“A bridge between tradition and digitalization.” That’s how Mercedes-Benz describes the new sixth-generation E-Class sedan, and the bridge vibes are strong here. Between the stately previous generations of Mercedes’ midsize sedans and the future-forward electric EQE, we have this: the W214, a car with two gasoline engine options but standard hybrid power for both, up to three screens inside, tons of digitized features and, of course, TikTok integration.
Last Thursday, the company showed me the AMG Line and the Exclusive versions of the neue E-Class parked in the middle of a chamber inside the massive Sindelfingen plant of Mercedes-Benz near Stuttgart. A man asked me if I wanted to know more about these hybrid cars; absolutely, I told him. More than I’d like to learn about the TikTok and Angry Birds apps that are now integrated into the car.
Given that cars seem to be getting bigger with each generation, it won’t shock you to learn that the new E-Class comes with a 0.65-inch longer wheelbase resulting in an overall growth of 1.57 inches. That translates to more legroom at the rear. To make the car feel more authentic than some shrunken S-Class, exterior designer Michael Frei and his team gave the E a more pronounced rear stance, two “powerdomes” over the hood, flush door handles straight off the EQ electric cars, plus a subtle accent line that fades out between the doors.
Since the AMG Line version will be a primary choice in America, expect to see plenty of the star-pattern grilles with the additional illumination. There’s also a gloss black element between the headlights and on the grille across the entire W214 range.
In terms of powertrains, the new E-Class will arrive in America as the E 350 4MATIC or the E 450 4MATIC. Again, both are hybrids with 48-volt electrical systems. The E 350 is a 2.0-liter turbo four that puts out 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Opt for the E 450 and you get a 3.0-liter inline-six good for 375 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
Both engines represent moderate power bumps over their predecessors, and all E-Class models will have all-wheel-drive and nine-speed automatic transmissions.
The more exciting news is on the inside, where your options include the third-generation MBUX infotainment system featuring the Superscreen. Basically, it’s three screens, two of which are touchscreens integrated into a single glass trim piece. In the middle, you have the 14.4-inch big screen with 3D effects to control various car functions.
In front of the passenger is a 12.3-inch secondary screen for watching movies and playing with apps, while the instrument cluster is now a 12.3-inch display. Add the advanced head-up display to that mix, and you indeed should have all the information you need in front of you.
MBUX now features TikTok, Angry Birds and more, while the interface was designed to look and work similarly to your smartphone. With up to five cameras in the cabin including the selfie unit, conference videos and other work-related tasks are ready when you are. Keyless entry is exclusive to Apple products for now, while your data in the My Mercedes profile opens up new possibilities with both climate control and artificial intelligence.
Once the E-Class knows your physical parameters and preferences, digital vent control uses small motors to adjust each vent and their temperature to your liking. The good thing about this is that manual vent control remains possible as well, so finding the sweet spot should be easy. Automated comfort is also aided by AI-based routines, Mercedes says, which can automate repeatedly used functions.
Up to 21-inch wheels, air-suspension and the 4.5-degree rear steer system remain on the options list as well, along with Nappa leather, the latest Burmester audio experience, or six trim material if you choose not to have the Superscreen.
We don’t know when the new E-Class will go on sale in the U.S., but Car and Driver expects it to start around $60,000, a slight increase over the outgoing car. Given that the new BMW 5 Series will be revealed in a month, the game is about to be on.
But it’s due to be a different game in time. Mercedes-Benz has said that all new models launched after 2025 will be fully electric only, so while the company isn’t coming out and directly saying this, we can safely assume (unless things change in a big way) that this is the last-ever internal-combustion E-Class. (Editor’s note: After that, it’s possible this car and the EQE will somehow merge into the same vehicle, but that’s just my speculation. -PG)
So if you enjoy the experience of a gasoline Mercedes, enjoy it while you still can. But at least you get Angry Birds along for the ride for even more fun.
Photos: Mercedes-Benz, Author
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All of the coverage from all of the media outlets I follow have only spoke to the tech and the drivetrain. I haven’t seen any mention of improvements to the chassis or platform. What does this new behemoth weigh?
No no no no no no no no NO.
That dashboard will age like fine milk.
Not a fan of the pinched face look.
Christopher Walken says, “Needs more screens”
And as always, he is not wrong.
False. The optimum number of screens in a car is zero.
Look at it this way: if instead of two separate rectangular screens, the entire superscreen would be in fact one massive, weird shaped screen, that would be both more screen, and just better.
I have to respectfully disagree that large screens (or any screens, really) are good in cars. I saw the picture with “heard you like screens” and thought I’d probably not like this post. I’m a bit of a luddite, though, so I’m still mourning the death of the carburetor and AM radio.
