Mercedes E-Class preview
Mercedes’ classy mid-sized executive car, updated for late 2020. The fifth generation of the E-Class launched in 2016 and there is the typical midlife model refresh for the big German saloon, with the changes also affecting the estate model and its related All-Terrain off-road wagon. Some of the tech and interior updates applied to these three E-Class versions will be applied to the Coupe and Cabriolet models in the near future, but we’re focusing on the Saloon, Estate and All-Terrain here.
What will its rivals be?
In its standard form, the E-Class is a natural rival for the likes of the Audi A6 (and A6 Avant), BMW 5 Series (and Touring), Jaguar XF (and Sportbrake), Lexus ES and the Volvos S90/V90. As an All-Terrain, it faces up to the Audi A6 allroad quattro and the Volvo V90 Cross Country.
Any tech info?
Inside, the formerly three-spoke steering wheel with a couple of touch-sensitive touchpads for the twin-TFT-display Widescreen Cockpit of the E-Class has been replaced by an example with six spokes and fresh switchgear, aiming to make it more intuitive to use. There has also been an enhancement of the driver-assist safety technology, bringing in Active Distance Assist Distronic with route-based speed adjustment, Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Blind-Spot Assist, the Parking Package with a 360-degree camera, and also Energising Comfort Control with Energising Coach and PowerNap (on plug-in hybrid models) plus Energising Seat Kinetics.
What will the range be like?
Mercedes will be making more of the E-Class’ existing powertrains electrified, with a wide choice of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and mild-hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs). Indeed, the marque says seven models will be PHEVs, while a new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine employs a 48-volt MHEV EQ Boost electrical circuit to boost its outputs by 20hp and 180Nm, where required. Meanwhile, all of the 3.0-litre inline-six-cylinder petrol engine, the 2.9-litre inline-six-cylinder turbodiesel engine and the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel gain new eco-tech, some getting the MHEV system, while the turbodiesels feature an expanded emissions-control system - incorporating a close-coupled NOx storage catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter (DPF), a primary selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit and then a secondary SCR in the vehicles' underbody areas.
Customers will be expecting more of the same from the facelifted Mercedes E-Class. It is one of the most refined, comfortable and technologically advanced cars in its sector already, so a new set of headlights, two-piece rear light clusters (on the saloon) and sundry other changes are designed to massage what’s already there, rather than make sweeping changes.