The Mercedes E350 is the mid-size Mercedes luxury sedan that rivals the likes of the Audi A6 and the BMW 5-series. The E350 is one of the most popular Mercedes Benz E-Class models because it perfectly balances luxury, power, and sophistication.
Early iterations of the E350 are characterized by a 3.0L 6-cylinder engine that many deem as the perfect choice for the E-Class chassis. The brand new E350 is no longer using the 6-cylinder but rather a smaller, but equally potent 2.0L 4-cylinder which is not really all that exciting, no matter the power.
The E350 is a true mid-level spec of the E-Class which means that it is available with all the features you’d expect on a mid-size Mercedes. Rear-wheel-drive comes as standard while 4MATIC tends to cost an additional $2,000 from the factory.
All in all, the E350 still is the best E-Class model to buy if you want a decently powerful car that does not sacrifice efficiency or comfort. Even though the new E350 uses a less exciting 2.0L 4-cylinder, it is still a great car and the best pick of the bunch.
Mercedes E350 – The powerplant
Mercedes introduced the E350, the E300, and the E320 as the more luxurious 6-cylinder versions of the E-Class because the 4-cylinder ones were primarily used by taxi drivers. Mercedes wanted to make a distinction between the “taxi” E-Class and the more luxurious E-Class by offering more potent and sophisticated 6-cylinder engines.
All E350 models are either 3.5L 6-cylinder engines like the one found in the W212 or 3.0L 6-cylinder engines like the one found in the newer models. Both of these engines offer between 250 and 300hp and are also fairly efficient thanks to around 25MPG combined.
Gearbox-wise, the E350 is only offered in automatic versions for decades now and only the W211 and the W212 were available with a manual that was primarily sold in Europe. Early E350 5 and 7-speed transmissions were known to be lazy and prone to issues, but the newer ones are a lot more refined.
Rear-wheel-drive comes as standard for all E350 generations but 4MATIC is available as an option.
Mercedes E350 – Design and chassis
The E350 was initially introduced as the more luxurious version of the 2.0L E-Class and it did incorporate light design touches in order to separate it from the more entry-level E-Class. However, the design touches were so slight and insignificant that no one actually ever noticed them.
However, the E-Class always looked stately and commanding no matter which engine is under the hood. Compared to the Audi A6, the Mercedes always seemed a bit more premium and comfortable, but compared to the 5-Series, the Mercedes definitely felt more luxurious.
The E-Class is always tuned for comfort and that is the sole direction in which the E-Class goes. Mercedes knows that at the end of the day everyone wants a comfortable car. The BMW 5-Series is a lot sportier to drive, especially if equipped with a V8.
Audi A6 is somewhere in the middle as it does not feel particularly sporty nor comfortable. As such, the A6 is the best all-arounder while the E-Class is the most comfortable and the BMW 5-Series is the most dynamic.
Mercedes E350 – Reliability and potential issues
The Mercedes E350 was never class-leading as far as reliability is concerned and that is rather a well-known factor. This does not mean that the E-Class is a badly made car, it means that the E-Class needs proper and timely maintenance if you want it to last as long as it can.
Most E350 models experience electrical issues with in-car accessories such as power windows, dashboard errors, and problematic switches. The E350 is also not free from suspension issues either, especially if equipped with air suspension which needs proper maintenance to work adequately.
Mercedes E350 – Value and practicality
The Mercedes E350 is a relatively expensive car to begin with, yet it also loses value incredibly fast. All cars from this segment take a huge dive in the first few years after production both because there are so many of them and because they do cost a lot of money to maintain.
Practicality-wise, the E350 is a true mid-size sedan which means that it can be used for family hauling and VIP transportation. This is why so many taxi drivers around the world use the E-Class platform for decades now. Finally, cargo space is decent, but not class-leading as that honor goes to the Audi A6.
Is the Mercedes E350 worth it?
The Mercedes E350 is a lovely car to travel in, no matter the generation as it offers quite a bit of power without being overly thirsty on fuel. However, it does lose its value fast and it can not compete with certain generations of the A6 and the BMW 5-Series.
However, if you find one with decent mileage at the right price, you should swing for it. After all, a Mercedes E350 is made for those with deeper pockets anyway, so you should not be surprised as far as maintenance is concerned.
Is the Mercedes E350 a safe car?
The E350 is indeed a safe car as all E350 generations hold a stellar 5-star safety rating. Mercedes focuses on safety as much as luxury which means that almost all Mercedes models are as safe as possible. It is worth mentioning that you need to get one with the right options if you want it to be as safe as possible.
Newer E350 models come with all sorts of safety features such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, collision assistance, avoidance systems, and lots of airbags.
Why do taxi drivers use Mercedes E-Class models?
The E-Class is so popular with taxi drivers because it offers enough practicality and cargo space while also being comfortable and refined. They might not be the most reliable cars on the market, but if you maintain them properly they ought to last a long time.
It’s worth mentioning that taxi drivers are more fond of the 2.0L 4-cylinder engines because they are more reliable and longer-lasting while also being more efficient.