The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Is the 2021 MotorTrend Car of the Year

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Is the 2021 MotorTrend Car of the Year

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Full Overview

We all know what it means. Or a minimum of what it is presupposed to imply. But the phrase excellence in right now’s hyperbolic lexicon has turn out to be the go-to endorsement of every thing from resort timeshares to pharmaceutical advertising to pork trade remediation. Let’s assume for the second that the phrase has been considerably diluted.

Climb right into a 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, nonetheless, and you’ll instantly perceive the true emotional and bodily definition of the phrase, its influence, and its inferred accountability. In sedan, coupe, or wagon type, the brand new E-Class is a shocking accomplishment. And it’s the MotorTrend 2021 Automotive of the Yr.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class carries the stout imprimatur of old-school luxurious, from the graining of the dashboard wooden to the suppleness of the heated and ventilated, posture-correct leather-based seats. However it is usually totally fashionable, from the sturdy but environment friendly responsiveness of its engines to the plethora of high-tech and high-zoot options. The E-Class epitomizes an automotive model in full, one whose foreign money within the present zeitgeist of automotive desires and wishes is unmatched.

“Because the automobile market contracts and SUVs proceed to gobble up market share, it says one thing about an organization {that a} midcycle refresh of a sedan might take an already good automobile and transfer it to greatness,” senior options editor Jonny Lieberman mentioned.

Mercedes did not want the E-Class to be this magnificent, this dominant, Lieberman added. “They may have slapped on some new physique panels, up to date the engines, and known as it a day. However the engineers went the additional mile. They pulled the all-nighter. Put within the exhausting work. The outcome? Automotive of the Yr.”

Sure, our Automotive of the Yr is a mere midcycle replace to a car that has been in the marketplace for a number of years. A few of chances are you’ll marvel how and why such a automobile deserves this award—particularly when our COTY area boasted the innovation of the Porsche Taycan, the flash of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, and the newfound worth story of the Nissan Sentra.

However when there’s a midcycle change so dramatic, so putting, so … nicely, glorious, we open our storage doorways.

German luxurious automakers have a protracted historical past of intertwining main design adjustments and powertrain updates so that there’s all the time one thing new each few years. Many different automakers take a “fireplace and overlook” strategy, the place every thing is clean-sheet on the redesign each 5 or 6 years.

4 years in the past, the restyled E-Class rolled out with new however uninspired sheetmetal, an inconsistent nine-speed transmission (relying on the engine it was paired to), physique management points on sweeping curves, and a bent to understeer on sharper winding roads. On the time, we acknowledged, “In all, the [E-Class] was not convincingly on the high of its class—both as a sport sedan or a luxurious sedan. It has all the fitting substances to be both however could not appear to do each on the identical time.”

What a distinction 4 years makes.

“The E-Class delivers on each entrance you possibly can consider—each from a passenger’s view and from the driving force’s,” MotorTrend en Español managing editor Miguel Cortina mentioned. “It is the one which makes everybody really feel particular, the one which delivers one of the best expertise, and the one which stands out from the remainder of the section. It does every thing proper and reveals the legacy that it has taking part in in a section like this. Feels really like a Mercedes ought to. And it does all of it naturally.”

What is probably most spectacular is that the E-Class extends its excellence throughout all physique varieties and efficiency measures. The dynamics of a sedan are completely different than these of a coupe, owing to dimensional variations and the divergent expectations and driving habits of their house owners. Then, the physique of a convertible or wagon requires an enormous restructuring of sheetmetal and reinforcing crossmembers, with utterly distinctive and particular geometries. A taut coupe can flip right into a floppy convertible. Identical for the transformation of a sedan right into a wagon. And may the identical platform present a luxurious trip for the mainstream whereas bringing the hammer for the performance-minded?

Any automaker making an attempt to create that many variants from the identical primary platform will normally ship a minimum of one throwaway, one car that felt like an afterthought. In previous years, Mercedes has given a few of its non-sedan fashions inadequate R&D protection, and the outcome felt half-baked.

