EXCLUSIVE: 6th Generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

Published on 30 May, 2024, 12:31 PM IST
Updated on 2 Jun, 2024, 1:33 PM IST

Siddharth Vinayak Patankar
10 min read
Car & Bike reviews
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6th Generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The route from Mannheim to Pforzheim in Germany is historic for the three-pointed star. But why are we driving the new E-Class?

Welcome to Mannheim in South Western Germany. I'm at the Mannheim Baroque Palace, which is part of the University of Mannheim today, really the heart of town here. It's a bustling city today, but over a hundred years ago, it wasn't quite like that. It is significant, though, to the history of the automobile because the world's first car was developed right here by Karl Benz.

Now, at the time, people thought he was crazy and his invention was unnecessary, a horseless carriage. So two years after he had done it, his wife Bertha decided to show people what it's all about. So she drove that car just under 100 km from here in Mannheim to her mother's place in Pforzheim. She undertook that journey. It was tough. It was arduous at that time. And it took her just about 12 hours to do it. I'm going to redo that today. It will take me much less time because there are great roads now. And I have a great car as well. The vehicles have changed so much. That was the very first Benz. Today I have the very latest, the new generation E-Class.

Karl Benz

The route Bertha took was just under 105 km long, incidentally, she came back a different way three days later. It doesn’t seem like much today, but back then think of a time with no cars and no tarmac roads. The new E-Class is in its sixth generation. And while this car is lightyears away from that first Benz Patent-Motorwagen that Bertha drove, it’s also miles ahead of its predecessor.

Karl Benz

A couple of things grab you right away, the first is the ride quality, and the second is all the tech. There's lots of tech and it becomes pronounced and the guys at the headquarters are telling me that that was intentional. Now it's not like the last E-Class was basic and didn't have too much tech, it was pretty loaded too. But like I said, the improvements are very obvious and there is a lot of focus on driver assistance systems as well. The car comes loaded with a whole lot of ADAS, there's all sorts of connectivity and even the graphics and everything else, everything is just that much slicker.” It is not just about making the drive easy, it is also an effort to class things up. You feel good in this cockpit that is for sure.

Bertha Benz

So the car I'm driving is the absolute Range Topper, so it comes loaded with a whole lot of things as standard. We'll wait and see how much of that equipment makes it to India. I'm guessing though, a lot of it will. The thing that I hope does come in, well there's two things, and they both come sort of as a package deal. And on the long wheelbase, I think it will help. Airmatic air suspension and the rear axle steering, turn the rear wheels up to about four and a half degrees. It reduces your turning circle, but more importantly, it gives you a lot more agility. And on that long wheelbase, that agility will count to make the car that much nicer to drive. So the Airmatic air suspension has been around on many Mercedes-Benz models. I don't have to tell you about it, how it works, and how it adds to the comfort. I have to say the ride quality, like I was saying earlier, is a standout for me.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The numbers are impressive, and the good news is that they translate to a lot of action on the road too. As it has been now for some time the 9-speed gearbox is standard across the range

Mercedes-Benz E 450 4MATIC


2999 cc

Max Power

375 bhp @ 5500-6100 rpm

Peak Torque

500 Nm @ 1600-4500 rpm (+205 Nm from mild hybrid)


9G-Tronic AT

Going by the past track record of Mercedes-Benz India, I am going to have to very sadly say that this beautiful six-cylinder isn't making it to us, but I can still hope for it because it is powerful, it is fun, and it can go. So I've entered the small little town or hamlet of Wiesloch. And there's a very special reason why I'm here. And I think I'm coming up to that special reason right about now.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

That is special. The reason is that this is the spot where Bertha Benz on that famous journey stopped midway. It's a quaint little town, a hamlet called Wiesloch. And she stopped here because she ran out of fuel. The whole story is pretty interesting because people thought she was crazy. She stopped. She fixed parts of the car using her garter belt and a hairpin to remove a blockage from the fuel pipe. And then she got fuel from here.

Stadt Apotheke

Fuel from here because, well, this is a pharmacy. And they had something called ligroin, which was a form of petrol at the time used for cleaning. Well, that's what she used to refuel her car. And this is why, interestingly enough, this pharmacy is unofficially called the world's first gas station.

Ah, the Stadt Apotheke. What a lovely story that is, isn't it? And what a special place then for me to stop and tell you a little bit about this new generation E-Class. The new generation always implies better than the last one. But I think more pressure on the designers to get this one right because the E-Class is a bestseller worldwide. Indeed, in India too for Mercedes-Benz. New face, straightaway, you get that because it's that grille that dominates everything.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

It's nice and big. You've got this star treatment in it which, well, we've seen something like that happen before from the brand. But I think this stands out. A huge big star in the middle and it looks 3D, but it's not. It's flat and nicely finished. Of course, it stores the radars and the cameras up here for ADAS and other functions. You've got a nice big headlamp as well which does immediately tell you E-Class in a sense. But brand new, straight and then split curved treatment for the LED lighting. That again is a nice signature. Lots of chrome up front, part of that signature which makes the car look pretty imposing, pretty stately. It's not overdone.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

