By on January 21, 2009

Mercedes recently unveiled its new E-Class, much to the displeasure of eyes around the world. Still, the midrange Benz is all but guaranteed relative success in markets like the U.S. and Germany, thanks to high-powered lawyers and taxi drivers, respectively. The German-market car shown here is an E350 CGI, which refers to the direct injection that gives the car 292 hp. I believe that’s coming to the U.S. when the car debuts in place of the existing 268 hp V6.

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62 Comments on “New Mercedes E-Class In Real World...”


  • avatar
    Brian E

    What? It seriously looks like this? Did Mercedes decide they liked the ’09 bucktooth Acura RL enough to slap their grille, a bad case of four-eyes, and some nondescript taillamps on it?

    Why is the midsize luxury market rapidly turning into a race to the bottom?

  • avatar
    elloh7

    Hey, the front end on this looks better than anything they ever let out the barn door with those nasty round/oval shaped headlamps from a few years ago. Talk about gagging me with the spoon just used to gouge out my eyeballs..

    If you’re gonna do ugly round headlamps, you gotta do ‘em right, i.e., rest of the car better be just as ugly. (see 02-03 wrx)

  • avatar
    ca36gtp

    Wow, this really isn’t a looker, is it?

    For the rear end, it looks like the designer lost interest and just decided to copy some generic early 2000s draft sketches.

  • avatar
    Deepsouth

    Looks just like the new Hyundai Genesis. Except for that tacky hood Ornament.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    I like all of it but the Hyund-lights in the rear.

  • avatar
    tom

    I don’t know what’s the problem with this. I really like it.

  • avatar

    Looks just like the new Hyundai Genesis. Except for that tacky hood Ornament.

    Exactly what I thought!

    John

  • avatar
    wsn

    Half-baked and shameless imitation of the Lexus GS. This one gets a C+ at most, if the GS were to get an A.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    wsn: C+ from you, that is!

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    I would like to point out that Dieter Zetsche wants to return Mercedes to its roots of ruggedness and overengineering, ending the beancounting that Mercedes started in the mid to late 90s. If you remember, the 70s and 80s Mercedes cars were never exactly lookers, they were just simple three box designs. People bought them for their ruggedness, reliability, and engineering. So, in other words, Dr. Z is trying to move Mercedes back to their roots, the current C-Class is the ultimate proof of that. Read TTAC’s review of it to get what I am talking about.

    Perhaps Dieter handled Chrysler like a buffoon, but he seems to know what he is doing when it comes to managing Mercedes. So lets hold our criticisms until we can test drive one, and if it is not a properly engineered, capable car, then you have the freedom to let loose on it.

  • avatar
    wgmleslie

    Tom:

    I don’t know what’s the problem with this. I really like it.

    Yes. I like the floating wing mirrors and the larger flanks on the rear wheel wells.

    That being said, I do not think that it is an inspired design, but certainly workmanlike.

  • avatar
    TEW

    Wow this is the second future vehicle that looks like the new Hyundai Genesis. If I were the Japanese and Germans I would be worried. The car looks good except for the goofy head lights. I like having the tacky hood ornament because it tells everyone how I have made it in life.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    This is way worse than the Genesis. It is a fast paced global world when a German car is a derivative mix of Japanese and Korean design features.

    And look at the goofy crease/bulge that was sloppily put in front of the rear wheel, is that some poor knock-off of the Continental GT fender bulge?

    The redundant logo at the top of the grille and hood ornament looks like something that an obnoxious owner would put on aftermarket to emphasize the fact that he owns a Mercedes.

    I used to think that all of the horrible Daimler driven Chrysler designs were the result of a misunderstanding of American consumers. However, with this following the riced S class apparently Daimler simply doesn’t know how to design a car anymore.

    Ok, the new C class does look pretty good. Maybe this is part of some crazy new German policy where the cheapest car looks the best, and then the cars get progressively uglier with price.