Not so with the 2021 E-Class. Regardless of the form or activity, the E-Class excels. The sedan is firmly within the “household transport” milieu with out sacrificing efficiency when wanted. The coupe is inflexible and gutsy, the convertible a luxe seaside conveyance with a top-down “Air Cap” that will not disturb your deliberately tousled coif, and the AMG E 63 S Wagon is a thunderbolt that can remodel anybody’s preconceived concept of a Montessori-mobile. (A be aware on the platform-sharing E 450 All-Terrain: It is an E-Class, however due to its floor clearance, Mercedes-Benz insists on classifying it as an SUV. As such, it competed individually in our SUV of the Yr competitors.)

As well as, clicking via drive modes offers precise dynamic variations in throttle, braking, and suspension response. You wish to loaf together with your loved ones? Finished. You wish to cost up a canyon? Verify. You wish to deal with an autocross? Can do—although testing director Kim Reynolds famous that the sedans felt “quick however heavy” within the determine eight. Hey, you need financial institution vault security and an indomitable trip? That provides some kilos, however as Reynolds added, “It is as stable as granite.”

On high of all that engineering and manufacturing complexity, Mercedes then invitations in its AMG group to create fashions that ship brain-sizzling efficiency with out sacrificing any of the luxurious.

“What stands out right here is how glorious this chassis is,” Cortina mentioned. “With the ability to assist every thing from an E 350 sedan to the menacing AMG E 63 and embrace the coupe, convertible, and wagon is simply inexplicable. It speaks for what Mercedes engineers had been going after, they usually delivered in an ideal bundle.”

Added Lieberman: “My most-improved award goes to the convertible. It used to have among the worst cowl shake I’ve ever skilled from a contemporary automobile. I am now very comfortable to report that lastly the E-Class convertible seems like an E-Class: stable, refined, luxurious, higher than the competitors. Very impressed, Mercedes.”

Now, to go below the pores and skin. Mercedes gives its 362-hp, 369-lb-ft M256 3.0-liter turbocharged gentle hybrid inline-six engine as the center of the E-Class lineup. It options an built-in starter-generator that delivers 21 hp {of electrical} “EQ Boost” to assist acceleration from a useless cease whereas the turbos spool up. It additionally contributes to gasoline financial system and diminished CO2 emissions. Its 48-volt onboard electrical system means there aren’t any belts for the water pump and air con, which reduces parasitic losses from the engine. It additionally permits the automobile to “sail” in Eco mode with the engine turned off.

On account of this new tech, the E 450 4Matic sedan accelerates like a V-8 (with a speedy 0-60 of 4.6 seconds and 1 / 4 mile of 13.Three seconds at 103.2 mph in our assessments) whereas additionally delivering 23/30/26 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed in the latest EPA gasoline financial system assessments. Not fast sufficient for you? You’ll be able to improve to the 429-hp E 53 and even to the bonkers 603-hp AMG E 63 S 4Matic+, which can flip a blistering three-flat 0-60 and an 11.2-second quarter mile at 124.2 mph. In the meantime, for these on lower than a baller’s funds, the bottom E 350 comes with a 2.0-liter turbo-four that generates 255 hp and 273 lb-ft and nonetheless will get to 60 mph in a claimed 6.1 seconds whereas returning 22/31 mpg metropolis/freeway.

Mercedes engineers even have improved the shifting of its nine-speed automated transmission. “There’s a regular pull of energy, but some gearshifts are actually unnoticed,” Reynolds mentioned.

The Merc’s beautiful Air Physique Management suspension is one of the best $1,900 you’ll ever spend on an possibility. (It is even obtainable on the bottom E 350.) It soaks up freeway chop, highway rash, and bumps and divots with impunity. “On the freeway its trip is easy and floaty, however on the twisty roads it reveals its dealing with and sporty aspect with out being shy,” Cortina mentioned. Added Purchaser’s Information director Zach Gale: “What improbable trip high quality. Among the best of any automobile I’ve pushed shortly.”

