2017 Mercedes-Benz E300 Review

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Overview

Billed as “The Most Intelligent Luxury Sedan”, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class four-door comes to market with an extraordinary array of autonomous features designed to relieve the stress of highway driving, as well as up the safety quotient of driving in general. Further, the 2017 E-Class uses a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, while keeping its previous performance potential intact. Even better, the new interior design is more elegant, employs upgraded materials, and is more comfortable than before.

With all of that said, there is still room for improvement in a couple of key areas. First among them is styling. The current generation Mercedes styling language simply lacks grace. Given the marque seems to be adopting a “same shape – different sizes” approach to styling these days, this is a bit on the troubling side. Now here, let me hasten to add the look isn’t unattractive—but it isn’t exciting either. To my eye, there’s really only one truly lovely car in the contemporary Mercedes lineup—the S-Class Coupe/Convertible, and that’s when seen in profile, from the rear, or from the rear ¾. In all frankness, every contemporary Benz would benefit from a nose job.

But hey, we drive cars from the inside—right? In that regard, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an absolute winner. The available all-glass instrumentation affords a thoroughly contemporary look, while also permitting a great deal of flexibility. A 12.3-inch wide screen is standard. If you opt for all-glass instruments you’ll get two 12.3-inch screens side by side. The rounded dash treatment radiates luxury, while the flowing center console places all key controls within easy reach of the driver. In an effort to keep your hands on the steering wheel as much as possible, touch-sensitive redundant controls for all comfort and convenience features have been added.

Meanwhile, the handsomely redesigned seats—offered in both leather and M-B Tex faux leather—are sculpted to mimic the musculature of your body. They also offer 14 air chambers and two different massage settings to reduce the potential for fatigue. The new larger body offers more rear seat legroom as well. Ambient lighting is variable through 64 colors and a broad array of metal and wood trim choices make individualization easy to achieve.

Powering the E300 E-Class variant we tested is a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The powerplant has a nice sound and moves the solid four-door adequately, if not exactly with authority. Mercedes claims 241 horsepower and 271 ft-lbs of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and rear drive are standard. All-wheel drive is available as an option. Driving modes are adjustable for sport, comfort, or economical operation. Fuel economy should average in the high 20s.

Larger, lighter and more capacious, the 2017 E300 is solid on the highway and reasonably agile, but we’ll stop short of declaring it engaging to drive. Don’t get it twisted now; the new E-Class is exceptionally competent. It just doesn’t set your soul on fire. This car is best suited for wafting graciously around town or covering long distances on the highway. Calling the E300 a sport sedan, even with the optional sport package, is a stretch. If you’re looking to have grace and enjoy burning up twisty back roads, until we see the 396-horsepower E43 AMG you’ll still want to check out brand B(MW) first.

With that said, when it comes to tech, nothing on the road comes close to the available capabilities of the 2017 Mercedes E-Class. The car takes smart cruise control into a whole new realm. In addition to the typical matching the flow of traffic (including stopping and restarting in concert with the cars ahead of you), it will change lanes automatically when you activate the turn signal if the lane you’re asking for is clear. 

Additionally, if it senses an impending side impact, the appropriate side bolster will inflate to move you away from the threat to reduce the severity of your potential injuries. Further, when it senses an impact about to occur, the car will activate a pink noise generator to protect your hearing too.

With all of these features, the new Mercedes E-Class is but one or two steps removed from fully autonomous capability. And frankly, when the time comes, with a few key software adjustments, it will be there.

Welcome to the future—the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan.

Pricing starts at $52,150 with rear drive and $54,650 with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.