2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Edmunds expert review
There's something old, something new, something borrowed and nothing blue when it comes to this year's Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The big news is the fully redesigned E-Class sedan and wagon. These new models borrow heavily from the opulent S-Class flagship with stunning results. In addition to the graceful interior design and impeccable materials, the new E-Class also benefits from all the latest advanced safety features that keep Mercedes on the cutting edge.
The redesign of the E-Class raises the bar for the midsize luxury sedan segment. The Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series represent the most direct competition and were last redesigned five and six years ago, respectively. We anticipate the next generation of these rivals in coming years, but until then, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will enjoy its position at the top.
Standard safety features for all 2017 Mercedes E-Class models include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, a driver drowsiness monitor, front-seat side airbags, front pelvic airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, and the Pre-Safe system that cinches down seat belts, adjusts the front passenger seat and closes windows when a collision is imminent. Also included is Mbrace telematics system, offering smartphone integration and web-based apps that include remote controls, driver monitoring and emergency services. The convertible additionally features automatically deploying rollover hoops.
Mercedes-Benz also has some unique features for the redesigned E-Class, such as a new communication system that networks with other Mercedes vehicles to alert nearby drivers of possible hazards. A Pre-Safe Sound system is also included and reduces hearing damage by emitting a specific noise before a collision that triggers a muscle reflex in the inner ear to reduce hearing damage. An optional Pre-Safe Impulse Side system detects impending side impacts and inflates a chamber in the front outboard seat bolsters to move the occupant farther from the door.
Safety options include a rearview or surround-view camera, rear-seat side airbags, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, active or passive blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and automated parking systems. The Pre-Safe Plus option protects passengers in a similar fashion as the standard Pre-Safe system but is activated by impeding rear collisions. It also applies the brakes to prevent secondary collisions.
In Edmunds brake testing, an E400 Cabriolet with summer tires came to a stop from 60 mph in a very short 106 feet. In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2016 E-Class coupe earned the highest score of Good in the moderate-overlap front-impact and the side-impact tests. It also rated Good for roof strength and head restraints (whiplash protection).
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup consists of a redesigned five-passenger midsize luxury sedan, a redesigned seven-passenger (thanks to a fold-down, rear-facing third row) wagon, and a four-passenger coupe and convertible that carry over from the previous generation.
For the new E-Class E300 sedan and E400 wagon, standard feature highlights include LED headlights, automatic wipers, heated power-folding mirrors, a sunroof, selectable drive modes, an adaptive suspension, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with driver memory functions, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, a power liftgate (wagon), a 12.3-inch display, Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system with a touchpad controller, voice controls, a navigation system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HD radio and two USB ports. Sport and Luxury versions are available for both. The Sport has bigger wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and brakes, and special styling details.
If want more pizzazz, the AMG E43 sedan is available. It comes with a more powerful engine, an AMG sport-tuned suspension and braking, 19-inch wheels, AMG-specific interior and exterior pieces, and leather upholstery.
For the most part, the above variants share optional Premium Package designations and content. The Premium 1 package adds a rearview camera, an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system, a wireless phone charger, satellite radio, keyless entry, a power trunklid (sedan) with hands-free activation, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats and a 14-speaker Burmester surround-sound system. The Premium 2 package includes all of the Premium 1 package, along with adaptive headlights with automatic high-beams, active multicontour front seats with massage functions, a perfumed air freshener system and a power rear sunshade (sedan). The Premium 3 package includes all of the above plus a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control with steering and lane-change assist, a speed-limit sign reader, front-collision and cross-traffic warnings and mitigation, evasive steering assist, active blind-spot assistance, a head-up display, and Pre-Safe side and rear impact preparation.
Other notable options include the Warmth and Comfort package (rapid heating for front seats, heated front armrests, upper door panels and steering wheel), the Rear Safety package (rear side airbags and seat-belt airbags), an adaptive air-ride suspension, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, an upgraded gauge cluster display, additional sound and solar insulation, and a couple of premium Burmester sound systems. Numerous upholstery and trim options are also available.
The four-passenger E400 and E550 coupe and convertible are largely unchanged from the previous year and come with most of the sedan's features, albeit without the latest style and technology. Standard feature highlights include 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive suspension and leather upholstery. The COMAND touchpad controller is not available, and items such as navigation and smartphone integration are optional. The convertible models receive a power-folding fabric top, Mercedes' Aircap wind deflector and a rear center pass-through. The Airscarf neck-warmer is available as an option.
The only available engine for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E300 sedan is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels on standard models, while 4Matic models feature all-wheel drive.
In Edmunds testing, an E300 sedan accelerated to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds, which is slightly slower than average among competing midsize luxury sedans. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway) for the rear-drive model and 24 mpg combined (22 city/29 highway) for the 4Matic. These figures also trail the competition by a few mpg.
The E400 wagon and AMG E43 sedan both have a turbocharged V6 engine and standard all-wheel drive. In the wagon, the engine produces 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. The E43 upgrades to 396 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. As with the four-cylinder, gear changing is handled by a nine-speed automatic.
The E400 coupe and convertible are powered by the wagon's 3.0-liter V6 engine (329 hp and 354 lb-ft) but have a seven-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. 4Matic is available as an option for the coupe only.
Finally, the E550 coupe and convertible get a turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 that makes 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes estimates it will reach 60 mph in 4.9 seconds.
Although it might seem odd that the new 2017 E-Class sedan offers a four-cylinder engine, you're unlikely to find it bothersome from behind the wheel. The new engine delivers surprisingly strong performance while remaining quiet and smooth at nearly any speed. A sophisticated suspension, powerful brakes, and precise but lightweight steering further contribute to the E300's ultra-refined feel. Should you want more speed and handling, or maybe just an aggressive style, the E43 AMG provides the AMG experience without the V8 price tag.
If you stick with one of the two-door E-Class models, you'll definitely enjoy the deep reserve of power offered by the standard turbocharged V6. It has all the power you need unless you crave serious tire-spinning grunt. For that, the V8-powered E550 model is what you want. It not only pushes the E-Class into high-performance territory, it sounds great doing it. Neither the sedan nor the coupes are particularly agile, but if you're more interested in long-range comfort coupled with confident handling, any E-Class model will satisfy.
The redesigned 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan and wagon adopt a similar interior design as the flagship S-Class with a bold horizontal layout stretching from door to door. The central infotainment screen extends from the instrument panel, which can be optioned with virtual instead of analog gauges. As in the S-Class, the E-Class' interior utilizes excellent materials throughout and exhibits impeccable craftsmanship.
Passenger space is similar to most other competitors in the class when it comes to headroom, shoulder room and legroom. Seat comfort is outstanding, especially with the optional multicontour seats.
By comparison, the E-Class coupes and convertibles continue with the previous-generation interiors. The blocky shapes and abundance of buttons definitely date the appearance, but all controls and systems work flawlessly. The E400 Cabrio earns high marks for its innovative wind blockers that nearly eliminate top-down buffeting and its bigger-than-average trunk. It misses getting an A in this category because of its small backseat, big doors and some interior plastics that don't meet luxury standards.
Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system is standard on all E-Class models, but only the redesigned sedan and wagon receive the latest interface that includes a touchpad hovering above the central dial. The touchpad allows users to use smartphone-like gestures (swipes and pinch to zoom) to control the system, as well as alphanumeric input by tracing with your fingertip. It's not as easy to use while on the go, but the dial is just as intuitive as it was before.
Cargo capacity for the sedan tops out at 13.1 cubic feet, which is small for the class. For more space, the wagon can’t be beat: It can hold between 22.6 to 64.2 cubic feet, depending on how you set up the rear seats.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.