As for lodging, the E-Class delivers precisely what folks anticipate from a Mercedes: luxurious, and extra.

Our check mannequin got here with seats that weren’t solely heated and ventilated with adjustable lumbar assist and a number of other therapeutic massage settings however had been additionally “multicontoured” with bolsters that activate to offer your ribcage further assist below exhausting cornering. Remember to tick the field for “seat kinetics,” which gently adjusts your backbone and hips each couple of minutes—it is orthopedics at work on lengthy drives. The Cabriolet fashions include particular sun-reflective leather-based that continues to be cooler than common leather-based when baking in direct daylight. In cooler climate that also invitations top-down motoring, the “Air Scarf” offers neck-level heating.

Trying forward within the cockpit, the driving force sees twin 12.3-inch shows that unfurl layer after layer of knowledge. And right here resides our one massive gripe with the E-Class: MBUX. Though the screens are gloriously crisp, the brand new MBUX infotainment system and consumer interface raised the ire of practically each editor for its overly (and needlessly) difficult nature.

“I am not unfamiliar with MBUX, however the quantity of occasions I needed to deal with the middle show display screen or take my fingers off the wheel to strive the touchpad or touchscreen is unacceptable,” options editor Christian Seabaugh mentioned. An irked Gale famous that MBUX’s integration of Apple CarPlay did not fill the perimeter of the display screen, merely a diminished sq. of it.

Including to the MBUX frustration are the capacitive display screen navigation buttons positioned on the steering wheel. They’re meant to maintain your fingers on the wheel fairly than fidgeting with the mouse-style touchpad, however Seabaugh famous, “It would not reply the identical manner every time.” Added affiliate highway check editor Erick Ayapana, “Fortunately, the touchscreen is so good.” However in search of out info via the myriad menus is usually a distracting chore that different automakers do higher.

The saving grace of the E-Class infotainment system is the optionally available Burmester encompass sound stereo, which Ayapana described as “so nice, so clear; I need it for my home.”

It is a automobile journalism trope to explain a luxurious automobile’s inside as a “cocoon.” However one struggles to supply one other metaphor. The inside’s sense of favor and refinement instantly places the driving force and passenger right into a state of lavish consolation. Mercedes has an old-luxury repute, and the suppleness of the leather-based seats and grain and gloss of trim supplies performs to that. In the meantime, the turbine-style air vents lend a sense of Buck Rogers retro-futurism. It is a good mix.

The cocooning continues within the again seat, to some extent. Though the backs of the entrance seats are neatly contoured to supply extra rear kneeroom, the E-Class isn’t among the many section leaders in offering area to sprawl in again. It is acceptable sufficient, because the 6-foot-1 Seabaugh described it as “lots spacious.”

In brief, the E-Class isn’t making an attempt to be one thing that it isn’t. Folks anticipate sure sensual and tactile sensations after they have interaction with the three-pointed star, and the E-Class delivers the reassurance of sitting inside a whisper-quiet but thunderous Mercedes-Benz sedan.

“Such a stable, feel-good automobile,” Seabaugh mentioned. “It is ridiculously competent. I really feel like each time I drive the E 450, I uncover one thing new. It is a automobile I might fortunately drive each day for years on finish.”

However the E-Class is greater than only a platform engineering masterpiece. It is a design assertion—which is a tough accomplishment whereas nonetheless sustaining an air of understated assurance. Mercedes tore up the present droopy lozenge of its exterior type and reworked it into an assured, planted sedan with pronounced shoulders and crisp character traces operating the size of the fuselage.

