Old Mercedes models were stolid and stoic inside and out. Every itinerant of the 2018 E-Class, though, eschews the shackles of the past and embraces emotion. The sedan has proportions that elude to it's rear-drive nature, while the almost-formal roofline means the profile is elegant and visibility – which has become something of a luxury in today's cars – is still excellent. The four-door's flanks have subtle sculpting and character lines that ensure there's no slab-sided blandness to hamper the overall vibe, which is one that says this is a vehicle of discerning taste. The AMG's more aggressive bumper, power-dome hood and slightly lower ride height are enough to instead make that vibe one of discerning speed.
Turning this sedan into a wagon enhances all of this, and it's elongated roof that stretches back and dips down makes it look impossibly long, low, and muscular. Coupes and cabriolets, on the hand, are rather flamboyant when compared to their more practical counterparts. Rooflines are faster, beltlines are higher, and the long-hood-short-deck proportions are decidedly more pronounced. Whatever old-school M-B conservatism remains in the design of the sedan and wagon disappears in the overtly stylish two-doors.
One perk of going the two-door or open-top route is the opportunity to gaze unobstructed at the richly appointed interior that graces E-Classes of all guises. Open the door or lower the top, and what meets the eye is nothing like the rectilinear and restrained Mercedes cabins of old. Flowing shapes, round air vents that may have been swiped from a Maybach, quilted leather, wood and metal trim, and a centerpiece 12.3-inch touchscreen all make the guts of the E-Class a lavish place to spend time in. Features such as an available Burmester sound system and a second 12.3-inch digital cluster, as well as the 64 individual shades of ambient lighting, only add to the ritzy ambiance inside.