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The 550 is available in three trims; a base level two-door E550 coupe, the E550 Sport 4MATIC sedan, and the E550 Cabriolet convertible. All trim levels contain a powerful 4.7 liter V8 engine. While standard features vary on these models the options are present in package form, allowing drivers to bundle similar upgrades in one shot.
Optional Premium 1 package contains a navigation system, satellite radio, heated seats, rear power window shade (available on the sedan and coupe), upgraded Harman Kardon audio system with an iPod auxiliary input and interface, and ventilated front seats.
The Optional Premium 2 package includes keyless entry and ignition, power trunk opening, and an adaptive headlight system with automatic high beams and washers. A Lane Tracking packages features a blind-spot detection system and warning system for drivers deviating from their assigned lane. Finally, a Driver Assistance Package upgrades to an adaptive cruise control and a more advanced version of the previously mentioned Lane Tracking features.
Several stand-alone options are available on some models, including: parking sensors, panoramic sunroof, enhanced seats, heated steering wheel, night vision system, split folding rear seats, upgraded sound systems, and a backseat entertainment system.
All of the E-Class vehicles feature Mercedes COMAND interior interface. This system includes a notably large display which serves to monitor the vehicle’s functions such as: entertainment, navigation, Bluetooth, website applications, and driver and emergency services.
No matter trim level and options you choose, the E550 is a prime example of Mercedes’ commitment to excellence. It’s fun to drive, smooth, elegant, and screams high-class luxury import at every turn. The 4.7 liter engine roars when necessary and the car is agile and smooth. In particular the Cabriolet convertible is a pleasurable drive – and far quieter than one would expect. Fuel economy is decent for a V8 and comes in at 16 MPG city and 26 MPG highway. The Cabriolet sees a reduction (by about 1 MPG) in these numbers.
Interior space in the E550 is ample in the sedan and adequate in the coupe. Cabriolet driver’s will find the rear seats a bit cramped (especially if they’re tall) in the headroom department, but four still fit comfortably. Cargo space is limited somewhat, though the sedan easily seats five while retaining enough elbow room for all.
The base model E500 coupe is powered by a 4.7 liter V8 engine which erupts with 402 horsepower and 443 foot-pounds of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission powers the rear-wheel drive vehicle, enabling the E550 to reach 60 MPH in 5.2 seconds. Bluetooth, MP3 player, and DVD player are standard features. Safety features include, side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, and pre-collision braking and drowsy driver alert system.
Robust V8 engine and several trim levels at a more affordable cost, but limited all-wheel drive options.
Cheaper, but chassis is dated while V6 performance offers good fuel economy.
Sleek, high-performance option which is exhilarating to drive, but offers less power than the E550.
Respectable, all-wheel drive power in a tight, streamlined package but lacks ride quality.