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Mercedes-Benz unveils all-new E-Class. Image by Mercedes.

Mercedes-Benz unveils all-new E-Class
The popular executive saloon comes with S-Class tech and will go on sale this summer.
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What's all this about?

There’s a new Mercedes-Benz E-Class in town, here to conquer the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 with its plethora of high-tech features and a hybrid-heavy engine range. As usual, much of the technology on display has been carried over from the larger S-Class, and so have the styling cues, giving the E-Class even more ‘little limo’ pizzazz.

Not exactly pretty, is it?

Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, so we won’t pass comment on that. We will, however, say the E-Class has a new front grille taken almost directly from the S-Class, while the black panel that connects said grille with the lights takes its inspiration from the EQE saloon. Whether that’s a good thing or not is entirely a matter of taste…

Aside from that, though, it’s fairly predictable stuff. The traditional three-box saloon shape remains, albeit with a slightly more blended rear than we’re used to, while the boot lid and rear bumper combination has more than a whiff of latest-generation C-Class about it.

If you want our professional opinion, though, we’d say that front end is a bit challenging, but big grilles are all the rage these days, and it hasn’t done BMW any real harm.

What about the inside?

This will probably be more appealing to customers, who are likely to spend a long time behind the wheel of the new E-Class. The dashboard design is clean and modern, with a massive ‘Superscreen’ central touchscreen joined by a digital instrument display and the usual sea of leather trim.

A passenger-side display will also be on offer, but Mercedes-Benz is promising all the screens will offer greater integration with smartphones, as well as compatibility with apps including the Angry Birds game and social media such as TikTok. And for those who treat their E-Class as an office, there’s always Zoom.

A four-wheeled office? It had better be spacious, then...

Oh, it is. The E-Class offers 5mm more driver headroom than its predecessor, while the rear passengers get 10mm more knee room and 17mm more legroom, thanks largely to the 20mm increase in wheelbase. Elbow room has risen, too, up by 25mm to bring it almost in line with the S-Class, while boot space has increased to 540 litres.

What about the engines?

As usual, Mercedes-Benz is offering the E-Class with a choice of four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with six different options available from launch. Half of those, however, will be aided by plug-in hybrid tech, offering a range of more than 60 miles on a single charge, while the others will be mild-hybrids. And as with the C-Class, diesel plug-in hybrids will remain part of the range.

At first, though, the basic mild-hybrid engine will be a 204hp 2.0-litre petrol engine badged E 200, while there will also be a 197hp 2.0-litre diesel that wears the E 220d badge. The latter will also be available in 4Matic all-wheel-drive form.

Those engines will be joined by the E 300e, which pairs the E 200 engine with a 129hp electric motor, allowing the car to emit between 12 and 20g of CO2 every kilometre on the official economy test. Yet with a total of 312hp, it’ll still get from 0-62mph in less than seven seconds, and like the E 220d, it will be offered in all-wheel-drive form.

Finally, the E 400e 4Matic will also form part of the range, pairing a 252hp petrol engine with the E 300e’s hybrid system to provide a total of 381hp and all-wheel drive. Although it will be even faster than the E 300e, hitting 62mph after just 5.3 seconds, it will offer the same CO2 emissions.

Presumably Mercedes hasn't forgotten about comfort?

The German company says not. The car will be offered with air suspension as part of the Technology Package, but Mercedes-Benz says the standard suspension should respond with “sensitivity”, while the front subframe and rear axle carrier will “decouple the suspension and body from vibrations and noise”.

But Mercedes says handling is a consideration, too, so the mild-hybrid E-Classes will come with Agility Control suspension as standard, including selective damping. And they will ride 15mm lower than the plug-in hybrids. Rear-axle steering will also be available as an option, reducing the E-Class’ turning circle by 90cm.

So how much is it?

We don’t know yet, but it’s expected to cost a bit more than the BMW 5 Series, which comes in at £42,580. Something in the region of £45,000 for a basic E 200 probably won’t be a bad guess. We’ll find out for sure in the near future, though, because Mercedes-Benz has confirmed the new E-Class will go on sale this summer.

James Fossdyke - 3 May 2023

2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.

2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.2024 Mercedes E-Class. Image by Mercedes.    - Mercedes-Benz road tests
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