• The 2021 Mercedes E-Class Has an "Electrifying" New Design

    2021 Mercedes E-Class
  • It Builds on 2016’s Algorithm to make things even better
  • Now sporting CLS-inspired design cues
  • The E-Class looks better than ever
  • The front end gets a revised grille
  • And the rear end is now sleeker thanks to new taillights
  • There are even three new exterior colors
  • High-Tech Silver, Mojave Silver, and Graphite Grey Metallic
  • The interior is draped in new materials
  • And you can now have the MBUX infotainment system
  • The standard arrangement includes two 10.25-inch screens But you can opt for dual 12.3-inch screens
  • There are a total of seven hybrid drivetrains available
  • And there’s a new inline-six cylinder engine too
  • Gasoline engines will offer up between 154 and 362 horsepower
  • While the diesel lineup will range from 160 to 330 horsepower
  • Those offered as mild hybrids will see a bump of 20 HP and 133 pound-feet of torque
  • A nine-speed automatic transmission is the sole offering across the lineup

Merc’s premium midsize sedan arrives with revised looks, new tech, and mild hybrid power

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When Mercedes-Benz introduced the W213-generation E-Class back in 2016, it created a revolution in the midsize executive segment. It brought many safety innovations to the market and it took the S-Class’ semi-autonomous driving capability to a new level with nine all-new assistance systems.

Come 2020 and the E-Class went through a mid-cycle facelift that makes it even better. Now sporting design cues from the hot CLS, the E-Class also comes with Merc’s latest MBUX infotainment system and new features. Power comes from updated diesel and gasoline engines, hybrid options, and a brand-new 3.0-liter inline-six.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class looks fresh

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Granted, this facelift isn't a massive departure from the outgoing model, but it looks quite fresh thanks to a few clever changes.

Up front we can see new headlamps that are a tad thinner, disposed horizontally like on the GLE SUV, and no longer connected to the grille. Mild revisions were brought to the bumper round out the front fascia. The profile is pretty much the same, which isn’t surprising for a facelift. The rear fascia isn’t radically different either, but the new taillights are a dramatic change. These lights are inspired by the CLS, so they’re narrower toward the license place recess and wider toward the fenders.

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Overall, the E-Class looks a bit sportier than before, but it also retains the elegance of its predecessor. The sedan also features new wheel designs and three extra exterior colors, including High-Tech Silver, Mojave Silver, and Graphite Grey Metallic. Seems like someone’s running out of ideas...

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class interior carries over with new materials and tech

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You can’t really expect the interior to change too much with a facelift, but Mercedes-Benz usually adds new materials and tech. And it’s exactly what it did with the E-Class, which comes with a choice of new upholstery colors. You can now pick from Magma Grey/Neva Grey, Black/Nut Brown, and Magma Grey/Macchiato Beige. There’s also trim in either silver ash wood, burr walnut fondant, brushed aluminum, or aluminum with carbon grain.

Access to the infotainment system and instrument cluster is made through a pair of bonded 10.25-inch displays as standard, but you can opt for the larger 12.3-inch screens if you pay extra or go with a more expensive trim. The Interior Assistant is now standard. The layout remains the same, so you’ll enjoy similar comfort and passenger space.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class boasts new driving assist features

The 2021 Mercedes E-Class Has an "Electrifying" New Design Interior
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The E-Class set a new benchmark in the safety and driving assist departments back in 2016, but this facelift takes things up a notch. The list of new and updated features is quite extensive and includes the following:

  • New steering wheel with capacitive hands-off detection
  • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adjustment
  • Active Stop-and-Go Assist
  • Active Steering Assist
  • Active Brake Assist; in the Driving Assistance Package now also with turning maneuver function
  • Active Blind Spot Assist – now also with exit warning
  • Parking Package in conjunction with 360° camera: newly expanded side view and for the first time automatic parking not only in parallel and end-on parking spaces, but also on marked areas

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers seven hybrids and new inline-six engine

The 2021 Mercedes E-Class Has an "Electrifying" New Design Exterior
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Making its debut in the E-Class is the M256 gasoline engine.

Arguably the biggest news is that you can pick from seven different hybrid models with the E-Class sedan, wagon, and all-road model. Mercedes also offers varied gasoline and diesel options, as well as a brand-new inline-six powerplant.

The gasoline lineup includes a familiar selection of four- and six-cylinder engines, with output ranging from 154 to 362 horsepower.

If you’re a fan of oil burners, you can again choose between four- and six-cylinder mills, this time rated from 160 to 330 horses.

As for mild hybrids, there’s a four-cylinder gas mill with a new starter-generator that produces an extra 20 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque compared to the old model. It also features an on-board 48-volt system that recovers energy so you can coast with the engine turned off.

The 2021 Mercedes E-Class Has an "Electrifying" New Design Exterior
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Making its debut in the E-Class is the M256 gasoline engine. A 3.0-liter inline-six engine, it’s also fitted with a starter-generator. This engine was first introduced in the S-Class back in 2017 and it’s also offered in the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe and the GLE SUV. The mill is also shared with CLS and can be found in the outgoing Mercedes-AMG E53, but it’s the first time when Mercedes offers it in a non-AMG E-Class model.

All engines mate to a nine-speed transmission, which has been upgraded for the new starter-generator system.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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