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2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Mercedes-Benz E-Class, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the company’s most advanced car. Well, at least the sedan and wagon versions are. These two premium midsize cars represent the next wave of E-Class goodness.

The new E-Class can come with technology that brings us ever closer to autonomous driving while helping and protecting the driver right now. Things like evasive steering assistance, intelligent cruise control, active lane keeping and active blind spot monitoring mean the car keeps a virtual hand on the controls. Even without such advanced equipment, though, the E-Class is still a desirable and luxurious car.

What’s New for 2017?

The sedan and wagon versions are all-new. The coupe and convertible variants carry over from 2016. See the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class models for sale near you

What We Like

Superb driving manners, quality and technology

What We Don’t

Options can be expensive — a common complaint regarding premium German cars

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The E300 is propelled by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. This goes through a 9-speed automatic transmission before driving the rear wheels as the default setup, or to the optional all-wheel-drive system (known as 4Matic).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption for the rear-drive version at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving. With all-wheel drive, it returns 22 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.

The E400 4Matic wagon has a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. This is also linked to a 9-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard. The EPA puts fuel use at 19 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

The Mercedes-AMG E43 sedan’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 develops 396 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. (Incidentally, the E-Class is the most powerful AMG 43 variant — the rest have 362 hp.) A 9-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. Fuel consumption is 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

The E400 coupe uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 for 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed transmission sends that power to either the rear wheels or all four. The rear-drive E400 coupe is rated at 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined; the 4Matic version achieves 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined. The rear-drive-only E400 cabriolet has the same engine and gearbox as its tin-top sibling but returns 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.

A twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 endows the E550 coupe and cabriolet with 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The coupe achieves 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined, and the cabriolet returns 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined. Both are rear-drive-only and use a 7-speed automatic transmission.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class range encompasses sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible (cabriolet) body styles.

The E300 sedan ($53,075) and E400 4Matic wagon ($63,225) share similar equipment levels, separated into Luxury or Sport trims. The Luxury has a 3-pointed star hood ornament, while the Sport gets a firmer suspension, 18-in AMG-design wheels, a black headliner and a different grille with the Mercedes-Benz star emblem set into it.

Standard equipment includes 17-in alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, push-button start, a sunroof, an illuminated entry system, rain-sensing wipers, LED exterior lighting, power-folding/heated side mirrors, simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory settings, selectable driving modes, ambient LED cabin lighting, a 12.3-in infotainment display, navigation, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, an 8-speaker audio system and HD Radio. The wagon also has a powered tailgate and 18-in wheels.

The Premium 1 options bundle has blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a rearview camera and a self-parking function for parallel and perpendicular spaces. It also brings heated front seats, satellite radio, wireless smartphone charging, a Burmester 14-speaker audio system, keyless entry/ignition and hands-free powered operation of the sedan’s trunk lid.

Premium 2 takes the contents of Premium 1 and adds massaging/multicontour front seats, a fragranced cabin air system, automatic high beams and a powered sunshade for the sedan’s rear window.

Premium 3 comes with Premium 2’s features plus the more involved driver aids, such as evasive-action assistance, forward cross-traffic assistance, rear/side-impact preparation, adaptive cruise control with active steering, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, forward-collision mitigation, speed-limit road-sign recognition, a 360-degree camera system and a head-up display.

Other options include an adaptive air suspension, 19- and 20-in alloy wheels, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, heating for the front armrests and steering wheel, plus a second 12.3-in screen as an instrument cluster and upgraded audio setups.

The 2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 ($73,325) comes with its own engine, an all-wheel-drive system, an air suspension and a braking setup appropriate for a more powerful machine. It also has various AMG cosmetic additions plus 19-in alloy wheels.

For the most part, the 4-seater E400 coupe ($55,475) and E400 cabriolet ($63,525) are equipped like the basic 2016 sedan, which means older technology. The E550 coupe ($61,575) and E550 cabriolet ($70,025) enjoy extras like leather upholstery, 18-in wheels and adaptive suspensions. Naturally, the convertible versions have wind deflectors and offer neck-warming vents set into the front seats (Airscarf).


The E-Class comes standard with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, driver-drowsiness alert and a considerable array of airbags. Rear side airbags, though, are available separately, along with small airbags in the rear seatbelts.

An impressive standard safety feature is Pre-Safe Sound, which, when sensing an imminent collision, sends out pink noise through the audio system, triggering a reflex in the inner ear and protecting occupants’ hearing from the noise of the impact. It’s kind of an audible equivalent of red-eye flashlights in cameras.

The optional side-impact protection automatically inflates the relevant seat bolster to move a person away from the point of collision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2017 E-Class sedan and wagon its top rating of five stars overall, with five stars apiece for front- and side-impact protection.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has yet to publish crash-test scores, but it gave the previous-generation sedan and coupe its top rating of Good in all categories, so we expect this model to perform similarly.

Behind the Wheel

Not surprisingly, the E43 is the star of this particular show. It has an authoritative power that sits well in a luxury/sport sedan and feels unshakably stable virtually regardless of the conditions. Yet its air suspension means it can be just as comfortable as it can be sporty.

The E300 and E400 4Matic aren’t so thrilling but still have the smooth ride that’s a Mercedes-Benz strength. Every E-Class also has the other Mercedes-Benz strengths of exemplary fit and finish along with superb cabin materials.

The sedan’s trunk space measures 13.1 cu ft, about enough for three sets of golf clubs but eclipsed by the new BMW 5 Series’ 18.7 cu ft. The E400 4Matic wagon is way more commodious, with 35 cu ft. behind the second seating row and what works out to around 64 cu ft. when the second and third rows are folded down. It can also accommodate up to seven with a pair of rear-facing seats that fold flat into the loadspace floor. The coupe and convertible models are 4-seaters, by the way.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Audi A6 — Offers serious competition with its sleek exterior, refined cabin and athletic driving character. A new generation is expected for 2018.

2017 BMW 5 Series — Like the E-Class sedan, the 5 is all-new for 2017 and comes with its own suite of impressive tech features. It’s no slouch to drive, either.

2017 Cadillac CTS — Receives a minor refresh for 2017 but is still a major player.

2017 Jaguar XF Supple, smooth and supercharged.

2017 Lexus GSMakes a compelling case against German dominance by providing a surprisingly rewarding drive while maintaining that hallmark Lexus-smooth ride.

Used Porsche PanameraLuxurious and spacious. And who needs self-driving features when it can drive like a Porsche? Look for a certified pre-owned (CPO) model and rest easy with the extensive warranty.

Autotrader’s Advice

If the budget can stretch to the E43, so much the better, unless someone wanted to be nonconformist and get the cool E400 4Matic wagon. Buyers looking for the coupe or convertible can either try to negotiate a deal on the outgoing model or wait a short time for the all-new 2018 version. Find a Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale


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