Meet the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The facelifted saloon – originally scheduled to debut at the Geneva Motor Show, before that was cancelled – makes its online debut today. And not only does the updated E-Class sport a new look, but it also gets fresh tech, more modern safety equipment, and three unique trim levels for the 2021 model year.
Joining the 2021 E-Class range is the E350e plug-in hybrid model, along with a refreshed E53 performance model, as well as the rugged All-Terrain estate. All three of these iterations will make their way to market by the end of the year, each one with a little something different.
The most obvious update to the 2021 E-Class range is the new front clip. The saloon's headlights are slimmer with sleeker full LEDs (standard on all trims), and a new grille that slopes downward; the E53 model (pictured below) gets more definitive vertical grille slats than on the previous model. The rear end is new, too, with a distinctive shape and updated light fixtures that mimic those on the smaller A-Class and CLA saloons. Buyers can now pick from three new paint jobs, too: Graphite Grey, Mojave Silver, and Cirrus Silver.
Open the door and the 2021 E-Class sports a new MBUX infotainment display with a 12.3-inch central touchscreen and a corresponding 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. There's also a new touchpad in the centre console (the same one you'll find on other, newer Mercedes-Benz products), and fresh upholstery options on every trim.
The E-Class also adopts Mercedes-Benz's latest active safety equipment. Equipment like a new steering wheel with hands-off detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, active steering assist, automatic emergency braking, active blind-spot assist, and a 360-degree camera with a newly expanded side view monitor make their way to the E-Class for the first time.
As far as engines go, the E450 model drops its old twin-turbo V6 for Benz's latest turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine with EQ Boost. Power stays put at 362 bhp (269 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-metres), as it does in the E53 AMG. With the same inline-six, the E53 AMG produces 429 bhp (320 kW) and 384 lb-ft (520 Nm) as it did last year. The base E350 rear-wheel-drive and E350 4Matic models, meanwhile, use a turbocharged inline-four engine good for 255 bhp (190 kW) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm).
And for the first time, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets a plug-in hybrid option. Dubbed the E350e (confusing), the electrified E-Class pairs a 2.0-litre inline-four engine with a 90-kilowatt-hour electric motor. Total output for the powertrain is 315 combined bhp (234 kW) and 516 lb-ft (700 Nm) of torque, but the electric motor on its own is capable of 121 bhp (90 kW) and 325 lb-ft (440 Nm).
Neither the updated E-Class saloon nor the rugged All-Terrain model have prices yet. Expect more details as the facelifted range makes its way closer to market launch later in 2020.