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The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class manages to be a technological juggernaut in a well-tailored suit.

10 Mar 2016

Every carmaker has its sweetheart and for Mercedes-Benz it is the E-Class, the popular and prolific executive sedan that the German brand claims is the heart of the family.

But despite its crucial position in the product range, the car was last in line among Mercedes' sedans to get revamped in the new design language that did wonders for the flagship S-Class in 2014 before the smaller C-Class adopted it later. 

The outgoing E-Class received a major facelift in 2013 but now the long wait for the new 10th generation model is over. Internally designated as W213, the new E-Class rides on Mercedes' Modular Rear Architecture (MRA), a state-of-the-art platform first seen on the C-Class as well as the recently launched GLC and will further underpin more new models before the end of the decade.

On first glance, the new E-Class really looks like a bigger C-Class and a smaller S-Class


The car's sheet metal will look familiar, because it's very much nearly the same as the C-Class and the S-Class. According to Mercedes, this is part of its plan of providing its sedan lineup with a more cohesive appearance than before.

As expected, the new E-Class' front end falls in line with Mercedes' current design language, thanks to familiar styling cues such as elongated head lights and an upright grille.

Beyond its new face, Mercedes' newest sedan also boasts a long hood - a styling cue that has defined the E-Class and its predecessors for years - and muscular haunches, but it gains a more coupe-like silhouette than the outgoing model.

The new car's taillights are slightly elongated to show its evolution from previous generations, as do the cab-rearward profile, fluted body sides and the gently sloping tail that help make the car look more relaxed as opposed to the outgoing model's angular and stiff appearance.

From afar, the size of the new E-Class may appear similar as before, but official dimensions state otherwise. Standing at 4,923mm x 1,852mm x 1,468mm (L x W x H), it is actually 43mm longer but 2mm narrower and 6mm lower than the W212, and with a longer wheelbase of 2,939mm that translates to more interior space.

Tail lamps have the option of being equipped with some special effect to give them a 'stardust' look



To help the E-Class gain the upper hand against its competitors, Mercedes has introduced a wave of new features inside the car.

On its dashboard sits the brand's next generation digital readout, made up of two bonded 12.3-inch HD displays, that captures our immediate attention as we slide into the soft and supple leather seat.

With an option of 64 colours for the ambient lighting, occupants will be spoilt for choice

In addition, touch-sensitive buttons have been added to the multifunction steering wheel. These buttons, touted as a world first in the industry, respond to horizontal and vertical swipes exactly like a smartphone or tablet. As a result, the driver is allowed to control the entire infotainment system without taking his/her hands off the wheel.

The cabin feels familiar to anyone who has sat in the S-Class before, with the wraparound dashboard, four central air vents, and a flowing centre console that houses Mercedes' COMAND controller.

As expected of Mercedes' interiors, there are lots of gloss black plastic, swathes of luxurious leather as well as aluminium trim on the doors and dashboard for a heightened sense of occasion. 

Three adults will feel cozy at the back with increased room

In terms of space, the E-Class pays a dividend with occupants gaining more legroom as a result of the 65mm growth in wheelbase. The car is also practical as well as it is pretty, retaining its 540-litre trunk space that is more than that in rivals such as the Audi A6 and the BMW 5 Series.


The Drive 

Essentially replacing the E250 moniker, the E300 variant that you see here sports a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that is good for 245bhp and 370Nm of torque. Paired with Mercedes' new nine-speed 9G-Tronic gearbox that is also seen in newer models, you'll find yourself easily getting up to speed and doing all the regular things you would do with an executive sedan without the need for more go.

Five driving modes ranging from Eco to Individual are also available via the DYNAMIC SELECT switch and they allow drivers to set characteristics of the gearbox, steering, suspension and throttle response to suit their individual style.

The 2.0-litre mill is remarkably smooth and torquey

Thanks to lightweight materials used in its construction, the car has managed to shed some 70kg off, which allows it to reach the century mark 1.1 seconds faster than the outgoing E250.

The new E-Class is brimming with high-tech systems, too, such as DRIVE PILOT, which keeps the car at the correct distance behind other vehicles and following them at speeds of up to 210km/h without any input from the driver on the brake or accelerator.

The system can also assist with the steering up to 130km/h as well as change lanes in conjunction with the Active Lane Change Assistant.

Another unique system is the REMOTE PARK PILOT, which allows the car to park remotely via a smartphone app, allowing occupants convenient access into and out of the vehicle in tight parking spaces. While these systems may sound a little freaky, they are actually pretty cool but their availability in Singapore is still subject to approval by the relevant authorities.

More importantly, Mercedes has managed to combine a cosseting ride quality with precise handling for the new E-Class. It may not be as involving to drive as a sports sedan, but it strikes a better balance in terms of everyday comfort and refinement.

Biggish 19-inch wheels do not compromise on ride quality

The E-Class simply glides over most road imperfections during our drive in Lisbon and is easily one of the most comfortable in its class, thanks to a near perfect setup of air suspension with adaptive damping adjustment. Very little external noise makes its way into the vault-like cabin as well, making it one of the best highway cruisers.


The new E-Class has demonstrated that it promises a sizeable step in luxury over its predecessor. 

We'll see how the car performs on Singapore roads when it arrives here in the third quarter, but based on the solid experience thus far, it is apparent that the E-Class will always be Mercedes' sweetheart.

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