From an workplace on wheels for a taxi driver in Frankfurt to an adrenaline rush on wheels for an fanatic in Los Angeles, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class must be plenty of issues to lots of people. It is an vital a part of the model’s lineup, even in a market dominated by crossovers and SUVs. The brand new, W214-generation mannequin will get a sharper-looking design and an extended checklist of know-how — together with in-car Indignant Birds — but it stays true to the values which have helped make the nameplate a reference when it comes to consolation and construct high quality for a lot of many years.
One level Mercedes-Benz could not ignore in the course of the design section is that the E-Class is not the one midsize sedan in its portfolio. It must share the showroom flooring with the EQE, which is completely provided with an electrical powertrain. Whereas the 2 fashions aren’t direct rivals, I am instructed that quite a lot of effort was put into making certain they do not overlap. This explains why the E-Class carries on with a somewhat traditional, three-box design somewhat than a extra futuristic-looking form like its battery-powered sidekick. Along with “do not make a gasoline-burning EQE,” executives additionally instructed the design workforce to provide the E-Class a glance of its personal as a substitute of copying the C-Class or the S-Class.
Visually, the brand new E-Class carries on with the three-box silhouette that has characterised its predecessors for the reason that nameplate appeared in 1994 (the mannequin’s lineage goes again a lot additional, however the E-Class designation is comparatively latest). Its wheelbase is about an inch longer than the outgoing mannequin’s, a call made to provide second-row passengers more room, and the flush-mounted door handles already seen on the S-Class, amongst different fashions, have trickled down. There’s much more happening within the design division than initially meets the attention: For instance, the little wave on the underside a part of the headlights echoes the four-light front-end design seen on many older E-Class variants, just like the W210. And, the beltline crease ends above the entrance door handles to create a easy floor and picks up once more a couple of ft later.
As has been the case for the previous few generations, the E-Class is globally out there with two entrance ends. One options an elegant-looking grille with brilliant horizontal slats and a Mercedes-Benz emblem mounted upright on the hood. The opposite, which you are much more prone to see as soon as the sedan hits the streets, will get a sportier-looking design with a much bigger star embedded into the grille. Each grilles function a black body. Mercedes-Benz spokesman Stefan Ott instructed me that his workforce expects 10% of patrons will select the extra old-school design; it is significantly in style in plenty of Asian markets. Out again, the E will get horizontal lights with three-pointed-star-shaped inserts, a light-weight bar, and a strip of chrome trim that emphasizes its width. The sunshine bar is not illuminated, as a result of Mercedes-Benz desires to avoid wasting this function for its EVs.
“We needed to visually bridge the hole between our conventional vehicles and our electrical vehicles,” designer Michael Frei summed up. His workforce managed to provide the E-Class a drag coefficient of 0.23, which is almost on par with the EQE’s (0.22) and improves effectivity.
This identical prepare of thought formed the cabin, in keeping with inside designer Erik Degen. He describes the inside vibe as “cocooning.” From the motive force’s seat, you are feeling just like the dashboard is round you somewhat than in entrance of you as a result of LED strips hyperlink it to the door panels; that is seen within the EQE as properly, however the strips stretch even additional again within the new E-Class. You face a digital instrument cluster, facet air vents with surprisingly intricate detailing, and an enormous sprint of screens appropriately known as SuperScreen embedded into the dashboard to show a brand new model of the MBUX infotainment system. As part of the optionally available SuperScreen package deal, there is a third display screen built-in into the a part of the dashboard forward of the entrance passenger. Whether or not you spec the SuperScreen or not, the central show is a 14.4-inch display screen. In case you do not choice the SuperScreen, the passenger display screen is basically deleted in favor of a extra traditional-looking sprint.
Extra screens allowed engineers to program extra options into the E-Class. From the center or the right-side display screen, you’ll be able to play Indignant Birds, browse TikTok, stream movies, and even take a selfie (welcome to 2023!) utilizing one of many in-car cameras. Alternatively, this digital camera can energy in-car Zoom conferences. Many of those options are optionally available, and a few depend on a brand new, 5G-compatible communication module.
