The Mercedes-Benz E-Class: All-round safety, outstanding comfort and trailblazing assistance systems

Apr 8, 2009
  • Active safety: over a dozen assistance systems help prevent accidents
  • Superb passive safety based on intelligent systems and designs
  • Travel and relax: E-Class offers business-class comfort
  • Sophisticated engine technology reduces fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, while improving driving pleasure
  • BlueEFFICIENCY ensures high environmental compatibility
  • Drive in comfort and brake safely: chassis and suspension technology with selective control
The E-Class from Mercedes-Benz represents the pacemaker when it comes to safety, comfort and environmental compatibility in this market segment. With its unique combination of driver assistance systems, the Saloon consolidates the leading position of Mercedes-Benz in the luxury class. Its features include a drowsiness detection system, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and the proximity control system which is capable of performing automatic emergency braking when there is acute danger of a collision.
Mercedes-Benz has improved the already exemplary long-distance comfort of the E-Class even further in the new saloon, principally through the use of intelligent bodyshell technology with up to 30 percent greater rigidity, further improved seats and a newly developed suspension whose shock absorbers automatically adjust to the current driving situation. The optional air suspension now works in combination with a continuously adjustable electronic damping system.
The outstanding safety and comfort of the E-Class are matched by its environmental compatibility and economy: the four and six-cylinder engines are direct-injection units, and consume up to 23 percent less fuel than before. The combined NEDC consumption of the four-cylinder CDIengines is just 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres, which corresponds to 139 grams of CO2 per kilometre. All the engines for the new E-Class meet the EU5 emissions standard, while the emissions from the E 350 BlueTEC are already below the EU6 limits planned for 2014.
Along with the new engines, the BlueEFFICIENCY package for the E-Class is in large part responsible for the considerable fuel savings. Engineers from every development department have worked together to optimise assemblies and components, to save fuel by means of reduced weight, a new form, improved functioning or efficient energy management. The work done in the wind tunnel was particularly successful, as the resulting drag coefficient of only 0.25 makes the new E-Class the world’s most aerodynamically efficient luxury saloon. It betters the already good Cd figure of the preceding model by another four percent, which represents a fuel saving of around 0.25 litres per 100 kilometres when driving at a motorway speed of 130 km/h. One of the measures taken to improve the aerodynamics is the adoption of automatically adjustable fan louvres which control the airflow to the engine compartment in line with the engine's cooling requirements.
Other BlueEFFICIENCY measures include newly developed tyres with up to 17 percent lower rolling resistance, energy-saving control of the alternator, fuel pump, air conditioning compressor and power steering, and the ECO start/stop function which switches the engine of the new E 200 CGIoff when idling. Displays on the speedometer inform the driver of how much fuel is being consumed (per 100 kilometres), and when it is best to change up a gear in order to ensure economical and eco-conscious driving.
CDI four-cylinder unit: 5.3-litre fuel consumption, 139 grams CO2 per kilometre
With three all-new four-cylinder engines, the E-Class also remains one generation ahead where diesel technology is concerned. These engines feature latest-generation common-rail direct injection, fast piezo-electric injectors, enhanced exhaust gas recirculation and an innovative twin turbocharger that ensures spontaneous power delivery and excellent performance characteristics. To put this into figures, the E 250 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY with 150 kW/204 hp and 500 newton metres develops 25 percent more torque than the previous V6 diesel engine yet consumes around 23 percent less fuel at only 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres (combined NEDC consumption), equivalent to 139 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The new four-cylinder diesel engine also powers the E 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with 100 kW/136 hp and the E 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with 125 kW/170 hp, also with a fuel consumption of 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres.
The flagship model in the new E-Class diesel range is the six-cylinder E 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY with an output of 170 kW/231 hp, which uses 0.5 litres less fuel per 100 kilometres than the previous E 320 CDI. From autumn 2009 the V6 diesel will also be available as a BlueTEC model with the world’s best emissions control technology. The E 350 BlueTEC develops 155 kW/211 hp and meets the EU6 exhaust emissions standards planned for 2014. All the other engine variants in the new E-Class meet the EU5 limits.
Petrol models with up to 20 percent lower fuel consumption thanks to direct injection
Mercedes-Benz equips the BlueEFFICIENCY models E 200 CGI and E 250 CGI with the newly developed four-cylinder direct petrol injection engine with a displacement of 1.8 litres, turbocharging and variable intake and exhaust camshafts. The E 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY (135 kW/184 hp) is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and the ECO start/stop function as standard, and consumes only 6.8 litres of premium petrol per 100 kilometres (combined NEDC consumption). This equates to 159 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
In the E 250 CGIBlueEFFICIENCY (150 kW/204 hp), which has a five-speed automatic transmission as standard, maximum torque is now 310 newton metres, which represents an increase of more than 26 percent over the previous V6 engine. At the same time the NEDC fuel consumption is reduced by over 20 percent to 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres, equivalent to 174 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
As before, the E 350 CGIBlueEFFICIENCY with direct petrol injection (215 kW/292 hp) and the top-of-the-line E 500 (285 kW/388 hp) are included in the range of engine variants in the new E-Class. By optimising details of their design, it has been possible to reduce the fuel consumption of these V6/V8 models by up to 0.6 litres per 100 kilometres. For the ultimate in high-performance saloons, the new E 63 AMG from Mercedes-AMG develops 386 kW/525 hp.
