2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the most technologically advanced cars on the road today.
8.6 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Travis Langness
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Mercedes-Benz redesigned the E-Class sedan and wagon last year but left the coupe and convertible alone. This year, it's the two-door's turn. The 2018 E-Class coupe and convertible are fully redesigned. They ride on a new platform and boast a more richly designed interior and more advanced driver safety aids. Also, Benz has brought back the sedan's E63 AMG model. Now called the AMG E63 S, it packs more power and torque from a new turbocharged V8 that's also more efficient.

On the inside, every variant of the E-Class now has the same fantastic luxury aesthetic. As expected, there's a huge range of features available, including the latest in nearly autonomous driver features. Whether you value comfort, performance or technology in your midsize luxury sedan, coupe, convertible or wagon, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class should be right at the top of your list.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class as one of Edmunds' Best AWD Sedans and Best Midsize Sedans for this year.



What's new for 2018

For 2018, the E-Class coupe and convertible are fully redesigned and now match the sedan and wagon, which were redesigned last year. There are also some new trim levels, including the E400 sedan and high-performance AMG E63 S sedan and wagon. Finally, the base E300 sedan and wagon receive additional standard and optional equipment this year.

We recommend

Though the standard four-cylinder engine is respectably powerful and efficient, and the AMG engines are highly impressive, we recommend the E400 for the majority of E-Class shoppers. You can get this 329-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine in all four body styles, and there are plenty of options to choose from, including a surround-view camera, an upgraded sound system, and an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system. One item we specifically recommend is the optional adaptive air suspension. The increase in ride comfort is worth the cost.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a midsize luxury vehicle that comes in four different body styles: a five-passenger sedan, a seven-passenger (thanks to a fold-down, rear-facing third row) wagon, and a four-passenger coupe and convertible. The sedan, coupe and convertible all come standard with rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive (dubbed 4Matic) either optional or standard, depending on the engine and body style. The four basic trim levels are tied to different powertrains: E300 (sedan only), E400 (sedan, wagon, coupe, convertible), AMG E43 (sedan only) and AMG E63 S (sedan and wagon).

Standard equipment for the E-Class E300 sedan includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (241 horsepower, 273 lb-ft of torque), a nine-speed automatic transmission, LED headlights, automatic wipers, power-folding mirrors with heating, a sunroof, selectable drive modes, an adaptive suspension, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory functions and 40/20/40-split folding rear seats.

Standard technology highlights for the E300 are a 12.3-inch display, a rearview camera, 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.

The E400 gets all of the E300's equipment plus a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine (329 hp, 354 lb-ft). In addition to the above, the E400 wagon has power liftgate and the convertible receives a power-folding fabric top, Mercedes' Aircap wind deflector and a rear center pass-through.
Sport and Luxury versions are available for both the E300 and E400. The Sport has bigger wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and brakes, and special styling details. The Luxury gets some additional wheel choices, upgraded upholstery and a different grille.

For the most part, the above variants share optional package availability. The Premium 1 package adds an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system, a wireless phone charger, satellite radio, keyless entry, a power trunklid (sedan) with hands-free activation, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats and a Burmester surround-sound system. The Premium 2 package includes all of the Premium 1 package, along with adaptive headlights with automatic high-beams, 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, forward collision and rear 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), tri-zone climate control, rear side airbags, an adaptive air-ride suspension, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, an upgraded gauge cluster display, additional sound and solar insolation, active multicontour front seats with massage functions, and a couple of premium Burmester sound systems. Numerous upholstery and trim options are also available. The Airscarf neck-warmer is available as an option for the convertible.

For more power and some upgraded equipment, there's the AMG E43, which comes with most of the E400's standard equipment, plus a more powerful turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (396 hp, 384 lb-ft), an AMG sport-tuned suspension and braking, keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, AMG-specific interior and exterior pieces, and leather upholstery.

At the top of the horsepower heap is the AMG E63 S. It gets the E43's equipment plus a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (603 hp, 627 lb-ft), AMG-developed or -tuned powertrain and suspension components, a limited-slip rear differential, and heated and ventilated front seats. It also comes standard with several of the E400's optional items. Any E63 S can be outfitted with carbon-ceramic brakes.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E300 Sport Sedan (2.0L turbo inline-4 | 9-speed automatic | RWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Mercedes-Benz E-Class has received some revisions, including the redesign of the coupe and convertible variants as well as some additional standard equipment for the sedan including a rearview camera. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.6 / 10

Driving

9.0 / 10

Acceleration8.5 / 10
Braking8.5 / 10
Steering8.0 / 10
Handling9.0 / 10
Drivability9.0 / 10

Comfort

8.5 / 10

Seat comfort9.0 / 10
Ride comfort8.5 / 10
Noise & vibration8.0 / 10
Climate control8.0 / 10

Interior

8.5 / 10

Ease of use9.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out8.0 / 10
Driving position9.0 / 10
Roominess8.5 / 10
Visibility8.0 / 10
Quality9.5 / 10

Utility

8.0 / 10

Small-item storage9.0 / 10
Cargo space7.0 / 10

Technology

9.0 / 10

Audio & navigation9.0 / 10
Smartphone integration8.0 / 10
Driver aids10.0 / 10

Driving9.0

Not just a pretty face, the E300 delivers plenty of speed, power and exhilaration when it counts: merging, passing, long-distance cruising or short, tight turning and curving. The Benz strikes a deft balance between genteel road manners and aggressive athletic ability.

