The three new engine options for the E-Class are the biggest changes for 2012. The base 3.5L V6 now offers direct injection. This increases fuel economy by roughly 20 percent over its predecessor while still making 34 more horsepower and 15 more lb-ft of torque. The E550 variants have a downsized V8; now 4.6 liters instead of 5.5. But the key addition of two turbochargers ensures that no power was lost. The new V8 now produces 402 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque-- 20 more horsepower and 52 more lb-ft of torque than the outgoing engine. Fuel economy has been improved by about 17 percent for the E550. The engine fitted to the high performance AMG version is also newly twin turbocharged. It is 5.5 liters, down from 6.3 on the 2011 model. Power has remained even at 518, while torque has been increased by 51 lb-ft. Once again fuel economy is up for the new engine, by 2 mpg on both the highway and in the city. The BlueTec diesel is the only carryover engine for the E-class. It makes 201 horsepower and is rated at 21/32 mpg for the city/highway.
Of course Mercedes-Benzes have never been short on luxury and the E-Class is no exception. Rain sensing wipers, dual zone climate control, 14 way adjustable front seats and a power-adjustable steering wheel are all standard on the E350. Luxury options include heated and vented front seats, a power closing trunk, a power rear window shade and of course leather seats. A navigation system with built in Zagat ratings is available as is a rear entertainment system, which places TV screens in the back of the front headrests to entertain rear seat occupants.
Mercedes-Benz has been a big fan of using technology to improve vehicle safety for the last decade.. Their DISTRONIC PLUS system uses radar to detect an impending accident and apply the brakes, tighten the seatbelts and adjust the head restraints. Mercedes-Benz' attention assist system learns the driver's habits and driving style and warns him or her if the system detects changes that could indicate drowsiness or fatigue behind the wheel. Mercedes-Benz' lane departure system uses cameras to warn the driver should the system detect the car wandering into another lane without the use of turn signals. All E-Class Mercedes-Benz come standard stability control and anti-lock brakes.