The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the latest in a long line of perennial top contenders among midsize luxury cars, keeps up the tradition of handsomely styled, smooth-riding, comfortable models loaded with upscale touches. Sophisticated and composed on the road, the E-Class delivers confident handling and, depending on configuration and options, can provide surprisingly spirited cornering, making it a suitable choice for a wide range of buyers.
The big news for 2017 is the completely redesigned E300 sedan. Sleeker and sportier than its predecessor, the new 10th-generation four-door features a 2.6-inch-longer wheelbase, a more aggressive front end, an elongated hood and a bobbed tail. Previously on the conservative side, it's now among the most stylish sedans in its class. Buyers can choose between a luxury version with a traditional Mercedes grille and the three-pointed star mounted on the hood or a sport model with the star centered in the grille.
The interior of the new E-Class sedan makes use of the longer wheelbase and provides front seat passengers with a bit of extra legroom. And although the backseat was never cramped, the new design increases rear seat room over that of the prior model, as well as much of the competition. As befitting a model in its luxury class, the E-Class cabin furnishes supremely comfortable seats and surrounds occupants with high-quality materials and wood and metal trim. Options include such high-end touches as a heated steering wheel and armrests and state-of-the-art sound systems.
Technology remains a strong suit for the midsize Mercedes. The updated infotainment system can be controlled by touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel and includes a wide-screen, high-resolution display. Standard Mercedes COMAND navigation, featuring 3-D graphics and maps, is managed by a touchpad mounted in the center console. And along with the new design comes a host of standard and optional advanced safety and driver assistance tech, such as Steering Pilot, which keeps the vehicle centered in its lane, and Parking Pilot, which searches for available spaces and automatically steers the car into them.
The only powertrain available in the sedan is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The E400 coupe and convertible ? unchanged for 2017 ? are powered by a 329-horsepower twin-turbo V6, and the carryover E550 models come with a 402-horsepower twin-turbo V8. Both the V6 and V8 are mated to a seven-speed transmission, and all models except the convertibles can be ordered with all-wheel drive.
Fuel economy for the rear-wheel drive E-Class sedan with the four-cylinder engine is 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway). Opting for 4Matic all-wheel drive reduces fuel economy slightly to 24 mpg combined (22 city/29 highway).
Whether your choice is the well-equipped base E300 sedan or the more powerful E400 or E550 coupe or convertible, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class model that best suits your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.