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As I rounded the sharp curve on the I-71 entrance ramp, I could feel the 2005 Mercedes E320 CDI hugging the turn, responding instantly to the accelerator as 1 caught up with traffic and effortlessly moved over to the high-speed lane. Not an unusual move, of course, but this car makes it a pleasure to do so.
Some drivers might wax enthusiastic about getting 201 horsepower from a six-cylinder diesel engine or generating 369 pound-feet of torque, or accelerating to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The truth is that when a car's base price is $49,795, impressive engineering, especially from Mercedes, is practically a given.
But the E320 CDI's amenities were what really captured my imagination. As I swept along that entrance ramp curve, light played across the burled poplar trim on the dash and door …