The new Mercedes-Benz W213 E-Class is here and refreshed for 2020, sporting changes such as more efficient powertrains, advanced driver-assistance systems and looks that bring it further in line with the brand’s current design language.
Starting with that first one. The new E-Class will feature an array of power units and when it comes to electrification, the marque says that is a big stride for the model range. That said, details are rather scarce for the time being. What we do know is that the E-class will receive the M254 four-cylinder engine with a second-gen integrated starter-generator (ISG) that fills in the engine's torque hole with a quick 15kW/180Nm boost. Models equipped with this engine will also have a 48V mild-hybrid electrical system.
The other power unit on offer at launch is the M256 engine. For the uninitiated, it is Mercedes’s turbocharged straight-six engine and it is, for the first time, available in an E-Class. It is also the same engine – albeit in a different state of tune – as used in “53” badged cars and the current CLS 450 where it produces 270kW and 500Nm of twist before the ISG’s boost.
Additionally, the OM 654 and OM 656 oil burners (four- and six-cylinders respectively) get an expanded emissions control system with a close-coupled NOX storage catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter, and an SCR catalyst that injects AdBlue.
Now on to the looks of this new E-Class. For starters, the exterior isn’t a huge departure from the company’s current design philosophy, and so to this writer, it does look like an amalgamation of various other models in its family tree like the CLS, for example. On the other hand, no one is going to confuse this for the older car.
Mercedes says the entry-level variant will now come equipped with the Avantgarde Line exterior pack which features a central star for the first time. The grille has been redesigned with two chrome louvres and vertical gloss black struts. The AMG Line on the other hand gets a new bumper which is made to look sportier, but regardless of the trim, the E-Class gets power domes on the bonnet. Which is nice.
The new E also receives an all-LED headlamp system as standard, although if you were to spend a bit more money, you’ll get the Multibeam LED with Ultra Range high beam lighting system. Around the back, the saloon variant gets a new bumper, split tail lamps and a new boot lid, however when it comes to the All-Terrain variant’s visuals, it has more in common with the SUV models, claim Mercedes-Benz.
Three new colours have been included in the E-Class’s repertoire and go by the names High-Tech Silver, Graphite Grey Metallic and Mojave Silver. Furthermore, the E-Class now gets aero wheels which helps save fuel, apparently.
Inside, there are new materials and colour combinations such as Magma Grey/Neva Grey (Avantgarde trim), Black/Nut Brown (Exclusive trim) and Magma Grey/Macchiato Beige (Exclusive trim), and trim in open-pore silver Ash wood, Burr Walnut Fondant, brushed aluminium and aluminium with a Carbon Grain.
The brand says the seats in the E-Class “combines hallmark Mercedes-Benz long-distance suitability with avant-garde design”. We’ll let you decide that one. There's also an 'adaptive driver's seat' which moves into a position that corresponds to your height, which you've entered into the display or Mercedes Me app.
The E-Class is also fitted with an entirely new steering wheel as part of the model update. It is available in three versions: all-leather, a wood-leather combination and in a ‘supersport’ version. The control surfaces are finished in gloss black while the trim elements have a silver shadow finish to them. Behind the steering wheel is a pair of 10.25-inch screens for the digital instrument cluster and infotainment. Optionally available are two 12.3 inch screens. Moreover, the graphics on the screen can even be changed to suit the driver’s mood, with settings such as Modern Classic, Sport, Progressive and Discreet.
From the middle of 2020, the Mercedes me app will be available in certain regions with Urban Guard packages which is step beyond conventional alarms. The system is intended to curb vandalism and crime and can be had in two options - Urban Guard Vehicle Protection and Urban Guard Vehicle Protection Plus. The vehicle will register everything from bumps to being car jacked. The Plus system is also able to even pinpoint the location of the vehicle if it were stolen.
The new Mercedes saloon gets a whole host of safety system as well, such as the now standard AEB system while the optional Driving Assistance Package adds on Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Active Steering Assist (with emergency corridor function), Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Parking Assist with Parktronic.
The facelifted W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon is slated to land on Australian shores from the fourth quarter of 2020, while the drop-top and coupe variants will follow shortly thereafter. As it stands, we don’t have a clear picture of what to expect in terms of powertrains, trims and pricing.