What Does This Button Do?

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I like feeling pampered — even in a car. That doesn't mean a hoity-toity attitude, just some good manners. Naturally, I loved the civility of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 coupe. During my drive, it seemed that the E350's mystery button was saying, "Please, allow me to let me help you." So, what does this button do?

By Sara Lacey | December 31, 2013 | Comments (14)

2014 Infiniti Q50 Earns NHTSA Five-Star Honor

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A pair of luxury nameplates vied for membership in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's coveted five-star safety club, but only one made the cut. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 became the latest to earn the title, while the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class fell just short of the mark.

Both the Q50's gas-only and hybrid models, including rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of both, earned an overall score of five stars in NHTSA crash testing. In individual tests, including frontal-crash, side-impact and rollover evaluations, all versions of the luxury compact sedan scored four, five and five, respectively.

By Matt Schmitz | December 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

Mercedes-Benz Is Luxury Car Thieves' Most Wanted

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That Mercedes-Benz in your driveway might have turned the tables on the Joneses, who are now trying to keep up with you, but that envy doesn't end with your neighbors. According to a report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, to steal a Mercedes-Benz is considered an honor among thieves. The German automaker's iconic three-pointed star adorns three of the top 10 most-stolen luxury models in the U.S., with the C-Class taking the No. 1 spot with 485 thefts from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2012.

The Des Plaines, Ill.-based nonprofit's analysis divided the luxury-vehicle segment into three subclasses — compact, midsize and premium — with thefts across all three totaling 4,384 for the 2010-12 model years. The compact class accounted for the greatest portion of that total, with 2,150 thefts, followed by the midsize class' 1,734 thefts and the premium's 500. By state, the distribution of thefts largely correlates with population size: California lays claim to 1,063 of the total luxury thefts, the most, while South Dakota and Wyoming each had only one. By core-based statistical area, which includes a densely populated urban center and its surrounding areas, the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area had the largest number of luxury thefts at 806, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., with 491, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla., with 452.

By Matt Schmitz | July 30, 2013 | Comments (5)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon: First Drive

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Mercedes-Benz has updated the mainstay E-Class lineup of midsize luxury cars for the 2014 model year, the latest in a barrage of products from the German automaker. Like the others, this one is also designed to keep rival BMW at bay in the global sales race. I recently had an opportunity to sample one of the nearly 15 new variants of the E-Class, the E350 4Matic wagon, at a drive event in Ann Arbor, Mich. With the E-Class representing 20% of Mercedes-Benz's sales in the U.S., this is an important car for the brand, so it has to be right.

Thankfully the company already had a strong contender to begin with. For 2014, the changes to the E-Class are subtle but thorough. A new front and rear design is smoother and more integrated, and the rear doors and quarter panels no longer feature the bulbous fender of the previous model. The overall look is still recognizably Mercedes-Benz, but sleeker and leaner. Two distinct front-end looks are available for the sedan and wagon: Sport puts the three-pointed Mercedes-Benz star in the grille, and Luxury mounts it more traditionally to the front of the hood. In addition to the sedan and wagon, the E-Class is also available as a coupe and convertible; they're slated to reach dealerships at the end of this month.

By Aaron Bragman | June 14, 2013 | Comments (1)

Mercedes-Benz Lets You Light Up Your Hood Ornament

Mercedes-Benz's new dealer-installed illuminated logo option kind of looks like the glowing arc reactor in Iron Man's chest — though anyone who's seen the blockbuster films knows Tony Stark's luxury brand of choice is Audi. Still, it's not Robert Downey Jr. who stars in Mercedes-Benz's new commercial, but the automaker's three-pointed star itself, now illuminated with LED and light-tube technology to further punctuate the point, just in case the standard iconic logo wasn’t enough for luxury shoppers.

The video ad, posted to YouTube on Wednesday, features a photographic retrospective of Mercedes models through the decades that have borne the three-pointed star; it's accompanied by a sweeping orchestral score. The ad tempts viewers with the taglines, "Mercedes-Benz has offered the star for years … now we even make it shine," and "Discover the Illuminated Star."

