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2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has perfect safety scores and an above-average reliability rating. Add to that its range of powerful engines, agile handling, and high-end interior, and it’s easy to see why the E-Class ranks near the top of the luxury midsize class.

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding safety scores
  • Premium cabin
  • Overly complicated infotainment system
  • High ownership costs

New for 2011

  • Convertible and wagon body styles reintroduced
  • Diesel engine made available




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.1
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Overview

Is the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class a Good Used Car?

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an excellent luxury midsize car. In addition to its top-notch safety scores and above-average reliability rating, it boasts one of the nicest interiors in the class. However, its infotainment system takes time to master. It has a lineup of powerful engine options, including the fuel-efficient BlueTec diesel and a 6.3-liter V8 in the high-performance AMG trim. Even in a class full of great vehicles, the E-Class stands out.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our Mercedes-Benz E-Class review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 32 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

Our site has more than 500 listings for the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, with an average list price of $17,600. Prices range from $13,000 to $25,000, depending on the vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cost to Own?

The 2011 E-Class’ five-year expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are estimated to be around $38,800, or about $7,760 per year. That’s above average for the class. Those same costs for the 2011 Audi A6 are projected to be around $6,800 less than the E-Class’ over five years.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New E-Class?

Mercedes-Benz redesigned the E-Class sedan and wagon for the 2017 model year, and the coupe and convertible for the 2018 model year. Models in the new generation have several tech and safety features that were unavailable in older models, as well as restyled exteriors and interiors. Additionally, you can get the benefit of a new-car warranty. However, these models also cost a lot more. The 2018 E-Class sedan starts at $52,950. You can save tens of thousands of dollars by shopping for an older vehicle instead of a later model.

Read about the new E-Class »

There are no new luxury midsize cars or luxury small cars in the same price range as a used 2011 E-Class. A fully equipped 2011 E-Class costs thousands of dollars less than even the most entry-level new luxury cars.

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Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Is Best?

For the 2011 model year, Mercedes-Benz reintroduced the convertible body style to the lineup and brought back the wagon configuration with the V6 diesel engine option. All 2012 E-Class models gained a stronger, more fuel-efficient engine, and a new E-Class hybrid debuted for the 2013 model year. If none of those changes are important to you, consider a 2010 E-Class, which likely costs less.

Compare the 2010, 2011, and 2012 E-Class »

How Reliable Is the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan received an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. 

Read more about E-Class reliability »

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Recalls

At the time of this writing, seven recalls have been issued on the 2011 E-Class. These include issues related to rupturing air bags, a leaking fuel filter, a separating vibration damper ring, and a loss of power steering. Make sure these issues are addressed before buying this car.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz E-Class safety recalls »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class Model Is Right for Me?

The 2011 E-Class is available in four body styles: coupe, sedan, cabriolet (convertible), and wagon. We review the coupe model separately. All four body styles offer the same trims, though some features may not be available in every trim.

Most buyers will be satisfied with the base E350 trim, which comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with memory settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the COMAND infotainment system with a 7-inch screen and an eight-speaker stereo. Some used models may come with available features like larger wheels, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a navigation system, a surround-sound system, HD Radio, satellite radio, a power rear sunshade, a power-closing trunk lid, and a few driver assistance features.

Shoppers looking for more oomph should consider an E550 or the high-performance E63 AMG. Each comes with a strong V8 engine, and the AMG model has a unique sport-tuned suspension and customizable driving modes.

See 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class trims and specs »

How Safe Is the E-Class?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2011 E-Class sedan five out of five stars in the rollover crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named both the sedan and coupe a 2011 Top Safety Pick, giving them the highest rating of Good in four crash tests.  

A driver drowsiness monitor and Mercedes-Benz’s Pre-Safe forward collision warning are standard in every 2011 E-Class. A rearview camera is standard in E-Class wagons and available in the rest. Many other active safety features are available, including automatic emergency braking, a night-vision infrared camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and pedestrian detection. A side air bag for rear-seat passengers is also available.

See E-Class safety scores »

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class or 2011 BMW 5-Series?

