The new Mercedes E‑Class will actually send you to sleep
Mercedes’ E-Class saloons and estates get a mid-life nose and tail spruce-up with mildly facelifted versions unveiled today – what would have been the Geneva Motor Show press day before the show was cancelled owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
While all models due for delivery from the summer get slightly sportier new looks, cabin upgrades and additional driver assist features, interest centres on updated versions from both Benz and AMG line-ups.
At the entry level is the four-cylinder Benz that for the first time features Merc’s latest 48-volt electrics and ISG (integrated starter generator) to boost power (by 20bhp) and torque (by 180Nm). It also gets an electric compressor to build up the turbo pressure for quicker throttle response. A four-pot it may be but now with a total of 284bhp the promise is it will set a new performance/efficiency benchmark for a petrol E- Class, including being able to “glide” with the engine off.
There is no engine change for the AMG-lite-, the E53. This version has the twin turbo 3.0-litre four-pot, again with 48-volt integrated starter generator, and boasts the same 430bhp as before – still a respectful 140bhp behind the hero of the range, the full-fat V8 AMG E63. What you do get in the latest model though are dynamic looks more of a match for the performance.
Updates to the AMG grille, re-profiled bumper and apron, bonnet bulges, more chrome, new wheel designs and new lights back and front identify the 2020 models, both saloon and estate. The changes point to what AMG says is the “extensively revised” suspension to offer a better balance between sporty handling and long-distance comfort.
The styling changes are mostly mirrored by the non-AMG models where the emphasis is also on a more dynamic appearance. This is achieved in part by now having the Avantgarde trim as the base level, complete with the big black three-pointed star in the centre of the grille – not having that in the previous model was shouting rather loudly to the world that you had bought the cheap version…
In the four years since this generation E class came out active driver assist features have proliferated, and the 2020 models are now available with all the latest systems to help you park, steer, corner, brake overtake safely, not fall asleep at the wheel – and yes, even to fall asleep at the wheel…
That would be the new PowerNap feature available for the first time with the plug-in hybrid models. The idea is that when you pull over for a rest or to plug in your car’s battery, the PowerNap programme uses a mix of music, lighting and seat massaging to send you off before gently waking you up refreshed.
That’s the new E-Class then – so complete it will send you to sleep.