The S-Class remains the pinnacle of Mercedes-Benz, but the E-Class is the heart and soul of the three-pointed star. In fact, Mercedes-Benz has sold over 14 million units of the E-Class since 1946, but the E-Class’ lineage can be traced to the very early days of the brand.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is coming later this year sporting a new front and rear façade. It’s not an all-new model and still retains the familiar shape of the existing fifth-generation model introduced in 2017.
But more than just having a prettier face, the new E-Class is entering the new decade with an array of hi-tech features befitting of a true Mercedes luxury car.
The new E-Class has a new face
Yes, the images you’re seeing here are the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class albeit mildly draped in camouflage. It’s hard to see from certain angles, but the new E-Class has a new face with slimmer headlights inspired by the updated 2020 GLC-Class SUV, a new grille, and a reshaped front bumper. In the back, the car gets a new set of slimmer taillights.
Also new is the Mercedes emblem on the grille. Where the outgoing model had a smaller version of the three-pointed star, the new E-Class receives a more prominent version sitting front and center of the vehicle. In other markets, the big Mercedes emblem can be illuminated via an array of hidden LED bulbs.
It also has a revised interior
Standard in the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a pair of 10.25-inch display screens and a touchpad between the front seats. But the biggest change is the next-generation of Mercedes steering wheels. Debuting in the 2021 Mercedes E-Class is a new steering wheel design with touch control buttons and the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX infotainment system.
Additionally, the new MBUX system is controllable in many different ways. The system has voice control and gesture control along with the aforementioned touch-sensitive buttons on the tiller. You can also press the touchscreen or touchpad to adjust your desired settings. Also, the standard navigation system is enhanced by augmented reality for a newfound driving experience.
Standard intelligent drive systems
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class benefits from a host of standard driver-assistive features. The E-Class recognizes and responds to traffic jams via an Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC system with route-based speed adjustment. And in case you find yourself in slower-moving traffic, Active Traffic Jam Assist helps the driver with lane-keeping duties while also maintaining a safe distance to other vehicles on the road.
The new E-Class also has Active Steering Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Active Blind Spot Assist with exit warning (which works even if the vehicle is stationary to warn both driver and passengers of approaching vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians when opening the door), and a Parking Package with a 360-degree camera.
The latter has a ‘side view’ and ‘extended side view’ feature to keep a watchful eye along the sides when maneuvering along parallel obstacles or garage walls.
More powerful engines with mild-hybrid technology
It seems mild electrification is in the cards for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Debuting in the new E-Class is a set of new inline motors with Mercedes’ EQ Boost 48V mild-hybrid powertrain. The system utilizes an integrated starter-generator (ISG) motor situated between the engine and transmission. More than just powering the air conditioning compressor and alternator, the ISG provides an added boost of power and torque when you need it most.
New E-Class models bound for the U.S. market will come with two engine choices. The base E 350 has a two-liter inline four-cylinder engine with an ISG and onboard 48-volt electrical system. Producing 268-horsepower with an additional 20-horsepower courtesy of the ISG motor, total system output is a healthy 288-horsepower with the added benefit of better fuel economy.
But the crème of the crop (aside from the AMG models, of course) is the E 450 with Mercedes-Benz’s ingenious beltless inline-six-cylinder engine with EQ Boost. Featuring an aluminum crankcase with CAMTRONIC intake valve control and Nanoslide-coated cylinder liners, it produces 362-horsepower and up to 382-horsepower with the ISG kicking in, which is more power and torque than previous V6-equipped E-Class models.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is expected to arrive in Europe by summer 2020. The new E-Class will have seven plug-in hybrid models with either RWD or 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrains, but details for North American E-Class models remain sketchy at this point. You can expect the new E-Class to arrive at US dealerships later this year.