2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Mercedes launching the E-Class Benz. The executive saloon shot to fame as the most comfortable car in its range and the styling has always been subtle enough not to be ostentatious but bold enough to appeal to those on an executive pay-grade.
To celebrate this momentous mark, the new models have been given a styling overhaul. The saloon and estate versions will be first to hit the market with the front end updated to suit the sleeker trends of today. The coupé and the cabriolet models will be rolling out later in the year.
There are softer, sleeker lines at the front end and the grill has now been updated to match the other new Mercedes models to incorporate the windmill badge onto the bodywork instead of the classic standing emblem. The headlamps have also been modified from four to two to allow the front to be slimmer.
The modifications are only skin deep for this anniversary model. Under the bonnet, the engine choices remain the same as the previous range power wise but they have been tweaked to give better fuel consumption.
The new model’s engines feature Bluedirect four-cylinder petrol engines with direct-injection, increasing fuel performance to 48.7mpg. The diesel engines have received a little more attention, with the first time combination of a four-cylinder diesel engine with an electric motor. This new engine, dubbed ‘Bluetec Hybrid’ conforms to the new standards of consumption and emissions with those of their competitors yet still delivers the same performance that Mercedes drivers are accustom to.
Inside the cabin, Mercedes have been reluctant to make any big changes in the last few years, mainly due to the fact that the interior quality and comfort has been one of the biggest selling points of the E-Class and changing an already great thing would most likely hurt them in the long run. The leather seats and the good leg space are untouched but the onboard computer systems have been updated to keep up with the latest advancements.
The E-Class interior still looks like the cockpit of a passenger jet with so many physical buttons and switches but Mercedes insists physical buttons which are reliable is what their customer base prefers. Instead of touch screens or other interfaces that may be slow to react or malfunction easily, physical buttons enhance the “feel” of the driving experience and provide reliability and simplicity which is central to Mercedes’ image.