2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

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2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Overview

The fifth-generation (W213) Mercedes-Benz E-Class only just debuted for 2017, but 2018 still brings exciting news in the form of new advanced safety features and several new trims—an E-Class Coupe and a tire-shredding E 63 S AMG model available in both sedan and station-wagon body styles. The attractive coupe variant boasts considerably larger dimensions compared to its predecessor, while the E 63 S AMG is the most powerful E-Class road car of all time. The ever-popular E-Class range now runs the gamut of coupe, cabriolet, sedan, and wagon body styles.

The base E-Class trim, the E 300, comes with a turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and is available with rear-wheel drive (RWD) or Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive (AWD) platform. The E 400 trim gets a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 good for 329 hp and 354 lb-ft and is also available with RWD or 4Matic. The 4Matic-only E 43 AMG trim receives a similar twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 with a greater output of 396 hp and 384 lb-ft. The new top-level E 63 AMG S trim, meanwhile, is in an entirely different league. Offered exclusively with 4Matic, this model features a handcrafted twin-turbo 4.0-liter AMG V8 that makes a staggering 603 hp and 627 lb-ft. The sedan version will reach 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, while the wagon takes just a tenth of a second longer. All E-Class models receive a 9-speed automatic transmission, although E 63 AMG S trims feature a more robust AMG Speedshift transmission. So far, the new E-Class Coupe is only available in the E 400 trim level with the 329-hp V6 and a choice of RWD or 4Matic. The RWD model boasts a 0-to-60 time of 5.2 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph, while the 4Matic variant will hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.

The E-Class E 400 Coupe features a lowered coil spring suspension with selective damping, although Air Body Control suspension with all-round roll/pitch/heave stabilization is available. The E 63 AMG S variant, meanwhile, comes with an AMG sport suspension and AMG Dynamic Select with Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race, and Individual driving modes. It also boasts an AMG 4Matic system with variable torque distribution, an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential, and dynamic engine mounts, with ceramic composite brakes available as an option. The sedan version gets an AMG Track Pace app for iPhone users with vehicle data and other telemetry features useful for days at the track.

On the interior, 2-door E-Class models receive a 12.3-inch display screen with navigation, ambient lighting, and power front seats with memory settings. Options include a digital instrument cluster, a head-up display, wireless device charging, and massaging multi-contour front seats. The new E 400 Coupe displays unique air vents, which Mercedes claims were visually inspired by turbine engines, and it features a few special interior trim options such as high-gloss and open-pore wood. Mercedes boasts that the E-Class Coupe is considerably bigger than its predecessor, making for extra room for both front and rear passengers.

Mercedes-Benz has been an industry leader in safety technology for decades, and the E-Class is always an early adopter of cutting-edge safety features. An available Active Distance Assist Distronic system will keep the vehicle at a consistent, safe following distance at speeds of up to 130 mph, and the optional Evasive Steering Assist system adds steering torque to aid the driver during evasive maneuvering. The standard Active Brake Assist system offers optional rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking, and the available Active Lane-Change Assist system can automatically change lanes if the way is clear.

In addition to the usual rivals from BMW and Audi, the E-Class now faces relatively stiff competition from the Cadillac CTS, Volvo S90, and Jaguar XF. But it’s still a top choice in terms of features and technology as well as fit and finish, and this year Mercedes-Benz expands the E-Class range even further in its seemingly ongoing quest to offer a premium luxury vehicle in every possible flavor. The E 63 S AMG wagon is a particularly pleasant surprise for the small but vocal number of enthusiasts who’ve been bemoaning the lack of fast wagons in the U.S. market for years.

Updated

Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.

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