I actually thought about the same thing. I am geussing MB is targeting 55+ year old men with no need for superb acceleration and dont have enough in their retirement fund to buy say an S430 or S500 that can cost 15-20 grand more. I can see why it is a good idea because my fatherinlaw fits this description perfectly and i just told him about it and he seemed interested. I geuss MB thinks most in this age group just dont have the need it for somthing with a V8 and a sticker of $80 grand.(hehe but i sure do!)
I wouldn't say it's underpowered. First time I took it on the Autobahn, this E-class diesel made some trouble. And while it took a bit longer than I'd thought, once above 220 km/h or so, I lost him. Cruising at 250 on the tach is no problem, and lots of cars are electronically limited at around there anyways... ;-)
the new (to the us market) 2006 s350 is a short wheelbase version of the larger s430, s500, s600 (and amg models, yada).
the s350 is roughly five inches shorter (in overall length and wheelbase) all coming from the rear seat leg room area. by >>rough<< comparisons of leg room (front and rear), the s350 will have about the same leg room as the current e-class.
if you want specifics, go to the mbusa site; it has all the dimensions information you'll need to carry out your research. cheers.
BenzWorld.org forum is one of the largest Mercedes-Benz owner websites offering the most comprehensive collection of Mercedes-Benz information anywhere in the world. The site includes MB Forums, News, Galleries, Publications, Classifieds, Events and much more!