The Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets just a few changes for 2020, improving an already great automobile. The biggest news is a slight change to the engine lineup, with the E350 models getting a 14-hp boost and standard blind-spot monitoring replacing in name last year's E300 model as the E350.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes in several flavors, E350, E450, AMG E43 and AMG E63, with sedan, coupe, wagon and convertible body styles all available for much of the range. E350 models are powered by a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 255 horsepower and a strong 273 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes claims that the sprint to 60 mph takes just 6.2 seconds in E350 guise. E450 models are powered by a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that makes 362 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. AMG E43 models draw their 396 horses from a tuned version of the 3.0L, while the AMG E63 wagon makes 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque from a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8. All engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission; in the AMG cars, the unit is upgraded to deliver faster shifts and rapid-fire downshifts.
In the E350 and E450, power is sent to the rear-wheels, while 4MATIC models and AMG models feature Mercedes-Benz's all-wheel drive system, improving traction in tricky conditions.
Standard equipment on the E350 and E450 includes power front seats with a memory function, dual-zone automatic climate control, a keyless start system, a choice of 64 different ambient lighting colors, a 12.3-inch central display screen, a voice control system, Bluetooth audio streaming, dual USB ports, LED headlamps and taillamps, a crosswind assist system, rain sensing wipers and 18-inch wheels. E-Class convertibles feature the same type of multi-layer fabric acoustic soft top found on the S-Class convertible. The AIRCAP wind deflector and AIRSCARF neck heater are included and offer a comfortable top-down driving experience.
While the E-Class offers a sumptuous interior, a flawless ride and fantastic handling in its standard guise, the option sheet shows off the automakers' technology and skill. Mercedes has thrown its hat into the autonomous car ring and properly equipped, the mid-sized sedan will drive down the road nearly on its own, only requiring the driver to touch the steering wheel every 60 seconds to let the system know they're still awake. The system is a masterpiece of technology, vastly improving driver comfort and ease of operation.
Other available options include a heads-up display system, an automatic parallel parking system, a Burmester 590 watt, 13-speaker stereo, wireless phone charging, active multi-contour massaging front seats with heating and ventilation, a heated steering wheel, Napa leather upholstery, an automatic trunk with a hands-free feature and keyless go. A panoramic sunroof is also optional along with several different interior trim options including black piano lacquer and magnolia wood trim.
While the E350, E450 and their 4MATIC counterparts are fast and competent, the AMG E43 and E63 are huge steps up in performance. Handling on the AMG models is aided by air suspension, which can adjust the ride height and damping of the cars on the fly, changing the handling feel from luxury car to sport sedan at the push of a button. Inside, the AMG versions get exclusive performance readouts in the dashboard, a flat-bottom steering wheel and luxurious but sporty interior trim materials.