MotorTrend Comparison: 2011 BMW 535i vs 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350

5-series, Featured Posts | February 18th, 2010 by 36
bmw 535i mercedes benz e350 rear view

MotorTrend just published your favorite comparison: new 2011 BMW 535i vs. 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350. Ever since its launch back in November, the new BMW 5 …

MotorTrend just published your favorite comparison: new 2011 BMW 535i vs. 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350. Ever since its launch back in November, the new BMW 5 Series has been automatically measured against its counterpart in the Mercedes line-up: E-Class.

The comparison has already heated up conversations among the fans of the two brands and automotive publications continue to add fuel on the fire. While some are praising the new 5 Series from all stand points, there are still plenty of journalists that are more conservative and ready to embrace the new 5er. In our humble opinion, this is not a “winner takes all” case, both cars have their strengths and demographic, and while there will be an overlap in the customer base, in the end, the final decision might come down to personal preferences.

Without any further ado, let’s have a look at some things as reported by MotorTrend.

bmw 535i mercedes benz e350 front view 4 655x409

On the performance front, there is no contest at all. The turbo-Bimmer sprints to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, outrunning the U.S. E350 by a full second-a lead that quadruples by 120 mph. It essentially runs neck and neck with its lighter predecessor too, thanks largely to the BMW’s 7000-rpm redline and eight closely spaced gear ratios. This transmission also serves the BMW much better in the hills, being slightly quicker to respond to throttle kick-downs (both have steering-wheel paddles that summon gear changes swiftly).

It must be noted here too that there probably isn’t a V-6 on earth-and certainly not a 90-degree one-that can match the sweet, sonorous music of a proper straight-six-even when it’s partially muzzled by a turbo. We were unable to conduct any limit handling tests, but a four-foot advantage in braking from 60 mph went to the BMW (at 109 feet, comparing the two summer-tired cars).
The Mercedes distinguished itself in the hills by hanging right with the BMW through the tightest twisties, routing impressive levels of road feel up through the wheel and maintaining reasonable body-motion control with its fully passive suspension (only the E550 V-8s get ride-adjustable AirMatic suspenders). Its transmission is slower reacting (except when manually shifted), however, and rough undulating corners occasionally flummox the chassis and send the body bounding around disconcertingly.

The extensive review can be found at MotorTrend

bmw 535i mercedes benz e350 rear view 655x409

Conclusion

So which one wins? Each is so well-tailored to its own target owner groups that neither seems likely to lure away the faithful of the other brand, but if you’re reading this publication with an open mind that’s not swayed by intangibles like brand cachet, we expect you’re going to prefer the lighter-feeling, livelier-driving BMW, so that one gets the nod this time around.

1ST PLACE: BMW 535i
A physics-defying technological wonder that no longer flaunts its electronics.

2ND PLACE: MERCEDES-BENZ E350
Feels as strong, solid, and capable as we used to think our banks were.

36 responses to “MotorTrend Comparison: 2011 BMW 535i vs 2010 Mercedes-Benz E350”

  1. bmwm6 says:

    seriously I think hyundai should be closed down

    I am a BMW fan but I can see the pain of the mercedes boys when they see a hyundai with the same taillights as the Mercedes.

    Maybe my negative view to the tailights of the Mercedes is all because of hyundai

    I never ever liked that brand

    On another note great review and congratulations to BMW

    • Alvin Wong says:

      That’s the great thing about BMW styling. Some may think they’re unattractive, some love it, but you can almost always tell it’s a BMW. They don’t blend in too much with other car maker’s designs.

      Though I’m not exactly sure why the hate on Hyundai though. They’re starting to become a huge player in the industry. Last year, Hyundai along with Subaru and Kia were the only brands to increase sales during the recession. Underestimating them would be a very grave mistake.

      • michael says:

        having driven a hyundai recently – I can agree with the hate. They are starting to look good, the designs of hyundai are coming into their own, rather than being an imitator. Having said that the i30 I drove is probably the crappiest car I have driven EVER. Underpowered, unresponsive and the automatic was a nightmare it didn’t know what it was doing. Then there was the ESP that decided to mysteriously turn itself off (great idea that!), although I find it funny that Hyundai give you the option of turning the ESP off… why? why would you… seriously.

        Hyundai’s are still cheap cars and they feel that way. The build quality has improved but they are still cheap.

    • Zeljan says:

      Yes The BMW has that x factor that so many other cars cannot quite attain.
      Please do not attempt to compare the BMW with a Mercedes.
      Nothing wrong with the Merc if you want a stodgy type of car.

    • Zeljan says:

      Yes The BMW has that x factor that so many other cars cannot quite attain.
      Please do not attempt to compare the BMW with a Mercedes.
      Nothing wrong with the Merc if you want a stodgy type of car.

  2. jmpng says:

    Both cars are great. Personally I feel younger when driving BMW.

  3. Giom says:

    The conclusion is the most honest and accurate conclusion I’ve ever read. I never expeded MT to go with the Five, so, that in itself is remarkable.

  4. Rebaz Kamal says:

    Congratulations BMW fans! again! The E350 is certainly a good car but it does not give you the JOY the 5 series does. When I get into my 5er, I simply wish the place am going is farther so that I drive more. I have driven the E class, it just doesn’t satisfy your thirst for power and driving pleasure as much as the 5 series.

  5. viper says:

    Great review. Personally I like the Mercedes more, but I can appreciate that others don’t necessarily share my view. Given that in the majority of cases BMW/Mercedes comparisons favour BMW I guess I need really to reevaluate.

