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Mercedes E-Class – Luxury Taxi for the USA?

I’ve just been wandering around in AutoPacific‘s Research Suite data and decided to take a look at the results for the 2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Mercedes E-Class owners completed AutoPacific’s Future Vehicle Survey either by mail or through the VehicleVoice website. This allows us to get a good look at them compared with the owners of competitive cars.

Mercedes E-Class SV Blog.jpg

Now, I know that E-Class is a popular car for use as a taxi-cab in Germany. The place is crawling with flesh-colored E-Classes with M-B Tex interiors, diesel engines and low feature loads. Of course, in the USA, the E-Class is positioned as a mid-level European Sport Sedan… or is it? Here is is a $50,000 luxury car… European, yes… Sport Sedan… maybe not.
Is E-Class the Anti-Sport Sedan?
Compared with other cars competing with the E-Class the differences are startling. Different from the Audi A6 and BMW 5-Series, the E-Class is bought by a person who tends to be substantially older, more likely to be married, much less affluent, less educated. They are much less likely to describe themselves as an auto enthusiast or to agree that a vehicle is a means of self-expression. They just aren’t into cars the way that Audi and BMW owners are.
Innovative technology is not particularly important. A navigation system or advanced audio system is not particularly important. Exterior styling? Who cares? Power and acceleration? Leave that to Audi and BMW. Fun to drive? Stodgy is OK.
AutoPacific Profiles Owners of Every Vehicle, But E-Class Profile is Surprising
Wow! I guess unless you track these things in detail all the time (which we do), results like these are very surprising. Mercedes’ product execution and communications strategy has brought a lower common denominator luxury car buyer into the franchise.
Where’s the excitement? Not with the E-Class!


  • Alan| January 21, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    I currently own a BMW X5 and a Mercedes E320.
    As a young single educated financially sound professional car enthusiast ( who’d have thought??) I can tell you that the E-class is one of the finest cars out there. No, its not a sports sedan, but the handling, engineering, fit and finish on this vehicle is HANDS down superior to the BMW 5 series. I compared both and found the bland, stiff 5 Series trying to be much more of a sports sedan. The E doesn’t try. It isn’t a sports sedan and that’s fine. It is a pleasure to drive and is quite an eyeful to look at. I say; think again and look more closely at the car in additon to the type of person that owns it.

  • John| July 18, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    Wow…… I believe otherwise.
    I am young into cars and really know them
    better then most Audi, BMW, and other car owners.
    I appreciate style…. and performance.
    Stereos are big to me…… and my Bose
    system sounds just right.
    So whats the difference in our thoughts?
    Go….. go drive one. Look closer.
    Really look. Get more educated about the car.
    You will find engineering that is hard to find.
    I admit I stumbled upon the car by accident.
    Now… I realize
    There is no subsitute for a MB.
    Want to talk details…… shoot.
    Why is a MB engine double cross bolted
    and double chained unlike BMWs and Audis?
    Why are MB bumpers two parts to avoid
    costly collisions?
    Why are does a E have a double exaust and
    not single like the 5 series BMWs
    Why do BMW and Audi stereos sound like
    broken transitor radios?
    Have you seen the pic of a MB being hit
    by a tank (a real one)
    check it out.
    Submerge yourself……. and
    talk to an engineer……
    why why why?
    Believe me I didn’t know….
    and now…
    I realize just why they are considered
    Europe’s best.
    Believe me…… I cared less then
    now as an owner….
    I even get more respect.
    More respect than any other car
    such as the ones you mentioned.
    The E class is a Champ of a car
    I didn’t say the Best…
    It is a Champ.
    And there isn’t much of a discussion to
    be held……
    the numbers of sales and the talk on
    the streets, or by engineers
    or people who know the difference
    is clear…… this car was and is
    a smash hit.
    Lets meet. Let me show you.
    Have you ever seen an MB engine apart?
    Have you know why they all take 8 plus
    quarts of oil?
    Do you know the history and durability
    of the cars?
    Hey John, clearly you are a very passionate and dedicated E-Class owner. Thanks for your valuable input. I am sure other VehicleVoice readers will appreciate your perspective.

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