What Is It?
This is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class — otherwise known as the way cars are heading. It’s more than a large luxury sedan; it’s a new line in the sand. This fifth generation goes further down the road to autonomous driving.
Drive Pilot — that’s the name of the system that can keep a distance to the car in front at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour, steer through places where markings are unclear even at 81 mph, effect a lane change when a turn signal is activated, and negotiate other traffic and buildings. When E-Class drivers are doing what they’ve always done, other features are still working away in the background, ready to lend a hand or foot to the steering and/or brakes whenever conditions demand.
Without even having to sit in the car, it can be maneuvered into and out of a garage remotely using a smartphone app. Car-to-X communication makes the new E-Class a transmitter and receiver of information; what this means to the person behind the wheel is a timely warning of upcoming hazards.
The range starts out with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. This is linked to a 9-speed automatic transmission. As other variants come out, we can expect gasoline versions with more power, diesel options and no doubt a plug-in hybrid. Naturally, the chassis will be comfortable and even-keeled, the materials top-shelf, the build quality exemplary, and the attention to detail astonishing (heated armrests, for example) — not to mention the dashboard has twin screens.
To be announced (the 2016 E-Class starts at $53,575).
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is out there on the absolute edge of the cutting edge — in a comfy way.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Audi A6 — The A6 is elegant, graceful and desirable.
2016 BMW 5 Series — Like every other contender here, the 5 Series is an excellent choice — and it’s due to be updated soon.
2016 Cadillac CTS — The CTS is one of the better handlers of the class, and that’s really saying something.
2016 Jaguar XF — The XF offers an all-new generation for 2016. It’s well-appointed and smoothly athletic.
2017 Volvo S90 — The S90 is Completely new and will also deploy semiautonomous features.
Used Mercedes-Benz S-Class — People buy Benz cars for luxury, engineering, authority and cachet. The S-Class has all those attributes by the trunkful.