2020 Mercedes E-Class saloon and estate models revealed

Mercedes has overhauled its popular E-Class models with design updates, new mild-hybrid engines and tech to prevent them from being stolen

James Wilson
Mar 23, 2020

Mercedes has revealed its updated E-Class saloon and estate models ahead of sales starting in May. UK pricing is yet to be confirmed, but deliveries should start in the summer. Also updated is the performance Mercedes-AMG E 53 version, which promises a mild-hybrid powertrain - for greater fuel economy and lower emissions - and the ability to sprint from 0-62mph in less than five seconds.

The E-Class is historically Mercedes' best-selling car, so getting it right is very important. Recently, a number of key rivals to the E-Class have been extensively updated so Mercedes will be hoping this refresh helps the E-Class to remain competitive against alternatives from brands including BMW and Audi.

Part of the updates have included the addition of mild-hybrid powertrains (with a small electric boost helping to improve fuel economy and performance) which contribute towards lower emissions, which in turn keep company car tax down. This is only part of the story, as the E-Class's exterior styling has been substantially revised and interior tech levels increased, too – with in-car tech being one of the biggest selling points for many cars in the 2020s.

While Mercedes has currently only revealed updated saloon and estate models, there are coupe and cabriolet versions in the E-Class range, so be sure to keep checking back for further updates to these versions. In the meantime, read on below for specs, performance and more for the updated 2020 Mercedes E-Class.

Quick facts

  • Mild-hybrid petrol and diesel engines
  • High-performance E 53 models available
  • Significant exterior styling updates
  • Coupe and cabriolet models to follow
  • New anti-theft tech available
  • Only available with an automatic gearbox

2020 Mercedes E-Class facelift – what’s changed?

As mid-life facelifts in the automotive world can often involve subtle yet very important aesthetic changes, we have highlighted key exterior and interior changes in two separate sections below - splitting the changes into those on the outside and those in the cabin.

2020 Mercedes E-Class exterior updates

Mercedes has given new E-Class models new front and rear bumper designs, new front grilles, redesigned front and rear lights and a new boot lid (for saloon models, at least). These contribute to a slightly sharper look overall, making the E-Class look that bit more modern.

Mercedes has added new exterior colours, too, with three additional paints available – high-tech silver, graphite grey and mojave silver. No flame orange as of yet…this is a car for grown-ups, after all. Alloy wheel designs have been updated, too, with Mercedes claiming that the new wheels help improve aerodynamics, which in turn increases fuel efficiency.

Sporty Mercedes-AMG models have also had their front ends revised and benefit from a new sporty rear trim underneath the bumper plus new 19- or 20-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels.

2020 Mercedes E-Class interior updates

All facelifted 2020 Mercedes E-Class models will come with two 10.3-inch digital displays spanning the area in front of the driver – wave goodbye to traditional analogue dials in the E-Class. If that isn’t enough, there is the option of two 12.3-inch displays instead, for an even more up-to-date look.

Elsewhere, there is a new steering wheel which can even be specifieded with wooden inserts for a more luxurious feel. E 53 models come with a more sporty steering wheel which features three twin-spokes (as in the image below) and two rounded AMG buttons. The AMG steering wheel can be clad in either leather, microfibre or a combination of the two - helping to make this a more vegan-friendly car by reducing the amount of animal products used.

2020 Mercedes E-Class specifications and technology

On top of the aesthetic changes above, Mercedes is updating its trim names for the 2020 E-Class. Entry-level models are now badged as Avantgarde Line as opposed to SE. Above that is another new title – Executive Line – and above that remains the popular AMG Line option.

In general, the equipment available is expected to be very similar to pre-facelift models (Mercedes is yet to confirm UK details) but there have been a few tweaks. For example, Mercedes has upped its security offerings with something it calls Urban Guard. Urban Guard is to be available from mid-2020 and aims to minimise car theft and/or make it easier to catch thieves through various sensors, cameras and tracking devices dotted about the E-Class.

Like the pre-facelift E-Class, Mercedes is supplying the new model with a wide range of safety and driver assistance tech. This includes adaptive cruise control (with stop and go assistance for keeping you moving safely when in traffic), blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking. Autonomous parking and 360° cameras are available, too, to simplify fitting this large car into spaces.

To help you understand what you get for your money, Mercedes uses 'Active Brake Assist' to refer to automatic emergency braking, while it calls its adaptive cruise control system 'Active Distance Assist Distronic with route-based speed adjustment'. Catchy, eh?

As standard, all E-Class models get powerful full-LED headlights to provide a clearer view of the road ahead but they can be specced with matrix headlights (or Multibeam in Mercedes-speak, which use different individual lights to illuminate as much of the road ahead as possible without dazzling oncoming drivers) which come with something Mercedes refers to as Ultra Range. Ultra Range offers drivers the maximum light intensity allowed by law, so if you find your eyes straining when driving at night, this could be the car for you.