Whereas that is quite a bit to soak up, my first impression is that you just will not overdose on know-how midway by an extended drive. The infotainment system’s icons could be rearranged for straightforward entry, like on a smartphone or a pill, and the inside options leather-based upholstery, wooden trim, and supplies which are good to the touch and have a look at. It is an fascinating and cohesive mix of traditional craftsmanship and the most recent know-how.
Particular consideration was given to the MBUX system’s interface. Mercedes-Benz, like a lot of its friends and rivals, is realizing that driving round with what’s primarily an enormous pill causes distractions. “We created new icons. They give the impression of being extra like smartphone icons, in order that they’re extra intuitive to function whereas driving as a result of they’re simpler to acknowledge,” identified MBUX skilled Christopher Gäng. Talking of distractions, is not driving on the autobahn whereas your passenger energetically tries to shoot birds at evil pigs an enormous one? Gäng says no: the motive force cannot see what’s displayed on the passenger-side display screen, however the driver-facing cameras (there are two) can inform if the motive force is not trying on the highway and darken the display screen. Moreover, the passenger-side display screen is simply on if there is a passenger sitting within the entrance. It is off if there is no one there.
One of many coolest inside options is not impressed by the previous or fueled by twenty second century-like know-how; it is tremendous easy and really intelligent. There are two storage compartments within the heart console. One is situated the place the shifter was on plenty of older vehicles (it is mounted on the column within the new E-Class), and the opposite is beneath the armrest. The charging ports dwell within the latter, however a tiny cable tunnel connects it to the previous so you’ll be able to cost your cellphone with out opening the armrest or driving with the armrest open. Properly performed, Mercedes.
At launch, patrons in the USA can have two E-Class flavors known as E 350 4Matic and E 450 4Matic, respectively, to select from. The bottom mannequin makes use of a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 255 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,000 to three,200 rpm. The following (and, in the meanwhile, final) mannequin up advantages from a turbocharged, 3.0-liter straight-six rated at 375 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Each engines work with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that injects as much as 148 pound-feet of torque into the driveline. They shift by a nine-speed automated transmission, and all-wheel-drive would be the solely configuration provided right here.
European motorists can have extra drivetrains to select from, together with turbodiesel and plug-in hybrid choices. There’s even a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid system within the pipeline that ought to provide large torque and big vary. Sadly, Ott confirmed these is not going to be bought right here. There’s not a lot of a marketplace for turbodiesel engines right here, and plug-in hybrids “aren’t that vital in the intervening time,” citing demand as the explanation PHEV E-Class fashions will not come to the U.S. Whereas he did not verify what’s subsequent, it is cheap to imagine that AMG-designed, high-performance fashions will be a part of the vary within the coming years.
One E-Class variant Mercedes has confirmed for this new technology is the continued presence of a wagon physique fashion. Each the coupe and convertible variations of the E-Class will go away in favor of the upcoming CLE-Class, however a longroof will finally be made out there.
The checklist of choices features a rear-axle steering system that turns the again wheels by as much as 4.5 levels. Mercedes-Benz makes a metal suspension system normal, and its AirMatic air suspension setup is optionally out there no matter cylinder depend.
Inbuilt Sindelfingen, Germany, the brand new Mercedes-Benz E-Class will enter manufacturing within the coming months and go on sale within the U.S. by the top of 2023. Pricing will probably be introduced later.
In an period shrouded by looming combustion-engine bans, it is pure to marvel what the long run holds for the E-Class. Volkswagen will can the combustion-powered variants of the Golf as soon as the present, eighth-generation mannequin reaches the top of its life cycle. “I’ve nothing to say at present,” Ott instructed me. “Whether or not it is the final combustion[-powered E-Class] or how the naming goes to be sooner or later is one thing we’ll see.”