Mercedes-Benz equips the V6 and V8 models as standard with a 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, steering wheel selector lever and shift paddles.
Customers can also choose to combine the E 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and the E 350 V6 models, as well as the eight-cylinder E 500 Saloon, with the latest-generation Mercedes all-wheel drive which is more efficient, lighter and more compact than the previous all-wheel-drive technology. These advantages produce noticeably better traction and fuel savings.
Safety: "intelligent” partner thanks to unique combination of assistance and protection systems
For more than 50 years, the saloons in the E-Class and their predecessors have been acknowledged as trendsetters in the safety field. The new saloon continues this tradition with an unrivalled combination of the very latest assistance and protection systems whose concept and development are based on what actually happens during accidents. These systems make the E-Class an "intelligent partner" able to see, feel, react reflexively in critical situations and if necessary act independently to prevent accidents or mitigate their consequences. With this concept, the new Mercedes model not only protects its own occupants, but also contributes decisively to the greater safety of other road users.
The new E-Class is the first car in the world to be equipped with headlamps which adapt to the traffic situation and respond automatically to provide the best possible road illumination in a given situation and avoid dazzling other road users. The optional Adaptive Highbeam Assist uses a camera on the windscreen to recognise oncoming traffic and vehicles in front and to control the headlamps so their beams do not reach the other vehicle. The range of the dipped headlamp beams can be extended from the current 65 to as much as 300 metres. If the road ahead is clear, the system performs a gentle transition to high beam. Mercedes-Benz offers this new system in a Light package that includes bi-xenon headlamps, the Intelligent Light System and LED daytime driving lights.
The Lane Tracking package for the new E-Class includes Blind Spot Assist familiar from the S-Class, and as a new development, Lane Keeping Assist which seeks to prevent the vehicle from leaving the road unintentionally. When the system recognises that the car is drifting from its lane, the driver is prompted to take countersteering action by three brief but unmistakable vibrations of the steering wheel. The images from the windscreen camera are also used by the new, optionally available Speed Limit Assist, which recognises speed limit signs as the car passes them, then displays the relevant speed limit in the speedometer.
Night View Assist from the S-Class is now also available as an optional extra for the new E-Class. Mercedes-Benz has improved this system with a special pedestrian detection function: as soon as Night View Assist Plus recognises pedestrians ahead of the car, they are highlighted in the onboard display to provide a greatly enhanced warning effect.
Detection of drowsiness based on 70 parameters as standard
Thanks to an innovative technology, the new E-Class is very sensitive to its driver’s attention level, and warns him or her of drowsiness in good time. This new ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system, which is standard equipment, is equipped with highly sensitive sensors that continuously monitor more than 70 different parameters. Observing the driver’s steering behaviour has proved to be a particularly strong indicator: several years of practical research by Mercedes engineers have shown that drowsy drivers make minor steering errors which they often correct very rapidly in characteristic ways. These corrections are recognised by a highly sensitive steering angle sensor.
Automatic emergency braking when a collision is imminent
The well-proven, radar-based assistance systems from the S-Class are now also optionally available to E-Class customers. An enhanced long-range radar sensor now has a range of 200 metres (previously 150 metres), and is able to monitor the mid-distance so that dynamic events such as a vehicle ahead suddenly pulling out to overtake can be detected even more effectively. The two wide-angle short-range radar sensors, which have a range of around 30 metres, continue to be included in the system.
The radar-supported systems are able to assist the driver with emergency braking. Their sensors are linked to the BAS PLUS system, which automatically calculates the braking pressure to prevent a collision in critical situations. The driver is given an audible and visual warning at the same time. When the brake pedal is pressed, the system immediately provides the calculated level of braking assistance.
If the driver fails to respond to the warnings, the radar system first initiates partial braking action. As a second stage, if there is still no driver response and a collision is unavoidable, emergency braking is initiated. This can reduce the severity of an impact considerably as the system can be regarded as a kind of "electronic crumple zone".
