Big Updates For 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Posted by: Bernard Winkelmann onJanuary 11th, 2016

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I’ve been looking forward to this reveal for a while. Even though my car has only reached its second birthday, I have been wondering what Mercedes had in store for the next generation E-Class. The W213 is the next generation of Mercedes’s most profitable car.

For the 10th generation, Mercedes is coming out with a technological tour-de-force. Many new systems and features bring it up to date with the competition, most especially Tesla in the auto pilot department. Drive Pilot is the new system that I hope will address all the issues I had with Distrionic Plus when I did the comparison of the Model S and the E63. Autopilot showdown. I’m looking forward to my first test drive with the new E-Class this summer.

The new E-class has taken a page out of the 4-door coupe design book. If you have read any of my articles in the past, you will know how much of a fan I am of that. Well, I am not. It isn’t the new CLS, but head room feels a bit tighter in the back. I guess sedan styling is a little to old man for everyone? The car is a few inches longer, wider and they have lengthened the wheelbase. This makes rear legroom better and also leaves more room for the C-Class to breath (it got bigger with the W205 generation).

Two versions of the E-class are available and are styled like you would expect. The business version is a little more plain with a standard grill and the 3 pointed star on the hood. The sport version has flicks and skirts and the giant star in the grill. The tail lights on the car are all LED and have a new “stardust effect.”

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Moving to the interior, the E-Class brings the C-class and the S-class together. The flowing dash is straight out of the C and the double 12.3 inch nav screen and gauge screen are right out of the S. The base model has a normal gauge cluster behind the steering wheel. Speaking of the steering wheel, the controls are now touch based and accept swiping motions so that you hands never need to leave the wheel. To customize your mood, you can choose one of 64 different colours of LED interior lighting. I am not sure why you need so many. I use the one that matches the gauges and haven’t changed it since I got the car.

One interior feature I am excited about is the “Warmth and Comfort” package. It includes heated door armrests and heated centre console. For rear passengers, there is a new tablet holder that comes out of the centre armrest. The seat will now split 40/20/40 to give you more options for your lengthy cargo.

The 10th generation E-Class will launch in North America with a 241 hp 4 cylinder engine, likely called E300, that is mated to the new 9GTronic 9-speed transmission. It launches with 3 suspension choices. Sport and comfort steel suspension with selectable damping and Air suspension. The air ride will set the ride height automatically depending on speed in order to conserve fuel. You can also raise the car for bumpy back country roads.

As I mentioned earlier, Drive Pilot is the new semi-autonomous driving mode. Drive Pilot uses both radar and cameras to allow the car to drive itself. Notably absent is the mention of using GPS to enhance the system. The new Drive Pilot system can follow cars up to 210 km/h and drive through construction zones at up to 130 km/h.

All other safety systems remain the same or have been enhanced slightly. Active brake assist now brakes earlier. When you are driven into the back of a traffic jam, the car will slow down much sooner.

Remote parking pilot is a new feature that has been seen on other vehicles and recently released by Tesla on Model S and Model X. With a smart phone app, you can park or pull out your car from the outside.

Car-to-X will use your smart phone’s data connection to talk to a backend to get information about what is happening ahead of you. It gives the driver the ability to almost see around corners as information will be shared by all other capable vehicles.

There will be more details on all these systems closer to the release of the 10 gen E-class. I expect we won’t see it in Canada until the fall.

For now, enjoy our live gallery from the 2016 Detroit Autoshow.



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