For more than 60 years, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and its predecessors have been the touchstone and gold standard of luxury sedans, coupes, wagons, and convertibles. As an "executive car" the E-Class is a midsize luxury vehicle designed to provide comfort and technology to the driver, who is also assumed to be the vehicle owner.
The 2021 E-Class has been substantially revised with a new look and new technology in the cabin and under the hood. Interior highlights include a new 12.3-inch dual widescreen display and completely new steering wheel with capacitive touch-sensor technology and hands-off detection that ensures safe semi-autonomous driving, if the vehicle is equipped with the available active driver assistance systems.
The powertrain in the E450 and E450 4MATIC models is now partially electrified with a mild hybrid system. The 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine now carries an integrated starter-generator and uses a 48-volt onboard electrical system to boost power output. The base engine produces 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. However, the hybrid additions provide up to 21 additional horsepower and as much as 184 additional pound-feet of torque. Every new E-Class comes with the 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission and the buyer's choice of rear-wheel or 4MATIC all-wheel-drive.
Inside, the new E-Class is all about technology. Central to that premise is the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system. The MBUX system offers more features by combining a powerful computer, large customizable display screens with advanced graphics, learning-capable software, and a more functional voice control system with natural language recognition.
The MBUX system uses artificial intelligence and predictive functions to anticipate the user's requests. For example, if a driver often calls a specific person during the drive home, the system will suggest the telephone number through the display. There is also an optional augmented reality feature for the navigation display. MBUX displays a live camera image of the road ahead superimposed with helpful information such as directional arrows, street names, or house numbers. The augmented reality features takes the last of the guesswork out of navigation.
New standard driver assistance features include active brake assist, which uses autonomous braking to prevent a collision or mitigate its severity. With the cross-traffic function, this feature now protects the E-Class when turning across the oncoming lane. Another safety function worth your notice is active speed limit assistance, which uses map data and information from traffic sign recognition to respond to changes in the speed limit and enable route-based speed changes ahead of bends, roundabouts, toll stations and intersections. When you activate speed limit assistance, the E-Class can be configured to always obey the prevailing speed limit.
On the road, the E-class offers breathtaking power and acceleration when you want it, but wrapped in the most civilized and comfortable package available. The interior is quiet, the ride is smooth, and yet the handling and steering responses are dynamic. Mercedes-Benz designs and builds the E-Class for worldwide markets. It's the company's most important vehicle line, so they make sure to get it right.
Motor Trend magazine recently announced the Mercedes-Benz E- Class lineup as the winner of the "Golden Calipers" as the magazine's Car of the Year, recognizing the value of the new features. If you're considering a new luxury sedan, coupe, convertible, or station wagon, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class should be right at the top of your test-drive list.
2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC Coupe
Base price: $67,450
Price as tested: $81,589
Type: Midsize coupe
Engine: 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbocharged (362 hp, 369 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 23/30
Overall length: 190 inches
Curb weight: 4,189 pounds
Final assembly: Bremen, Germany
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