By Peter Perrotta
For 27 years the E Class sedan has long been Mercedes Benz’ bread-and-butter.
Well folks, that bread-and-butter just got a bit upper crusty.
The luxury German auto makers’ best selling model has undergone a facelift for 2021 – inside and out – and the results have been to rave reviews.
So much so that in November MotorTrend announced that the Mercedes E-Class lineup was the winner of MotorTrend’s 2021 “Golden Calipers” for Car of the Year – one of the most prestigious and sought after honors by the world’s automotive manufacturers.
In an effort to bring my On The Road readers up to speed on the most recent automotive developments, I recently jumped behind the wheel of the 2021 E450 4matic Sedan for one week to see what all the fuss was about.
It didn’t disappoint.
If one was going to start completely from scratch and design and build a prototypical luxury sedan – using the best of today’s modern technology – the 2021 Mercedes Benz E 450 4matic sedan would be close to what you would get.
While not perfect – nothing is – this newly redesigned sedan upholds all of the solid traditions of what the E Class sedan has been all about, while at the same time sprinkling in all of the modern technology now at the disposal of modern day car makers.
The result is quite astounding.
To start with, the exterior look of the E450 has been redesigned to offer a more aggressive and sportier look. It features redesigned headlamps and tail lamps, radiator grille and bumper.
The new exterior look works well. It doesn’t compromise the traditional look and design the E-class has held for decades, but at the same time it provides a fresher more modern, sportier and aggressive look.
On the inside, the E450 is simply astounding.
New interior highlights to the E450 include a stunning 12.3 inch dual widescreen display for its MBUX control system, a newly designed steering wheel and controls and opulent new leather upholstery, trim, paint and wheel options.
But, Mercedes didn’t stop there.
Under the hood, the new E450 sedan has been upgraded with an electrified 3.0 liter inline 6 cylinder engine that is now integrated with an electric generator called EQ Boost – that includes a 48-volt on board electrical system.
The result of this new engine and EQ boost system gives the E450 an impressive 362 horsepower.
Overall, I found the new E450 comfortable to drive. It’s roomy and luxurious. The car drives silky smooth, capable of being driven conservatively in and out of everyday traffic. At the same time, if you are feeling a bit frisky, you can select the “sports plus” drive mode and this car will compete with the best of them in sporty and aggressive driving.
Moreover, Mercedes tried and true 4matic system – automatic 4-wheel drive – also makes this sedan quite capable in inclement weather.
On one Saturday during my test week, I drove this E450 from Maple Shade to Wayne, New Jersey, in a driving rain and wind storm. It handled the treachery on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway quite well and I felt very confident navigating it in inclement weather.
The MBUX interior communications system, incorporated into the operation of the 12.3-inch screen, can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you learn the ins and outs of how to use the sensitive touch pad on the center console and to use the proper voice commands, it all works quite well.
One of the new features of the new communication system is an Alexis-like system where by you can – just by saying “Hi Mercedes” – ask the car what the weather forecast is or to find you nearby restaurants among other amazing things. The car actually talks to you.
On my trip to Wayne, I wanted to stop nearby after the sports trading card show I attended, and get some Cuban food. All I had to say was: “Hi Mercedes, find me some Cuban restaurants nearby.”
It responded by offering up a comprehensive list of nearby restaurants featuring Cuban cuisine superimposed on my navigation screen. All I had to do was select one and I was on my way.
Of course, all of this amazingness and luxury doesn’t come cheap. But, I am going to assume that if one is considering purchasing or leasing an E-Class sedan, they have the wherewithal to afford it.
My 2021 E-450 4matic Sedan had a base price of $62,000. With added options and destination and delivery, it carried a bottom line sticker price of $81,950.
The long laundry list of options added to my tester included (but wasn’t limited to): $2,300 for the premium package; $1,950 for the driver assist package; $1,900 for the air body control air suspension system; $1,620 for upgraded black leather; $1,300 for design black Piano lacquer interior trim; $1,320 for massaging mulit-contour front seats and $1,000 for 19-inch AMG twin spoke wheels.
Of course you can save a few dollars by cutting back on the options.
The E-class sedan is also offered up in the less expensive E350 model, featuring a four cylinder turbo charged engine. The base E350 rear wheel drive sedan carries a base price of $54,250, while the base price of the E350 4matic is offered at $56,750.
The EPA fuel consumption ratings for the E450 4matic come in at an average of 26 miles per gallon – 30 on the highway and 23 in city driving.
The new E450 4matic was not crash test rated yet under the government’s 5 star safety ratings.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears weekly. For comments and questions, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.