To help take the edge of spending long periods in a car, Mercedes has included its suite of 'Energizing' tech. It may well turn out to be a bunch of mumbo-jumbo in the real world, but the idea is that the on-board computers can subtly tweak the seating position, interior lighting, music and any seat massaging functions fitted to make drivers feel good on the move. There is even a 'PowerNap' setting for a quick recharge, although thankfully this is for when a driver has pulled over.

2020 Mercedes-AMG E 53 spec and tech

The 2020 Mercedes E 53 comes with not one, not two, not three, but four exhaust pipes (just like the pre-facelift model). There is also a mean-looking 'Night Package' which finishes a handful of trims in gloss black, including wing mirror caps and exhaust tips. Similarly, the digital cockpit display comes with AMG specific graphics which are there to help bring out your inner Lewis Hamilton.

There is an 'AMG Dynamic Plus' package available too (Mercedes really does like its optional packs) which brings features previously reserved for the more powerful E 63 models – such as a drift mode, which allows boy and girl racers to slide gracefully around corners. Inside buyers have the option of a silver grey/pearl nappa leather interior with contrasting red stitching and bold red seat belts.

2020 Mercedes E-Class economy and performance

Mercedes is promising an eclectic mix of engine options with the facelifted E-Class. While it hasn’t revealed all details as of yet, it has stated that non-AMG petrol models will have between 154 and 362hp, while diesels will come with between 158 and 326hp.

What Mercedes has shed more light on is its latest mild-hybrid setup. This uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine allied to a powerful starter motor that can help boost engine performance in certain circumstances such as starting and stopping. In total this petrol-eletric combo is expected to produce around 210hp.

There are larger, six-cylinder petrol and diesel mild-hybrids expected as well. To ease concerns over harmful NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions of diesel engines, the facelifted E-Class will feature a more comprehensive emission control system on diesel models. For those curious about said emissions control system, it basically doubles up on the use of AdBlue (which is a chemical that reduces tailpipe NOx emissions) compared with older diesels.

All models (and that includes the Mercedes-AMG high-performance models) will come with an automatic transmission. While on the subject of AMG models, the E 53 is set to come with a mild-hybrid 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine with two turbochargers. Unusually, one of the turbos is electronic, which really is cutting edge tech.

In total the above system pumps out a very substantial 435hp and 520Nm of torque – although the mild-hybrid electronics can bolster this by producing 22hp and 250Nm on their own. Combined fuel economy is claimed to be 31 to 32mpg, which is reasonable considering the performance on offer and the fact the E 53 isn't exactly a lightweight machine.

Carbon dioxide emissions, meanwhile, are pretty high for a new car at 194-200g/km for saloon E 53 models and 207-220g/km for estate E 53 variants. These figures are from the older, outdated emissions testing procedure due to the fact it is what the UK Government uses to calculate vehicle excise duty - more commonly known as road tax - and company car tax. So expect the figures to be worse on real roads

Saloon E 53 models are claimed to be capable of getting from 0 to 62mph in 4.5 seconds, whereas estate E 53 models are marginally slower at 4.6 seconds. To help put power down on the road E 53 variants all come with variable four-wheel-drive (which can decide how much power is sent to the front and rear wheels) and adaptive suspension.

The latter uses airbags instead of traditional springs to iron out bumps in the road and keep the tyres pressed into the tarmac. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, but Mercedes will sell motorists an AMG Driver’s Package which bumps this up to 168mph, should you regularly find yourself blasting along autobahns at full speed.

2020 Mercedes E-Class prices and delivery dates

Mercedes has stated that the new 2020 E-Class will go on sale in May with deliveries starting in summer. As mentioned, UK prices and specifications are to be confirmed, but for reference the out going entry-level SE E-Class started at around £40,500, so expect this latest model to start a little above that mark.

Mercedes-AMG models will be significantly more expensive, though. Saloon models can be expected to start around the £65,000 mark and estates around £70,000. That's a lot of money, but if you're after a less pricey E-Class, fear not; used versions are available for a mere fraction of those prices - even models that are only a year or two old. Click on the link below for the best value used Mercedes E-Class deals available now.

2020 Mercedes E-Class rivals and alternatives

BMW 5 Series

The most obvious rivals for the E-Class are the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Volvo S90/V90 and Jaguar XF as these dominate the upmarket saloon and estate car class in which it sits. The BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF are the driver's choice proving more engaging to drive than the more comfort-oriented Audi and Volvo, but both still offer impressive levels of refinement. Meanwhile Audi’s A6 is competent, well-built and well equipped, if a little lacking in the fun department.

That just leaves the Volvo. In years gone by the Volvo would be pigeon-holed as the sensible choice for the intelligent retired type. That’s all changed as Volvo has been reborn and now makes stylish motors with sleek interiors and a range of strong engines – especially in plug-in hybrid form

For those wondering about the Mercedes-AMG E 53 models, there's competition for this from those rivals above, too. BMW has the 540i, Audi the S6 Avant and Volvo the S90/V90 T8 variants. There are differences between each of these, such as power and fuel type but they all promise mind-bending pace in a comfy and refined upmarket package.

 

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