Features

Aside from dressing up to drive them, I like how German luxury cars have a plethora of options and toys to play with. Our E350 was no exception, starting with the upgraded Harman Kardon stereo. I tested it with some classical music off my iPod, because classical music asks a stereo to deal with the widest variety of soft, gentle melodies and strong, booming notes. It performed well.

I was also a fan of using Mercedes' Comand system to control my iPod. I'd heard horror stories that these systems can be hard to use, but it was as easy as falling off a log.

The other thing I noticed immediately and liked was the optional panoramic sunroof that covers both rows of seats. It was very important for me but then, I work in an area of my office building that's so devoid of light I feel like I'm in a submarine. That's parked inside a cave. At midnight.

Another nice touch was the standard ambient lighting in the cabin. It shines on cupholders, door panels and various other parts of the cabin. It's soft enough that I don't think it would bother people who prefer a perfectly dark cabin when they drive at night. I drove on a pitch-black night down country lanes and found the amount of light to be fine. It dresses up the cabin and shows off the premium materials with a soft, golden glow. A lot of cars these days have some form of ambient lighting and many change color or have some other whiz-bang feature but the subtle glow of this system is exactly what you'd expect in a refined luxury car.

We also had a blind spot assist that lit up a section of the side mirrors and set off an alarm if you tried to move into a lane when a car was already there. This helped on the driver's side mirror, but I didn't need it for the passenger side, probably because of how I had my mirrors set. But a word about those mirrors: They have a chopped, angular shape that looks great, but I don't think they show as much of the road as they should. I'm not sure I'd feel confident driving the E-Class without some form of blind spot help. They also don't fold completely in, leaving you more exposed to sideswipes when you're parked in urban areas.

    See also:

    Connecting Bluetooth devices
    General information Before using your Bluetooth device with COMAND for the first time, you will need to connect it. Connecting comprises: searching for a Bluetooth device subsequentl ...

    Opening automatically from the inside
    WARNING Make sure the trunk lid is closed when the engine is running and while driving. Among other dangers, deadly carbon monoxide (CO) gases may enter the vehicle interior resulting in un ...

    Activating/deactivating
    WARNING Any accumulation of snow and ice should be removed from the rear window before driving. Visibility could otherwise be impaired, endangering you and others. The rear window defroster ...