Acceleration8.5

A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine spools out plenty of seamless power to a nine-speed automatic transmission with exquisitely timed gear changes. This combo makes the E300 feel faster from the driver's seat than it looks on paper.

Braking8.5

Firm pedal feel. Quick bite, progressive slowing, and plenty of confidence in stopping where you want and need it. The braking system seems ideally matched to the Benz's power and potential.

Steering8.0

Two driver-selectable steering modes: Comfort and Sport. Comfort delivers the best balance for in-town driving and fun, winding roads. Sport feels artificially heavy, which introduces more effort and stability but doesn't enhance road feel.

Handling9.0

The Benz demonstrates excellent composure, even when whipping it from side to side in quick turns. BMW and Audi have traditionally held an edge in this category, but no longer — the E300 has been dialed in as well as, or better than, its rivals.

Drivability9.0

Adept at spirited driving or more sedate highway travel and commuting. Remarkable dual personality. Sport+ mode is a little manic, but Sport and Comfort modes hit the sweet spots. Its nine-speed gearbox is one of the few without issues.

Comfort8.5

High performance meets high-class cabin comfort. Seat comfort is exceptional, and the cushioned ride has just enough firmness to keep things on the sporting side of the ledger. Road and wind noise is nicely suppressed for a serene cabin experience.

Seat comfort9.0

The seats offer exceptional shape and support. Firm, pliable, ideally suited for long-distance drives (we did more than 500 miles in one stretch with no complaints). Optional active bolstering minimizes body shift during quick, spirited romps.

Ride comfort8.5

Refined on most road surfaces and barely bothered by more severe bumps and imperfections. Our test car came with the four-corner air suspension — an expensive, worthwhile option — though the standard steel spring suspension is not a compromise.

Noise & vibration8.0

Exceptionally quiet cabin. Engine noise is piped in from under the hood, and manufactured engine sound also comes through the speakers. A gimmick, yes, but it also gives the turbo four-cylinder a weighty, substantial growl lacking on its own.

Climate control8.0

Classy presentation. Circular vents with knurled-metal open/close knobs feel substantial — an important detail in this class of a car. There are six vents up front and rear console vents for rear-seat passengers.

Interior8.5

First-rate interior all around, distinguished by design. While the Audi A6 is modern cool, the Benz is timeless class. While the BMW 5 Series favors space and logic, the Benz is sensual and aesthetic. Upholstery, touch points, surfaces, infotainment system integration — all top-shelf.

Ease of use9.0

Optional dual high-resolution, tablet-style displays bring all conceivable car information to the driver's line of sight. An intuitive touch-sensitive palm rest and knob array controls most systems. Buttons remain for most common functions.

Getting in/getting out8.0

Easy front-seat entry and exit, with wide door aperture. Coupelike styling means taller passengers might need to stoop slightly to get into the rear seats, but there's plenty of room back there after they do.

Driving position9.0

Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and broad range of seat adjustments mean no trouble finding a good position for short, medium or tall drivers.

Roominess8.5

More than 36 inches of rear legroom means a 6-foot passenger can sit comfortably behind a 6-foot driver. Plenty of shoulder and hiproom. Sloping roofline consumes some rear headroom but not enough to bother most taller passengers.

Visibility8.0

Sloping roofline and wide rear pillars inhibit some rear corner visibility, but wide, level window lines make this an easy car to see out of. It's easy to quickly assess a blind spot before a lane change or when reversing.

Quality9.5

High standard of fit and finish — what others strive to emulate. Narrow panel gaps, flush and precise fitments. Buttons, dials and switches all have a solid feel and heft. This car and cabin are built to last.

Utility8.0

Trunk space for the newest E-Class sedan is slightly below the class average, but a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat is rare and helps maximize cargo versatility.

Small-item storage9.0

Plenty of in-car storage. The door side pockets feature molded cavities for a 1-liter bottle. The center console/armrest lid is split in two, each lid hinged on the side with soft open/close independent of each other. A nice detail.

Cargo space7.0

With 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space, the E300 has slightly less volume than its closest competition. The 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, however, provides a degree of flexibility that most sedans don't have.

Technology9.0

The E-Class has traditionally served as a canvas for Mercedes-Benz's latest innovations. With a 12-inch high-resolution info display, touch-sensitive steering wheel controls, wireless smartphone charging, and a dozen various driver aids and safety systems, this 10th-gen model is no different.

Audio & navigation9.0

Exceptional Burmester surround-sound audio system, one of two available, is a bargain for the price (the top-end system features in-roof speakers). Standard navigation also impressive, especially when beamed via 12-inch widescreen display.

Smartphone integration8.0

No issues with standard Bluetooth connections. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard and work as expected. Navigating in and out of CarPlay can get annoying. It's good for power voice-to-texters, but we found it troublesome on occasion.

Driver aids10.0

World-class-level semiautonomous driving. Various connected systems steer, accelerate, brake, and even park for you. The driver needs only to touch the steering wheel at regular intervals. System trips up at higher speeds on curvier roads, but for urban highway and commuting, it's ideal.

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.