Car Comparison

2016 vs. 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: What's the Difference?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$29,900
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
$56,350
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class 4MATIC
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
$32,605
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sport
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
$38,999
RELATED READING
See all Mercedes-Benz E250 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by James Riswick August 2016

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a well-rounded, impeccably engineered luxury sedan packed with safety, entertainment and comfort features. It's one of the most appealing cars on the road. And yet, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class represents a stunning stem-to-stern redesign. Though fundamentally the same in concept, this new E-Class is a more advanced and luxurious car than the one it replaces. Let's take a look at those changes to explain what the differences are between the 2016 and 2017 Mercedes E-Class.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Exterior

Unlike the redesigns of some other German cars, it's easy to see the transformation that the E-Class sedan has undergone. Whereas the 2016 is a bit blocky, the 2017 is curvaceous. If anything, though, it's now tough to distinguish the E-Class apart from the cheaper C-Class. In terms of size, the 2017 E-Class gains 2.6 inches in wheelbase -- good for extra rear legroom and overall vehicle stability -- while the length increases by 1.7 inches.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Interior

The 2016 E-Class interior is spacious and well-made, and like the exterior, there's a squared-off design aesthetic in keeping with classic Mercedes models. The 2017 E-Class is wildly different, featuring an organic design highlighted by a sweeping band of wood trim that stretches across the dash from door to door. Above, the new E-Class demonstrates its technological advancement with a large 12.3-inch display screen that can be augmented further with an optional second screen that serves as a virtual gauge cluster. Together, they combine to create a single, enormous widescreen display. This combination of the latest technology and sumptuously luxurious appointments is a striking contrast not only to the 2016 model but also to its many luxury-sedan competitors.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mechanicals

Though the 2017 E-Class will eventually be available with a similar variety of engine choices to the 2016, for now, there's only one available engine. Replacing the 2016 E350 and its 302-horsepower V6 as the bread-and-butter model is the 2017 E300, which includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard instead of the 2016's 7-speed.

You will, of course, note the 2016 E350 has more power than the 2017 E300, and despite its new 9-speed automatic transmission and a weight reduction of 70 pounds, we do expect the new model to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour a few tenths of a second slower. The 2016 E400 and AMG E63 bring considerably quicker acceleration, but they'll eventually be replaced by similarly all-new models.

Fuel economy has improved, and although the figures don't seem as different as you might expect given the smaller engine, changes to the Environmental Protection Agency's testing procedures in 2017 have yielded lower numbers across the automotive industry. Consider this when seeing that the 2016 E350 returns an estimated 20 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, whereas the 2017 E300 returns an estimated 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.

Elsewhere, multiple suspension options are available on both models, but the 2017 is further available with Mercedes' Air Body Control suspension that self-levels. It lowers automatically to reduce fuel consumption and increase stability and can be raised to clear obstacles.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Features & Technology

The 2016 E-Class features the previous generation of the Mercedes COMAND electronics interface, with a center console knob, dash-mounted buttons and a dash-top screen. It's not as complicated as some other tech interfaces and is relatively easy to use. The 2017 has the latest edition of COMAND, which has more features, more ways to control the system and much sharper graphics on its enormous screen, but it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming to use. Beyond the carry-over knob, there's a redundant touch-operated pad above it and miniature touch-operated control pads on the steering wheel (a Mercedes first).

In addition to the multitude of new safety features and driver-assistance systems described below, the 2017 E-Class mostly gains new features designed to cosset and impress. These include optional heated door and center console armrests as well as ambient interior lighting that provides 64 color choices.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Driving Experience

There's a distinctive solidity to the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class that's long been a trademark of the brand. It cruises down the road with resolute comfort and composure, and although it makes no pretenses to being a sport sedan like most competitors do, it's nevertheless nicely controlled around corners. Much is the same with the 2017 E-Class, although the comfort and isolation have been dialed up further. This is especially true if you opt for Air Body Control. Really, you can't lose with either generation.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Safety

The 2016 E-Class boasts an almost unbeatable number of standard and optional safety features. These include more airbags than most and a standard driver-inattention and drowsiness monitor. Options include lane-departure warning, a blind spot monitoring system and forward-collision warning, all of which can be bolstered by automatic braking and steering intervention. There's also an available automated parking system and an adaptive cruise control system (known as Distronic Plus).

All of these carry over to the 2017, but the list gets even longer. Standard equipment now includes Active Brake Assist (a collision warning and automatic emergency braking system), Crosswind Assist (which automatically mitigates the effects of crosswinds) and PRE-SAFE Sound (which creates subtle noises through the car's sound system when a potential accident is detected that triggers an inherent, protective reflex in the human brain). Optional items include an enhanced version of Active Brake Assist that can detect cross-traffic, Evasive Steering Assist (which provides steering assistance when avoiding other cars or pedestrians) and PRE-SAFE impulse side (which uses the front seats' active side bolsters to automatically push occupants away when a side collision is detected).

Driver-assistance systems have also been bolstered. Mercedes' excellent Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control becomes part of Drive Pilot. Besides automatically matching your speed to the car ahead, Drive Pilot can automatically keep you in your lane, even through moderate corners and when lines are unclear. The system can even make lane changes for you. Finally, there will eventually be a system called Remote Parking Pilot that allows you to pull the car out of extremely tight parking spaces using a smartphone app.

Conclusions

It's hard to imagine being disappointed by the 2016 E-Class. Then again, we also think it would be hard to pass up the stylish, technological tour de force that is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The new one is without question better, but settling on a 2016 would be no bad thing.

Find a Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$29,900
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
$56,350
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class 4MATIC
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
$32,605
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sport
Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
$38,999
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 vs. 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: What's the Difference? - Autotrader