Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Sausages! If there’s one thing the Germans know how to carefully craft, it’s a precisely laid-out selection of wieners. Here’s the latest length from Mercedes, the new E-class. It’s smaller than the S-Class, it’s longer than the C-Class: Mercedes-Benz spells “Medium” with an E, and it might just be the best-fitting machine yet.

The tenth generation E-Class Merc’ was revealed to the public in a somewhat inside out fashion, with an early look at the interior of the E-Class presented in advance of the full model unveiling in Detroit this year. Thus, we already knew about the car’s wide, single-casting glass touchscreen, and its foot-wide navigation display. There’s a good reason why the inside led the way for Mercedes in this case, as comfort and quality remain the chief qualities of the brand, ahead of performance. Leaving aside juggernauts like the Gelandewagen and the tire-smoke of the AMG lineup, a Mercedes is something you buy for relaxed, yet capable motoring.

To recap, the E-class gets several new interior upgrades, including a configurable instrument panel, and 63 shades of selectable interior lighting colour. The seats are markedly improved, and range from the sportiest AMG-style variants to the comfort line seat offerings with their complex massage functions. More colour options are on the table for interior materials, and once again the effect is more lounge than cockpit.

The E-class’s new outside hits the mark in being both unsurprising and handsome. Leave the gauche matte-paint option box unticked, and the E is as well-tailored as your average executive’s business suit, blissfully free of fender vents and other tack-on nonsense. The wheelbase increases by 66 mm, while the overall length of the car is also up by 43 mm; at 4,903 mm in length, it steps on the toes of earlier S-class models, while being still easily parkable. Luxury lines continue to get the targeting reticle of a three-pointed star atop the grille, while the sportier versions make do with an integrated badging.

Under the new hood – which, like the fenders, trunk, and large sections of the bodywork, is all-aluminum – the E-class gets a new four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine as the base offering. Displacing 2.0L, it makes 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, perfectly adequate figures for most use. The four will be matched to a nine-speed automatic transmission, and whether Mercedes can manage to mute the inherent imbalance of a four-cylinder engine to the point that it’s as smooth as their old V6-powered E-class models remains to be seen.

The Brat(wurst): 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

While no other engine offerings were officially announced, you don’t have to own a crystal ball to expect more powerful options coming down the pipeline before too long. Even with diesel’s currently tarnished image, the E-class will likely continue to sell a decent percentage of cars so equipped, as well as with a twin-turbo V6 of the E400. There’ll also be a plug-in hybrid variant, and the word is that there will likely be two AMG variants, an E43 Mercedes-AMG and top dog E63 AMG. The latter will get the hand-assembled twin-turbo V8, and the former replaces the E450 AMG Sport line with a mass-assembled twin-turbo V6.

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