DRIVEN: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E550 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz E550 Review by Jeff Vaughn, WXYZ

(WXYZ) - I hated to see this one go.

The E550 4Matic is everything you'd want in a sports-luxury car.  The growl of the twin-turbo V-8 drives your pulse up, the interior rivals that of a fine luxury hotel and the ECO Start/Stop releases the guilt of driving the E550 like a race car.

The exterior is menacing with an aggressive front grill and lower chrome louvers that give the E550 the profile of a boxer tempting you to take a swing. I did, and that's why this review cost me $140 from Johnny Law. The speed of the E550 is sneaky fast. Mercedes-Benz claims the sedan will go from 0-60 in less than five seconds. Great for passing a slow-moving truck, but punch it on a back road in Northville and you are going to get a ticket.        

Mercedes-Benz provided me with a 2014 E550 4Matic for review and I found the luxury sedan to be the perfect combination of speed, comfort and luxury.  With that said I did find a few things I didn't like about the E550.

Here's a look at my LOVES, LIKE and DISLIKES with the Mercedes-Benz E550.

LOVE: ACCELERATION. The E550 4MATIC (MB's version of all-wheel drive) is equipped with a 4.6 liter V8 bi-turbo direct injection engine that delivers 402 horsepower,  443 pounds of torque and traction that will have you finding excuses to run mundane errands . It's fast. Crazy fast for normal roads. I'd love to get the sedan, equipped with a 7-speed transmission, on a track to see how it really performs in straight line tests.   

LOVE: INTERIOR LIGHTING. The elegant interior isn't limited to the top-notch upholstery and wood trim, it extends to dramatic lighting that is soft and seemingly everywhere you need it.  

LOVE: BABY-SEAT HOOKS. It's often hard to find the baby seat hooks between the upper and lower rear seat cushions. It can be a big time-waster. Not with the E550. Mercedes' ISOFIX hooks are easy to locate and easier to connect and cinch down. Hands down the easiest baby seat install I have ever done in a car.   

LOVE: DRIVER ASSISTANCE. Autonomous driving is coming and Mercedes-Benz packs the E550 with a lot of driver assisted technology. Lane warning, adaptive cruise, adaptive braking, Attention Assist and Collision Prevention aid the driver in staying on the road and alert behind the wheel.      

LOVE: SQUARED STEERING WHEEL. These are common in luxury cars, but you are starting to see more of the squared-bottom steering wheel in lower priced cars too. Very comfortable.

LIKE: ECO-DRIVE, START STOP. It's a little unnerving when you are at the front of a long line at a busy stoplight and the RPMs go to zero and there is no sign of life from the engine. But the one second it takes to go from the brake to the accelerator is enough to fire up the engine and pounce off the line. The E550 is no fuel saver at an EPA estimated 17 city, 26 highway but the ECO Start/Stop will save gas and that's a good thing since you'll be burning it up in this luxury hot rod.  

DISLIKE: EXHAUST NOTE. The twin turbo V-8 growls but sounds more like a truck than a performance sports sedan. I was not expecting the exhaust to gurgle at idle and found the sound to be a turn off.

DISLIKE: RIDE. I expected the E550 to have softer suspension. It was rough and made me feel like I was in a cheaper sports car. Can you get a luxury ride with performance for $76K? I would think so, but I guess I'm wrong. 

DISLIKE: BACK-UP CAMERA DELAY. Today's back-up cameras are more advanced than what I found in the E550. The quality was lacking and each time I put the sedan in reverse, I had to wait a moment for the camera to engage and give me a picture. With today's technology why am I waiting to back-up in a Mercedes when a cheaper domestic car gives me the view I need instantly.      

The Mercedes-Benz E550 4MATIC has a base price of $51,400. The E550 model tested was priced at $76,235.00. For specifications and the E550 website, click here.

For the Mercedes-Benz website, click here.  

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