- A Buyer's Guide to All Wheel Drive Cars, Wagons and Crossovers

Under $20,000 | $19 - $21,000 | $20 - $23,000 | $22 - $25,000 | $24 - $27,000 | $26 - $29,000 |
      $28 - $30,000 | $29 - $31,000 | $30 - $33,000 | $31 - $34,000 | $32 - $35,000 | $34 - $38,000 |
           $36 - $40,000 | $39 - $42,000 | $41 - $44,000 | $42 - $45,000 | $44 - $47,000 | $45 - $48,000 |
               $46 - $51,000 | $49 - $53,000 | $51 - $57,000 | $55 - $60,000 | $60 - $69,000 |
                        $66 - $73,000 | $69 - $79,000 | $78 - $92,000 | $88 - $125,000 | More than $120,000 |

  All Wheel Drive Report

AWD Report's Preferred Dealer
2011 Mercedes E Class


Well, the tradition of web excellence is over at Mercedes. Now, you have to know your alphabet soup of model designations to find ANYTHING. The site is very nearly JUNK. And what are they pushing? "Go ahead and fall asleep at the wheel; our car will save you." Its the ultimate surrender of individual responsability to machine intelligence. Can the end of the world be far off?

Mercedes desribes their 4Matic system this way, "This permanent all-wheel-drive system provides optimum traction - even in slippery conditions - thanks to our advanced 4-wheel Electronic Traction System (4-ETS). 4-ETS can get you going even when only one wheel has grip. If one or more wheels start to slip, 4-ETS brakes those wheels individually and ensures that power is delivered to the wheel or wheels with traction, keeping you cruising along. "

Mercedes designates models by including the engine size as part of the model name. That way, it looks like they have 30 vehicles to offer instead of about 10. Were GM to do this, they could probably explode their inventory 4 fold. But its the traditional Mercedes way of doing things, so no big deal. I just wanted you to know why I limit my references to the "Class" oe Series designations, and report only on the lowest cost version of each class with an All Wheel Drive option.

Mercedes adds destination chargesto the published MSRP, which inflates their price by some $800. To keep things honest, I back that cost out, and compare the car costs only.

Mercedes AWD Choices

2011C Class C300 Sport The 2011 Mercedes C 300 Sport Sedan remains the entry level AWD car form MB. The Sport's 3.0 liter V6 is shared with the Luxury version, but the Lux gets a 7 speed trans while the Sport makes do with a 6 speed sutomatic. To get the 7 speed on a Sport model, you have to upgrade to the 3.5 liter version; the C350 Sport Sedan. That will set you back another $6,000. Pricing at this AWD entry level (C300 Sport Sedan w/4Matic) jumps a bit over a grand, and starts at $37,490
2011 Mercedes E Class w/4Matic The Mercedes E Class 4Matic sedan is a personal luxury touring car. This is a rather large car, (113.2" wheelbase) and is powered by the 268hp 3.5 liter aluminum V6 motor coupled to 7 speed automatic transmission. The E class also offers 4Matic on the E350 Wagon as well as the enthusiast oriented E550, with its 382 ponies. AutoWeek really liked their 2008 E350 Wagon saying this " Sure, you wouldn't want to put five people in this for a long ride, but four could go for days without complaint". Neither the Coupe nor the Cabriolet is available with the 4Matic option. The more sedate E350 4Matic starts at $51,900.
2011 Mercedes S Class

The 2011 Mercedes S Class sedans are still among the finest motorcars available. In this price range, however, you SHOULD expect a car to be flawless. Depending on your expectations, (and bank account) this may be your car. Some have issues with the steering not providing enough feedback, while others dislike the extensive COMMAND menus. Despite being offered as a hybrid and a twin-turbo V12, only the mainstream S550 will be available with the AWD option. The 2011 AWD S550 is priced at $94,600. But your S Class warriors in Congress have deemed this model a "gas guzzler", despite having the exact same engine and transmission as several other cars, and have decided to penalize your choice of personal transportation as being anti-social, thus warranting a $1,000 penalty on you. Shame on you for achieving so much and wanting superior craftsmanship. Shame indeed. You need to drive a Chevy Volt instead.

2010 Mercedes CL550 Coupe

THE 2010 CL550 Coupe is ONLY available with AWD, while is larger engined version; the V12 powered CL600 is only available in rear wheel drive. As of this writing, one part of the Mercedes site says 4Matic is standard, while none of the other links to building one work, and another page lists the drivetrain as rear wheel drive. So your guess is as good as mine. At more than $110,000 per copy, though, you'd think Mercedes would pay a bit more attention to the details...

2010 Mercedes CL550 Coupe

The 2011 GLK350 is Mercedes entry level crossover and its priced very well. Based on the C series platform, initial reports were very positive, and I like the space maximizing profile. Don't pass this one by without at least scoping it out. Yeah, it's THAT good. The 268hp V6 is again mated to the very good 7 speed automatic. Yet another web failure prevented me from confirming the AWD equipped GLK 350 price, so I'll give you my educated guess at $39,500. Not bad since used ones are bringing nearly the same money.

2010 Mercedes ML350 SUV The Mercedes M Class is in well into its second generation design phase, and offers a wide array of powertrain options. Also a 5 passenger model, the M class is a bit bigger than the GLK, though not by much. You can get the M class with a V6, a diesel V6, a hybrid V6, or a V8. All of these are available with the AWD option. The base model is the ML350, which uses the common 3.5 V6 mated to the 7 speed transmission for $48,990.
2011 R Class The Mercedes R Class crossover is called a Sport Tourer by Mercedes. It can seat 6 adults, with an option for 7. The R-Class crossover boasts a strong unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension with double control arms in the front and four-link air suspension at the rear. AWD is standard euipment for the R class. The R class is available with the 3.5 liter gas engine or the BlueTEC diesel. The gas engine version (R350) starts at $50,240
2011 GL class The powerful Mercedes GL Class SUV isone of the few large sized luxury SUV's with a unibody platform; if not the ONLY one. That makes it a crossover. The GL will actually seat 7. It can be had with a diesel V6; the GL350 BlueTEC, a 335hp 4.6 liter V8; the GL450 or the anti-social 381hp 5.5 liter V8.   The GL320 BlueTEC Diesel is the lowest cost GL, but I think for the small difference, the gas engined GL450 will be the better choice. The diesel will set you back $60,950.

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