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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Best Luxury Sedans | Luxury Cars - Consumer Reports



The new E250 is perhaps the most rational luxury car you’ll find. It mixes a posh interior with an ultra-efficient turbodiesel engine, an 800-mile highway driving range, an impressive balance of ride and handling, and the type of practicality that makes it easy to live with. That combination earned it a stellar 98 score in our testing, which is second only to the Tesla Model S, at 99.
A little treat for those of us who are also MB fans.:D The 98/100 is the second-highest score they've ever given out (the pre-facelift Lexus LS460 was also a 99). The cars in this mid-luxury segment that were dethroned by the newly-facelifted E were the Infiniti M37 and Audi A6 3.0T (both scored a 93).

Given the slightly disappointing score they handed the Q50- a 73- I at least am satisfied that the M lost its perch to another car that I highly admire- the W212.

I'm renting one (sure to be an E350 4matic) in a couple weeks for a long-ish trip with friends, which will include a stop by the Chicago Auto Show. I can't wait to be in this for 10 hours straight:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
My biggest reservation with bluetec is that you have to add the emissions fluid with every oil change. And the fluid is quite expensive- even doing it yourself you're more than doubling the cost of your oil changes. Here's an article complaining about this: The Truth About Clean Diesels: AdBlue Is Freaking Expensive | The Truth About Cars

However, modern German cars are typically good for ~10,000 mile oil change intervals, and TTAC claims that their GL (a BIG vehicle, compared to the E-class, for sure) still had 18% of the fluid left after 16.5K miles. All of this means that, while there may be a somewhat hidden cost to this great diesel performance, you're still coming out ahead of the gasoline models. 40+ mpg in a 4,000 pound luxury sedan is unbelievable, and better than even the hybrids of the segment. This assumes, of course, that the Bluetec diesel can match the gassers for long-term reliability.
 

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Where can you go to rent an E350, Jay?

and yeah, I'm a big fan of the MB, but I don't stay as up to date to their specs as much as I'd like.

This is a little OT and I don't talk about it much, but the current generation CLS550 is actually my favorite car, period. It has the right balance of luxury and performance at a price point that makes sense. I finally had a chance to sit inside one last month and it was awesome. People say it looks small and cramped, but that's only from the outside. Once you get inside, it's quite spacious and the car definitely feels as much as it should.








I remember when the previous E-Class first hit the streets a few years ago and I was quite obsessed about the car and I fell in love with its styling. Its price point kept me away back then but that was back when I was still finishing up school. If the opportunity ever arises, I'll probably find some excuse to finally test one out.

Jay, I'm looking forward to a full review of your 10 day experience with that E350. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Where can you go to rent an E350, Jay?
There don't seem to be many places in which you can rent something as nice as an E-class, at least for the big chains. I went to the Prestige Colletion at Hertz for this one. My dad and I went to Yosemite by way of Vegas back in 07, and we rented one of the then-new, V36 G35 sedans from them. It was a great experience- on a remote desert highway, I found out where the speed governor kicks in.:p

The caveat is that not every Hertz location carries the Prestige Collection. You're pretty much limited to major airport branches in our top few largest cities. Thankfully, I live about 20 miles from 3 of them, and the Newark Airport one had them available for the weekend I chose.:)

Enterprise also carries "exotic" rentals in some branches- but they're almost all in California, Arizona, or south Florida.

One last thing before I quit staying up all night:p - it won't be a 10-day experience (did I word a post confusingly? Sorry!). It's gonna be 4 days. So in the interest of maximizing my time at my bud's campus (he's in law school at Notre Dame), and in Chicago, I'm cramming the 10 hour drive in a single, entire day each way.:eek: That, and a pillowcase full of spending money that I have from working 2 FT jobs a while ago (NEVER again!:mad:), motivated me to get something a little nicer than an Altima this time, heh. I should also mention that neither my Altima (duh!) nor first-gen G are AWD. The 4matic may save my butt if old man winter decides to show his ugly face. I can think of a million silly little reasons to justify the extra few hundred in splurging.:eek: How about cause I'm working on the prereqs for grad school (going back in my early 30s), and I know that for a few years I won't have time/money to even rent one again, let alone purhcase!:eek: Come the 2020s though, watch out!:rolleyes:;):D

