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
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    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 ...