2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Driving Impression

Mercedes Benz E Class

The 2013 Mercedes Benz E Class is an important competitor in the luxury sedan market, and it's just undergone an extensive midlife overhaul.

Robyn Shield attends Cape Town Launch of 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

When the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class was launched in SA last week I had a pretty clear idea about what I expected to see: a stand-out competitor in the premium luxury segment, large executive sedans and presentations targeted at middle-aged businessmen and statesmen in expensive suits. What I expected to drive: a tank.

And what rolled onto the stage in what can only be described as a very rock ’n roll unveiling- cue strobe lights, smoke machines and the thunderous roar of the new V8 biturbo engine?

2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class design and range details

A very sexy family of loud, trimmed down, seriously good-looking new E-Class Mercs -which includes sedan, estate, coupe, cabriolet and AMG models, and even a brand new Hybrid. All models carry the sleek and elegant lines that are synonymous with modern Mercs, and the new avant-garde twin blade grill up front. (If you really do bemoan the loss of the traditional ‘gun sight’ star at the end of the bonnet, you can still have it if you buy the sedan or the estate.)

Also bringing a lustrous, more attractive aesthetic to the class are the new single unit LED headlamps, replacing the double-vision twin headlights of the old E-Class. The result is rather foxy and ‘come-hithery’ and definitely lends to the overall sexy look of the new range. Seriously, if Ryan Seacrest had his own way, this E-class family would have its own reality TV show.

Interior Style and Design

The interior styling is nothing to scoff at either, although it's what you would expect from ‘premium, luxury executive vehicles’: plenty of leather and dials and levers catering to your every whim. Rather a big fuss was made about the inclusion of an analogue clock; apparently this is the signifier of luxury interiors these days. I do wish the centre display was operated by touch screen. In the current age of smartphones and what-nots, most of us have forgotten how to use buttons to select a desired menu option, and you definitely don’t want to be figuring that out while you’re driving such a powerful (and expensive) car.

2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class – First Drive Impression

“So how is the drive?” you may ask. In a word: effortless.

Read a Mercedes brochure and they will throw all kinds of other words at you: emotional, exhilarating, efficient, intelligent and evolutionary. Yes, it may be all those things, if that’s what you want from your car. But at the heart of it all, it’s simply enjoyable to drive. For the petrol heads, there is the pumped up new E 63 AMG S with fuel injected, biturbo 430kw V8 engine that will put out more power than you could ever really use in real life, but it’s there to play with all the same. And for those of you who simply want to enjoy your journey in comfort and style, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-class doesn't require very much from you in terms of handling or even precision.

Safety Features in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Launching a range of driver assist and safety technologies, these cars near-on drive themselves which, perhaps counter-intuitively, means improved road safety.

To mention just a few safety features:

  • Collision Prevention Assist (std): Warns of an impending collision.
  • Attention Assist (std): Goes off when you appear to be nodding off.
  • Distronic Plus (opt): Works with cruise control, and maintains the gap between you and vehicle ahead, while helping to keep your car in your lane.
  • BAS (Brake Assist System) Plus (opt): Identifies pedestrians (or livestock) and slams on emergency brakes to prevent a collision.
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus (opt): Allows you to stay on main beam permanently. It masks out areas of your lights so that you won’t affect the visibility of oncoming vehicles.
Engine range

There’s a range of new engines too, as well as refined and more efficient versions of the old favourites. From the 2-litre E200 to the E500 and E 63 AMG S, and everything in between, including the all new E300 BlueTEC Hybrid. With most available in petrol and diesel variations, the range expands to over 30 models. You are truly spoilt for choice, as the E-Class aims to accommodate individual taste and requirements. This may be why it is Mercedes’ most successful product, with more than 13 million sold worldwide.