At long last, the W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift has finally made its global debut after much teasing by the German carmaker. The changes are rather comprehensive to say the least, with a significantly redesigned exterior, a revamped powertrain line-up as well as new equipment.
When the new E-Class goes on sale in Europe later in the summer, it will be offered in sedan and wagon (Estate and All-Terrain) body styles initially. These will be joined by coupe and cabriolet models in the future, along with a long-wheelbase sedan version exclusive for the China market.
At first glance, you won’t confuse the facelifted model for the older one, as the entire front end of the E-Class has been overhauled. Primary changes include a new front grille that is now slimmer than before.
The new nose is accompanied by smaller and more angular headlamps, which come as full-LED units as standard that can be upgraded to Multibeam items (with Ultra Range high beam). They also sport an L-shaped daytime running light signature that is more in line with the carmaker’s latest design language seen on more recent models like the C118 CLA and C257 CLS.
Moving to the rear, the outgoing model’s vertical-oriented taillights have been replaced with wider, two-piece clusters that extend into a new boot lid, each with a diode-like light signature within. As before, there are a number of exterior styling packages available, including the Avantgarde Line, Exclusive Line and AMG Line.
The Avantgarde Line now comes as standard on entry-level variants of the E-Class, and includes two chrome louvres and vertical high-gloss black struts on the hexagonal-shaped grille, along with a wide-width lower apron. Meanwhile, the Exclusive Line gets a triple-louvre configuration, large chrome elements in the bumper and a more traditional Mercedes-Benz badge on the bonnet.
Naturally, the AMG Line is the most aggressive-looking option, with an A-wing design for the front bumper that is accompanied by large “inlets.” It also comes with its own trapezoidal-shaped, diamond grille highlighted by a single louvre that runs through the large Mercedes-Benz logo.
Beyond the three exterior packages, the E-Class is also offered in X213 All-Terrain specification, which adopts styling cues from Mercedes-Benz’s SUV range like a taller ride height and black body cladding along the lower edges of the bodywork. The radiator grille and skid plate on this model also comes with a mirror chrome finish rather than the previous silver shadow hue.
It is also worth noting that the Avantgarde, AMG Line and All-Terrain models feature a bonnet with power domes, while the Exclusive comes without them. Other changes include three new paint colours – High-tech Silver, Graphite Grey Metallic and Mojave Silver – as well as a range of new wheels.
The interior changes are relatively not as profound when compared to the exterior, with new items being the inclusion of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system. This is linked to the dual-screen setup on the dashboard, which now comes as standard with two 10.25-inch displays or the optional Widescreen cockpit featuring 12.3-inch displays. The screens can be configured in four different styles – Modern Classic, Sport, Progressive and Discreet.
To go along with the MBUX system and screens, the facelift also introduces new steering wheel designs (depending on the styling package) with capacitive Touch Control buttons, new upholstery options, Energizing seat kinetics and comfort control (with Energizing coach and PowerNap) and Urban Guard vehicle protection systems.
A range of driving assistance systems continue to be offered on the new E-Class, including the now standard Active Brake Assist, 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 new steering wheel also comes with hands-off recognition, so you no longer have to provide slight steering inputs when driving in semi-automated mode to keep the system informed that you are still paying attention – just holding the wheel will suffice.
We now come to engines, and electrification is widespread in the range, with petrol options covering a range from 156 PS (154 hp) to 367 PS (362 hp), while diesel units range from 160 PS (158 hp) to 330 PS (326 hp).
On the petrol front, there’s a new M254 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant that is equipped with a 48-volt mild hybrid system with an integrated starter-generator (ISG) that provides a 20 PS (20 hp) and 180 Nm boost when required – this replace the replaces the previous M274 unit.
The mild hybrid setup is also found on the larger M256 3.0 litre turbo inline-six engine, with both engines mated to a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission. For the oil burners, there’s the OM654 2.0 litre four-cylinder and OM656 3.0 litre straight-six, both with expanded emission control systems. Mercedes-Benz also notes that seven models will be available as plug-in hybrids, but has yet to disclose finer details for now.
If the pedestrian engines are not your cup of tea, the German carmaker has also announced E 53 4Matic+ versions of the E-Class. Available in sedan and Estate configurations, the performance-focused variant is powered by a 3.0 litre straight-six engine with an EQ Boost starter-alternator, the latter providing a boost of 22 PS (21 hp) and 250 Nm of torque.
The engine also sports an electric compressor, and all in, the powertrain delivers 435 PS (429 hp) at 6,100 rpm and 520 Nm of torque from 1,800 to 5,800 rpm. With the standard nine-speed AMG Speedshift TCT 9G transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system, the zero to 100 km/h is done with in just 4.5 seconds (sedan) or 4.6 seconds (Estate). Both body styles will hit a top speed of 250 km/h, which can be bumped up to 270 km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s Package, and are equipped with AMG Ride Control+ air suspension.
The E 53 models are identified by the Panamericana grille at the front, power domes on the bonnet, rear diffuser elements and quad exhaust tips. Inside, there’s the AMG Performance steering wheel, AMG-specific displays, an AMG Dynamic Select drive mode system and an optional AMG Dynamic Plus Package.
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