Incredibly safe. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the safest vehicles on the market. Beyond its excellent crash-test scores, the E-Class comes with cutting-edge tech features.
Standard features include automatic emergency braking, driver attention monitoring, blind-spot monitoring, crosswind assist, and a car-to-X communication, which allows the vehicle to relay things like dangerous road conditions to a central notification system that’s shared with other cars,
Mercedes’ Pre-Safe system, which prepares the vehicle for an imminent collision by tightening the seat belts, adjusting the front passenger seat, and closing open windows, is also standard.
There are all sorts of available safety features, which includes a Level 2 semi-autonomous system that can handle some aspects of driving, lane changes on its own with a tap of the turn signal stalk, adaptive high-beam assist, active lane keep assist, parallel park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround-view camera.
The E-Class’ available safety features aren’t cheap, but they do represent some of the most high-tech equipment on the market.
Relaxing to mind-bending performance. Mercedes offers the E-Class with a wide range of powertrains. Even the non-AMG models accelerate purposefully and smoothly.
For 2020, the E-Class comes with a more powerful base engine. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder now produces 255 horsepower, an increase of 14 hp. The silky 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 returns in the E 450 and produces 362 hp. The available twin-turbo V6 is the better choice for the E-Class and fits the vehicle’s luxurious nature better.
The AMG-badged E-Class models come with much more powerful engines. The AMG E 53 gets a 3.0-liter turbo inline-six that’s rated at 429 hp. The engine comes with a mild-hybrid system, which helps the vehicle have a decent fuel economy figure for its performance level.
At the top of the range sits the AMG E 63 S, which has the same amount of power as some supercars. The model comes with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 603 hp. That results in a 0-60 mph time of just 3.3 seconds.
Luxurious, spacious, and comfortable. Midsize sedans have always played second fiddle to large sedans when it comes to luxury and comfort. But that’s not the case for the E-Class.
The vehicle really does feel like a smaller version of the large Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Even the base E 350 has a spacious, pleasant, and lush cabin that feels like a cut above other options. Part of the luxuriousness comes from the E-Class’ excellent list of features.
Unlike a lot of its competition, the E-Class is offered in multiple body styles. The model is available in sedan, coupe, convertible, and wagon body styles. The wagon body is rare for the class and is even offered with the high-performance V8 engine.
Depending on body style, the E-Class’ cargo space varies from OK to fantastic. The E-Class convertible has only 9.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the coupe offers 10 cubic feet of cargo space, the sedan can hold 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space, and the wagon can hold up to 64 cubic feet of cargo.
If you’re looking for something that has nearly the same amount of cargo space as some SUVs, the wagon body is the way to go.
Humdrum fuel economy. The E-Class may be a lot of great things, but it’s not efficient. Even with things like a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, the E-Class gets subpar fuel economy.
The most efficient E-Class is the base model, which is rated at an EPA-estimated 26 miles per gallon combined. The E 450 gets 23 mpg combined, while the AMG E 53 can get 24 mpg, which is remarkable for the kind of performance it has. The AMG E 63 S, understandably, is the worst of the bunch with a combined rating of 19 mpg.
Final thoughts. The 2020 Mercedes E-Class is one of the few vehicles that raises the bar for its class. Things like having a silky ride, powerful engines, and high-end features are all par for the segment. But the E-Class acts as a benchmark with upscale safety features, multiple body styles, and a cabin that’s nearly as lush as much more expensive vehicles.
The few downsides the E-Class have been mostly about pricing. The model’s expensive, to begin with, and it’s unfortunate that Mercedes offers advanced driver-assist features as part of costly packages. Also, the base engine isn’t all that powerful compared to other powertrains that the automaker offers.
Competitors include the Audi A6 and the BMW 5-Series. The A6 comes with all-wheel drive as standard, a mild-hybrid system, and nearly the same amount of high-tech features as the E-Class. The A6’s styling is more modern than the E-Class’ too. BMW’s 5-Series is offered with nearly the same amount of high-performance powertrains and safety features as the E-Class, but it isn’t available with the same number of body styles.
Check prices for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class »