There's a little black element that surrounds the entire grille. You also see it here in the middle. It's a piano black, glossy black. You won't see it because my car is finished in dark grey. But I promise you it's there and I think it looks nice. It makes that imposing face look more imposing. Why is it there? Well, the designers wanted to sort of have a little tie-in with what was happening on the EQ side of the family. So, both the ICE and electric cars don't look different from each other.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

As you come around the side, you start to notice that that stately look turns into a lot of elegance as well. I have to say when I first got this car, I thought, "Hey, have they given me the long wheelbase by mistake?" It looks nice and long. And I think that's nice. The long wheelbase of course is what we'll get. That'll be even longer. But look at this. It looks so nice and elegant. Again, the little chrome garnish down there looks pretty good. For once, I'm going to say chrome garnish on the belt line and even on the door handles also looks pretty good. Now, you can open those by just simply sliding your hand there or of course by using the key fob and out they pop. Retractable door handles are a brand-new addition to the E-Class. A little bit of that Mercedes-Benz logo, not logo but the words Mercedes-Benz inscribed into it looks pretty nice too.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

At the back, again, more chrome which doesn't look bad. There are twin tailpipes which are very nicely finished and they are real twin tailpipes, not the faux variety. 4MATIC badge tells you this one is the all-wheel drive and then the E450 tells you that this is one of the range-toppers. We'll wait and see what we get in India but I can promise you that this tail light treatment with these three-pointed star sort of motifs built in, is something that we'll get. And again, you can't tell but there's sort of like a deep red connector between them. It's not lit but again, the reason for giving that sort of a treatment is to tie in with what's happening on the EQ range.

So on the whole, the car looks elegant, looks good and looks ready for India. Okay, it's time to get going again. I am on a mission after all. And unlike Bertha, I did not need to refuel! ADAS works well. Also, there are all kinds of driver assistance, and in fact, you can take your hands off the wheel momentarily as well. It'll keep following traffic for you. All those things that you're used to, they're all there, and they're just that much better.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

When I was talking about all of that tech focus, it shows up when you're driving too, because there's a much bigger and more detailed and more immersive, yet not distracting, head-up display. You've got this 3D effect now on the virtual cluster that you can turn on or off. I'll talk about that a little bit later. And then, of course, the Super Screen, which gives you more functionality with MBUX 3.0 or third generation. The reason why that becomes important to mention, and I'll get into the screen layouts when I stop the car, but the reason why that's important, it's the closest we're getting to what Mercedes is working towards, MBOS, what they showed us at CES, which brings an augmented reality and just a whole lot more immersive and AI-based interface tools.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

So, I can't wait for that, because this is already pretty cool. And that's the thing with Mercedes, unlike the other brands, the quality of the interior, all of that tech, it just makes you feel, wow, like this is cutting edge, this is top of the line, it is top of the segment, and it's one of many reasons why the E-Class continues to be such a formidable seller for the brand. Another new thing is that the virtual assistant no longer needs you to say Hey Mercedes to get its attention or for it to do things you need. When you are alone in the car you can just talk to it.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Before I end I have to show you this luxurious cabin. Remember India will get the even roomier long wheelbase. But design, materials and tech would be similar to this. The cabin of the car in terms of material quality and comfort is fabulous. You have to take my word for it. It's slightly improved over the last car and even this regular version has a longer wheelbase than the previous one. So cabin space is pretty good. There's no point talking about that now because we'll get the long wheelbase.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Let's talk about this. All that tech, MBUX, third generation and the super screen. That's what they call this one. It's not the hyperscreen because it's not all joined as one. So you've got three distinct sorts of zones to it. There is the instrument cluster, which now has a 3D option, which means that for many of the views here, you can turn on or off 3D with a straightforward little function on the screen. You may not be able to see it, but there's a little depth to the map that I currently have and all the instrument readouts are flat and in the front. It's pretty cool because even without the map, even with other functions, you see that little distant layering and depth. It's nice. You get used to it. You might not want to go back to 2D.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

There are many new graphics and updates to the MBUX interface. But most interesting are some new apps, especially something called Routines which lets you schedule your preferences within the car and its functions. There’s also the new selfie camera that lets you join virtual meetings like Zoom or Google Meet. But there’s so much here to show you, I will be doing a separate video on just the tech and interface options on the new E-Class on Acko Drive soon.

2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Well, behind me is the Castle Church of St. Michael in Pforzheim. It's been a really short and very easy journey for me, thanks to this car and thanks to all the modern roads and amenities that we now have. It was tough for Bertha Benz and her sons. They stayed put here for a few days and then headed back a different way when they returned to their home in Mannheim. I hope retracing this journey has been as much fun for you as it was for me. Well, I'm guessing it was a little bit more fun for me. But getting to know this car had to be the big highlight for you.

Photography By: Prashant Chaudhary

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