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Mercedes-Benz has officially introduced the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission with torque converter in its new E 350 BlueTEC.
Consumer Reports recently compared four luxury sedans in the January issue of the magazine, pitting the Audi A6 against the Infiniti M35h, Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec and Saab 9-5, with the refreshed A6 receiving an overall test score of 93, tying Infiniti’s M37 at the top of the charts. The previous generation A6 had scored a disappointing 79.
For the A6, Consumer Reports raved about how agile, comfortable, quiet and quick the vehicle was. The model tested was a 3.0T Quattro Premium Plus with a supercharged 3.0L powerplant with 310-hp. Consumer Reports was able to get 22-mpg out of the sedan, enjoyed the eight-speed transmission and found braking performance to be very good.
Mercedes-Benz’s E350 BlueTec received top honors for fuel efficiency with 26-mpg, while the M35h received an excellent road test score despite reporting that its power delivery tend to be jerky and abrupt. Consumer Reports also reported that the M35h’s handling and braking wasn’t as brilliant as the M37′s.
Lastly, and probably to no one’s surprise, Saab’s 9-5 was deemed disappointing and seen as a poor value.