The E350 BlueTEC is the spiritual successor to the clattery but efficient and indestructible diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz sedans of the Â‘70s and Â‘80s. While it retains the impressible gas mileage of its forebears, its oil-burning engine now features the level of refinement one would expect of a modern Mercedes.
What makes the E350 BlueTEC different from other models in the E-Class range is the 3.0-liter diesel V6 under the hood. Though its output of 210 horsepower isn't impressive, the motor also produces a mighty 400 lb-ft of torque from just 1600 rpm. Hooked up to a polished seven-speed automatic transmission, the mill facilitates effortless passing while also returning notable fuel economy: 22 mpg in the city and a superb 33 mpg on the highway.
Outside, the car's styling could best be described as edgy traditionalism: there are more hard edges and surface creases than on previous models, but overall the look is unmistakably Mercedes-Benz. The cabin is a comfortable place for five occupants to spend time, boasting sumptuous seats, genuine wood trim and high levels of fit and finish.
Standard and Optional Features
Notable standard features include a power sunroof, an eight-speaker sound system, 14-way power adjustable front seats and a COMMAND infotainment system with a 7-inch display screen.
There is no lack of optional features available on the on the E350 BlueTEC for those seeking an extra touch of luxury.
The Premium One Package nets a navigation system, a Harmon/Kardon LOGIC7 surround-sound audio system, heated seats, an iPod/MP3 media interface, a power rear sunshade, a rear-view Camera, SIRIUS satellite radio with real-time traffic service, ZAGAT Survey restaurant guide and Gracenote media database
The Premium Two Package includes all of the Premium One features but adds Adaptive Highbeam Assist, bi-xenon headlamps with active curve illumination, an electronic trunk closer, a headlamp washing system, KEYLESS GO and LED daytime Running Lamps.
Other options include AMG wheels, a panoramic sunroof and upgraded interior leather.
Mercedes-Benz has long been known for its safety features, and the E350 BlueTEC will only add to that reputation. In addition to ABS and ESP stability control, the car boasts nine supplemental restraints including two-stage front air bags, a knee air bag for the driver and pelvic air bags which work together with curtain and side air bags to provide extra protection for front occupants in dangerous side-impact collisions.
Also standard is an "ATTENTION ASSIST" system that can alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S.A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of driving. Between 50 and 112 mph, the system identifies the erratic steering corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an audible warning and a "Time for a Rest?" message with a coffee cup icon in the instrument cluster.
Optional safety equipment includes the Lane Keeping Assist system, which alerts the driver by simulating a rumble strip vibration in the steering wheel if the car drifts from its lane without the turn signals on. Part of the Lane Tracking Package, it operates at speeds above 37 mph via a system that recognizes lane markings, thanks to a small camera in the windshield and a computer that analyzes the video images.
The Lane Tracking Package also includes Blind Spot Assist, which monitors both blind spots behind and to the side of the vehicle. Whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot, the driver gets visual and audible warnings.
The diesel-powered E350 BlueTEC sedan doesn't directly face any diesel versions of the midsize offerings from several luxury automakers, but there are other vehicles with similar fuel economy goes such as the Infiniti M Hybrid or the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.