In the way it is styled and constructed, the Mercedes E-class is a blend of both the old and new. While the crisp, angular lines follow the design language Mercedes introduced with the C-class, there is plenty in the shape that references Mercedes’ long heritage in executive cars.
The profile of the saloon, overtly like that of a traditional three-box saloon, draws parallels with the iconic W124 series, while the definition line over each rear wing is inspired by the 1953 Mercedes ‘Ponton’ saloon. Despite the squared-off styling, Mercedes has achieved a highly credible drag coefficient of just 0.26 for the saloon. To accomplish this, it developed electrically controllable shutters ahead of the radiator fan, which close when the engine is only partially loaded to reduce drag.
And while the saloon looks a little dumpy, especially in darker colours, the estate, cabriolet and especially the coupé are much more attractive – losing the chunky C-pillar and high-set boot. They follow the same frontal theme up to the A-pillar, but with much sleeker, more stylish rear treatments.
The estate is a traditional load carrier with a near vertical rear door to maximise interior capacity and there’s still the option of a rear-facing third row bench to make it a seven seater – although it’s only suitable for smaller children.
Moving up the trim choices gets you a slightly sportier appearance – Avantgardes sit slightly lower than SEs, while Sports get AMG bodystyling and bigger wheels. The AMG model itself is even more extreme. There’s some nice detailing on the E-Class, too, like the discreet spoiler built in to the rear lights to improve air flow and keep them cleaner.