Driven - Mercedes-Benz E350 Wagon
Some people are ardent Mercedes Wagon fans - and it's not hard to understand why. Beautifully built and with great attention to detail, these German wagons have provided exceptional practical motoring since the first generation TE was introduced in 1977.
For those people who don't find it compulsory to buy a four-wheel-drive truck if they require more space than a sedan, there are precious few wagons left on the market today... and fortunately Mercedes-Benz offers one of the best. It's not cheap, but the E350 is quite comprehensively equipped and certainly not a bare bones Merc like you used to be able to buy years ago. There is only one version available in Australia at present - with the two different trim levels offered.
They feature the excellent 3.5-litre V6, mated to an exemplary 7-speed automatic transmission. The variable double overhead valve camshaft engine produces syrupy smooth performance - plenty without being a supercar (there's always the AMG E63 for that) and without ever leaving you wishing for more go. On country roads this car excels. And around town it's a very easy car to use. In fact the E350 Wagon was very hard to part with after our review period...
The handling and roadholding are far beyond what most people would expect from a wagon. It's always confidence inspiring, even when you're pushing it. Turn-in and steering response are not the greatest aspects of the car, but most certainly not bad in any way.
The E-Class is a leader in safety today, probably out-gunning every other car on the market, regardless of price.
Inside there's all the luxury and comfort anyone could require - and an obviously very high quality of build. There are no rude surfaces or unpleasant parts when you fold the seats down for example. Everything works well and the most fussy or critical of users (like me) would be well satisfied.
To drive your family across Australia (OK, or any continent), the E350 Wagon would be pretty hard to beat. This is a car you could buy and drive daily for a decade - in absolute comfort, safety and confidence that Mercedes has found their way again in building desirable, high quality cars.
Engine type: 3498cc 6-cylinder petrol
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Price: $138,100 at time of review
Text & photos - Paul Blank (copyright)