Mercedes-Benz releases the new E Class
Mercedes-Benz has released details of the refreshed E Class for 2016. It’ll be launched later in July.
The E Class has been updated for a tenth generation in 2016 and the launch range is:
- E 200 petrol – 135kW / 300Nm – $89,990
- E 220 d diesel – 143kW 400Nm – $92,900
- E 350 d diesel – 190kW / 620Nm – $134,900
All prices are exclusive of onroad costs.
Later in the year the all wheel drive E 300 and E 400 4MATIC models will arrive with multi-beam LED headlights and air suspension. There will also be the E 350 e plug-in hybrid. Here’s comparative data:
All vehicles have a new 9-speed transmission, and the 220 d has a brand new engine. Air suspension will be standard on all except for the 200 and 220 for which it is an option. The air suspension is computer-controlled so it raises or lowers the car according to conditions, and self-levels. It works in combination with electronically-controlled dampers to adjust the ride stiffness according to what the car is doing on whatever terrain it is on.
Other highlights are a larger body, improved safety and revised interior design, not least of which are two 12.3″ TFT screens:
What looks like a gearshift in the centre is in fact a touchpad. The gear selection is a stalk on the side of the steering column. Mercedes say the pad can even recognise handwriting.
The two screens are adjustable via two thumb-controlled mini-touchpads on the steering wheel, as we demonstrate in this video:
Fortunately, not everything is touchpad-enabled; there’s still some direct-access buttons for key features, and Mercedes has worked on its voice control which they call LINGUATRONIC.
The interior can be lit by 64 LEDs, coloured according to your choosing, and there’s a Heat Comfort package which heats even the armrests in the doors.
The second row is an impressive 40/20/40 split, versatility you rarely find in 7-seat SUVs.
The optional tablet holder is shown below:
We attended a Mercedes-Benz Tec Day and were treated to a demonstration of the self-parking system which is the best I’ve seen yet; able to efficiently park a car forwards and reverse either perpendicular or parallel.
Here’s how the old and new E classes measure up:
The new E Class will have an impressive range of active and passive safety technology which we will cover in depth shortly, but in brief:
The new Drive Pilot is active cruise control, but intelligent as it accounts for surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, not requiring significant road markings, working up to speeds of 130km/h. The related Steering Pilot helps the driver steer the car around bends. Active Lane-change Assistant; once the driver has indicated to turn for at least two seconds, the Active Lane-change Assistant assists with steering into the adjacent freeway lane if the car detects that the lane is unoccupied. Active Emergency Stop Assist can brake the vehicle to a standstill in its lane if it detects that the driver is permanently no longer taking control while on the move.
Finally, styling. Mercedes say the new E class has “sensual purity”. You be the judge.