While most luxury car buyers reach for a sedan, there are those who insist on the style and exclusivity of a coupe. The midsize Mercedes-Benz E550 delivers all the prestige those discriminating folks demand, plus the exhilaration of turbocharged V8 power.
What's New for 2016
The E550 receives minor equipment updates only.
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 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, and we should note that the E550 achieves 21 mpg in combined driving—very respectable, all things considered.
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 an adaptive suspension system. A driver alertness monitor and collision warning 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, rear cross-traffic alert, and collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and 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 to be essential. We suspect very few models are produced without it.