The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available as a midsize sedan, coupe, convertible (Cabriolet) or wagon. Each body style offers various trim levels: turbodiesel E250 Bluetec (sedan only), V6-powered E350 (all body styles), gas-electric E400 Hybrid (sedan only), V8-powered E550 (all except the wagon) and V8-powered E63 AMG (sedan and wagon only).
A simplified options structure splits the E250 and E350 four-doors into two basic types: Luxury and Sport. Luxury models come with 17-inch alloy wheels and a traditional grille with a separate hood ornament, while Sport models switch to 18-inch wheels, a two-bar grille with an integrated three-pointed star, and a sport-tuned suspension. Inside, the Sport boasts subtle white-faced gauges and a three-spoke steering wheel in place of the Luxury’s four-spoke design. As an option, you can get the three-spoke wheel with a flat bottom, which comes packaged with 18-inch AMG alloys.
Both Luxury and Sport offer standard niceties such as automatic LED headlights, LED taillight accents, adaptive suspension dampers, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a center-mounted analog clock, a choice of three wood trims, 14-way power front seats with memory functions, MB-Tex synthetic upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors, the COMANDelectronics interface, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer and an iPod/USB audio interface. The E350 wagon also includes a power liftgate, a rearview camera and a rear-facing third-row seat.
The E400 Hybrid is essentially a Sport model by default (though its wheels are 17-inchers), as is the E550 sedan, which gets the flat-bottomed, three-spoke steering wheel and 18-inch AMG wheels as standard. The E550 sedan also features leather upholstery (optional on lesser four-door models).
The E-Class coupe and convertible come standard with most of the sedan’s Sport accoutrements, including 18-inch alloys, and they add heated leather sport seats to the mix. The E550 coupes and convertibles also have an adaptive suspension to go with their standard 18-inch AMG wheels. All convertibles receive a power-folding soft top, a rear center pass-through and a pop-up air deflector.
A few packages are optional on the E250, E350, E550 and E400 models. The Premium 1 package adds a rearview camera (standard on the wagon), COMAND with navigation and digital music storage, satellite radio, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system and a power rear window sunshade (except on the convertible, which gets the AirScarf neck-warming system instead), as well as active ventilated front seats for the E550 sedan and heated front seats for the other sedans.
The Lighting package contributes adaptive LED headlights and automatic high-beam control, while the Parking Assist package adds a surround-view camera system with front and rear parking sensors along with an automated parallel-parking system. Finally, the Keyless Go package tacks on keyless entry and ignition, a power trunk lid (sedan only; wagon has a standard power liftgate) and, for the sedan and wagon, a hands-free feature that both opens and closes the trunk or liftgate when you wave your foot under the rear bumper.
Note that the Coupe and Cabriolet are additionally eligible for a Sport package that throws in 18-inch AMG wheels, painted front brake calipers (standard on E550), the flat-bottomed steering wheel (also standard on E550), multicontour front seats and aluminum pedals.
The speed-freak E63 AMG sedan boasts numerous AMG-developed components (engine, transmission, adjustable suspension, steering, brakes, exhaust, exterior and interior trim), 19-inch wheels and sport seats with adjustable bolsters and driver massage functions. It also comes standard with the contents of the Premium 1, Lighting, Keyless Go and Parking Assist packages (except for the surround-view camera, which costs extra), along with heated rear seats (optional on wagon) and leather upholstery. The AMG S-Model package (optional on sedan, standard on wagon) adds a limited-slip rear differential, different 19-inch wheels, even more power and red brake calipers. Any E63 can be outfitted with carbon-ceramic brakes.
The E63 AMG’s driver-seat massage functionality is available on other E-Class models as an option. Other notable options, depending on trim and body style, include an air suspension, an illuminated grille star, a panoramic sunroof (standard on the E63 AMG S-Model wagon), a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system, split-folding rear seats, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, and twin iPad docks behind the front headrests.