By Matt Davis
Three-Pointed Star’s Cash Cow Gets Significant Updo
On sale since 2009, with some enhancements already done in early 2011, the eighth-generation W/S 212 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has once again been put under the knife to stay in step with the automaker’s never-ending desire to be the world’s Number One purveyor of premium motors. Whereas the smaller C-Class is the best-seller worldwide for Mercedes-Benz, the E-Class pulls in oceans of dough per sale, also at immense volumes.
Beyond a reworking of the overall engine strategy in this second midlife massage, a majority of the E-Class’ exterior panels have been redesigned. Additionally, many of the assistance systems to be offered on the next S-Class are being introduced to the E-Class segment for the first time. Occasionally, these sorts of comprehensive refreshes nearly create a new generation of the car, and this freshened E-Class comes damned close to that.
While Mercedes-Benz wants to talk a lot about the new engine lineup and the S-Class-style convenience and safety systems, we were struck immediately by the redesign. Frankly, to our eyes, these past few years of the Mercedes family look could have used a little more finesse and less knife-slice coldness. That general feel of chilled sharpness on the E-Class is set to be history in short order. Even the chiseled “haunch” line is gone from the rear bodyside – the sort of sheetmetal change you almost never see on a mid-cycle update.