Embodiment of Modern Mercedes Design
With the arrival of the 2017 E-class, we find that the signature look for this generation of Mercedes-Benz cars is no less beautiful in size medium. While its predecessor appeared rather stiff, even after the mid-cycle update, the new car’s cab-rearward profile, fluted body sides, and gently sloping tail convey a relaxed elegance. Lovely though it may be, little about the E-class’s design actually breaks much new ground. All of the signature identifying marks—grille, headlamps, taillamps, and windows—are translated more or less verbatim from the other Benz sedans. The E-class appears to have moved the needle inside the lights, however, with futuristic LED matrix headlamps (unlikely for the U.S.) and new “stardust effect” taillamp illumination, but it may take an eagle’s eye to tell the E-class apart from its siblings until you’re close enough to read the badge.
Unsurprisingly, today’s size-medium Mercedes is larger than before, with a considerable 2.6 inches added between the axles and 1.7 inches of length added overall. Height and width are each down by fractions of an inch, while the wheel sizes are up to 19 and 20 inches in diameter. The E-class will be offered once again in Luxury and Sport flavors, the latter getting a two-bar grille and no hood ornament instead of the traditional chrome grille and stand-up three-pointed star, as well as more aggressive fascias.
Naturally, the E-class has stepped up its game inside, as well. The heightened sense of occasion is conveyed by the intricate upholstery patterns, metallic accents galore, and LED ambient lighting in 64 available colors. The sweeping upper dashboard mirrors the design of the S-class, which horizontally joins two displays under a single glass panel. All E-class models will get at least one 12.3-inch high-resolution screen for use by the COMAND infotainment system; higher-spec models utilize a second large screen for the instruments, while base models get conventional round gauges tucked behind a smooth glass pane. Dramatic, full-width wood veneers span the dash and continue onto the door panels, while below the four circular air vents is a curvaceous center console à la C-class.
Mercedes did not provide a comprehensive list of standard and optional features, but it’s safe to say that the 2017 E-class will offer no shortage of optional spoils beyond the 23-speaker Burmester sound system, heated armrests, and dramatic color schemes we already know about. One interesting standard feature is a newly designed steering wheel that uses small, touch-sensitive control pads on the upper spokes with horizontal and vertical swipe functionality, like thumb-sized smartphones.