Differences Between the Mercedes E320 and E350by Matt Wooddy
The E-class of Mercedes Benz vehicles was first released to consumers for the 1994 model year with a nameplate and design that dates back to the 1930s. During its first generation of models, the E320 became a staple automobile, available as a coupe, sedan and wagon. This base model received an all-new front-end body style to celebrate its birth. Less than a decade later, Mercedes unveiled the E350 as an accompanying V-6 powered luxury sedan. While both vehicles share similar features and appearances, slight differences set these two German-built automobiles apart from each other.
As the nameplate on the rear of each vehicle suggested, the E320 and E350 both featured six-cylinder engines with differing displacements. The E320 provided an all-aluminum, 3.2-liter V-6 motor as its powerhouse of choice. During this time, the E320 came equipped with the Mercedes BlueTEC technology, converting nitrogen oxide emissions to harmless nitrogen and water compounds. This diesel technology not only delivered a bit more power on the low-end when compared to other gasoline-powered engines, the fuel efficiency was abundantly more forgiving than other models, such as the E350. When first introduced, the Mercedes E350 came standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 motor, which featured a slightly larger bore and stroke than the E320. It wouldn't be long until the E350 would be outfitted with the same BlueTEC technology that made the E320 such a favored item among consumers, offering better performance on top of its equitable engine efficiency.
When first released in 1994, the gasoline-powered Mercedes E320 came from the factory with 221 horsepower at 5,600 revolutions per minute and 232 foot-pounds of torque at 3,000 rpm. The BlueTEC or diesel-powered version of the E320 only produced 208 horsepower, but the 400 foot-pounds of torque more than made up for the lackluster horsepower. The 3.5-liter, V-6 powered E350 produced 268 brake horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 258 foot-pounds of torque between 2,400 and 5,000 rpm. The diesel-powered E350 BlueTEC featured the 3.0 liter, with a performance output rating of only 210 horsepower, but advertised torque was up to 400 foot-pounds.
Both the E320 and E350 automobiles from Mercedes classified as luxury automobiles. When first introduced into the lineup, the E320 was available as a coupe, sedan, convertible and wagon. The E320 is no longer manufactured in the Mercedes lineup, so these four body styles remain available only in the used markets. Currently, the Mercedes E350 is only available as a coupe or sedan, while the diesel-powered E350 BlueTEC is only available as a four-door sedan.
Almost since the introduction of the automobile, fuel-efficient measures were implemented on engine development to ensure the automobiles abode by certain standards specific to its regions. While both diesel models found in the E320 and the E350 offered significantly more promising fuel consumption ratings when compared to their gasoline brethren, the E350 took the advantage in this race. The E320 boasted 23 miles per gallon for city driving and 32 miles per gallon for the highway. New for 2011, the BlueTEC E350 advertises that it can travel 24 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway. For powerful V-6 luxury sedans, these numbers can be quite pleasing to consumers.
Matt Wooddy has been a freelance writer since 2006. His work has been featured in local and national audio magazines. Aside from graphic design and illustration work, he has also taught several classes on painting and drawing basics. Wooddy is also a DJ and technical engineer.