ABS standard. Rear side and head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC standard from 2000.
The E-Class was redesigned for 2003. The outgoing car was a pleasure to drive because it managed to blend usually incompatible qualities: spirited acceleration and respectable fuel economy, along with precise handling and a luxurious ride. The 2003 redesign offers either a 3.2-liter V6 or 5.0-liter V8, mated to a similarly smooth five-speed automatic transmission. The high-performance E55 AMG is powered by a 469-hp supercharged V8. Seat comfort and driving position are first-class. The overly complicated control layout has been improved but not quite perfected.