  • avatar
    kansei

    Wow, I saw the photo and thought surely this was a joke, and you were showing us a Chinese E-class knockoff –then I realized the Chinese are capable of better than that (as are the Germans of course).

    What a sad sad car. The current C-class is drop dead gorgeous inside and out, really a stunning design (ok the back isn’t the greatest). What gives??

  • avatar
    ZCline

    Amazing how far they’ve come when people are complaining that a new Mercedes looks too much like a Hyundai. Wait, is that a good thing or a bad thing, and for who?

  • avatar
    GSlinger

    Sure its a little bland looking, but just look at a list of the top selling cars. The fact of the matter is that high style, at least in the sedan segment, doesn’t sell.

    Recently, those few companies who have tried to push the sedan design envelope have failed miserably- look at the Bangle BMW 7 series, Acura’s new lineup, etc.

    Besides with the new Euro pedestrian impact rules, the whole front half of the car is designed more by EU nannies than by actual sylists.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    GSlinger :

    Recently, those few companies who have tried to push the sedan design envelope have failed miserably- look at the Bangle BMW 7 series, Acura’s new lineup, etc.

    Sorry to nit pick, but my understanding is that the Bangle 7-Series is the best selling 7-series in history.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    It looks better than the current model, which isn’t hard. And it borrows more styling cues from the current S Class which can’t hurt. But it does strike me funny that so many recent German uber-mobils look vaguely Japanese or even Korean.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    Berkowitz: and the mid-cycle update outsold the 2002 version.

  • avatar
    lawmonkey

    I really think the angle pictured above in the main picture is the weakest one – the head-on and butt-on pictures look quite good. I think the reflections, color, and lighting make it look quite sad in the main picture.

  • avatar
    carguy622

    Overall it’s nice. The rear is very last generation Lexus LS to me. What bothers me most though are the strange lights on the lower bumper floating in a sea of black plastic. They are just a little too precious.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    The strange punchline to this car is that the best looking competitor is made by Audi (A6) and then a distant second is Toyota (Lexus GS).

    Seriously, what has happened to the design mojo of MB and BMW? The 5-series and this car are just stupid ugly.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    # JK43123 :
    January 21st, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Looks just like the new Hyundai Genesis. Except for that tacky hood Ornament.

    Exactly what I thought!

    John

    Me too!

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    They should have stuck with the classic round headlites. Ever since those, the cars have all looked rather plain.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    The E-Class is their most conservative model. The C-Class sells to the nouveau riche, the CLS-Class to the richer nouveau riche, and the S-Class to the bigwigs who always have the best. The E-Class is for the old money.

  • avatar
    AGR

    If styling and design sells cars. Will it sell this car?

  • avatar
    Strippo

    Is Mercedes really necessary?

  • avatar
    tom

    Yeah, you know, with so many cars out there in human history, you’ll always find some cues that remind you of other cars…what’s important in that environment is to be true to your origins. And this cas is true to it’s origins.

    The W210 is clearly the inspiration for the tail lights. The front end is a mixture between the W210 and the W124.

    All in all, it’s clearly a Mercedes. And a good one at that. Much better than the last E-Class that really looked Asian with its round shapes.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I have to disagree with virtually everyone here.

    Pictures seldom do justice to a vehicle. The last generation 300ZX would look almost like a blimp of you focused on the driver’s front quarter panel on back. Yet it would seem far more slim and lean if you took the pic either straight on or a perfect side.

    I really do enjoy the design and execution of the C-Class… so I’ll bide my time until I get to see the E-Class in the flesh.

  • avatar
    cynder

    From my standpoint, it’s a solid design but it’s not a knock-out either. The design trends are spot on and well proportioned but there are a couple areas I have trouble with, both at the rear.
    The first area is the “bubble fender” at the rear wheels. It’s just unflattering but not horrible either.
    The second area is the tail lights. Well proportioned but the style is second-rate. Audi and Lincoln are producing more visually striking designs.

