2020 Mercedes E-Class Review
  • Car Review

2020 Mercedes E-Class Review

By Autolist Editorial | October 27, 2020

Quick Facts:

Pros:

  • A luxury cabin that sets new standards for design and comfort.
  • Improved driver assistance technology that works great.
  • There are a lot of personalized options available.

Cons:

  • Has a low predicted reliability rating.
  • The cargo capacity for the sedan is minimal for its class.
  • The standard suspension does not offer a smooth ride over rough surfaces.

Vehicle Type: Midsize luxury sedan (available as a wagon).

Price Range: $54,050 - $107,350 before options.

Powertrain: The base E (E350 sedan) is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 255 horsepower, 273 pound-foot of torque, and available in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

It has a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Available all-wheel drive E-Class models include:

The E450, with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 362 horsepower and 369 pound-foot of torque.

The AMG E 53, with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with 429 horsepower and 384 pound-foot of torque.

The AMG E 63 S has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine with 603 horsepower and 627 pound-foot of torque.

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Overview:

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The 2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is considered a discounted version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class because it delivers the same level of luxury as the Benz's flagship sedan: a quiet cockpit, smooth ride, and stylish interior.

The 2020 E-Class is the fifth-generation and offers various E-Class models, including the sedan and wagon, which were redesigned in 2017, and the coupe and convertible, which were redesigned in 2018. 2020 has not seen any redesigns to the body itself, but the engine has become more powerful.

Considered a popular favorite among the class of mid-size luxury sedans, including the BMW 5-Series and the Audi Q6, the E-Class overtakes both with its high-class cabin and its availability in more body styles (including a coupe and a convertible).

Competing with a rival under the same Mercedes-Benz brand, the E-Class is often compared to the C-Class, but while the C-Class is more affordable, it offers less cargo and passenger space compared to its larger E-Class sibling. Both classes feature the same base engine and offer high-performance AMG models.

Taking a look at a very closely matched rival of the E-Class, the BMW 5-Series has a higher predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. In contrast, the E-Class has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 from J.D. Power. The same term warranty similarly covers both models, but the BMW 5-Series has better steering precision, and like the Audi A6, the BMW also resists body lean better than the E-Class. Perhaps the Mercedes and the BMW's turning point is the price; the BMW 5-Series is slightly cheaper.

Another closely matched rival of the 2020 E-Class is the 2020 Audi A6. They both received an overall safety rating of 5 out of 5 stars. However, the Audi A6 did fall slightly behind with 4 out of 5 stars for its overall frontal barrier crash rating, whereas the E-Class claimed all five stars. There is also a difference in their fuel economy, with the Audi A6 offering better fuel-consumption with more miles per gallon for both city and highway driving.

So, what is new with the 2020 Mercedes E-Class range compared to previous versions? The standard model E350 sedan replaces the E300 with an increase in power from 241 to 255 horsepower. The 2019 E300 required 6.5 seconds to reach 60 mph, but the 2020 E350 shaves a tenth of a second from that time. The newer version has also seen an improvement in fuel-economy despite it offering a more significant engine boost.

In the past, not all models came standard with passive entry and blind-spot monitoring, but all the 2020 E-Class models have made this standard equipment. The Premium package offered in previous year models has also become a standard offering for 2020 E-Class coupes and convertibles. It includes a 12.3-inch infotainment display, wireless phone charging, and satellite radio.

Another standard feature that provides maximum safety for the 2020 E-Class is the Mercedes Pre-Safe (a pre-collision passenger protection system) and the Mercedes Car-to-X communication system, which is a radio-based exchange of safety information and traffic infrastructure between vehicles.

An E-Class hybrid range exists; however, the 2020 model is still in the U.K., but the 2021 Mercedes E 300 Plug-In-Hybrid is available in the United States. When comparing the E-Class hybrid range to its plug-in hybrid rivals such as the Volvo S90 T8 recharge and BMW 530e, it is styled better and has lower air-intake.

Overall Score: 7.6/10


Safety Features: 9/10

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The National Highway Safety Administration has given the 2020 E-Class sedan and wagon an overall safety score of five out of five stars. Both models earn five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests.

The 2020 E-Class earned the highest rating of Superior by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system. It also earned the highest rating of Good from the IIHS in all six crash tests, and the headlights received the second-highest rating of Acceptable.

Standard safety features include rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rearview camera, crosswind assist, brake assist, emergency brake assist, a driver attention monitor, and Mercedes Pre-Safe.


Value: 6/10

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Mercedes-Benz is a brand that prides itself on the value it provides, and while few rivals can match the E-Class when it comes to build quality, the downside is the pricing.

Despite the higher price, the value of the features behind it makes it worth the price tag it carries. The cabin fit-and-finish is impressive, and the overall driving experience and unprecedented safety rating offer decent value for money.

It may be slightly more expensive than other luxury sedans, like the Lexus ES, but another great addition is the high-level customization and standard features.


Tech Features: 7/10

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The 2020 E-Class provides a combination of the old COMAND system and the new MBUX system. This is not ideal and has been seen as a negative feature across various reviews. The MBUX system offers a crisp screen and excellent graphics, but the smartphone integration is challenging.

The optional Burmester sound system has excellent sound quality and an easy-to-adjust setting; however, the maxed-out sound levels are not appreciated by many.

