By on January 10, 2016

Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse Limousine (W 213) 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Cl

When you consider the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will spawn nearly a baker’s dozen variants in its time — coupes, performance models, wagons (please?) — the donor sedan can end up less thrilling than white bread. The remedy for this, like anything else in life, is to put a screen on it.

Fussy child? Screen. Long flight? Screen. Mid-size luxury sedan? You guessed it.

In addition to sporting the much hyped configurable screen setup from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will sport two fewer cylinders (to start) and a longer list of semi-autonomous driving features that won’t be available in the U.S. to start.

What we will see later this year is a base E300 powered by a turbocharged four cylinder that makes 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, pumped through Mercedes’ new nine-speed automatic transmission. The base E300 is down 61 horsepower from this year’s naturally aspirated V-6 in the E350, which may return in all-wheel drive form later. That may not matter, though, depending on how much weight Daimler has stripped out of its executive saloon (they didn’t reveal those details)

We already know that the twin-turbo V-6 in the E400 will be the tops of the range without affixing AMG to the E-Class — so don’t hold your breath for a V-8. Maybe the new E-Class plug-in hybrid will turn your crank instead?

Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse Limousine (W 213) 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Cl

Although the outward appearance of the new E-Class is distinct and noticeable from last generation, the car’s interior received the most attention. Standard for the E300 is a panoramic 12.3-inch display that rivals the computer screen that yours truly used to hammer out this story. The large screen is controlled by a trackpad a la C-Series and S-Series, but also responds to steering wheel-mounted, swipeable inputs.

According to Mercedes, the wheelbase for the new E-Class has been stretched 2 full inches, although overall length has only grown 1.7 inches. It’s unclear if rear passengers will see the fruits of the Merc’s longer chassis, so we’ll have to wait when the cars finally arrive this summer.

Mercedes hasn’t yet announced pricing for the E-Class, but it’s clear that the current models asking price of more than $53,000 to start won’t budge.

Sometime after launch, Mercedes says it’ll introduce in the U.S for the first time the ability to autonomously change lanes in the new E-Class, park the car without the driver, and some car-to-road communication wizardry. Before we get those features however, the new E-Class will sport the same tech found in the S-Class: Distance Pilot DISTRONIC, which can follow a car ahead of it up to 130 mph; Steering Pilot, which can read and follow clearly marked roads up to 130 mph; and Active Brake Assist.

Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse Limousine (W 213) 2016Mercedes-Benz E-Cl

From the outside, the new E-Class sports a similar appearance to the C-Class, albeit longer and wider. Two different grille configurations for base and sport versions of the sedan have been carried over from the current generation, and there will be a diesel version of the sedan. Whether that diesel will be available in the U.S. is currently open for debate.

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20 Comments on “NAIAS 2016: 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the Base, But Far from Basic...”

  • avatar

    Drooling over that interior oh my god.

    • 0 avatar

      Burmester audio – I’m better thats not the 4 cyl. base model.

      I’m also of the opinion that’s the concept model of sorts. The quilted seats and guitar neck piano black motif wont make it to production?

      • 0 avatar

        …bundled with $7800 of other options.

      • 0 avatar

        These are pretty much final specification shots, so we can expect to see trim options that enable a buyer to order up to pretty much this level. They also already offer that wood pattern in the S class.

        The second interior shot does appear to be a base model has it has the traditional, not virtual, cockipit. To be honest, I’ve seen more base model C classes equipped with the Burmeister system than without. Even when they lack the multimedia, sunroof, sport or luxury packages.

  • avatar

    So first they went to war on visibility and the proles cheered. Then it was front bumpers, because the facia needs to be at least 60% grille right? The proles will cheer again because yes I want the face of my 60K luxury car to be a beluga whale.

    How about next we delete the wheels completely guys. Maybe Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru will let you take the T-16 out for a spin and you can get to work on that whole anti-grav thing for neat year’s show?

    “The base E300 is down 61 horsepower from this year’s naturally aspirated V-6 in the E350, which may return in all-wheel drive form later.”

