Everyone Still Loves Our Long-Term Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon—for the Most Part

Joey Capparella
Photo credit: Marc Urbano - Car and Driver

From Car and Driver

20,000-Mile Update

The main issue many of our editors have with our long-term 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 wagon is that they don't get to drive it as often as they'd like. More so than any other long-termer in our fleet, this delectable Benz has been in high demand since it arrived. Those staffers who heretofore had been out of luck in properly experiencing the E-class are just getting the opportunity to snag a night in it as its odometer passes the 20,000-mile mark, and they have some things to say.

Copy editor Beth Nichols was thrilled to finally get her chance in the E-class wagon. She mostly gushed over the car but did find a nit to pick: after setting up her seating position, she noticed that the steering wheel partly obscured the gauge cluster. She then admitted this was a "first-world problem," given the otherwise sumptuous atmosphere that pervades the E450's cabin.

Photo credit: Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver

Driving the E-class was worth the wait for assistant online editor Daniel Golson, too. He was quite complimentary overall but did dispute the way we spec'd our E wagon. While opining that we should have chosen the Luxury Styling appearance package with its hood ornament and extra chrome, for a more traditional look, he also lamented that the 2019 E450 is not available with the Piedmont Green Metallic paint offered on the 2018 E400 wagon (ours is finished in Lunar Blue Metallic). Taking the ungratefulness a step further, he then expressed sadness that the United States is denied the inline-six-powered AMG E53 wagon that our neighbors in Canada are lucky enough to get. Given that Mercedes does offer U.S. buyers the privilege of buying the 603-hp AMG E63 S, we're thinking that the next time he's fortunate enough to drive our E450, Golson needs to call up the 1969 Rolling Stones hit, "You Can't Always Get What You Want," which would surely sound great on the E450's Burmester audio system.

Photo credit: Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver

After his turn in the E450, print director Tony Quiroga offered some sage advice that almost seemed targeted at the AMG-hungry Golson. "For those who don't get the appeal of a Benz, drive this car. Still don't get it? Wait a few years, mature, and there's no doubt this car and its slightly lazy dynamics will make perfect sense."

We don't want to jinx anything, given what happened to our last E-class wagon, but this E450 has seen smooth-if somewhat costly-sailing through the first half of its test. At a 20,000-mile scheduled-maintenance visit, our dealership performed an oil change, replaced the cabin air filter, rotated the tires, flushed the brake fluid, replaced the wiper blades, and inspected the car. This rang up a bill of $704, more than double that of the E450's 10,000-mile service.

Months in Fleet: 8 months Current Mileage: 20,640 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 22 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 21.1 gal Observed Fuel Range: 460 miles
Service: $957 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0



10,000-Mile Update

Photo credit: Brad Fick - Car and Driver

Our long-term 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-class wagon brings a sense of occasion to our daily lives. We feel special whenever we drive this classy E-class, and the practical aura that its longroof body adds to the equation only makes it easier to enjoy. With a hair over 12,000 miles on its odometer, our drivers have repeatedly praised its front-seat comfort as well as its solid sense of straight-ahead on longer treks, including jaunts from Ann Arbor to Chicago and back.

And because this Mercedes projects such elegance and affluence, we also tend to reserve the E-class for our most special outings. When assistant buyer’s guide editor Eric Stafford needed a car for a trip to northern Michigan to propose to his girlfriend, the E450 was the obvious choice (and if you’re wondering, she said yes).

Photo credit: Brad Fick - Car and Driver

Stafford reported that he and his fiancée "enjoyed every minute spent in it," though we’re sure the excitement of the engagement contributed somewhat to this impression. The car’s height-adjustable air springs came in handy for the happy couple as they navigated unplowed snowy roads, as did its 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 tires. The only issue they encountered was with the car’s passive-entry function, which can be inconsistent, sometimes requiring the driver to manually unlock the doors with the key fob. Another driver noticed that the system seems to be very sensitive to where the key is on your person when reaching to open the door, noting that the door unlocked more reliably with the key in a front pocket as opposed to a back pocket or in a purse.

Photo credit: Brad Fick - Car and Driver

Another logbook commenter found storage cubbies to be lacking, as filling the front cupholders with cups blocks the usefully sized bin located behind them. Nothing more significant has befallen the E450, with its only dealer visit being its 10,000-mile service, which included an oil change and several inspections for a fairly steep $253.

Our average fuel economy has stayed consistent at 22 mpg, which matches the EPA’s combined estimate. The large 21.1-gallon fuel tank means that we can easily go 450 miles between fill-ups, and 500-plus-mile stints are within reach at highway speeds-our record so far is 521 miles on a single tank.

Months in Fleet: 5 months Current Mileage: 12,006 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 22 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 21.1 gal Observed Fuel Range: 460 miles
Service: $253 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0



Introduction

Photo credit: Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver

When we received the ­first of our long-term Mercedes-Benz E-class wagons, we said that it "may just be the most well-rounded new car on the market." But not long after our 2018 E400 4Matic wagon arrived at C/D HQ, Mercedes-Benz announced an even better version: the 2019 E450 4Matic wagon, which brought a few welcome tweaks including a more powerful V-6 engine.

So maybe fate was at work when a moving truck took our E400 out of commission in the parking lot of a Buffalo Wild Wings. That loss was assuaged when Mercedes-Benz showed up with a shiny new 2019 E450 wagon as a replacement. And we're now so enamored with the new wagon that we've almost forgotten what happened to its predecessor.

Quicker and better equipped, this particular E450 is an evolutionary improvement over an already excellent E-class wagon that didn't need much improving. The 33 extra horsepower and 15 additional lb-ft of torque from the E450's twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 help hustle it to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and a through the quarter-mile in 13.4 seconds, each an improvement of 0.2 second over the E400. The E450 also surpasses the E400 in cornering grip (at 0.91 g) and braking (stopping from 70 mph in 152 feet), thanks to a staggered set of Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 summer tires versus the other car's square set of all-seasons. (We've since swapped out the E450's Dunlops for a $1230 set of Mercedes-spec Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 tires for the cold-weather season.)

Photo credit: Chris Doane Automotive - Car and Driver

Oh, and did we mention that the E450 wagon is a lot more expensive? After conservatively optioning our E400, we threw caution to the wind this time and embraced the E-class's luxurious nature. At $89,175, the as-tested price is nearly $12,000 higher. Among many new options, a $2250 Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control and numerous other driving aids, an $850 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster modernizes the dash, and the $4900 Designo interior option transforms the cabin with a delightful combination of Saddle Brown and Macchiato Beige nappa leather. A set of $198 winter floor mats from WeatherTech is already in place to protect the light-colored carpets.

There are few greater pleasures in autodom than sinking into those massaging nappa leather seats, resting your arm on the heated armrest, and relaxing into a cosseting drive home after a long day at work. Comments in the E450's logbook have been overwhelmingly positive so far, describing the car as "delectably beautiful" and "lovely all the way around." We're really hoping that this E-class wagon goes the 40,000-mile distance-and we'll make sure to keep this lovely vehicle far away from any Buffalo Wild Wings parking lots.

Months in Fleet: 2 months Current Mileage: 4080 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 22 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 21.1 gal Fuel Range: 460 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0




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