Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Check out the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Hybrid Review

Though the fifth-generation E-Class has been on sale since 2017, Mercedes-Benz has done an admirable job making its midsize luxury car feel new at every turn. The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class takes these constant updates even further, with a refreshed exterior and a slightly restyled cabin.

The headlights and taillights closely resemble those on the smaller A-Class, while the grille is similar to the one on the GLE SUV. Inside, the E-Class gets Mercedes’ latest MBUX infotainment system. It’s a huge improvement over the older interface. The E-Class also gets a new steering wheel with capacitive touch controls, though the layout is functionally the same as the old one. Also new for the E 450 is a turbocharged inline-six engine paired to a mild hybrid system. It uses an electric motor that provides a bit of extra power when leaving from a stop and is slightly more fuel-efficient than the previous V6.

The E-Class’ primary competitor has long been the BMW 5 Series. The current 5 Series keeps the pressure on with a wealth of features and a plug-in hybrid variant for those looking for carpool access. The Audi A6, meanwhile, was recently redesigned and counts a high-tech cabin among its many strengths. And buyers looking for something sleek and stylish might want to check out the new Cadillac CT5 sedan or Mercedes’ own CLS. The E-Class also offers itself as both a coupe and convertible as well as the new high-riding All-Terrain wagon, all of which receive the same comprehensive updates as the sedan for 2021.

Pros

  • Exquisite cabin with excellent design and comfort features
  • Driver assistance technology works great
  • Vast array of personalization options
  • High-horsepower AMG models are fun to drive

Cons

  • Sedan’s cargo capacity is small for the class
  • Standard suspension can ride stiffly over rough surfaces

What’s new

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  • Refreshed exterior design
  • New steering wheel
  • MBUX infotainment system replaces COMAND
  • E 450 now powered by an inline-six mild hybrid powertrain
  • Part of the fifth E-Class generation introduced for 2017

Which E-Class does Edmunds recommend?

We suggest going with the midlevel E 450 4Matic. It comes with standard all-wheel drive and Mercedes’ new six-cylinder engine with a mild hybrid system for smooth power and improved fuel economy. It’s also not priced much higher than the E 350 4Matic. We suggest springing for the optional air suspension and Burmester audio system since they really help nail the luxury car feel.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class models

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the most multifaceted vehicles on the market. You can get the E-Class as a sedan, wagon, coupe or convertible, each available in multiple trims: E 350 (sedan only), E 450 (sedan, wagon, coupe, convertible), AMG E 53 (sedan, coupe, convertible) and AMG E 63 S (sedan and wagon) — each corresponding to a different powertrain.

E 350
The sedan-only E 350 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (255 horsepower, 273 lb-ft of torque) paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive (4Matic) is available. Standard feature highlights include:

  • LED headlights
  • Simulated leather upholstery (MB-Tex)
  • Power-adjustable and heated front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Sunroof
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display
  • MBUX infotainment interface
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • Automatic emergency braking (warns if a front impact is imminent and applies the brakes if you don’t respond in time)
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)

Noteworthy options on the E-Class sedan include:

  • Larger wheels
  • Air suspension (can raise or lower the ride height of the vehicle)
  • Augmented video for easier navigation prompts
  • MBUX Interior Assistant (can operate controls with hand gestures)
  • Head-up display
  • Surround-view camera (gives you a top-down view of the E-Class and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Adaptive headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves)
  • Premium Burmester audio system
  • Leather and premium leather upholsteries
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Massaging front seats
  • Driver Assistance package
    • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)
    • Active steering assist (works with adaptive cruise control to keep the car centered in the lane, even around gentle curves)
    • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
    • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)

E 450
The E 450 is available as a sedan, coupe, convertible and the All-Terrain wagon. The coupe and convertible come standard with rear-wheel drive; all-wheel drive (4Matic) is optional on those and standard on the sedan and wagon. Mercedes is calling the 2021 E 450 wagon the All-Terrain. It’s the same general design as in prior years but now has plastic fender body cladding and a slightly higher ride height.

All E 450s are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine paired to a mild hybrid system (362 hp, 369 lb-ft) mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard and optional features of the E 450 are similar to those of the E 350.

AMG E 53
Mercedes offers two performance variants of the E-Class. The AMG E 53 is available as a sedan, coupe or convertible. They have the turbocharged six-cylinder engine but here it makes 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. All E 53 models come with a sport-tuned all-wheel-drive system. Standard features mirror those on the E 450 models but add a few AMG-specific touches such as a sport-tuned air suspension and special wheels and exterior styling.

AMG E 63
The range-topping AMG E 63 is a brute, powered by a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (603 hp, 627 lb-ft) that sends power to all four wheels through a specially designed nine-speed automatic transmission. The AMG E 63 is only available as a sedan or wagon. Features build on the AMG E 53, adding even more performance-tuned goodies such as:

  • 20-inch wheels
  • Upgraded suspension tuning
  • AMG exhaust
  • AMG-specific MBUX functions
  • Standard AMG Track Pace app

Options on the E 63 include options available on the E 53 plus:

  • Carbon-fiber trim package
  • Carbon-ceramic brakes for improved braking performance

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