By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
When it comes to satisfying the customer, the 2016 E-Class from Mercedes-Benz is the reigning luxury-car champ. Not only does it offer numerous engine and performance options, it does so in a sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon form. Long recognized as the go-to car for the successful elite, the E-Class’ combination of luxury, solidity and quality is hard to beat. Not as expressive or dramatic as a Cadillac CTS or Lexus GS, the E-Class exudes a type of subtle elegance that is both attractive and enviable. The 2016 E-Class also has an excellent reputation for safety, luxury and high resale value. Of course, for those who want something with a bit more bite, there’s the fire-breathing twin-turbo V8 AMG S sedan and wagon.
If your next luxury car has to do it all, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will likely fit the bill. Excelling in the areas of safety, quality, technology and luxury, the E-Class sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible are all excellent cars in their own right.
MB’s 2016 E-Class’ subtle styling doesn’t always turn heads and its price tag can induce sticker shock in short order. Cars with more flair and a lower price tag include the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Genesis and Infiniti Q70. We also find the E-Class’ COMAND interface less than user friendly.
For 2016, a number of models are dropped from the line, including the E400 hybrid and the AMG trims (although the AMG S sedan and wagon remain in the lineup). All E-Class models receive a new head unit and a streamlined equipment list, as well as the introduction of the Night Package.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class midsize luxury collection offers five engine choices, 10 possible body choices and the option of rear- or all-wheel drive (RWD, AWD). Delivering impressive comfort and performance,...
... each model excels in its own unique way. The E250 BlueTEC 4Matic, for instance, provides an abundance of low-end torque for rapid off-the-line starts yet is as quiet and fuel-efficient as a small 4-cylinder compact. The E400’s twin-turbo V6 delivers V8-like performance at a lower cost than the E550, which exists for those who simply cannot do with a V8. While it’s true the Cadillac CTS and BMW 5 Series tend to feel more communicative on the road, those seeking performance over comfort can always turn to the ultimate expression of E-Class bravado: the E63 AMG S sedan and wagon. With a 577-horsepower bi-turbocharged V8 and 4Matic AWD, the 2016 E63 AMG S is in a league of its own.
Parking in tight spots is stressful, but with the Surround-View camera system on the 2016 E-Class from Mercedes, you’ll get a 360-degree bird’s-eye view from four cameras, ensuring you’ll never dent, ding or bump anything you don’t want to. The E-Class can even park itself, if you like.
THE E63 AMG S MODEL
Without a doubt, the ultimate E-Class is the ferocious E63 AMG S. With an astounding 577 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, the AMG S upgrade elevates the E-Class to one of the finest performance sedans in the world. And you can have it in wagon form, too.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class interior offers profoundly comfortable seats, plenty of headroom and accommodating ergonomics all around. While wood trim is standard on most models, real leather isn’t – a surprising omission. At least the synthetic MB-Tex material plays a convincing stand-in. Upgraded dash materials and subtly restyled interior curves make the cabin of the E-Class feel a noticeable step above its predecessor, though it’s still a bit hard-edged when compared to the Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS 350 and Audi A6. The E-Class wagon utilizes a rear-facing 3rd-row seat to accommodate two additional passengers.
The E-Class for 2016 touts 4-lamp LED headlights set off the nose, which takes on a particularly aggressive form in the Sport version with a large Mercedes-Benz emblem on the grille. No one will ever accuse the E-Class of taking any huge risks design-wise, but for buyers looking for an easily identifiable yet low-key member of the Mercedes family, this premium sedan delivers enough attractive styling cues to make up for its otherwise uncharismatic visual presence. Two-door coupe and convertible models are roughly seven inches shorter than E-Class sedans, highlighted by the lack of a traditional B-pillar between the side windows.
While all E-Class models come standard with Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND multimedia system with Bluetooth, you’ll have to spring for navigation. The usual array of other standard items includes power-adjustable seats, power sunroof and dual-zone climate control, while the AMG models are graced with more luxurious bells and whistles like an active multicontour driver’s seat, and a buttery-soft Alcantara headliner.
While stand-alone items run the gamut from Keyless Go to rear-side airbags, option packages make it easier to combine additional features. The Driver Assist package adds adaptive cruise control, active blind-spot and lane-keeping assist. The Premium package on certain models offers a rearview camera, navigation, satellite radio, heated and ventilated seats, and a harman/kardon Logic7 surround-sound system. Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is an option on all variants, except on the E63, where it’s standard. Cabriolet variants can be equipped with the wind-taming Aircap and the Airscarf neck-heating systems.
Mercedes-Benz offers a wide swath of powerplants in its 2016 E-Class cars, starting with the 2.1-liter, 195-horsepower 4-cylinder turbodiesel found in the E250 BlueTEC model. The E400’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 produces 329 horsepower while the E550’s 4.7-liter V8 yields 402 horsepower. The E63 AMG S sits at the top of the E-Class food chain with its 577 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. All E-Class models are equipped with a 7-speed automatic gearbox, though the AMG models gain a multiclutch unit that’s better equipped for quick, sporty shifts.
2.1-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
195 horsepower @ 3,800 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-1,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/42 mpg (RWD), 27/38 mpg (AWD)
302 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg (RWD), 20/28 mpg (AWD), 20/27 (wagon)
3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
329 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
354 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg (RWD), 20/28 mpg (AWD)
402 horsepower @ 5,000-5,750 rpm
443 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg
E63 AMG S 4Matic
5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8
577 horsepower @ 5,550 rpm
590 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg
The diesel-powered 2016 Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC is currently the entry-level E-Class model, with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $53,000. Next in line is the E350 starting just over $53,500, while the E400 4Matic version will set you back nearly $66,500 before features are added. Naturally, the souped-up AMG S versions will add a significant premium that lifts their base prices closer to $102,700. The E400 coupe starts around $55,000, while the E400 convertible demands an asking price closer to $63,000. Check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price to see what folks in your area are paying for these models. Expect typically strong resale value from E-Class Benzes, though the higher-priced models will take a steeper initial plunge than the more affordable versions.