2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class – Click above for high resolution image gallery

2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

Car Tested: 2020 Mercedes-Benz E 220d Exclusive; Road Test No. 1249; Test Location: Mumbai

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 76,11,416/-

The BS6 update brings Mercedes me connect to the incredibly elegant and comfortable E-Class

The Mercedes Benz E-Class has been a really strong performer in the vast lineup that Mercedes Benz offers. With each update, Mercedes have strengthened their customer base. While we wait for the all-new design update to hit our shores, Mercedes have given a subtle BS6 update to the E-Class, which includes some connected car features as well.

While the E63 stands out with its aggressive stance, the regular E-Class has a very luxurious aura

Exteriors – Mercedes have struck gold with this generation of E-Class design. It is a classic but sleek design that does not give you the feeling that it’s old. The classic design does also mean that it will age nicely over time, something that a customer would certainly appreciate for long term ownership. Even with the Long Wheelbase version we have here, the car still does not look stretched, or off-proportion.

The E-Class is just the perfect length for a classy and elegant limousine

Despite its understated design language and smooth lines, the E-Class enjoys great road presence

There are no sharp creases, nothing flashy at all. Just a simple line that extends across the side. Another subtle design element is that the body line itself has a slight curvature, which makes it look smaller than it is. Only when you go for the AMG line variants, the curves are replaced by some straight lines here and there. However, the amazing thing about this design is that with the right assortment of bumpers, intakes and alloy wheels, this car manages to pull off both the aggressive and the professional look quite elegantly.

The E-Class now gets Mercedes me connect allowing you to control your car via an app

The BS6 update now allows the E-Class to have Mercedes me connect, a connected car system provided by Mercedes. The car comes with an e-sim, which allows it to communicate with the app that you have to download. The app allows you to open & close the windows and lock & unlock the car. Some thoughtful features like the location tracker, which will provide the location of the car so that you can still find it among a crowded area are also present within this app that Mercedes provides. The functionalities can also be accessed with an Apple watch for easier accessibility.

The E-Class now gets a fully digital display for the instrument cluster too

Interiors – The E-Class comes with one of the best interior designs and finish of any car available in the market. With the BS6 update, Mercedes have brought over the 12.3-inch digital driver’s display from the S-class. Both the infotainment and the driver’s display are covered by a single sheet of glass that tidies the look.

Mercedes’ MBUX still feels smooth, responsive and offers tons of customisations

Despite its understated design language and smooth lines, the E-Class enjoys great road presence

The dashboard extends ever so slightly above the duo of screens, so as to provide a little bit of shade to prevent glaring while operating the screen under direct light. The unit itself is really fluid to use, and the digital driver’s display is very customisable and doesn’t suffer from any latency issues. This is further complemented by the high-quality Burmester audio on offer.

Mercedes has used an extremely premium mix of materials giving the cabin a plush feel

Infotainment aside, this interior is elegantly designed, and most importantly well built. Everything you touch is either metal, wood, or any trim, or soft-touch plastic. The tolerances are tight, and all the buttons and switches are really solid to operate. The ambient lighting is really the cherry on top. Mercedes have lined almost every crease with ambient lighting and with the options available, it really does uplift the ambience of the cabin. The panoramic sunroof lets in a lot of light, so even if you have darker interior colours, there is still a lot of light that can enter the cabin. You can control the opening of the sunroof with the app too, along with climate control, so that the car can pre-heat, or pre-cool itself before you enter it.

The rear seats also get their tablets along with multiple ambient lights

The E-Class boasts of the best designed cabin in its segment

The backseat, however, is the place to be if you are buying the Exclusive trim of this E-class. Right from the sheer space on offer to the electrically operated reclinable seats, to the plush headrest pillow, Mercedes sees its buyer at the back seats, and not behind the wheel. The technology aspect can be seen by the tablet that is present when you fold down the middle seat. The tablet is essentially an extension of the infotainment system at the front, and hence mirrors the same functionalities.

The diesel engine is supremely refined and offers linear power delivery

Performance – The E220d draws power from a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that outputs 194 HP and 400 Nm, offering smooth and adequate performance to this big sedan. The BS6 tune has a blunted feel to an extent which is also reflected in the acceleration time of this big Benz which takes 9.2 seconds to hit the ton, half a second slower than the BS4 model and a full 3 seconds slower than the more powerful E350d. That said, the E220d offers more than enough performance for both city and highway driving as turbo lag is well contained and the mid-range is quite strong, albeit linear.

9-speed AT gearbox delivers smooth shifts and also gets steering mounted paddles

Though the BS6 update has dulled the performance a little bit, the motor still has adequate punch on offer

The 9-speed automatic gearbox isn’t the fastest with shifts as it prioritises smoothness over speed but the gearing is done just right to ensure a very comfortable driving experience. There are multiple drive modes along with steering-mounted paddles to alter the engine, gearbox and steering (no changes to the suspension as air springs are available on the pricier 6-cylinder diesel). Fuel economy is between 9-12 km/l which is respectable for a car of this size but it’s really the refinement and effortless performance of this engine that is the hallmark here.

The high profile tyres allow for a sublime ride quality along with great high-speed stability

Driving Dynamics – The Mercedes E-Class gets a softly sprung suspension which along with the rather high profile tyres (for a car of this class) lends it a great low-speed ride but there is some bounciness that can be felt as you increase the pace over bad roads. High-speed stability is great irrespective and the E-Class keeps road noise out of bay at all times. But there is body roll which can be felt when you up the pace around the corners, although the steering is very well calibrated and offers a good amount of feel and feedback through the twisties.

The E-Class combines classic charm and modern technology in an elegant package

Verdict – The theme of this generation of this E-class can be understood with the small analogue clock right in the middle of the centre console of the interior. It’s a classic touch to what is an interior with all modern bells and whistles that a premium buyer expects in 2020. The design approach to this car has been just that: tie all the modern tech in a package that looks classic.

Mercedes connected car tech brings it on par with its rivals

The BS6 update of this car only builds on what is an extremely strong package, to begin with. The Mercedes me connectivity is also a really useful feature to have and is quite easy to utilise and has some good potential.

Buyers who prefer comfort over sport should look no further than the E-Class

With the annual price hikes and the BS6 modifications that have occurred since this generation was launched, this car is not cheap. However, for those who are in the market for a limousine around the Rs. 60-lakh mark, the E-class is a really strong option to consider, and customers will not be disappointed with what this car can offer.

The instrument cluster has a crisp resolution and offers limitless customisations

What’s Cool

  • Elegant and upscale design
  • Feature-loaded cabin with acres of space
  • Refined and smooth diesel engine
  • Great ride quality and high-speed stability

What’s Not So Cool

  • Pricier than its competition

Alternatives – BMW 5-Series, BMW 6-Series GT, Jaguar XF, Audi A6, Volvo S90

Globally Mercedes has already announced the all new E-Class which should reach India next year

Further Reading –

2019 Mercedes E220d Review

2018 Mercedes E220d Review

2018 Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain Review

2017 Mercedes E-Class LWB Review