    Oh and thanks for that btw. If you like your 61hp you can keep your 61hp. Wait…

  • avatar

    $53,000 for a 241hp 4-cylinder 2-ton car?

    No, thanks.

    • 0 avatar

      But surely the Mercedes marketing guy with the Germanic accent who says that they do great things with 4 cyls turbos these days and it totally matches the v6 harmonics and you get 34mpg hwy mixed with the dulcet tones of the classic W123 300D sedan…

    • 0 avatar

      I hate it too but unfortunately that’s the way the world works. Starting prices these days:

      Audi A6 2.0t: $46,200-$49,900 to start
      Audi A6 3.0: $57,400
      BMW 528i: $50,200
      BMW 535i: $55,850
      Cadillac CTS 2.0t Luxury: $51,270
      Cadillac CTS 3.6 Luxury: $52,970
      Cadillac CT6 2.0 base: $53,495
      Cadillac CT6 3.6 AWD base: $55,495

      Volvo will soon be all 4 cylinder.

      Lexus is the lone hold out. The GS200t starts at $45,615 and the GS350 right at $50k.

      Of course, you could always go to Chrysler.
      A loaded up 300C Platinum comes out to just over $50k and has both a powertrain (Hemi V8!) and interior (Chrysler is doing some amazing things with leather these days) to embarrass the others. Also, a Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Ultimate starts at $53,850. Of course, you’ll have explaining in either case to the badge snobs next door, in the car pool lane, at the office, at the kids soccer game, etc even though you bought the better car. the amusing part of this whole game is that the same people probably wouldn’t look twice at a Suburban or F150 Platinum, even though they are just as, if not more expensive, and are entry level brands. People are stupid these days. End rant.

  • avatar

    The autonomous driving features are genuinely cool. And honestly useful, to boot. Wonder if they have extended the time before you need to grab controls over the S and Tesla, or if there is some gentleman’s agreement in place to not make that a competitive selling point.

    Aside from that, even for the same money, I’d take a manual Accord or Mazda 6 stripper any day. The new Benzes are “better”, but only in areas where even more plebian cars are now within 95% of state of the art. Heck, even a rough and tumble Testosterone Boy FiST is smooth, quiet and composed enough not to call attention to itself all the way up to 120mph on long road trips. While a manual will always remain a greater than 5% improvement over a even a theoretically ideal slushbox.

  • avatar

    The exterior is rather bland and only “Medium Mercedes” now instead of the distinctive, upright shape of the outgoing car, but dat interior tho. Major credit to Mercedes for making an E that’s as nice as an Audi A8 or BMW 7.

    I suspect that the next generation CLS will be an absolute stunner. Game over A7, game over 6 Grande Coupe. Clean up, go home.

  • avatar

    Can we see a return of the oil burning wagon please , pretty please.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Too many mixed materials, colors, textures – especially in piano trim with 50’s chrome strips format.

    Don’t forget the stainless speaker covers.
    And the quilted leather.
    And two-tone seats.
    And white steering wheel, which will look great for a year.

  • avatar

    Interior is almost perfect. But I wish the area around the speedo was a bit better integrated.

    Mercedes are making some very nice cars. From where I’m standing I’d buy a Mercedes if interior design was top of my list. But it’s not, performance and handling matter the most to me and that’s why I’d go for a Jaguar these day’s. Interestingly BMW are not winning at interiors or performance these days….

  • avatar

    Two many doors. Boring!

  • avatar

    It looks interesting, definitely a few retro cues. The striped piano black/stainless combo is a bit much for me, but I can see a target audience to which it would appeal. The look is attractive, I personally prefer something a little more subdued.

    With the full LCD gauges, are they visible with polarized sunglasses on? I have trouble viewing the screens in my current cars, but they are only for Audio/HVAC (and iDrive). Have they overcome this? My thought had been that OLED would be the solution, but it appears LCD is becoming more prevalent.

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