  6. wazon8 says:

    Great review. Personally I like the BMW more, but I can appreciate that others don’t necessarily share my view. Given that in the majority of cases BMW/Mercedes comparisons favour Merc I guess I need really to reevaluate

    • wazon8 says:

      That’s not my comment and I guess that alleged viper’s comment above hadn’t been wrote by him. Please, be mature and don’t use other users nicks. Thanks.

  7. Daniel H (aka :p ) says:

    The new E class is just a sized down S class with a comletely better look. The 5 is simply a baby 7 but is way more agile and just alot better than its larger sibling dispite similar cosmetics. I would say the 5 is a winner of these 2, but the E Convertible and maybe the coupe is way better than the E Sedan and pretty much beat the current 6. It may even beat the next 6 too but Ill wait till the new generation is released to the public. But for now, The 5 takes the crown.

  8. Jag says:

    actually, it’s a bit confusing with the way Merc name their products. i was told that Merc E-Class Coupe/Convertible are to compete with 3-Series Coupe/Convertible while the C-Class Coupe/Convertible is now 1-Series Coupe/Convertible’s rivals.

  9. Babken says:

    Daimler itself is a very controversial company. Whatever “automobile” they produce BMW will always an AUTOMOBILE that is one step ahead.

  10. joe says:

    seriously, merc needs to re build their image. its overly priced, slower and just not make sense where there are other car makers like BMW.

  11. Julien says:

    I totally agree with bmwm6 Hyundai just seems to be copying EVERY automaker. They copied Mercdes’s grill with the Hyundai gensis and now they are trying to copy bmw by adding FAKE cheap looking angel eyes on the new redesigned Hyundai Azera or whatever the f*** its called.

  12. Stu Izdaman says:

    Yeah man!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this new 5 is poised to be the greatest yet. Its near flawless design(those bonnet creases are a bit much, but only that!!), technology and great engines will place it miles ahead till the next generation comes along. Makes me think back to previous Beemer ad, where they had the current generation 3 next to its predecessor with the caption” We’ve outdone our fiercest competitor”. A re-run of that on the F10 would be a perfect summation of what we facing here. In the words of Babken, BMW IS KING!

  13. james may says:

    viper sorry about daimler lossing 3.5 billion lol more good news

  14. John says:

    I only have one, just one problem with the 5-series in my personal case. I’ve been driving BMW’s for more than 20 years now, but the last few years, all my relations, both business and personal are buying BMW’s also. I can understand why, because they are great cars, probably the best cars, but i need to be different, and it’s kinda boring looking at our parking lot at the moment and see >90% BMW’s (from which 90% is 5-series and 10% 3-series (we all feel to young for the 7 ;) ), 2 Audi’s, 2 Volvo’s, 1 Lancia. Yest that’s right, no-one’s driving Mercedes anymore. So i have to be the first one again, or get myself a really different car this time and go for the new Jaguar, Maserati, or Aston Martin. Just to fool everybody ;). or maybe get myself a Porsche.

  15. zuqiu119 says:

    Anyway,i like e-class and it”s Perfect。。。。but i like 5-class e60 not this one…

  16. Richyi says:

    I’ve been going back and forth between Mercedes and Lexus over the years. I always thought I better try a BMW but at the dealer I was always disappointed with the interior and the electronics (gadgets) as I am an electronic geek.
    When I was ready for a new car, I started searching the web for BMW to see what was in the offering for 2011. I quickly gravitated toward the BMW 535i as I realized this car has everything I wanted and more. I was most impressed with 300lb of torque from 1200~5000 rpm! Then there is heads-up display, self parking, 360 degree camera view and on and on. I said eureka and went and ordered one with all the goodies and can,t wait to get it in July 2010. This is my first BMW but I am confident that I’d love it. I will have to wait and see.

  17. 2 smooth says:

    I’ve driven Benz, Audi, and Bmw. Now anybody who’s driven both car brands knows benz outshines bmw with torque, horsepower and the 0-60 times. And bmw outshines mercedes in track driving and in the twisties/handling This new 535 is the first time I’ve seen bmw quicker than a similiar model benz. However the mercedes e550 is quicker than this new 535 and the bmw 550. Even if u go to the M brand of bmw the AMG brand benz is loads quicker. This review seems biased towards bmw as if trying to persuade to buy bmw for being better in all categories which is b.s. if you want superior speed and torque with your luxery you better get a benz. If you want superior handling and track performance with your luxery you better get a bmw.

  18. 2 smooth says:

    And to Joe stating benz is over priced your either smoking some good sh*t or too lazy to do proper research. Mercedes cut back on their price tags for the 2010 models by over 5grand in consideration of the economy. The damn 3 series is over priced! I was considering buying one until I seen the $50,000-$60,000 tag. On an M3 yeah ofcourse but a regular 3 series? Man please BMW is raping people with a car worth 38-43 grand at best.

  19. Andy T. says:

    Comparing BMW and Mercedes in general, is like comparing a 35 year old Mexican to a 55 year old “uncle beef”!!!
    Ask your wife…

  20. zeljan says:

    Pretty much sums up the comparison

  21. ZELJAN says:

    i BROUGHT A NEW 535I SE A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO. CUSTOM BUILT IN GERMANY WITH ADDITIONAL OPTIONS OF MY CHOICE.. BLACK WITH BLACK LEATHER AND ANTHRACITE DASH TRIM ETC. I SUPPOSE YOU COULD SAY IT WAS FAIRLY PRICY….BUT
    THIS CAR IS A BEAUTY. IT WOULD HAVE TO BE THE BEST CAR I HAVE EVER DRIVEN. THE JAG WAS A CLOSE SECOND

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