So MB is now a influencer’s car? Sounds to me like that’s where they want their product to go.
The gloss black grille surround looks like shit on the RS3 and looks like shit here too.
The current RS3 is hideous from the front. I’d honestly go S3 over it. I think that’s the sweet spot in the A3 line design wise. The base one is a little busy for what it is and the RS3 looks like a damn tuner car from the early/mid 2000s. Plus it comes in yellow and that bright blue…I think Audi calls it turbo blue? The bright green that’s unique to the RS3 is god awful.
German auto manufacturers staked their corporate identities of their products on the grills because of ICE, higher power = more heat = need for bigger grill. Now the world has moved on, now they are really stuck, without a paddle, maybe they can use the grills as such implement.
The Braun / Bauhaus, form follows function folks will be generating a lot of free energy, rotessiering in their graves.
The headlights look like the E class didn’t sleep for quite a while too obviously pondering the conundrum.
I have never used Tiktok or played angry birds so I don’t know what I am missing, but do we really need those in a car? Do buyers really want this?
Looking forward to Torch’s take on making tail lights look like prolapsed anuses.
Being so busy that we have to take Zoom calls in our cars seems dystopian to me.
You know the BUSINESS never stops for the average buyer of an $80,000 luxury sedan….or at least the performative business never does 😉
The target audience is definitely the C-suite types who have so little awareness they post pictures of their “busy” schedule that includes long lunches, working out, and obvious social engagements to prove they are busier than the people who do the work a few levels below them.
How long before they let you option in a body colored grille surround? Because that glossy black plastic shit looks cheap.
Carbon fiber option for $$$?
The heckblende rear is back baby!
I see I need to continue my crusade to remind everyone that playing a movie on a screen the driver can see is a terrible fucking idea. Do they really think that because the screen is closer to the passenger it won’t be distracting to the driver? There’s probably an argument that playing it on the center screen would be trivially safer because when the driver inevitably looks over at it during an exciting scene they’d be taking their eyes less far off the road.
These entertainment screens in the front seat of cars are awful and need to stop.
The passenger screen was designed so the driver cannot see it.
I see no evidence of that in the pictures here. In fact, one is taken from between the front seats and the screen is clearly visible. Even if the screen somehow becomes invisible a foot and a half to the left, it’s well within leaning range for the driver.
It is designed so that it should not disturb the driver. Press photos always show everything at full brightness, but the designers talked about this while we were there.
It’s remarkable how far German luxury cars have fallen in only a few years. They lost the plot and clearly have no intention of getting it back. While BMW is certainly the most egregious example of a precipitous fall from grace, Mercedes is right in their rear view mirror. We’ve got another button-less interior dominated by screens and assorted gimmicks that’ll be lucky to last until the initial warranty is up.
Integrating selfies and social media right into the car is the most (modern) German idea I’ve heard in a while, because all these companies care about is pandering to the lowest common denominator of the conspicuous consumption crowd. Gone are the sleek designs, raucous engines, and driver focus of the glory days of German sports sedans. Tik Tok is here instead! Great.
Hell I’m surprised BMW and Mercedes don’t essentially have social media lease programs at this point. Spend a couple hundred bucks to “own” the car for a few weeks, flood Instagram and Tik Tok with captions about how you had to HUSTLE FOR THIS VIEW, then turn it in back in so the next vapid windbag of a human being can post with it.
I’m sorry to ramble but this is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. I came up around German sports sedans in the 90s/early 2000s when they were at their peak. Adolescent and teenage me was subscribed to Motortrend/Car and Driver and would lust after things like the E39 M5, E46 M3, and the then cutting edge Audi S4. They were all very influential in shaping me into an enthusiast, as was my dad driving Audi A6s, my uncle constantly rotating through assorted 90s Bimmers that he’d wrench on, etc.
These were THE goal for me…and now that I’m coming up on finally being able to afford to go all out and order one to my exact specifications in the next few years, they’re all dying off and coming back as attention seeking abominations for the conspicuous consumption crowd. It’s sad. They used to stand for something and now they’re just here and now products focused on trending on social media as much as they can.
Alright I’m done yelling at clouds now. I hope Cadillac keeps the BWs going strong for a few more years because I think a CT4V BW is going to be the closest thing I can get to the ethos of those iconic German sedans.