BMW completely redesigned the 5 Series for the 2011 model year. It’s a little bit longer and wider than earlier models, which actually dampens its handling a bit compared to models from the previous generation. It still boasts excellent acceleration and a range of powerful engines. Its interior looks and feels more upscale than earlier models’. This BMW also costs a little less and has lower ownership costs than the Mercedes. That said, the E-Class is the better buy if it’s in your budget. While the BMW has the lowest possible reliability rating, the E-Class has an above-average reliability rating and perfect safety scores. It also has a little more trunk space.

Which Is Better: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class or 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a good luxury small car. On average, it’ll save you around $4,600 compared to the larger E-Class. However, there’s no other compelling reason to buy the small Mercedes over the larger one. The C-Class has poor safety scores, and its quality interior is still not as nice as the E-Class’. Both feature a high-performance AMG variant, but the C-Class is only available as a sedan. As you might expect, the E-Class also has more passenger and cargo room. Both are decent picks, but choose the E-Class if you can stretch your budget.

Which Is Better: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class or 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class?

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a luxury midsize SUV with a lot more cargo space and room for passengers than the E-Class. With a maximum occupancy of five, the M-Class still provides more space than the E-Class wagon, which can carry up to seven people. However, the M-Class has higher costs of ownership and lower reliability and safety ratings. The E-Class offers more features, even in the base Mercedes-Benz E350 trims. It also returns better fuel economy. Unless you need the extra room, go with the E-Class.

Compare the E-Class, 5 Series, and C-Class »

2011 E-Class Performance

How Does the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Drive?

The 2011 E350 comes with a 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. A turbodiesel V6 engine that makes 210 horsepower is available with the sedan only. E550 models offer a 5.5-liter V8 engine rated at 382 horsepower, while the E63 AMG has a larger V8 engine that produces 518 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. The AMG adds a slick-shifting multi-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission and high-performance brakes. It has the fastest acceleration but lowest fuel economy estimates of the lineup. Rear-wheel drive is standard in the sedan, while all-wheel drive is standard in the wagon and available in all other styles.

The E-Class’ multiple drivetrain configurations enable it to meet a variety of shoppers’ needs, ranging from the fuel-efficient BlueTEC diesel to the spirited AMG model. Even the base E350’s engine offers adequate power, and the E-Class is a capable daily driver. It has a plush ride, even over bumpy or uneven pavement. This car may not be the sportiest model in its class, but it strikes a fine balance between agility and comfort.

Does the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Get Good Gas Mileage?

With its gasoline engine, the Mercedes-Benz E350 earns fuel economy estimates as high as 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. That’s below average among luxury midsize cars. However, the BlueTEC diesel engine has commendable estimates of 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Models with AWD earn slightly lower estimates. The sporty E63 AMG has the lowest estimates of the lineup at a mere 13/20 mpg city/highway.

Read more about E-Class performance »

2011 E-Class Interior

How Many People Does the 2011 E-Class Seat?

The E-Class sedan seats up to five people, while the E350 wagon seats up to seven with a rear-facing jump seat. Leatherette upholstery is standard. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, a multi-contour driver’s seat, split-folding rear seats, and a wood-and-leather-trimmed steering wheel are all available.

Regardless of configuration, the seats are comfortable and supportive. The sedan features one of the most spacious rear seats in the class. The cabin is handsomely designed, with soft-touch materials and wood accents adding to its sense of luxury. There’s sufficient insulation to minimize harsh outside noises.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

The 2011 E350 wagon and sedan have two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats.

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Features

Standard features in every E350 include rain-sensing windshield wipers, interior ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the COMAND infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, an eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, and an auxiliary audio jack. Optional features include a navigation system, a 12-speaker Harmon Kardon surround-sound stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, push-button start, and some advanced safety features.

The COMAND infotainment system takes time to master. Climate and entertainment can be controlled through the central knob or the buttons mounted on the dash. Before buying the car, you should test the Bluetooth system to ensure your smartphone can connect to it because Bluetooth standards have changed over the years.

See 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class specs »

Read more about E-Class interior »

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cargo Space

E-Class sedans have a 15.9-cubic-foot trunk, while wagons offer 34.8 cubic feet behind the back row and 68.9 cubic feet with it folded down.

2011 E-Class Length and Weight

Depending on body style, the E-Class measures from 15.4 feet long to about 16.1 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,748 to 4,354 pounds with the E-Class wagon.

Where Was the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Built?

Mercedes-Benz manufactured the 2011 E-Class in Germany.


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