2010 Mercedes-Benz E-class / E550 - First Drive Review

The Mercedes-Benz E-class is the sedan that bridges the showroom gap between the six-figure S-class and the $30,000 C-class. Without the E, the Mercedes lineup would simply encompass two extremes of luxury sedans, with a bunch of SUVs occupying the space between.

Mercedes has thoroughly redone its mid-size E-class range for 2010. Thoroughly means this is not a mere styling refresh, but the design indeed has evolved and it’s the most obvious change. For its past two generations, the E-class has worn four oval-shaped headlights, a look that became iconic enough for the Koreans to copy it on the Kia Amanti and the previous Hyundai Sonata. The ovoids are gone now, replaced by four parallelogram-shaped lamps that look unique but still make sense on an E-class. The change from soft shapes continues to the roofline, as the new car is more angular and creased more sharply than before. Those creases have drawn some flack for what happens in the rear fender, but photos don’t do the back end justice. The roundness of the rear fender flare and the horizontal line that sits above works far better in person than in a two-dimensional photograph.

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