The midsize E-Class has always aimed for a certain sweet spot in the luxury car market. It’s prestigious and accommodating, but not to the point of slipping out of reach. All E-Class models perform with the precision you would expect in this league, but the E550 offers up true exhilaration courtesy of its twin-turbo V8 engine.
What's New for 2014
A midlife makeover brings smoother styling all around, new safety technologies and an auto stop-start function for increased efficiency.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz E550
The E550 is available as a sedan or two-door coupe, the latter with more aggressive rear styling. Equipment and options are virtually identical with one major exception: the sedan gets standard all-wheel drive—it’s not available at all on the coupe.
Every E-Class gets a seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters, but only the E550 gets a twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 with 402 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The E550 also comes standard with a sports steering wheel, 18-inch AMG wheels and leather upholstery.
Other equipment is shared with the rest of the line, which means you get niceties like wood interior trim, 14-way power front seats with memory, a sunroof, LED exterior lighting, Bluetooth phone and audio, and adaptive suspension dampers.
From there, you can select a number of option packages to enhance the E550’s luxury and technology:
- Premium: Includes a rearview camera, hard-drive navigation and audio storage, 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound, a power rear sunshade and massaging climate-controlled front seats
- Lighting: Adds full LED headlights with automatic high-beam control.
- Parking Assist: Equips the E550 with a surround-view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, and an automated parallel parking system.
- Keyless Go: Gets you keyless access and ignition, plus a power trunk lid with hands-free opening and closing.
- Lane Tracking: Adds active blind-spot and lane-keeping assists.
- Driver Assistance: In addition to the above, you get adaptive cruise control with steering assist, cross-traffic assist, pedestrian detection and a collision mitigation system.
- AIRMATIC: Replaces the standard suspension with an adaptive air system.
Although we’d stop short of calling any car in its class a bargain, the E550 sedan comes darn close. With a twin-turbo V8 and standard all-wheel drive, it’s a whole lot of luxury car for the money.