The E-Class has always stood as Mercedes-Benz’s upper-middle-manager’s car, slotting above the apprentice CLA-Class and managerial C-Class and below the boss-man’s S-Class. It’s also traditionally offered one of the widest arrays of body configurations in the segment—two-door coupe and cabriolet, sedan, and wagon.
The E300 sedan’s base engine is a 241-hp/273-lb-ft 2.0-liter turbo-four and the forthcoming E43 AMG sedan will get a 396-hp/384-lb-ft 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6. E400 coupes, cabriolets, and the upcoming wagon get a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 tuned to 329 hp and 354 lb-ft. The E550 coupe gets a 402-hp/443-lb-ft 4.7-liter bi-turbo V-8. An E350e plug-in hybrid could pair the 2.0-liter turbo with a powerful electric motor for 286 total system horsepower if it gets the green-light for a 2021 calendar-year release, but the future of a potential diesel model is less certain.
An E63 AMG model will likely appear late next year with the brand’s 4.0-liter, bi-turbo V-8. Expect the coupe and cabrio to migrate to newer architecture in a year or so. Sedans and coupes can be had with rear- or all-wheel-drive; the wagon is 4Matic AWD only. The sedans and wagons get nine-speed automatics, but the coupes and convertibles make do with seven speeds.
Mercedes-Benz refers to the E-Class as the most technically advanced vehicle in its portfolio, thanks to its full suite of Drive Pilot technologies. There’s adaptive cruise control plus Steering Pilot to help keep the car centered in its lane. Active Lane-Change Assist helps negotiate a signaled lane-change. Active Brake Assist adds cross-traffic alerting and Evasive Steering Assist senses when the driver is avoiding an obstacle and provides steering torque to assist. The new E-Class architecture is even prepared for Car-to-X (infrastructure or other cars) communications. No crash-test results are available yet, but you can expect the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class to ace the tests just as the 2016 mostly did.