2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class features new tech and mild-hybrid powertrains

The refreshed 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is making an entrance with new tech and an innovative set of mild-hybrid powertrains. The E-Class is considered by many as the heart of the three-pointed star and is the quintessential midsize luxury car. It also happens to be the bestselling model in the history of the German carmaker.

Exterior wise, the new E-Class receives updated styling with a new front and rear end. Also, the entry-level E 350 benefits from the Avantgarde Line package with a new grille, more chrome, and a moderate sprinkling of high-gloss black trim. The headlights and taillights are slimmer and sleeker than before to invoke a sportier yet elegant vibe.

On the inside, the 2021 E-Class is home to Mercedes' latest MBUX infotainment system with a pair of 10.25-inch high-resolution screens. Also debuting in the new E-Class is an all-new steering wheel with capacitive buttons, which is available in three versions: all-leather, wood and leather, and supersport. The three-spoke tiller is equipped with sensor mats and touch-sensitive buttons to control the media display and instrument cluster.

Base models receive a turbocharged four-banger with 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard while AWD is optional. Meanwhile, the E 350e is a plug-in hybrid RWD model which combines the merits of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor. Producing 315 horsepower and a healthy 516 pound-feet of torque, it has the grunt of a diesel with the high-revving histrionics of a gasoline motor.

If you're pining for a more powerful E-Class, Mercedes-Benz is offering the M 256 engine for the first time in the E 450. Featuring an integrated starter-generator (ISG) 48-volt EQ Boost mild hybrid system, it has a turbocharged inline-six producing 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels (AWD is optional). All engines are connected to an updated 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission which is lighter and faster than the previous gearbox.

Of course, the new Mercedes E-Class lineup also includes the AMG E 53. It has a more powerful turbocharged inline-six with EQ Boost producing 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Standard equipment in the new E-Class are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with traffic integration, and automatic emergency braking.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is offered as a sedan, coupe, wagon, and convertible with prices starting at around $52,000. The first deliveries are expected to commence later in 2020.