But no wagon quite reaches the exalted status of the Mercedes E-Class and in particular the E500 wagon. It is the personification of what a modern station wagon can be if money is no object.
My MB E500 wagon is the first Mercedes that I have owned and I am in love with it after driving it for just over a year. I spend a lot of time driving my children around and it makes a difference to have such a comfortable interior. I live in Minnesota and my 4Matic drives great in the snow! I've had just two problems: 1.A faulty transfer case which was replaced and fully covered under the warranty and 2. Poor tire wear which was also a warranty item and the tires were replaced.
What’s New, Changed, Different
Midyear 2003, the limited-production E55 AMG rejoined the E-Class–now with 469 supercharged horsepower. For 2004, two other models returned to the lineup as well: The E320 and E500 are now available in sedan or wagon configurations, and either can be had with optional 4Matic all-wheel drive (the E500 wagon being packaged only with 4Matic). Bi-Xenon active headlamps are available on all models, and E500s get a new seven-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. A turbodiesel-powered E320 has just been relaunched into the market.
What inspired Mercedes to introduce the E500 wagon in October 2003? Clearly, the execs at parent probably thought they could sell a V-8 version for a premium price. Assuming there’s a market for the higher-priced car, such premium vehicles can be a gold mine. Witness how easily turned its Crown Victoria into a Town Car and raked in fat margins with the Lincoln’s higher price. Converting the redesigned E320 would be easy and inexpensive, particularly as the V-8 powerplant is used in multiple Mercedes models.
All-wheel drive, a wagon body style, and a seven-speed automatic transmission were newly available for 2004 on Mercedes’ best-selling line. Sedans and wagons both came as E320 models with a 221-hp V6, and as E500s with a 302-hp V8. Introduced during the 2003 model year, the E55 AMG sedan held a 469-horsepower supercharged V8 and rode on 18-inch tires. E320s and the E55 continued with a five-speed automatic, but E500s substituted an industry-first seven-speed transmission. Mercedes said the new automatic could skip gears during upshifts and downshifts, for increased efficiency. Both automatics had a manual shift gate, but the E55 added steering-wheel buttons. The E55 had exclusive trim, exhaust and seats, with a sport suspension. Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive was standard on the E500 wagon and optional for other E-Class models. Distronic cruise control, designed to maintain a preset following distance, was optional. Optional bi-xenon headlamps were now steering-linked.
Wagons could seat seven on three rows, and were available with the sedan’s Sport Package option. All models were factory pre-wired to accept newly optional dealer-installed satellite radio.
A turbocharged diesel six-cylinder sedan called the E320CDI went on sale as an early 2005 model. During 2005, a 3.5-liter V6 replaced the 3.2-liter in the E320, turning it into an E350 for the 2006 season.
A new V6 engine signals the arrival of the E350 model for 2006. E350s have a 268-hp 3.5-liter V6 and replace E320 models, which had a 221-hp 3.2 V6.
Revised styling, new engines, and additional safety equipment highlighted 2007 for Mercedes’ midsize sedans and wagons. The E550 had a 382-hp V8 and replaced the 302-hp E500. The E320 Bluetec had a 208-hp V6 turbodiesel and replaced the 201-hp E320 CDI. The high-performance E63 had a 507-hp V8 and replaced the 469-hp E55. New for ’07 was Mercedes’ Pre-Safe system, which automatically tightens seatbelts and readies full braking power when sensors detect an imminent collision. All ’07 E-Class models got revised front and rear styling.
The E-Class received no major changes for 2008.
A newly available audio unit with voice control combined a wireless cell-phone link and 6-disc CD/DVD changer. The new audio unit had optional features such as a navigation system with real-time traffic updates, HD radio, MP3 connectivity, and a hard drive capable of storing 4 gigabytes of digital music files.