2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Review

From the C-suite to the golf course, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Sedan is made for executives. Need more power? Go for the E 63 AMG.

One thing is for certain: the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC sedan is not for everyone. Nor should it be. This luxury sedan is built for the executive types, and it shows. From the standard 14-way power adjustable heated seats to the effortless gear mode selector, it’s clear this E-Class sedan is fit for the fastidious white-collar hustler who splits time between corporate meetings and corporate “golf meetings.”


Starting at $57,900 CAD MSRP for the 2012 E 300 4MATIC, my E 300 tester finds three out of four of the optional packages including the Driving Assistance Package ($800) with surprisingly useful passive lane keeping assist and passive blind spot assist; the Premium Package ($3900) adding heated steering wheel, media interface, and COMAND APS w/HDD Navigation & DVD player; and the Entertainment Package ($1200).

Bringing total price for this 2012 E 300 to $63,800 CDN MSRP (before taxes/fees).

The E-Class Cast

Mercedes-Benz E-Class offering sits comfortably in the middle of the German automaker’s stable; nestled comfortably amongst the luxury S and sporty SLK, the compact C and the one-and-only exotic SLR. Right there, in the middle, the sibling with the ‘executive’ nameplate—a nameplate Mercedes has kindly translated into four glorious versions, including:

  • E 300 4MATIC Sedan with 252hp & 6-cylinder engine, starting at $57,000 CAD MSRP (as tested)
  • E 350 4MATIC Sedan, $67,000, with 306hp & 6-cylinder engine
  • E 350 4MATIC BlueTEC Sedan, $66,300, 210hp & 6-cylinder diesel engine
  • E 550 4MATIC Sedan, $74,500, 408hp & 8-cylinder engine
  • E 63 AMG Sedan, $99,500, boasting 518hp & 8-cylinder engine
4MATIC, Mercedes’ legendary permanent all-wheel drive system, distributes torque to each wheel independently so handing in any situation is smooth…

2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Review

2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC ReviewPower & Handling

A 3.5L V6 engine makes 252-hp at 6500rpm and 251 lb.-ft of torque—clearly not a sports sedan (nor is it trying to be) but ample power for passing ability and/or making your 7am tee time. The 7-speed automatic works with a small, discreet mode select shift-lever found on the steering column. Takes a little getting used to at first but quickly becomes a convenient, space-saving feature (besides, do you really need an invasive gear selector starring you down, hogging valuable real estate? Well, if you’re an E 300 owner, then probably not!).

4MATIC, Mercedes’ legendary permanent all-wheel drive system, distributes torque to each wheel independently so handing in any situation is smooth as silk, ensuring a more refined and controlled driving dynamic.

Frankly, you can’t go wrong with an AWD system in a luxury sedan, and the 2012 E 300’s 4MATIC is essentially noise-free to boot, ensuring an even quieter and relaxed drive.

Exterior & Styling

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 Sedan finds long, clean lines from end to end; void of any bulbous, excessively curvy styling cues found on several competing luxury sedans. This streamlined esthetic renders the E 300 sedan more elegant and visually self-assured—presumably, much like the person behind the wheel.

An AMG Styling Package comes standard with the 2012 E 300. A very welcome addition, adding stylish front and rear aprons along with bold side sill panels.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Review

Cabin & Styling

Inside, the cabin retains the streamlined, linear attributes found outside—no sweeping curvatures; just clean, classic lines exuding class and comfort. Controls are all within reach, and there appears to be a control for everything. Hence, executives need not worry about lifting a finger…when it comes to comfort and convenience Mercedes-Benz has this specialty locked down.

Seating comfort is paramount for the luxury sedan owner, and the 2012 E 300 nails it better than anyone with standard 14-way power adjustable heated seats and power adjustable lumbar support for the driver. Add the Premium Package, as found in this test vehicle, and you’ll find Climate Comfort seats featuring active ventilation to cool the seat surfaces, along with individually adjustable luxury head restraints. Rear passengers enjoy heated seat action as well.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Review2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Review

Our 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 sedan found the $1200 Entertainment Package—a no-brainer upgrade at this price. A 7-inch colour display now includes extra functionality with a more user-friendly interface. Controlling the media centre (COMAND APS system) via the round command dial located bottom-centre console for easy no-need-to-raise-my-arm-up control, is both effortless and straight-forward. Also safe, allowing driver to confidently toggle between menus while keeping an eye on the road with minimal, quick glances over at the 7-inch screen. In other words: intuitive and swift.

A premium Harman/kardon Logic7 sound system, mated to 14-speakers, 610 watts of power, and a 9-channel Digital Sound Processing (DSP) amplifier provides exclusive sound quality. The media interface includes a USB port, auxillary audio input, and dedicated iPod port (a must for this writer) integrated with the audio interface.

For more info on the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Sedan, please visit here.


  • Turn signal placement too low on steering column
  • Competitive luxury sedan market

Side Note: E 63 AMG Sedan

For our readers who value the executive E-class and the E 300 Sedan but favour something with a bit more (ok, substantially more) power and panache, you’ll want to check out the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG. The caveat? That’s right, price, starting at $99,500 CAD MSRP.

Few years ago, I had the opportunity for some E 63 track time, and instantly fell in love with this sedan. Arguably, a super-underrated sports saloon when compared to the likes of the Audi RS4, often getting the attention. So, take a close and serious look at the E 63!

Again, if you like the E-Class, this E 63 is the most powerful in this class while still offering the comforts of a sedan. With 518-hp from a burly V8 and accelerating from 0 – 100km/h in only 4.3 second, coupled with 516 lb.-ft or torque and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed tranny, the 2012 E 63 AMG truly encapsulates the ultimate luxury, sports sedan.

2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Gallery:

Technical Specifications: 2012 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC Sedan

Base price (CDN MSRP): $57,000 CAD MSRP

Price as tested: $63,800 CDN MSRP (before taxes/fees).

Type: 5-passenger, 4-door, luxury sedan

Layout: front-engine, permanent all-wheel drive 4MATIC

Engine:  3.5L V6 engine

Horsepower: 248 @ 6,500

Torque (lb-ft): 251 @ 3,400 – 4,500

Transmission: 7G-TRONIC PLUS Automatic 7-speed transmission

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s): 7.4 seconds

Front Wheels: 245/45 R 17

Rear Wheels: 245/45 R 17


Shooting motors professionally since film was a thing, Amee's work has been published in various outlets including NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, SuperStreet, GlobeDrive, MotorTrend, and others. He's a writer, editor at TractionLife.com, AJAC member, and full-time digital marketer at Traction Media working with national brands. Find him traveling, spending time with his kids and family. Or golfing, poorly.