The outgoing W213 E-Class introduced all kinds of tech when it debuted in 2016, and the new sixth-gen W214 follows suit in a major way. That's the takeaway for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which combines an evolutionary exterior design and carryover engines with a revolutionary interior filled with screens and cameras – up to five depending on selected options.
For North America, Mercedes offers two trim levels at launch: The E 350 and E 450. Size-wise, it's just under one inch longer with a half-inch longer wheelbase. This translates to a quarter-inch more headroom, a half-inch more legroom in the back, and elbow width is nearly equal to the S-Class. Both trims are available with the 4MATIC AWD powertrain, both use an upgraded version of the 9-speed automatic transmission, and depending on the trim, you'll find familiar four-cylinder or inline-six power under the hood. We'll discuss more on the mechanicals later, because the big news here is what's happening inside.
Lights, Camera, Action
You may already know much of what we're about to present. Mercedes took the odd step of debuting the new E-Class interior back in February, complete with photos and a modest list of features. To refresh your memory, the MBUX Superscreen is in full effect regardless of the E-Class trim level you choose. It's very similar to the standard layout found in the EQE, featuring a stand-alone driver display with the broad screen blending into the center display. Two display styles are offered: Sporty is predictably intended for driving enthusiasts with lots of red lighting and a central tachometer, while Classic is, um, classic.
For those who choose the optional MBUX Premium Plus package, a passenger screen is included. It's hooked up to sensors in the passenger seat and thus only activates if someone is sitting there. The screen is designed to allow passengers full view while blocking it from the driver, ensuring there's no added distraction while traveling.
Speaking of distractions, we mentioned up to five cameras for the E-Class interior. Only one is standard – a mono camera that monitors the driver to ensure eyes are on the road. A stereo camera arrangement adds another driver monitor to the instrument display to help with advanced driver-assist systems, while a gesture camera in the overhead control panel is part of the MBUX Interior Assistant feature. Two RGB cameras are also available, one being a dash cam and the other being the aforementioned selfie cam. Yes, it's a real thing that Mercedes says can be used for Zoom meetings while on the road. Or rather, parked safely off the road.
There's also an optional 3D driver display that employs a stereoscopic effect. Basically, the left and right eyes see different pixels on the screen, giving a sense of depth just like those weird stereoscopic photos you have to cross your eyes to look at. And then there's the optional Active Ambient Lighting feature that allows the soft interior LED lights to sync with music bumping on the Burmester sound system. So yeah, there's a lot happening here.
TikTok And AI
Mercedes says the new E-Class is more about software than hardware, and to make that live for you, the sedan runs a new single computer system that, among other things, brings added compatibility for third-party apps. At launch, buyers can have entertainment apps like the game Angry Birds, videoconferencing apps like Webex or Zoom, or search the web through the Vivaldi browser. And yes, the video platform TikTok is included for when you need to see a funny video, or upload something wild to your followers. And this is all in addition to vehicle-related functions like climate control, seat position, mirrors, performance, and navigation.
To help drivers cope with all the E-Class features, Mercedes has upgraded its voice command system. When just one person is in the car, the keyword "Hey Mercedes" is no longer needed to start a command. Additionally, the E-Class uses an advanced AI system that will learn driver routines over time and automatically implement them. E-Class owners can also use pre-installed routines or create new ones, ranging from specific climate settings to lighting preferences and more.
Life On The Outside
With so much tech on the inside, one might forget this is actually a car. The familiar cab-rearward shape of the E-Class endures, though you'll find EQ influence at the front with the gloss black panel connecting standard LED headlights. A slightly larger grille sits in the middle, outlined either in chrome or optional LED running lights. Also optional are digital lights with a projection function, and at the rear, neat LED taillights contain three-pointed star elements. Flush door handles are standard, and wheel sizes range from 18 to 21 inches.
Underneath, The E-Class gains optional rear steering that can turn the wheels up to 4.5 degrees at speeds below 37 mph. Mercedes says this is good enough to chop nearly three feet of the sedan's turning circle. At higher speeds, the rear wheels can turn up to 2.5 degrees for added stability, maneuverability, and performance. It's available with the optional Technology package that also adds the Airmatic air suspension system with continually adjustable damping. It also keeps the car level, and at speeds above 74 mph, it lowers the E-Class by just over half an inch for better efficiency and a lower center of gravity.
Mild Hybrid Power
Under the hood, you'll find (almost) the same engines used for the outgoing E-Class. The E 350 still has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, though it gains a small electric motor to become a mild hybrid. Power is rated at 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, though an extra 20 hp is available with a boost function. The E 450's turbo I6 is still a mild hybrid system, though power is up to 375 hp. The six-pot generates 369 lb-ft of torque, and like the four-cylinder, a 20-hp boost is available. Mercedes-Benz doesn't have performance or efficiency ratings available yet, and for now, there is no plug-in hybrid trim in the States.
Pricing And Availability
Similarly, there's no pricing info for the new E-Class, nor is there a specific on-sale date. Production will commence later this year at the automaker's Sindelfingen plant as well as Bejing.