The high-tech focal point of the cabin is the 12.3-inch infotainment display system that can be controlled with either voice commands, using the steering wheel touchpads, or the rotary knob that is combined with the center console touchpad.


Practicality: 6/10

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The seating capacity of the E-Class varies with different body styles. The cabriolet and coupe seat four people, and the sedan can accommodate up to five. The wagon models can seat up to seven people.

Both the wagon and the sedan offer a fair amount of room for passengers, but taller occupants may feel cramped in the back seat of the convertibles and coupes.

The cargo space also varies across the body styles, and nearly every other luxury mid-size car has more room than the sedan and the cabriolet. The sedan has 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space, and the cabriolet has 9.5 cubic feet. The wagon does step up with 35 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats.


Styling & Design: 8/10

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There are no exterior changes from 2019 across all of the body styles. .

The LED headlights with LED daytime running lights sit gracefully between the classic Mercedes twin-blade grille. The panoramic sunroof is standard, and a set of 18-inch five-spoke wheels are also part of the standard features.

A nine-color palette will spoil anyone who wants to customize their E-Class. However, only two hues are available as standard exterior paint options (Black or Polar White).


Driving Experience: 8/10

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The E-Class is a comfort and luxury-based car, and while the handling is competent, it is not very sporty. It leans into the corners, but it rarely feels overwhelmed when trying to push the throttle hard. If you want a little more athleticism, then the Sport and Sport+ drive modes will inject a bit more of a sporty feel.

The Comfort setting's air-suspension offers a smooth ride, but pavement imperfections are quickly felt in the base E model.

There is a wide range of potent powertrains within the E-Class models, all of which will give you a nine-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and effortlessly.


Fuel Efficiency: 7/10

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The E-Class sedan has an EPA-estimated 23 mpg when driving in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. This is just above average for a luxury mid-size sedan; the BMW 5-Series does slightly better.

The coupe model gets 20/28 mpg city/highway. The convertible averages 20/27 mpg city/highway, and the wagon averages 19/26 mpg city/highway.
The AMG E 53 sedan has an average fuel economy of 21/28 mpg city/highway, and the AMG E 63 sedan gets even less at 15/23 mpg city/highway.

Overall, the E 53 and the other E-Class models' real-world fuel economy depends highly on how often you bury your foot in the throttle.


What’s it Going to Cost Me?

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The entry-level E-Class E 350 starts at MSRP of $54,050 (This is one of the highest starting prices in the luxury mid-size car class). It has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower and 273 pound-foot of torque. This base model is only available as a sedan and comes standard with RWD and optional AWD. The E 350 base model features a 12.3-inch display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, two USB ports, Bluetooth, COMAND infotainment system with a touchpad controller, 64-color ambient lighting, proximity keyless entry, remote start, synthetic upholstery seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, and a sunroof.

There are some safety features that are also standard with the base model and include a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, crosswind assist, emergency brake assist, active brake assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a driver attention monitor. A 4Matic all-wheel drive can be added at an additional $2,500.

A Premium package offers additional features and costs $2,000. The extras in this package include heated front seats, wireless device charging, a 13-speaker Burmester surround-sound stereo, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and satellite radio. The Warmth and Comfort package is also an additional expense and includes a heated steering wheel and heated front armrests.

The Driver Assistance package costs $2,250, and this offers an array of extra safety features, including lane change assist, lane keep assist, forward and reverse collision warning, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, and the following distance indicator. At $1,290, the Parking Assistance package adds a surround-view parking camera system, red cross-traffic alert, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

There are individual options available for further customization. These include:

An in-cabin air purifier ($550)
Tri-zone automatic climate control ($760)
Heated and ventilated front seats ($450)
Head-up display ($1,100)
Adaptive air suspension ($1,900)
Multicontour massaging front seats ($1,320)
There are also Mercedes AMG packages available to style the E350 further. The E350 AMG Line Exterior package starts at $650 and features a sports brake system, black headliner, and 18-inch AMG 5-spoke wheels.

The Mercedes-Benz E450 starts at MSRP of $61,550 for the sedan and $66,100 for the wagon and features a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and 4Matic AWD. They share the same standard features and options as the E350. The cabriolet and the coupe have RWD and cost $71,400 and $64,350 respectively.

If you are hoping for leather upholstery, then the cabriolet and the coupe have this option available as a standard feature in the Premium Package.

The E450 AMG Line Exterior package starts at $500 and includes a black headliner and 18-inch AMG 5-spoke wheels.

The Luxury Styling package starts at $350 and is available for the E350 and E450. This package includes 17-inch twin 5-spoke wheels, comfort suspension with a selective damping system, and a topstitched dash trim.

If you are hoping for a more powerful engine and a V8 boost, then the AMG E 53 and AMG E 63 S are the top-of-the-line options and start from MSRP $73,800. These are a class of their own with some fantastic performance upgrades.

If we were going to drive the 2020 Mercedes E-Class around, our choice would be the midgrade E 450 4Matic because its powerful V6 engine returns a similar fuel consumption as the base E four-cylinder and the price difference is not significantly huge between the two models either. I would want to add a little more luxury and I would opt for the adaptive air-suspension, leather interior, and the Burmester audio option.


More Photos

See more 2020 Mercedes E-Class Photos.