The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class is getting an update, which includes design changes and the addition of the All-Terrain and plug-in variants for the U.S. market.
From a design perspective, this change is really just a refresh. That means the overall look and feel of the E Class isn’t changing dramatically, but designers have slotted in new front and rear fascias. Upfront, the E has new headlights that tilt downward a bit, giving the face a more aggressive appearance. The lamps are flanking a new grille design that looks similar to other recent Mercedes sedan models, such as the CLS.
Around back designers slotted in a new decklid and taillights that are more vertical than today’s E Class. Much like the changes to its face, the new rear design gives the E a more aggressive look.
Inside the only significant change is a new steering wheel design that changes from torque monitoring to determine if a driver’s hands are on the wheel to capacitive sensors. Mercedes has also swapped out the E Class infotainment system with its latest MBUX system, a change that will enable a host of new tech features for the car.
There’s some changes under the hood of this E Class as well. For 2021 the V-6 engine is gone; no surprise as Mercedes has been aggressively phasing it out. Instead, E450 models are now equipped with a 3.0-liter inline-six that offers power ratings of 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque that flows through a nine-speed automatic. The same engine remains on the E53, but with healthier power ratings of 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque.
The E Class’ base engine remains a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
Perhaps the biggest news here for the U.S. market is the addition of All-Terrain and plug-in hybrid variants of the E Class. The All-Terrain model has been on sale in Europe for a few years now and is effectively an off-road focused E Class wagon. It comes standard with the inline-six, all-wheel-drive, air suspension and hill descent control.
Additionally, the U.S. is going to get the E350e plug-in hybrid later on. This version of the E Class is powered by the same turbocharged 2.0-liter, but it is paired with a 90-kW electric motor, driving up the power to 315 horsepower and an impressive 516 pound-feet of torque. It will only be offered in rear-wheel-drive format and the fuel economy numbers are still unknown.
Expect said fuel economy data along with pricing information to be revealed later this year, closer to the launch of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class.