autoevolution

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

CAR SIZE: mid-size
BODY TYPE: Sedan
One of the most prominent nameplates currently on the market, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class can trace its roots all the way back to 1953, when the W120 was launched as the carmaker’s first modern midsize car. Officially, the first generation E-Class was born much later though, as the W124 of 1993.
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If we take into account all its predecessors (and Mercedes does), the E-Class launched at the beginning of March 2020 is a facelift for the tenth generation, introduced in 2016.

Coming to the world with bettered styling, new drivers assistance systems and the brand new MBUX infotainment system, the new E-Class aims to continue the success story of all those before it.

1Exterior design & features

Visually, the facelift brings quite a lot of changes, all around the car. Also, the entry-level model gets upgraded and will offer even more right from the start, as it comes with the Avantgarde Line exterior.

At the front, the visible changes pertain to both the grille and the headlights. There’s an increased amount of chrome now going into the grille with the central Mercedes star, and redesigned LEDs are located inside reshaped optical blocks. A slightly different front bumper than what was comes with the pretty much the same air intakes.

For three of the new E-Class variants, namely the Avantgarde, AMG Line and All-Terrain, a front hood with power domes is provided. Also, a special bumper has been created for the AMG Line, while the All-Terrain gets a unique radiator grille, and skid plate in chrome finish.

At the rear, the entire appearance has changed thanks to the new directions chosen for the lines. The hood of the trunk seems narrower and a bit more roundish, and the tail lights, slim and LED-powered, now extend onto that same hood.

The new colors have been added to the palette, namely high-tech silver, graphite grey metallic and mojave silver, and the wheel lineup has been expanded to include aeros.

2Interior design, features
and passenger space

Although it maintains the same level of refinement when it comes to the materials used, the new E-Class looks like a completely different car inside, and to thank for that is the completely new dashboard.

Going for the same layout as in all recently launched models, Mercedes deployed the two large screens that look like a single unit and act as instrument cluster and infotainment screen. And that’s a great departure from the previous arrangement.

In front of the new screens sits a new steering wheel that comes in all-leather, in a wood-leather combination and as a supersport version.

Even if the choice of materials remains largely the same, there are new color combinations that can be specified, depending on trim. They include magma grey/neva grey, black/nut brown, and magma grey/macchiato beige. Open-pore silver ash wood, burr walnut fondant, brushed aluminium and aluminium with a carbon grain are also on the table.

3Gadgets

As said, the biggest change when it comes with the interior is the dashboard with its new screen configuration. As expected, Mercedes expanded the use of its still new MBUX system to the E-Class as well.

The system is made available to the user through two 12.3-inch displays that form the screen concept Mercedes calls widescreen cockpit. In the case of the E-Class, MBUX comes with voice control and augmented reality.

The E-Class is used as a launch platform for the Urban Guard, an “Intelligent interlinking of hardware and digital solutions for protection against crime.” It is, is essence, an all-round monitoring system of the vehicle that can detect, react and inform when someone is trying to break-in, drive away with the car, or try to tow it away.

4Performance

Being an incredibly important nameplate in the Mercedes portfolio, the new E-Class will not shy away from offering all kinds of powertrains imaginable, except, for now, full electric.

On the ICE front, there are gasoline engines with power output ranging from 158 to 326 hp. The range includes a new four-cylinder from the M 254 family that comes with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Also, the M 256 inline six, available for the first time on the E-Class, gets the same configuration.

But these are not the only electrified models on offer with the new E-Class. Between the estate and saloon variants, there will also be a total of seven plug-in hybrid variants on the table.

5Safety

Being the newest Mercedes on the block, the 2021 E-Class makes use of all the advancements made in terms of safety since the current generation was introduced.

Among the new features available on the new version are the carmaker’s Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adjustment, stop and go, steering and brake assist, and blind spot assist. As it did for ages, there’s a parking package available, one that this time comes equipped with a 360 degrees camera.

6Conclusion

The E-Class as a whole is the most successful model in the Mercedes portfolio. Since 1946, over 14 million units of the line have been made, 1.2 million of which belonging to the current generation.

The 2021 E-Class will reach dealerships in the summer of 2020. It will be followed later by the launch of a long-wheelbase version for China, and the introduction of the coupe and cabriolet versions.