2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Simply gorgeous in design, the mid-size 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has quite a long list of virtues. Smooth, suave, versatile, and confident, it’s also an athletic performer. It’s sold in four body styles, including a wagon.
Two new engines have been added for the 2019 model year. The E 450 gets an upgraded twin-turbo V-6, gaining 33 horsepower, to replace the E 400. The new AMG E 53 series introduces a 429-horsepower inline-6 that incorporates a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.
Four powertrains are offered. Available only in sedan form, the 4-cylinder E 300 serves as the entry point to the E-Class lineup. Moving up to V-6 power, the E 450 comes in three body styles: coupe, cabriolet (convertible), and sedan. Two AMG-tuned variants are available.
In the base E 300, a 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive an option. The renamed E 450 gets a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, rated at 362 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Sedans and wagons come only with all-wheel drive.
A 3.0-liter inline-6 mild-hybrid powers the AMG E 53, developing 429 horsepower. The bigger battery and 48-volt starter-generator can add as much as 21 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque to launch the vehicle or to power accessories. Topping the range, the AMG E 63 S gets a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that puts out 603 horsepower. Acceleration to 60 mph takes a mere 3.3 seconds.
All E-Class cars come with automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitors and rear airbags cost extra, as does a Drive Pilot driver-assistance package.
If equipped with optional headlights, the E-Class sedan earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. The NHTSA has rated the current E-Class at five stars overall.
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
E 300 Sedan ($53,500 with rear-drive, $56,000 with all-wheel drive) has a 12.3-inch infotainment display, synthetic leather upholstery, power front seats, LED headlights and taillights, navigation, and smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. A lowered suspension includes adaptive damping. An air suspension is optional.
E 450 Sedan with 4Matic ($59,950) substitutes the 3.0-liter V-6 engine.
E 450 Wagon with 4Matic ($64,200) is equipped similar to E 450 sedan.
E 450 Coupe ($59,800 with RWD, $62,300 with AWD) is equipped similar to E 450 sedan.
E 450 Cabriolet ($67,300 with RWD, $69,800 with AWD) is equipped similar to E 450 coupe, but with fabric top.
AMG E 53 Sedan ($72,550) upgrades to 3.0-liter inline-6 and all-wheel drive. AMG-specific seat upholstery, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a sport air suspension are standard.
AMG E 53 Coupe ($73,700) is equipped similar to E 53 sedan.
AMG E 53 Cabriolet ($80,350) is equipped similar to E 53 sedan.
AMG E 63 S Sedan with 4Matic ($106,350) escalates to a 603-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-8.
AMG E 63 S Wagon with 4Matic ($108,850) is equipped similar to E 63 S sedan.
Stunning in any body style, the beautifully balanced 2019 E-Class demonstrates that design excellence doesn’t mean cutting back on passenger space. Sedans retain a pleasantly rounded appearance. Coupes and convertibles adopt a more dramatic tone, with rooflines that ease smoothly into short trunk lids.
Hoods on two-door models feature twin “power bulges.” Smooth body sides give sedans a comparatively formal look. E-Class wagons duplicate the sedan’s crisp profile, but with a longer roof and wide taillights. A hood ornament is among the many options.
Warmly sensual shapes flow from the dashboard onto door panels, cascading down the center console. Even in the base E 300, natural-grain wood paneling looks and feels good. Matte-finish trim imparts a designer appearance.
Except for the E 63 version, durable synthetic leather upholstery is standard, with genuine leather an option.
Sedans and wagons are spacious, while coupes and convertibles are more limited—indeed, cozy in back. Rear-seat riders in four-door models get 36.2 inches of legroom. In most models, both front and rear seats have exceptional comfort. Wide-opening doors help with entry, but coupes and convertibles are more challenging.
On the elegant dashboard, round vents and big infotainment and gauge-cluster screens take up considerable space. Most models get dual 12.3-inch wide-screen displays, under a single glass panel. Base models come with conventional gauges, flanked by a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Mercedes-Benz’s standard infotainment system isn’t so easy to use, though.
Sedan trunks hold only 13.1 cubic feet of cargo. Wagons can manage 35 cubic feet. The wagon’s standard rear-facing fold-out third-row bench seat accommodates two youngsters – but not adults.
Every E-Class vehicle behaves with steady composure. Performance reaches well past adequate in the E 300 base sedan, despite its two-ton heft. Passing is effortless with the capable 9-speed automatic transmission. The V-6-powered E 450 copes even better with on-ramps, and highway passing, again helped by the effective 9-speed.
Performance in the AMG E 53 is about as potent as a V-8 would provide, complemented by mild-hybrid fuel economy. Reserve power is plentiful, ready for passing or merging.
As for the mighty AMC E 63 S, it’s ferocious yet civilized. Performance reaches supercar level, yet riders can enjoy a cosseting, unfrazzled ride. Air springs and adjustable dampers make the difference, keeping the E 63 S docile when appropriate. Carbon-ceramic brake components are available for the E 63 S, but standard brakes are easier to modulate in heavy traffic.
The E-Class is fairly fuel-efficient. The E 300 sedan is EPA-rated at 21/30 mpg City/Highway, 25 Combined. All-wheel drive lowers the estimate slightly, to 21/29/24 mpg.
The E 450 coupe and sedan are EPA-rated at 20/28 mpg City/Highway, 23 Combined. At 21/28/24 mpg, the mild-hybrid E 53 is a tad better. As expected, the E 63 sedan is hardly miserly, EPA-rated at 15/23/18 mpg.
Especially in comfort and quality, as well as standard features, the 2019 Mercedes E-Class easily exceeds expectations. Luscious inside and out, each E-Class is spacious up front and superbly finished, with plenty of safety technology standard. Coupes and convertibles are tight for back-seat riders—but even in those, the E-Class fares better than some rivals.
Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.