  • avatar
    snafu

    yes that back end screems Hyundai. The tail lamps are the tail lamps

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    Nothing wrong with this car except for the black wheels, or are they just dirty?

  • avatar
    ARacer

    As long as a Benz is a status symbol people will but them no matter what they look like. It’s not about what the car looks like. It’s about what people think they look like by owning the car.

  • avatar
    Dirlotron

    I don’t think the conservative styling will be a problem. My grandfather bought an E-Class. He said: “It’s the last car i’ll buy, so i wanted to have a big and comfortable one.” His opinion on the BMW 5 Series: “Crazy.”

    He has never heard of a big Hyundai, and he doesn’t know what Lexus is.

    Personally, i think that it’s looking pretty good for a car that’s designed to attract “conservative” buyers.

  • avatar
    HWO91

    Runfromcheney :

    I would like to point out that Dieter Zetsche wants to return Mercedes to its roots of ruggedness and overengineering, ending the beancounting that Mercedes started in the mid to late 90s. If you remember, the 70s and 80s Mercedes cars were never exactly lookers, they were just simple three box designs. People bought them for their ruggedness, reliability, and engineering. So, in other words, Dr. Z is trying to move Mercedes back to their roots, the current C-Class is the ultimate proof of that. Read TTAC’s review of it to get what I am talking about.

    Perhaps Dieter handled Chrysler like a buffoon, but he seems to know what he is doing when it comes to managing Mercedes. So lets hold our criticisms until we can test drive one, and if it is not a properly engineered, capable car, then you have the freedom to let loose on it.

    I agree. I myself am a pretty loyal Mercedes fan but I must admit I had my doubts about the cars design. I never understood why but I both like the design for it’s simplicity but loathe it for the bland-ness.

    What RunFromCheney is saying makes alot of sense I think. I drive a 1991 MBZ 300E that’s now pushing 320,000 miles. It’s not the sexiest thing on the road but it performs well and isn’t even close to dying yet. If Zietsche really is trying to return the brand to it’s roots, the bland styling of the new car certainly makes sense if it’s well put together.

    The point of cars like this was never to make a statement with striking design, but to make a car that will last forever with a basic design that can never go out of style because it never was in style, it just was.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    Just FYI, I think Stephan should be exempt from the “no flaming” rule. When he puts me down I just want to change his Depends in gratitude. Bless his heart.

  • avatar
    Galaxy Flyer

    Can they bring back Sacco back? I’m a loyal MBZ fan too, but they lost they when they dropped the motto, “engineered like no other car in the world”. Since then, mostly status symbols that have tried to fill every market shamelessly dissipating one of the great brands in the car world. It is funny to tell Americans that in Germany, MBZ is a taxi cab.

    GF

  • avatar
    mtypex

    @ Strippo: answer is no. Not when you have Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, and even Maserati (Quattroporte) as competitive choices.

  • avatar

    I never imagined Mercedes Benz could make a car not as interesting as the Genesis.

    How did they FK this up?????

    The rear end looks like a sonata, the fog lights suck and its probably gonna cost so much that it won’t be worth the price.

    The Genesis V8 is probably the better buy.

  • avatar

    If people want a Benz, they are gonna buy a Benz. BMW drivers, Audi drivers and Lexus drivers are just as particular about their purchases.

    I personaly love the front end on this car – except for those silly fogs, and I want to buy it, but I’m having a hard time getting excited.

  • avatar
    Luther

    That is one Baden-Baden Mercedes :)

    Have to see it in person…Wish I could get it here in a 5-speed stick.

  • avatar
    tom

    @Luther:

    BB = Böblingen, not Baden-Baden. That’s the district where Sindelfingen is, Mercedes’ main production plant.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    *sigh* I miss the late 90s early 00s…the C5 Audi and E39 BMW were the best looking sedans we will see in a long time. The W124 was the last really classy looking Mercedes…the W204 is ok looking with the sport grill I guess. AMG black does not count :)

  • avatar
    MagMax

    What happened to those Mercedes of the past that didn’t look like any other car? Now they all look Japanese, gratuitous bulges notwithstanding. If it weren’t for the star on the hood, the cars could be anything. This new E class leaves me cold. I’m sure it will be a good car, with incredible safety built in, but it doesn’t really look like a luxury car. The new E-class is important to me because I’ll need to get a new car next December when my current lease expires.