By Matt Schmitz | June 6, 2013 | Comments (4)

May's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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From Land Rover's posh Range Rover to the redesigned Toyota RAV4, SUVs took 10 of the top 16 spots on May’s fastest-sellers list. Expectedly, redesigns ranked high on the list. The 2014 Subaru Forester is selling so fast Subaru dealers can't keep up inventory, and the Range Rover, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class — all redesigned — have repeat appearances among the fastest sellers.

The updated Mercedes E-Class demonstrates shoppers also respond well to a refresh as they do to a full redesign. And the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid continues to sell, adding steam to the redesign's slow start. It worked well for Ford's struggling luxury brand: The MKZ had its best-ever May in the nameplate's more than seven years, Ford said Monday.

Then you have the old-timers. The 2013 Toyota RAV4 had its fifth month among the fastest-selling cars. The 2013 Ford Fusion, in hybrid or regular form, has made its seventh appearance in eight months. So did Audi's Q5 SUV, despite being in its fifth model year.

Cars in May averaged 56 days to sell. That's a little slower than April 2013's 51 days and a few ticks slower than May 2012's 50 days. Here are May's fastest and slowest sellers:

By Kelsey Mays | June 4, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Video

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Mercedes-Benz's redesigned 2014 E-Class lineup comprises a coupe, convertible, wagon and sedan, but it's the absurdly quick E63 AMG that gets Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays' pulse racing. The luxury sedan, bowing this week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, gets 550 horsepower from its twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8, and paired with the automaker's new 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, that translates to a zero-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds.

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To knock a half-second off of the 2013 model's 4-second zero-to-60 time, speed enthusiasts will have to upgrade to the E63 AMG S-Model, which will make a Porsche 911-rivaling 3.5 seconds. While the average law-abiding citizen may consider that measure of power luxurious, Mays imagines an unconventional application for getting misbehaving children to sit still in the backseat during car trips.

Watch the video below.

By Matt Schmitz | January 15, 2013 | Comments (3)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Photo Gallery

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Like all families, Mercedes-Benz's E-Class lineup continues growing and changing through the years. The automaker brought the whole clan to the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week for a reunion. The revised-for-2014 E-Class family portrait includes the sedan, coupe, cabriolet and wagon — and each one still looks great.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

A cohesive design boasts a more flowing silhouette, along with a new four-eyed stare from LED headlights and a pair of grilles that display the Mercedes star upright on the hood or integrated into the grille. A new four-cylinder diesel engine joins a pair of V-8 gasoline engines and a hybrid powertrain. Inside, design, materials and overall feel have returned to a distinctive, luxurious quality that in some ways has been missing.

Check out the gallery below.

By Matt Schmitz | January 15, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Up Close

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One of Mercedes-Benz' higher volume vehicles is the E-Class midsize family, and the company took the opportunity of the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to unveil the updated lineup of E-Class models in one felled swoop.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Available at varying points in the coming year will be the new E-Class sedan, coupe, cabriolet and wagon. The design changes for 2014 are certainly evolutionary in nature with a more flowing silhouette, along with LED headlamps providing a new four-eyed stare that retains a distinctive look. Two grille treatments will be available: the Elegance model that puts the famous three-pointed Mercedes star upright on the hood, and the Sport model, which integrates it into the grille. The result is a more cohesive design that improves upon the previous generation while still keeping repeat customers happy.

By Aaron Bragman | January 15, 2013 | Comments (1)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG: Photo Gallery

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Though you can get a look at the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG this week at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, you won't get to enjoy the luxury sedan's most exciting feature until it hits dealerships in the summer. Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system harnesses the E63 AMG's ramped-up horsepower and torque for a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

In addition to the face-stretching quickness of its 550-hp, twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8, the E63 AMG's new front introduces all-LED headlights and gaping air openings below the bumper. It also adopts the automaker's A-Wing family look. Inside are a host of available upgrades like sport seats and a unique gauge cluster; there's also wood, lacquer or carbon fiber dash and door trim.

Check out the gallery below.

By Matt Schmitz | January 15, 2013 | Comments (0)

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