First Drive: 2014 Mercedes Benz E Class mercedes benz luxury cars first drives
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Catalonia, Spain – Since its launch in 2009 as a 2010 model, the current generation E-Class has done quite well for Mercedes-Benz. Worldwide, they’ve moved about 700,000 sedans and 100,000 wagons. In fact, Mercedes calls the E-Class its most important nameplate.

Four years is quite some time to wait for a mid-cycle refresh in the luxury world. Nonetheless the Stuttgart automaker is using delicate brushstrokes on this makeover. Evolution over revolution.

Makes prefect sense. The E-Class is a conservative executive sedan, and no one kicking these tires is looking for a wild party.

What they are going to get in the 2014 E-Class, which arrives here in mid-April, is a smoother look and a host of new standard and available safety technology, some of which have trickled down from big-brother S-Class.

Mechanically, there are no differences between 2013 and 2014 models. Carrying forward will be the direct-injection 3.5L V6 found in the E 300 4Matic and E 350 4Matic (making 248 hp and 302 hp respectively) and the 402 hp 4.6L V8 in the E 550 4Matic. All use the seven-speed 7GTronic transmission.

First Drive: 2014 Mercedes Benz E Class mercedes benz luxury cars first drives First Drive: 2014 Mercedes Benz E Class mercedes benz luxury cars first drives First Drive: 2014 Mercedes Benz E Class mercedes benz luxury cars first drives
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Click image to enlarge

For 2014 there will be a special order rear-drive E 400 hybrid (same mild hybrid system as in the S 400) and the diesel E 350 BlueTec is off the menu. The Wagon will continue to be available in E 350 4Matic trim.

Before all you diesel fans (I count myself as one) fall to your knees, shake your fists at the sky and scream “Nooooooo!”, let it be known that Mercedes-Benz is not abandoning us. In September, the four-cylinder 2015 E 250 BlueTec arrives. More on that later.

Visually, the 2014 E gets a smoother snout incorporating a more aerodynamic grille and standard “static” LED headlights and running lights, meaning the low beams are full LED while the high beams are xenon. Optional is a full adaptive LED setup.

The flanks of the new E have been resculpted for a more flowing look. Gone are the stamped arches above the rear wheels, and now a character line sweeps the full length of the car. Out back are new LED taillights.

Our Canadian cars will be snappily spec’d. We’ll only get the cooler “Avantgarde” grille (there is a more traditional design with the three-pointed star perched on top), and the AMG body and wheel treatment will be standard on the E 350 and E 550, optional on the E 300.

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