    I’m driving an 04 E500 4-Matic that I like very much, as much for its styling as for its inherent quality and I’m in a quandary about what to replace it with. I don’t really like the styling this new E class; it looks even more generic than the current C class with its obligatory rising crease across the doors just like a Honda Accord. If I were going to buy a car that looked like a Genesis I’d buy a Genesis, and it’s high on my list. So’s the Avalon, for its comfort and cushy ride, something Mercedes used to excel in but not any more, at least not outside of the S class. (In Canada all E-class models get the hard-riding sport suspension with very low profile tires whether we want them or not.) I’m also considering the Maxima and I’ve recently decided to check out the Lexus LS460 AWD.

    In Canada the new M-B E350 will cost over $75,000 and there are lots of good cars out there for much less, even with Mercedes Benz’s highly subvented leases. So maybe the thing to do will be to order one of the last of the current E class and drive it for the next 3-5 years. As an incentive, the 09 versions of the E class in Canada are all fully equipped to Avant Garde specs, with no options available, but at no increase in price over the un-optioned 08 models. But for the price of one E550 I could buy one V6 + one V8 Genesis.

    Max

  • avatar
    V6

    i dont think it looks anything like the Genesis.

    the AMG Sport Package makes it look much better, but it still looks old and frumpy compared with the A6/XF/GS and there’s a new 5-Series just around the corner. the GS is getting on a bit too

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @mtypex :
    The E-Class is for the old money.

    The E-Class is for taxi drivers, fleets and cops first. That’s their biggest market, that’s where they really move the metal.
    That’s why they put a lot of money into the new twin-turbo 4-cylinder diesels and none into redesigning the V8s.

    Galaxy Flyer :
    Can they bring back Sacco back?

    Forget Sacco. Paul Bracq still lives.

  • avatar
    Luther

    “BB = Böblingen, not Baden-Baden”

    Doh….

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @Luther :
    Have to see it in person…Wish I could get it here in a 5-speed stick.

    Even in Europe you could only get 6-speed sticks… but you could screw a 5-speed knob on the 6-speed shifter and never use 6th?

  • avatar
    kericf

    It looks like the offspring of a Honda Accord and Hyundai Genesis.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    Chevrolet Equinox/Chrysler PT Cruiser hood cut line: check.

    Hideous spray-painted black wheels (is this really a production car): check.

    Malformed headlamps that look for all the world like they’re on a development mule that hasn’t yet been stripped of camouflage: check.

    Awkward creases and cutlines in the fenders and doors that look utterly lost, forced, and tacked on solely for quick surface detail: check.

    This car exudes… rushed styling and cheapness. It looks hastily slapped together from an amalgam of parts. I don’t think it looks specifically like any other car, per se, but it looks so generic I can understand whay you’re all saying. The current E exudes class, in my opinion. This looks like a Chevrolet Cruze on steroids (unfortunately for GM’s coming compact, that isn’t a compliment). It looks cheap, underdeveloped, and lightweight. The chrome even looks like a VW-grade afterthought, thrown on a $30,000 top V6 trim level of a basic four-cylinder $19,000 family sedan.

    Horrible. This generation will sell on nameplate recognition alone, but will the next, barring a knockout styling success? Benz, get your act together.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    Wow, I take some of that back. After looking at the pictures for a bit, the greenhouse, rear sail panels, rear glass, and rear deck look literally copied off the 2002 Honda Accord. The fog lamps are the cheapest design touch I’ve seen in a while. It even has the current Impala’s rear fender swoosh line! Identical!

