2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC Sedan: Overview
Very few people know or remember that until 1993, the “E” referred not to a model family as of today, but to an engine type. Mercedes engines with fuel injection, which is “Einspritzmotor” in German, bore this label. And after 1993 with the launch of the W124 generation, as fuel injection was replacing carburetors and became the norm, there was no need for this definition anymore. Instead, it became the norm of the middle or executive class Mercedes cars, which was formerly known also as the 200 class.
The roots of this mid-range Mercedes model family go back to 1953.
And the current E-class, introduced in 1993 is now in its 5th generation. The model we tested, the E 450 4MATIC Sedan represents the mid-cycle update. The executive E Class is one of the carrying pillars of Mercedes model vehicles even at times of SUV dominance.
The E Class remains one of the most important choices for traditional luxury car buyers who opt for a sedan. The global German dominance in the luxury car market is getting new competition not only from Japan but also from Korea and North America with newly emerging brands like Genesis or the old, established names like Cadillac. In addition to growing competitive challenges, pressure for electrification is a crucial factor in medium and long-term business plans. For traditional auto manufacturers with a deep and long past with the internal combustion engine and even the inventor of the automobile, in the Case of Mercedes, as we know today, offering the best of internal combustion engines “until the very last moment” is an absolute priority.
Daimler AG, manufacturer of the Mercedes brand recently announced that between 2022 and 2030, it will invest 40 billion Euros (nearly 60 billion Canadian dollars) in the electrification of its vehicles and produce only EVs starting in 2030.
2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC Sedan: Engine and powertrain
The 2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC has a new engine under the hood. The inline, 6-cylinder 3L single-turbo engine replaces the previous V6 with the same displacement and the twin-turbo which provided 362 horsepower and 369-pound feet of torque. The power and torque of both engines are identical. The main difference is the incorporation of a 48-volt hybrid system with an electric motor-generator that can add up to 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet to assist the engine while the turbo spools up. The “system” is mated to a 9-speed torque converting transmission.
2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC Sedan: Interior
First things first: The materials and the craftsmanship of the 2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC are simply some of the best we have had so far and thus meet or exceed the expectations of a luxury car. One of the two most impressive features is the near-perfect sound isolation which is a prerequisite for a comfortable, luxurious ride.
The most remarkable novelty of the current Mercedes models is the advanced MBUX, (Mercedes Benz User Experience) the infotainment and the connected car system. The big-screen consists of two main parts; the fully digital instrument cluster and the infotainment system. The graphics are sharp and perfectly legible, and the colour combination is a design success of its own. We cannot exactly say the same for the controls. It is more complicated than the previous generation system with the central control knob. The combination of a touchscreen, a touchpad on the centre console, voice control, and a mix of touchpads and buttons on the new steering wheel add up to a complex interface between man and machine. So, climb up the learning curve before you hit the road and enjoy your ride. On the contrary, control buttons for seats placed on the door panels are a perfect example of good ergonomics and easy use for decades.
What surprised me in the cabin is the lack of sunshades for the rear and side windows. Mercedes should have included these features at least as an option.
The additional cargo space under the main floor of the trunk with 371 litres of volume and hooks for grocery bags are smart features. A hidden, additional storage compartment, also good for dirty stuff is placed under the cargo floor.
2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC Sedan: Driving Impressions
During our one-week test drive with the 2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC, we were impressed with the smooth delivery of power and seamless change of the gears. This powertrain earned our respect and is an example of how a luxury car should ride.
The engine of the 2021 Mercedes e 450 4MATIC is perfect both for city and highway driving. The start-stop operation works very smoothly and undisturbedly. During the highway drive in the eco mode, the engine shuts off and the vehicle cruises silently like an EV. It is impressive to experience Mercedes engineering talent and quality with the optimized and century-old ICE technology. Our driving experience in different modes (tighter steering response in the Sport mode) remained more on the comfort site. In this regard, we can say that Mercedes is more clearly back to its roots instead of offering everything at once. Clients of the E Class are more comfort-oriented than pure sportiness and this is a good thing.
Due to the seasonal limitations, we could not fully test the features of the 4MATIC, Mercedes all-wheel-drive system.
We can even go one step further and claim that the difference of characters between Mercedes and BMW (Merc’s main competitor the models of which we have been testing for more than a decade) is higher than ever. We think that this is a good thing for both of these icons of German luxury automobiles.
Our comments exclude AMG models.
With the average consumption of fewer than 11 litres after a one-week mixed-mode test drive, we can say that Mercedes reached its goal of creating efficiency without sacrificing performance.
2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC Sedan: Pricing and Specifications
For details of pricing and equipment including optional features please see the window sticker of our tester below:
2021 Mercedes E 450 4MATIC Sedan: Conclusion
Owning and driving a Mercedes is expensive and prestigious. With a base price of 75K plus 10K of options (which our tester had) Mercedes fulfills or even exceeds the expectations from a prestigious luxury vehicle with a glorious history. This vehicle is worth its price.
Our one-week test drive with this Merc in and around Toronto was a feast for the soul of an automobile gourmet.
For the most up-to-date and detailed information, please visit: http://www.mercedes.ca