The angular slashes that change the sulky ovoid taillights of the incumbent are dynamic and assured. The trunklid has a jaunty flip at its trailing edge that retains the stance of the automobile from falling off towards the rear bumper. And there is its face, with a presence that carries only a trace of intimidation—to let bystanders know you could have attained one thing of substance and are to not be trifled with.

After all, Mercedes-Benzes are all the time anticipated to be secure. Though the 2021 mannequin 12 months E-Class has but to be examined, the 2020 version will get top-scoring five-star marks in frontal, aspect, and rollover crash assessments from NHTSA. The IIHS additionally offers top-scoring Good scores, incomes the 2020 mannequin a Prime Security Decide+.

The E-Class additionally comes with a laundry listing of lively security options to stop an accident within the first place, together with autonomous braking with a turning maneuver operate that may detect stopped vehicles and pedestrians. Additionally, its blind-spot help now works when the automobile is parked and the driving force is quickly to exit the automobile.

The E-Class additionally gives one of many best smart cruise management programs in sustaining distance and initiating braking in stop-and-go site visitors; it might maintain a full cease for as much as a minute earlier than re-engaging. Nevertheless, the lane maintaining software program would sometimes (and startlingly) clench the brakes and swerve the automobile again into the center of the lane if the driving force wandered.

As to the worth aspect of our six key standards, one may ask what kind of worth a luxurious automobile buy can entail with a beginning worth of $55,300 that may rapidly climb north of six figures. However luxurious can shock you when it comes to retained worth over the lifetime of a automobile.

In line with MotorTrend subsidiary IntelliChoice, the E-Class line is generally “common” or higher when it comes to its five-year price to personal. Coupes and convertibles are sometimes much less spectacular of their retained worth, and the Merc isn’t any exception. Nevertheless, of key assurance to first-time E-Class sedan consumers, the entry-level E 350 sedan in rear-drive and 4Matic trims are rated “glorious.”

However exterior of the {dollars} and cents, there may be additionally sense and sensibility. There’s a purpose folks intention for the three-pointed star. There’s heritage and repute. There’s solidity and belief. There’s worth in these intangible components.

Some automobile firms do much less with full redesigns than Mercedes did with a midcycle change, all whereas restricted to the confines of retaining the exhausting factors for the Sindelfingen manufacturing line (which, by the way in which, will probably be CO2 impartial by 2022).

“The Mercedes feels thrice as nicely constructed, as nicely engineered, as subtle because the competitors,” Lieberman mentioned. “The Mercedes is a superior car when it comes to trip high quality, dynamics, kinematics, or some other measurements you possibly can consider. You’re feeling the distinction.”

And that’s the definition of excellence in movement.

Looks good! More details?