    Were it not for the wheel design (again, why are they so distressingly painted black??) and the badges, I would have absolutely no clue what nameplate produced this monstrosity.

  • avatar
    MMH

    Aside from the tail lights, I like the looks. The side lines, blackout wheels, and lack of unnecessary ports, vents, etc on the side kinda give it the look of a tactical knife.

  • avatar
    Jared

    I’ll shovel against the tide here. I like it. It is simple, conservative, and elegant. A bit bland? Perhaps. But bland is a lot better than an Acura TL, the oafish grills on Audis, the Bangle Butt on 7-Series, or the flame surfacing on 5-Series.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    @MMH
    It’s the best looking E-Class since the W124. I didn’t like the W210, and I always thought the W211 looked like a molten version of a proper car, ugliest Mercedes ever especially the interior.
    The W212 finally looks like a proper Mercedes again.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    As long as it has that three pointed star it will sell at least it always has……….

  • avatar
    tom

    Guys, also remember what your looking at. As you can see, it says “Werkswagen” on the trunk. This basically means “factory car”. Usually, no car in the Mercedes fleet has that emblem, only cars that are still being tested, mostly lightly disguised vehicles before they are officially presented to the public. This car is obviously not disguised, as it has been unveiled already. Still, they try to make it look as bland as possible, because it’s not available yet. That’s why it’s not shiny and why the rims are so awkwardly colored. I know that, because I used to live in Stuttgart and saw the evolution of Mercedes cars, from being heavily disguised, to being lightly disguised, to being “factory cars” until they’re in the showrooms.

    Especially in these last stages before you can buy the car you see lots of these “Werkswagen” (lightly disguised or undisguised). I guess it’s similar for most car manufacturers…Mercedes provides those cars to their employees for let’s say a weekend and pays the gas. The employees are then supposed to drive a lot in this car. That way, they can get a lot of mileage on the cars quickly under real world conditions and see how it does and if it needs some last minute tweaking.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I miss my W123…no denying THAT Panzer was anything BUT a Benz!

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    Actually, this looks like…

    “If Kia got a rebadge of the Genesis….”

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Two obvious dislikes…

    1. The rear-wheel arch crease is so last gen Chevy Malibu. Hated it on the ‘bu. And to see this element on a brand-new E-class? Even worse. (Even Chevy got rid of it, fercryinoutloud.)

    2. The hockey-stick shaped fog lamps. Wha?! I can’t find what that shape is supposed to echo or enhance anywhere on the grille…or the rest of the car for that matter.

    In addition, I can see where most everyone’s coming from as they claim the new E is stylistically derivative: Yep, there’s some Lexus GS, some Hyundai Genesis, and maybe even some attempts at Bangled creases and flame-surfacing.

    For now, I prefer the conservative, staid, confident design of the outgoing E. I also prefer Audi’s segment competitor, the A6. Billythebigmouthbass grille and all.

    Will the new E sell, though? Quite well, I’m afraid (economic meltdowns are for little people to endure). Will we eventually get used to its design? We’ll forget we even had this little e-conversation in short order.

    In the end, it is still a Benz. It’s not as if this is truly ugly, like say, a Porsche Panamera.

  • avatar
    Luther

    “Even in Europe you could only get 6-speed sticks… but you could screw a 5-speed knob on the 6-speed shifter and never use 6th?”

    I use 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th on my BMW 540…I rarely use 1st and I never use 5th…5-speeds are one too many :)

    If only I could get a manual tranny in a CLK in the USA….

  • avatar

    First of all, Jaguar competes with no one anymore. No style. No engineering. No balls. No sex. Jaguar sucks.

    The belt-line of this new E screams Accord/TL. What were they thinking?

    I don’t have a problem with the fogs. Unique and still classy. Works for me.

  • avatar
    rockit

    The Genesis styling is a ripoff of BMW, MB, and some Lexus. So those comparing this to the Genesis and saying Mercedes copied Hyundai don’t know what they’re talking about.


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