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2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan and All-Terrain: First Look

  • The Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets a mid-cycle refresh for 2021.
  • The updated E-Class comes in three distinct variants: E-Class sedan, E-Class All-Terrain wagon and the high-performance Mercedes AMG E 53 sedan.
  • The 2021 E-Class will go on sale in the U.S. in the fall of 2020.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been a standard-bearer in midsize luxury cars for decades. Its balance of strong performance, the latest technology and refined German engineering has given the E-Class a well-earned reputation as a leader in a competitive segment. The E-Class entered its current W213 generation for the 2017 model year, and it’s getting a rather significant face-lift for 2021.

What’s new?

The E-Class is refreshed for 2021 and, so far, we’ve seen three different variants: the sedan, the All-Terrain wagon and the AMG E 53 sedan. We’re hoping to get a look at new versions of the coupe and cabriolet models later this year.

The E 450 4MATIC sedan gets the M 256 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine with a mild hybrid system that Mercedes-Benz calls EQ Boost technology. This includes a 48-volt electrical system that is intended to improve both torque and fuel economy, kind of similar to what we’ve seen in the S-Class in international markets. The E 450 will make 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque matching the performance of the twin-turbo V6 it’s replacing. The base E 350 sedan will continue to be powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four making 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. An E 350e plug-in hybrid sedan will be available making 315 combined hp and a stunning torque rating of 516 combined lb-ft.

There are some big technological improvements in the new E-Class when it comes to infotainment and driver assistance. The Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) will be an intuitive system using artificial intelligence to improve the driver’s experience. It will use a sophisticated form of voice recognition with Natural Language Understanding and can be prompted by saying "Hey Mercedes." Available MBUX features include augmented video navigation and the MBUX interior assistant, which allows intuitive, natural operations of the car’s features through movement recognition.

The new E-Class will be on the cutting edge of driver assistance technology with systems such as DISTRONIC, the brand’s adaptive cruise control system, which includes route-based speed adaptation. That means if you have a route programmed into the GPS and it detects an exit ramp or a round-about ahead, it can automatically slow down to prepare for the upcoming change in speed. It also has LiveTraffic, which allows the car to adapt to upcoming traffic jams before the driver can even see them. The E-Class will also come with a host of other features you would expect to find in a new luxury car, such as active stop-and-go assist, steering assist, brake assist, blind spot assist and much more.

What is the E-Class All-Terrain?

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain is a rugged wagon version of the E-Class with an off-road emphasis. This is the first time the All-Terrain variant will be available in the U.S. where it will compete directly with the Audi A6 allroad. Think of it as a luxurious alternative to the Subaru Outback.

The E-Class All-Terrain will have the aforementioned technology features of the new E-Class sedan, but with rugged SUV-like styling and capabilities. At launch, it will only be available in the form of an E 450 4MATIC model which means the mild hybrid turbocharged inline-6 engine and standard all-wheel drive. The All-Terrain model will also benefit from Air Body Control air suspension, plus Offroad and Offroad+ drive modes with downhill speed regulation. It all adds up to a promising off-roader that won’t sacrifice any of the luxury or modern tech offered by the E-Class.

What’s new with the AMG E 53?

The Mercedes AMG E 53 gets some styling upgrades and the new MBUX and driver assistance features of the regular E-Class sedan. However, the AMG model will have some AMG-specific functions in the MBUX system, including three different AMG display styles — Modern Classic, Sport and Supersport — which change the visuals and what information is displayed in the "Widescreen Cockpit." Also exclusive to the E 53 model is AMG Track Pace, which constantly monitors more than 80 sets of data, plus lap and sector times to show you everything you could want to know about your track performance.

As for performance, things aren’t changing much under the hood. The engine will continue to be an AMG-enhanced 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with EQ Boost mild hybrid technology and an electric auxiliary compressor making a total of 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via AMG Performance 4MATIC+ with variable torque distribution for an impressive 0-60 miles-per-hour time of 4.4 seconds.

Some visual upgrades for the 2021 AMG E 53 include a restyled front end with an AMG-specific grille and redesigned LED headlights, two-piece all-LED tail lights, revised front and rear bumpers with a new rear diffuser insert, standard 19-in alloy wheels upgradable to optional 20-in wheels, some new paint color options, a new AMG Performance steering whee, and a new, two-tone gray and black interior upholstery offering.

With a sharp new look, advanced new tech and the addition of the rugged All-Terrain model, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class model range is more diverse than ever. Pricing for these cars hasn’t been confirmed yet, but expect these updated 2021 models to go on sale in U.S. dealerships starting in the fall of 2020. Find a Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale

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