- Exceptional ride and handling balance.
- Best-in-class interior luxury and refinement.
- Many technology and comfort features.
- Several body styles and engine options.
- Few standard driver assistance technology features.
- Options can raise the price quickly.
- No hybrid powertrains available.
- Convertible has limited cargo space.
Would we buy one? Yes.
Vehicle Type: Luxury midsize two-door coupe, two-door convertible, four-door sedan, and four-door wagon.
Price Range: From $53,145 to $73,395, including destination charge.
Powertrain: A 241-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel-drive (RWD).
A 329 or 396-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and 9-speed automatic.
A 402-horsepower turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine.
All-wheel-drive (AWD) and 7-speed automatic transmission are available.
Overall Score: 8/10
Safety Features: 8/10
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the most technologically advanced midsize cars on the market, with numerous available driver safety technologies. Unfortunately, most are part of costly optional packages. These include lane-change warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and more. A rearview camera is not standard on the E-Class' lower trims, similarly to the BMW 5 Series. Meanwhile, the Audi A6 has a standard backup camera and parking sensors. The Cadillac CTS and Lexus GS come with loads of driver assistance features, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning.
The E-Class sedan scored a Good (the top score) in all crash categories from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Equipped with optional collision-mitigation and headlight features, the E-Class was awarded the Top Safety Pick Plus designation, the organization's highest honor. The BMW 5 Series was one of the only rivals also to get this award.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the E-Class five stars in overall testing, its highest rating. The Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Cadillac CTS, among others, also received the same rating. But the E-Class scored five stars in the frontal barrier, side crash, and rollover tests.
Compared to rivals like the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, the E-Class is of roughly similar value. The Mercedes is well-known for its comfort, the BMW for its sporty driving performance, and the Audi for its style and technology. All are superb premium vehicles with high starting prices that can quickly rise when options come into the picture. Pricing for a Mercedes-Benz E-Class E 300 sedan starts at $53,145, including the destination charge. For that price, buyers get a spacious and refined cabin with many standard features. It's a great car in many ways, but some owners can find the E-Class and some of its rivals to be quite pricey for a new car.
Mercedes provides a four-year/50,000-mile warranty with the new E-Class, and it includes roadside assistance. It's one of the more comprehensive warranties in the segment, though the Lexus GS has a six-year/70,000-mile drivetrain warranty.
Tech Features: 9/10
The COMAND infotainment screen is placed in the dashboard, nicely aligned with the driver instrument gauges. Operated by a mouse-like controller on the console, a seven-inch display comes standard on lower trim levels, while an expansive 12.3-inch screen is available. Bluetooth and an HD Radio come with both units, while the larger infotainment system also gets voice-activation, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Available tech includes wireless smartphone charging, a 590-watt Burmester premium sound system, a heads-up display, automatic parallel parking, massaging front seats, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free trunk, and a panoramic moonroof. Unfortunately, many of the most desirable optional technology can raise the price fast.
Many cars in the luxury midsize class offer spacious interiors, good storage, and decent-sized trunks, but how many also come as a station wagon? There's a reason why the E-Class is a go-to choice for active families looking for something more premium than the average minivan or crossover. The E-Class wagon provides the same interior space and luxury as the sedan while more than doubling cargo space -- from 13.1 to 35 cubic feet. Folding down the rear seat brings that number to 64. Few compact SUVs offer as much room, and it's almost as much space as Mercedes' midsize GLE-Class SUV. The GLE is a larger vehicle, and it doesn't offer nearly as sporty of handling as the E-Class. The 4MATIC AWD system comes standard on all wagon trims, making it an even more practical all-season option for busy families.
All E-Class models have spacious interiors with storage abound. There's a standard locking glove box, overhead storage, a covered tray beneath the dashboard, a deep center console bin, and long door bins. Both rows have cup holders. The convertible's folding fabric roof impacts its cargo area, allowing just 8.8 cubes of space for small luggage or groceries.
Styling & Design: 9/10
It's hard at first to notice the differences between the all-new E-Class and the previous generation from the outside. The headlights and taillights have gotten smaller and more rounded, while the body style has also taken on sleeker and softer lines. It brings the handsome E-Class more in line stylistically with the refreshed Mercedes-Benz C-Class and flagship S-Class.
In the cabin, the changes are readily apparent. Whereas last gen's E-Class took a more formal approach to elegance, the 2017 model year feels much more plush and luxurious. A streamlined dashboard, cascading center stack, and centrally-placed air vents give the cabin a more modern and premium look while also improving accessibility and airflow. It's reminiscent of the full-size S-Class. Most sedans and wagons come with premium leatherette upholstery (MB-Tex), while all coupes and convertibles get leather upholstery standard. The AMG E 43 and E 550 levels come with leather as well.
Standard comfort features include 14-way power front seats, each seat getting three memory settings, dual-zone climate control (tri-zone with the wagon), metal and leatherette trim, ambient lighting, and much more. Mercedes-Benz offers one of the most generous lists of options, and notable amenities include Nappa premium leather upholstery, a Nappa leather dashboard, an active multi-contour driver's seat, rear window shades, a sunroof, and heated seats. Passenger space is excellent.
Driving Experience: 9/10
One of the things that make the Mercedes-Benz E-Class such a popular and well-regarded choice in the midsize luxury class is its ride. The E-Class has a smooth, cosseting ride and a well-insulated cabin that gives occupants a quiet and relaxing experience. Wood trim and supple leather add to the feeling of luxury, as do top-notch technological conveniences and entertainment options.
Mercedes-Benz estimates that the sprint to 60 mph takes 6.2 seconds for the E 300. The E 43 AMG does the same in 4.5 seconds. The E 400 falls somewhere in between, while the E 550, with its big turbocharged V8, feels even faster than the AMG. A seven- or a nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on all E-Class trims, and both offer smooth operation on the highway and quick gear changes when passing other cars or accelerating. Like most Mercedes cars, power is sent to the rear wheels. The available 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system helps improve traction in poor weather conditions.
Complementing its powerful twin-turbo V6 engine, the E 43 AMG has an adjustable air suspension that improves the handling at the touch of a button. Interior features include a flat-bottom steering wheel and sporty trim accents.
Outward visibility is quite good in the sedan and wagon, though it's somewhat constrained in the coupe and soft-top convertible. The station wagon can feel large on the road, but the available surround-view system employs small cameras around the vehicle, much helping with parking and other tight maneuvers.
Fuel Efficiency: 7/10
The E 300 sedan, with its small turbo four-cylinder engine, is undoubtedly the most economical choice here, returning an EPA-estimated 22/30/25 mpg city/hwy/combined with rear-wheel-drive and 22/29/24 mpg in all-wheel-drive form. Those are quite good numbers, considering the midsize luxury sedan's good power and quick acceleration.
Fuel economy continues to dip as horsepower rises, with the E 400 cabriolet getting 23 mpg overall, the larger E 400 4MATIC wagon a still-commendable 21 mpg. The E 43 AMG also returns a solid 21 mpg combined. The E 550 coupe and convertible bring up the rear, with 20 mpg combined, due to the 402-horsepower V8 under the hood. Many drivers will find those to be reasonable returns when considering the refinement and potency of these powertrains.
Audi beats Mercedes-Benz in this regard. The A6 gets 28 mpg combined from its turbocharged four-cylinder (which makes more horsepower, too). BMW's 530i trim also makes slightly more power while getting 27 mpg. At the other end of the spectrum, the turbocharged-V8 BMW 550i returns just 18 mpg.