With over 14 million units sold since 1946, the E-Class is the bestselling model line for Mercedes-Benz. The current W213 generation was launched in 2017 and the facelift which the factory released last year is now available in Malaysia in two variants – E 300 AMG Line and E 200 Avantgarde.
Their prices (excluding insurance) start from RM326,943.19 for the E 200 and RM375,432.19 for the E 300. As both cars are assembled in Malaysia, they are exempted from sales tax until December 31, 2021.
The cosmetic changes
For the E 200, the Avantgarde package includes a slim new grille design while the surface of the bonnet has a more pronounced bulge – often called a ‘power dome’ – to provide a visual suggestion of the power of the engine underneath. There are also new high-performance headlamps and tail lights using LEDs.
Besides the power dome, the AMG Line on the E 300 has a new bumper styled by AMG, with the familiar grille that has visual depth. The MULTIBEAM LED headlamps now include ULTRA RANGE high beams for stronger illumination. Like the E 200, the rear lamp unit are also revised.
For the E 200, the standard alloy wheels are 18 inches in diameter with a 5-twin spoke design. The E 300 gets 19-inch wheels with an AMG-styled 5-twin-spoke design. New paint colours are available for the latest models – Grey Metallic and a High-Tech Silver finish.
Two engine outputs
Both variants use the same 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine (M264) with turbocharging, but with different tuning levels to give different outputs. The E 200 engine is tuned to deliver 197 ps/320 Nm, while the E 300 has output boosted to 258 ps/370 Nm. The difference in outputs enable the E 300 to go from 0 to 100 km/h 1.2 seconds quicker (6.4 seconds) than the E 200 and also reach a top speed 10 km/h faster (250 km/h). The E-Class continues to have rear-wheel drive, of course, with power delivery going through a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission.
The interior of the latest E-Class has the new multifunction steering wheel wrapped in genuine leather. The control surfaces sport a high-gloss black finish while the trim elements and surrounds have a light longitudinal-grain aluminium trim in the E 200 Avantgarde, and open-pore black ash wood trim on the E 300 AMG Line.
New operating principle for display
The instrument cluster and media display are controlled by swiping along the Touch Control buttons. The operating principle of the Touch Control buttons has changed from optical to capacitive which means a mechanical system is no longer needed.
The design of the front seats offers strong lateral support with pronounced side bolsters> Depending on the variant, the centre section has sporty transverse or modern longitudinal seams. The colours of the centre sections of the seat backrest and cushion are matched to the overall form of the seats. For the E 200, the upholstery is ARTICO man-made leather while the E 300 has genuine leather.
The MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system displayed in the Widescreen Cockpit has two 12.3-inch displays. The information in the instrument cluster and on the media display is in high-resolution for maximum clarity.
Latest safety systems
A pioneer in automobile safety, it is only to be expected that the latest E-Class will come with the latest generation of driver assistance systems to enhance driving safety, particularly Active Safety. In some situations, automatic activation of certain systems such as the brakes will occur if the driver does not respond in time.
The hands-off recognition now works on a capacitive basis, enhancing user-friendliness when driving in semi-automated mode. Previously, to inform the assistance systems that the driver still has control of the E-Class, a slight steering movement was required but now, sensors on the rim of the steering wheel can detect if the driver is holding it. If the system detects that the driver does not have their hands on the steering wheel for a certain time, a warning cascade is started, which finally activates Emergency Brake Assist if the driver continues to be inactive.
As standard, the E-Class comes with Active Brake Assist for autonomous emergency braking. As part of the Driving Assistance Package, this is now also possible when turning off across the oncoming lane.
Additionally, for the E 300, there is also Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC and a 360° camera view that makes it possible to enter and leave parking spaces automatically. The system facilitates the search for and selection of a parking space as well as entering and leaving (if the vehicle was parked automatically) parallel and end-on parking spaces or garages.
For the first time, the new E-Class is able to recognize and use parking spaces which are only marked as areas on larger sites, for example. The 360° camera transmits an even more realistic image to the display, which includes an expanded side view. When leaving a parking space, the system is able to warn of traffic crossing behind the vehicle and can apply the brakes in case a vehicle approaches.
Protection against break-ins and theft
The URBAN GUARD Vehicle Protection package provides comprehensive protection of the car at all times when the owner is not using it. Sensors can detect movement within (when the system is activated) and there is also tow-away protection which is able to detect changes in position. In the event of a break-in, the battery-backed alarm will sound. The driver can also be notified of theft or parking damage detection through the Mercedes me app.