Mid-life update brings revised front-end styling, a higher-quality interior and smaller, cleaner engines
31 July 2012

Mercedes-Benz is set to ditch the E-class’s distinctive quad-headlight treatment as part of a series of mid-life changes to the current model.

The heavily reworked E-class, caught here in prototype estate guise during testing ahead of its launch at next year’s Detroit show, sports a new front-end look aimed at providing it with a more cohesive appearance than the current model.

Among the styling changes made to the car, codenamed W212, are the adoption of two new single-element headlights complete with integral LED daytime running lights.

The angular units are said to provide the E-class with a much tidier appearance, less shutline exposure and improved aerodynamic efficiency. 

Other changes include a revised grille and front bumper, reworked tail-lights and a reprofiled rear bumper.

Higher-quality trims, revised instrument graphics and the latest version of Mercedes’ Comand multimedia system are among the interior changes as part of a bid to lift the perceived quality of the E-class, which is under fire from the newer Audi A6 and BMW 5-series.

The existing M271 four-cylinder petrol engines will be replaced with the newer, more efficient M274 units.

Mercedes plans to bring a 154bhp 1.6-litre unit to the E-class. Already found in the C180 BlueEfficiency, it will be fitted to an entry-level model likely to be badged E200 BlueEfficiency.

A trio of 2.0 four-pots will be positioned above it: a 181bhp unit for the E220, 208bhp for the E250 and 248bhp for the E300. Also planned is a turbocharged 335bhp 3.5 V6 for the E400 and a turbo 4.6 V8 with 429bhp for the E500.

Diesels are expected to include a 2.1-litre four-pot in different states of tune for the E200, E220 and E250 CDI. The 208bhp 3.0 V6 for the E300 CDI is likely to be axed.

Join the debate

Comments
4

31 July 2012

Glad they're ditching the awful four-headlight look, although the heavily-styled rear quarter panel still grates.  Pity they're not going to update the interior design other than trim and graphics, because I think it's dating fast.

Now all they need to is improve the reliability issues that the coupé & convertible have suffered from and they'll have a lovely motor on their hands...

31 July 2012

I think it looks good and the new engines sound like they should be great! Especially all those new petrols!

31 July 2012

MB used to bring out a new model every 5-7 years thus helping mainain their value. Over the last decade or so that model change/revamp has dropped to 4=3 and now 2 years. Very poor show

what's life without imagination

31 July 2012

There was nothing wrong with the front, the problem is the rear passenger doors.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals