The German “big three” have had things all their own way for many years trading on premium quality. Squabbling amongst themselves has resulted in each generation from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz moving the game on. However, when Jaguar launched the XF in a hotly contested segment it sparked an arms race. Revealed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is something of a retaliation.
Clearly retaining family design values, the new E-Class has the aesthetic of both the C-Class and its bigger S-Class brother. It immediately portrays itself as being an elegant machine with flowing curves. It is both lower and longer than the outgoing model with an increase in wheelbase of 65mm for more legroom. The beauty of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is more than skin deep as its high quality interior wraps itself around occupants. Two large widescreen digital displays span much of its width and intricately stitched seats offer you somewhere to relax. At launch just two four cylinder engines will be available; a 2.0 litre petrol with 181 BHP, and a 2.0 litre diesel with 192 BHP. Both are connected to a 9 speed automatic gearbox. More engines will soon follow along with an AMG variant.
Drive pilot is a new technology in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class which pushes autonomous driving onward. In this mode the car can follow another vehicle at speeds up to 130 MPH. It will slow and even steer for bends in the road. Using other drivers mobile phone signals it can predict congestion or even warn of dangers around a bend.
You can get your hands on this next-generation E-Class in the spring of 2016. Prices have yet to be announced.