Really, though, I've never driven an MB before (ridden and dash/metal-stroked a million times!). But I'm captivated by the W212 and its excellent reviews. I'm encouraged by their return to exemplary quality and reliability under Zetsche. And, I'm sort of intrigued by the fact that they are beating the mighty BMW in some recent comparisons- could it be that the balance of power in ride/handling has shifted, and that MB's aren't just "old man" cruisers/tanks anymore? :p Also, I have experience in the G35/37 as well as the E46 and E90 3-series, so I will be able to tell if it's "boring," or more like "competent yet refined" (I'm guessing a major dose of the latter!).

BTW, that CLS is HAWT! Do want! XD
 

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I test drove the E while I was waiting for the Q release. I really liked it - especially with all of the expensive options (LED headlights and 'sport' package seemed the minimum for my tastes).

However, I found he ride a bit too cushy and not sporty enough for me. Coming from the power of my G I just wasn't overwhelmed by the performance. Other than that and the minuscule nav screen ( their dial integration felt much better than BMW's though) I really liked the car. I still think MB doesn't get the whole NAV/Infotainment thing. Between the slapped on screens on the C's to the small screens with large bezels to trick us into thinking they are bigger, I just don't think they out enough priority on that.

I think I would have been more interested if there wasn't a $200 difference in lease payments from the Q50 (at least) for the car optioned the way I would have wanted it. For the record, at that time they quoted me a lease at invoice without any negotiation - just the starting point. I didn't bother trying to negotiate them down as I didn't want to waste the salesperson's time if I wasn't serious. Once I got the quote of $750/mo I knew a few grand here or there wouldn't make enough of a difference for me.

I'm glad I waited for the Q but the E is still one of my favorite cars.

I sat in a CLS at the dealership and loved the interior as well. Didn't bother driving it though as it is not a realistic car for me for a number of reasons - not the least of which would be the cost :D

Not sure I would give the E a 98 score but it definitely deserves to be up there.
 

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My biggest reservation with bluetec is that you have to add the emissions fluid with every oil change. And the fluid is quite expensive- even doing it yourself you're more than doubling the cost of your oil changes. Here's an article complaining about this: The Truth About Clean Diesels: AdBlue Is Freaking Expensive | The Truth About Cars

However, modern German cars are typically good for ~10,000 mile oil change intervals, and TTAC claims that their GL (a BIG vehicle, compared to the E-class, for sure) still had 18% of the fluid left after 16.5K miles. All of this means that, while there may be a somewhat hidden cost to this great diesel performance, you're still coming out ahead of the gasoline models. 40+ mpg in a 4,000 pound luxury sedan is unbelievable, and better than even the hybrids of the segment. This assumes, of course, that the Bluetec diesel can match the gassers for long-term reliability.
My biggest reservation about diesels is the cost of fuel. Yes, they get better mileage, but when you're paying an extra 50 to 60 cents more per gallon(or even more), how much are you really saving? And you bring up the extra cost of maintenance. It looks like it's a flip of a coin as to which one is "cheaper" to own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^ Those 2010-2012 models still are the same generation, naturally. And though they all are W212s, there have been significant changes through its first 4 years. This is what the Germans typically do. The first two saw carry-over engines, then in 2012, a new V6 was introduced with direct injection for a boost in power and economy. A new V8 also arrived- a twin turbo 4.7L replacing the naturally-aspirated 5.5L. The 2014 facelift carrys on these engines, but next year, the V8 goes away in the sedan, and the V6 becomes the twin-turbo 3.0L E400. Since there will no longer be an E350, I assume that they'll give the E-class the same base engine as the C-class: the 2.0L turbo I-4... but I'm a bit fuzzy on this.

Anyway, enough with specs. Yes, the 2010s and 2011s in particular are getting down to new G37 prices. Wagons are about 10k more, sadly, but they are the most attractive variant to me.:D Given the W212's incredible reliability record so far, I don't think I'd mind waiting even longer (like til after the W213 is out for a few years) and rolling the dice on an out-of-warranty one. Seriously, it's right up there with the M and GS in CR's records. Any black dots from prior generations are quickly moving off to the left of the graph, and even those old models are mostly above-average.
 
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