2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 4Matic (cabriolet), 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 4Matic,
2021 Mercedes-AMG E 53 4Matic+ (coupe) 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+ (sedans)
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Entrance-engine, AWD Entrance-engine, AWD
ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-6, alum block/head, Turbocharged I-6, alum block/head, plus
plus electrical motor electrical motor, Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8,
alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN DOHC, Four valves/cyl DOHC, Four valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 183.Zero cu in/2,999cc 183.Zero cu in/2,999cc, 243.Zero cu in/3,982cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.5:1 10.5:1, 8.6:1
POWER (SAE NET) 362 hp @ 5,500 rpm (fuel) + 21 hp (elec); 362 hp @ 5,500 rpm (fuel) + 21 hp (elec);
362 hp (comb), 429 hp @ 6,100 rpm (fuel) + 21 hp (elec); 429 hp (comb) 362 hp (comb), 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 369 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm (fuel) + 184 lb-ft (elec); 369 (comb), 384 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm + 184 lb-ft (elec); 384 (comb) 369 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm + 184 lb-ft (elec);
369 (comb), 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
REDLINE 6,500; 6,300 rpm 6,300, 7,000 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 10.5; 12.5 lb/hp 12.0, 7.Four lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automated 9-speed automated
AXLE/FINAL DRIVE RATIO 2.82:1/1.69:1, 3.07:1/1.87:1 4.69:half.82:1, 3.06:1/1.87:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Multilink, coil springs, air springs, adj Multilink, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 15.2:1, 14.5:1 15.5:1, 14.5:1
TURNS LOCK TO LOCK 2.3, 2.1 2.3, 2.1
BRAKES, F; R 14.2-in vented, drilled disc; 14.2-in vented disc, ABS, 14.6-in vented, drilled disc; 14.2-in vented, drilled disc; 14.2-in vented
14.2-in vented disc disc, 15.8-in vented, drilled carbon-ceramic disc; 14.2-in vented, drilled carbon-ceramic disc, ABS
WHEELS, F; R 8.Zero x 19-in, 8.Zero x 20-in; 9.Zero x 20-in 8.Zero x 18-in solid aluminum, 9.5 x 20-in;
solid aluminum 10.Zero x 20-in solid aluminum
TIRES, F; R 245/40R19 98H Pirelli Cinturato P7 (M+S), 245/35R20 95Y; 275/30R20 97Y 245/45R18 100H Pirelli Cinturato P7 (M+S), 265/35R20 99Y; 295/30R20 101Y
Pirelli P Zero (run flat) Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
WHEELBASE 113.1 in 115.7 in
TRACK, F/R 62.9/63.2, 64.1/62.Eight in 62.9/63.0, 64.9/62.Eight in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 190.Four x 73.1 x 56.6, 190.9 x 73.2 x 56.Three in 194.Three x 73.7 x 57.8, 196.Four x 75.1 x 56.6 in
TURNING CIRCLE 37.5, 39.7 ft 38.2, 40.Four ft
CURB WEIGHT 4,517, 4,489 lb 4,330, 4,490 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 54/46, 55/45% 55/45, 56/44%
HEADROOM, F/R 38.7/36.4, 40.9/36.Four in 37.3/37.6, 37.4/38.2 in
LEGROOM, F/R 41.8/34.1 in 41.7/36.1, 41.4/36.2 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 56.1/48.4, 50.Three in 57.8/57.1, 57.8/57.1 in
CARGO VOLUME 9.5, 10.1 cu ft 13.1 cu ft
0-30 1.6, 1.Four sec 1.5, 1.1 sec
0-40 2.3, 2.1 2.4, 1.7
0-50 3.3, 3.0 3.4, 2.3
0-60 4.4, 4.0 4.6, 3.0
0-70 5.9, 5.2 6.1, 3.8
0-80 7.4, 6.8 7.9, 4.8
0-90 9.5, 8.5 10.0, 5.9
0-100 11.8, 10.5 12.4, 7.1
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.3, 2.1 2.5, 1.4
QUARTER MILE 13.1 sec @ 104.Eight mph, 12.6 sec @ 108.2 mph 13.Three sec @ 103.2 mph, 11.2 sec @ 124.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH 130, 113 ft 127, 109 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.88, 0.91 g (avg) 0.83, 0.97 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.6 sec @ 0.71 g (avg), 25.Three sec @ 0.74 g(avg) 26.2 sec @ 0.69 g (avg), 23.6 sec @ 0.87 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,400, 1,450 rpm 1,400, 1,450 rpm
BASE PRICE $75,500, $77,300 $63,050, $108,550
PRICE AS TESTED $87,410, $100,410 $79,280, $138,040
AIRBAGS 10: Twin entrance, f/r aspect, f/r curtain, f/r head 9: Twin entrance, f/r aspect, driver knee, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY Four years/50,000 miles Four years/50,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY Four years/50,000 miles Four years/50,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE Four years/50,000 miles Four years/50,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 17.Four gal 21.1 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 23/29/25, 21/28/24 mpg 23/30/26, 15/23/18 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 147/116, 160/120 kWh/100 miles 147/112, 225/147 kWh/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.76, 0.82 lb/mile 0.75, 1.09 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium

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