2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Entry-Level Interior Looks Less Classy, More Patchy

While we were still waiting for the full unveil of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Germans gave us a little something to ease the anticipation in the form of the car’s interior.
Entry-level 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class dashboard 4 photos
Photo: funf komma sechs
Entry level 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class interiorEntry level 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class interiorEntry level 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class interior
Obviously, though, all the official images presented the top-of-the-line designo trim level with its high-quality materials and a full kit of gadgets. The first thing that popped in your eye were the two large LCDs, one substituting the instrument cluster and the other acting like your regular infotainment display. They’re both 12.3 inches in diagonal and come with 1920 x 720 resolution that’s so close to being Full-HD it actually hurts.

We’re willing to forgive their somewhat contrasting boxiness - look around, there is absolutely nothing inside the new E-Class that isn’t round or rounded - on the basis that they give the car a very modern, or even futuristic look, the ambience is less impressive once you look at the entry-level models.

It doesn’t sound that bad on paper: 8.4 inch central display with a pair of analog dials in the instrument cluster flanking a perfectly respectable 7-inch LCD. In reality, though, it all looks like the designers started off with the more luxurious versions and were caught off-guard when asked to come up with something less expensive.

If people thought the flying tablet solution used on some of the older Mercedes-Benz models was a bad solution, they clearly haven’t seen the dashboard on the entry-level 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It’s almost as if they made it look this bad on purpose to shame potential customers into buying the more upscale options.

As these images from Fünf komma Sechs clearly show, the size of the whole display case remains the same as the one housing the two 12.3-inch displays, but with one LCD disappearing and the other shrinking significantly, there was a lot of unused space left lying around. Mercedes-Benz’s solution? None. Just cover the whole thing with shiny fingerprint-magnet black plastic and hope no one notices.

With a bezel the size of China, you’re more likely to miss the screen itself than the mass of plastic surrounding it. We get that changing the dashboard shape would have been too expensive, but it would have also been a lot more dignifying. You are Mercedes-Benz. You are a premium car maker. And yet you’re now selling a product that looks like a cheap copy of the original.

Hopefully, the E-Class will appeal to people who can afford the optional larger displays so that we won’t see too many of these atrocities on the street.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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