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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class

What is it? Mercedes-Benz is showing off the full family is E-Class vehicles with the coupe, wagon, and hybrid with new safety technology, sportier styling, and a new four-cylinder diesel that will offer, for the first time, a four-wheel-drive version.

The new 190-hp diesel version will be called the E250 BlueTEC, and replaces the E350 BlueTEC’s 210-hp diesel V6.

The E400 Hybrid again teams an electric motor with the 302-hp gasoline V6. The smaller E-Class coupe, which has also been revised, is actually based on the C-Class Mercedes line and will roll out this summer.

A seven-speed automatic is standard across the line. Helping with fuel economy is a new automatic engine start/stop system that shuts down the engine while idling.

What's new or notable? The most intriguing of a series of technology updates is a stereoscopic camera that processes 3-D images 55 yards in front of the car, with a maximum range of 550 yards, to determine the speed and position and direction of traffic and objects ahead. This, along with a multi-mode radar system, can identify vehicles, pedestrians, and solid obstacles, and warn the driver or slow the car or both, to prevent collisions. Other sensor systems can help the driver keep the vehicle centered in its lane and, in the words of a Mercedes press release, “semi-autonomously follow in-line traffic.”

When will it be available? Spring for sedan and hybrid, summer 2013 for coupe and cabriolet.

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