Here it is, the all-new 6th-generation (W214) Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and importantly revealed ahead of the imminent debut of its arch-rival from Munich, the BMW 5 Series.
The E-Class has been the benchmark for mid-range luxury sedans for more than 75 years, in Benz’s own words more or less. For this 2023 release, it intends for the saloon to pave the way for the shift from combustion engines to electric powertrains.
The car’s state-of-the-art electronic architecture also allows for a complete digital user experience. The first variants from the W214 series will be available at European dealerships in the fall of 2023, but its wider release is set to be rolled out in stages.
W214 E-Class – Exterior – Classic on the outside
The new car’s dimensions have changed from its W213 predecessor, measuring 4,949 mm in length, 1,880 mm in width, and 1,468 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,961 mm that has grown by 20 mm. This increase in size has resulted in a more spacious interior for passengers and an enlarged luggage capacity of 540 litres.
Although the W214 E-Class retains its recognisable three-box sedan shape, its front fascia now includes a black high-gloss insert between the grille and the headlamps, inspired by the brand’s EQ range of fully electric models, at least on certain AMG-Line variants.
The LED DRLs on the headlamps are designed to resemble eyebrows, and the bonnet features the ‘power dome’ surface shaping. Optional flush-fitting door handles, as seen on other models such as the EQE, can also be specified. The tail lamps feature the three-pointed star motif in each of the two-unit assemblies.
W214 E-Class – Powertrain – Electrified from the start
The W214 E-Class is available with a range of powertrains, including three mild-hybrid engines and three petrol-electric hybrids, all featuring a longitudinally-mounted four-cylinder turbocharged configuration.
The petrol-electric PHEV models include the E 300 e, E 300 e 4Matic and E 400 e 4Matic. The E 300 e and E 300 e 4Matic have a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 204 hp and 320 Nm of torque, paired to an electric motor generating 129 hp and 440 Nm of torque, resulting in a total output of 308 hp and 550 Nm of torque.
Meanwhile, the E 400 e 4Matic’s petrol engine generates 252 hp and 400 Nm of torque thanks to higher boost pressure, paired with the same electric motor as the E 300 models to produce a combined output of 375 hp and 650 Nm of torque.
Both E 300 e and its 4Matic counterpart have slightly different performance figures with the former doing 0-100 km/h in 6.4 seconds and reaching a top speed of 236 km/h while the latter takes 6.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h and has a top speed of 234 km/h. The E 400 e 4Matic, on the other hand, can do 0-100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds with a top speed electronically capped at 250 km/h.
All three PHEV versions of the new E-Class are equipped with a 25.4 kWh lithium ion battery and can travel over 100 km on electric power alone, giving E 300 e the claim of having the highest electric-only range of up to 115 km while both 4Matic variants can reach up to 109 km based on the WLTP protocol.
The mild-hybrid models include two diesels and one petrol engine, the latter of which should be roughly carried over from the W123. The E 220 d and its 4Matic AWD version feature a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine generating 197 hp at 3,600 rpm and 440 Nm from 1,800 rpm to 2,800 rpm.
W214 E-Class – Interior – Screens, screens, screens
The interior of the W214 E-Class is dominated by screens, with the latest (but cost-optional) version of the multi-screen infotainment display system named Superscreen – somehow very similar but not quite worthy of the Hyperscreen dubbing found in the EQS.
This includes an optional front passenger screen that complements the central display and a high-resolution driver’s display for instrumentation.
If the Superscreen is selected, a selfie and video camera will be mounted on the dashboard, and the entertainment suite will include various third-party apps include TikTok, Angry Birds, Webex, Zoom, and the Vivaldi browser with some clever display shading tech to obscure the driver’s view and avoid dangerous distractions.
W214 E-Class – Safety – Top of the crop
Mercedes-Benz has spared no expense in outfitting the W214 E-Class with the latest in active safety tech, though it’s hard to say if these will appear in all variants across all markets the car will come to be sold in.
That said, broadly speaking, W214 E-Class comes with a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) including Active Distance Assist, Attention Assist, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Package with reverse camera and Speed Limit Assist.
Attention Assist function has been improved with the addition of a driver distraction alert that will give audible and visual warnings to the driver. In case the driver does not respond to the alerts, the Active Emergency Stop Assist function will automatically bring the car to a stop.