The inside got an immediate thumbs-up from me. Our test car came with black ash wood trim, which looks a million times better than any brown wood trim. The car featured in the pictures to the right are of an E550 we had in the office earlier, and the more I look at them, the more convinced I am that the darker trim is the way to go.

The beige leather was also nice, and not only for its color. It felt just a bit stiff Ч like a baseball glove that's not quite broken in: soft, but not smooshy Ч simply perfect. The seats also adjusted about every way imaginable. Our tester came with an optional two-stage massage system that I really liked; it works your entire spine, rather than just lamely inflating one section of the lumbar support. Note: On its most intense setting, the massage is firm, so Ч well, you've been warned.

One odd thing was the placement of the analog clock in the gauge cluster, just to the left of the speedometer. That's normally where I expect to see a tachometer, but I eventually got used to it.

    See also:

    Safety note
    WARNING The RSE CD/DVD player is a Class 1 laser product. There is a danger of invisible laser radiation when you open or damage the cover. Do not remove the cover. The RSE CD/DVD player d ...

    Checking tire pressure electronically
    ► Make sure that the SmartKey is in position 2 in the ignition lock. ► Press and hold the button on the multifunction steering wheel until the standard display appears in the mu ...

    Using headphones
    Vehicles intended for sale in the USA are equipped with cordless headphones. Corded headphones are available for the Canadian and other markets. You can use the cordless headphones supplied a ...