The midsize E-Class has always taken a reasonable approach to high-class motoring. It’s undeniably prestigious and accommodating, but still accessible to most buyers shopping in this league. All E-Class models perform with the precision you would expect from Mercedes-Benz, but the E550 offers up true exhilaration courtesy of its twin-turbo V8 engine.
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2015 Mercedes-Benz E550 Overview
What's New for 2015
The sedan version of the E550 has been dropped, leaving the coupe and the convertible.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz E550
The rear-drive E550 coupe and convertible carry a twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 that's good for 402 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. That's makes the E550 second only to the specially tuned AMG E-Class models in terms of performance. Power flows through a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. You might expect a hardtop on the convertible, but the E550 carries a traditional fabric top, albeit one with three layers for maximum insulation from noise and weather. The benefit is a trunk that doesn't disappear when the top comes down.
The E550 comes standard with a sports steering wheel, perforated front disc brakes with painted calipers, 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 for the coupe, LED exterior lighting, Bluetooth phone and audio, and adaptive suspension dampers. A driver alertness monitor and collision mitigation system are also standard.
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, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, massaging climate-controlled front seats, a power rear sunshade (coupe) and the AirScarf neck-warming system (convertible).
- Sport: Tacks on multicontour front seats and aluminum pedal trim.
- Lighting: Adds full LED headlamps with curve illumination and 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 blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assist.
- Driver Assistance: In addition to the above, you get adaptive cruise control with steering assist, cross-traffic alert and pedestrian detection with automatic braking.
Among the few individual options are upgraded Nappa leather upholstery and a wood-trimmed steering wheel.
The E550 starts out better equipped than the V6 E-Class models, but we still consider the Premium package rather essential in a car of this caliber.