deep, carpeted, cavernous. But Jesus, does that flimsy ass trunk lid (made of aluminum to save weight) fly up in a hurry! I almost knocked my wife out with a single plip. Take that as a criticism.

Overall: ***

[by Robert Farago]

Related:
Jalopnik Reviews: 2006 Mercedes E350 4Matic, Part 1, Part 3 [internal]

Share This Story