Somehow at the same time BMW starting their cost cutting efforts they became really popular with young successful buyers who are not car enthusiasts, they also started to focus on what appeals to women versus their core longtime customer base. They were ahead of the german competition on transition to SAV/SUV which helped popularity. I knew they would begin to fall harder when they said the M5 would only have an automatic, not DCT or manual, they said it was because a DCT couldn’t handle the power even without the AWD, BS!!!, it was for cost cutting. Now the M3 with an automatic. Heck in the 2023 X7 the shift lever is gone. Like you I am not sure I know who the company is anymore.
iDrive 2/3 was just fine, best was 6, 8+ is horrible, don’t need giant screens, apps, AA/CP… Give me the ultimate driving machine.
The M3 is still offered in manual. The intentionally hideous styling is a non-starter for me personally, but technically it is available with a stick. As is the new M2, which I saw at Cars and Coffee last weekend. It’s a pretty attractive car in person and I spent some time talking to the owner, who’s quite happy with it…although he hadn’t even finished the break in mileage yet.
I was shocked at the inclusion of a webcam on the dash, but someone will want it (and barely use it). I was embarrassed that Angry Birds (a game that came out in 2008) has been featured so prominently in investor meetings and commercials, but some buyers are thinking it might keep their obnoxious kids quiet just a little longer. Everything in there was added because MB thinks the majority of their target customers want it.
I’m sad to say it, but we (Autopians) are not the target audience and probably never were. Mercedes-Benz would love to have us as customers, but we don’t drive the market. I have been out of the mainstream in most areas my whole life and have learned to look for what I can live with rather than the perfect fit.
I look past all the screens in the new E-class and notice there are still some buttons below the screen and I also know you can adjust nearly everything with buttons on the steering wheel and you can still turn the wipers on with switches on a stalk rather than taps on a screen which is more than most new cars. Considering the state of interfaces in vehicles today, I’m gonna take buttons anywhere as a win. I can live with the passenger screen and webcam and gamer lighting (actually, that’s kind of cool) because I’ll never use them and their inclusion won’t ruin my driving experience. I don’t appreciate the price hike do to all the gimmicks, but we don’t really have a choice in the matter (in the context of buying new).
I love tech and some of it is great. I won’t even consider a new car if it doesn’t have adaptive cruise control, but I hate lane keeping and don’t need or want my vehicle to change lanes for me. I work on autonomous driving tech, but don’t really want it in my car. I don’t want everything on a screen, but find Google Maps via Android Auto incredibly useful. As long as I can ignore or turn off the tech I don’t want, put whatever stupid trendy thing you want in there and I can still enjoy myself (as long as AMG was involved).
We are in the minority friends. Look for the best experience you can get and go for it is all we’ve got.
Any news on body styles? I love the E class coupe and convertible and would be interested to see how this body would work minus a couple doors.
Those taillights are a star too far.
If you don’t get the Superscreen, you can opt for the illuminated star-pattern trip piece. Now that will be a few stars too far.
Speaking of stars, did you guys happen to notice the entire grill is little stars. More stars for more cars…
Instead of turning the interior of their car into a combo vodka bar and fingerprint factory, they could always not do that.
A lot of these screens are showroom candy – you get all sorts of flash and graphics and it looks really cool – and then when you take it home you quickly discover it’s just a pain to live with since it’s impossible to keep clean and the mood lighting makes it hard to see out of at night.
They’re also manufactured by Germans, so they’ll all start going out as soon as the certified warranty runs out. The lifecycle of these is almost always stretch purchase lease, bought certified by someone who knows cars, sold when the costs to keep it running snowball, slow descent to hooptie status/buy here pay here lots.
Too bad no more wagon tho 🙁
Europeans still love their wagons, including Mercedes E-Class buyers, so it will be interesting to see what they can do for those customers in future. The new VW Passat will only be sold in Europe as a wagon, so that Skoda can keep the sedan/fleet buyers.
I bet a lot of people will laugh at the Angry Birds/Tik Tok stuff, and rightfully so, but let me just go on record that the slow-moving death of the RWD luxury sedan is a real shame.
By the time I’ll be able to comfortably afford (I could do it now but it’s just not a wise use of our money) the big boy luxury sports sedan of my dreams I think the Germans will have lost the plot too much for me to want to go that route. I think the CT4V BW will be the best option left and I hope the values don’t stay quite this ridiculous forever. The ones I’ve been seeing in my area are marked up to the 80s or more…
Around here they are at or below MSRP, at least advertised. I haven’t actually inquired if dealers will sell them at that price, but I’m pretty confident $80s would be out of the question.
Like I said, I’ll have to wait it out for a little while regardless as this isn’t an imminent move. It also seems like I’ll have a better chance of getting a decent deal on the 10 speed rather than the manual…but I just don’t know if I could live with myself if I skipped the manual in that car