Active Bonnet, seven airbags and PRE-SAFE® as standard
During the course of its development, the new E-Class was subjected to more than 150 high-speed crash tests. The crumple zone principle invented by Mercedes safety pioneer Béla Barényi has been continuously honed by the engineers in Sindelfingen. The front-end deformation zone of the E-Class acts on four independent levels, and is even more effective than before. The increased use of extra-high-strength steel alloys also helps to ensure that the bodyshell is able to withstand high impact forces. Around 72 percent of all the body panels are made from these high-tech steels - yet another unrivalled figure in passenger car development.
With seven standard-fit airbags, belt tensioners, belt force limiters, crash-responsive head restraints and ISOFIX child seat attachments, the new E-Class has even more extensive safety features than the preceding model. Another new feature is the Active Bonnet, the latest development to result from Mercedes-Benz's long-standing commitment to pedestrian protection. It is standard equipment in the new E-Class. In the event of an impact, a system of springs raises the rear section of the bonnet by 50 millimetres in a fraction of a second, thereby increasing the available deformation space. Thanks to the cleverly designed mechanism, the driver is able to reset the Active Bonnet to its normal position without having to visit a workshop.
Another standard feature is the unrivalled anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®. In potentially hazardous situations this reflexively activates precautionary protective measures for the vehicle occupants, so that the seat belts and airbags are able to fulfil their protective function to the full during an impact.
Comfort: further progress through adaptive shock absorbers and improved air suspension
As well as being a trendsetter in the safety field, the E-Class has been setting the standards for long-distance comfort in this vehicle class for several decades. Bettering the already high level of the preceding series, Mercedes engineers have achieved further advances with the new saloon - especially where ride, seating and climate comfort are concerned.
Standard equipment includes a further improved suspension with adaptive shock absorbers. These automatically adapt to the current driving situation by reducing the damping forces when driving normally, thereby noticeably improving ride comfort. When taking bends at speed or during rapid evasive action, the system switches to the maximum damping force so that the saloon is stabilised to best effect.
A version with dynamic damping characteristics and a lowered suspension is available as an optional alternative to the comfort-oriented standard suspension (standard for the AVANTGARDE line).
The air suspension system optionally available for the V6 models (standard in the E 500/E 500 4MATIC) has for the first time been combined with a continuously variable electronic damping system which processes various sensor signals and controls each wheel independently. In this way Mercedes customers can enjoy significantly better ride comfort while improving handling safety and sporty agility at the same time. The driver is able to select either Comfort or Sport mode at the touch of a button.
Well-proven seat technology with a new design
When it came to developing the seats for the new E-Class, Mercedes-Benz chose a new, enhanced version of a well-established Mercedes concept, namely padded seat piping - a sophisticated and demanding upholstery technique performed by hand that is only used by Mercedes-Benz. It involves the insertion of an additional foam filling under the fabric or leather cover, and gives an immediate feeling of comfort and well-being when sitting in the car. There are different versions of this padded seat piping: in the entry-level model and AVANTGARDE line the upholstery has horizontal piping, while the ELEGANCE line has longitudinal piping and is reminiscent of the well-known and well-proven Mercedes seat design from the 1960s and 70s.
Active multicontour seats with massage function from the S-Class
The Active Multicontour Seat package (optional) includes newly developed multicontour seats with luxury head restraints and a two-stage massage function in the backrest that has proven highly successful in the S-Class. Depending on the steering angle, lateral acceleration and vehicle speed, fast-acting piezo-electric valves on the air chambers in the backrests vary their pressure and volume to give the driver and front passenger even better lateral support.
On request the new E-Class is also available with a rear seat unit consisting of two comfortable, single seats. This Rear Seat Comfort package includes leather upholstery, seat heating, a centre console, luxury head restraints, roller blinds in the rear doors, an electrically operated roller blind for the rear window, luxury sun visors and a central module for the optional ski bag.
Individual climatisation mode at the touch of a button
For the first time, Mercedes-Benz has developed a luxury automatic climate control system for the E-Class which not only allows individual temperatures to be set in three zones – for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers – but also offers different "climatisation modes". If the optional multi-zone THERMOTRONIC system is specified, the occupants of the new E-Class are able to select "Diffuse", "Medium" or "Focus" modes at the touch of a button, and so adapt the air volume and distribution to their personal preferences without sacrificing the convenience of automatic mode. In standard trim the new E-Class is equipped ex factory with the two-zone THERMATIC automatic climate control system.
Model range: High-specification standard equipment and individual variants
Individuality and variety have always been two of the outstanding attributes of the E-Class. The new saloon not only provides Mercedes customers with a choice of ten engines and three suspension variants, but also two design and equipment lines, twelve wheel/tyre combinations in 16, 17, 18 or 19-inch size, twelve exterior paint finishes and six different seat upholstery materials in up to five colour combinations to suit their individual preferences. The choice of interior trim has been doubled versus the preceding series, with the range now including high-gloss exotic wood, open-pored wood and embossed or brushed aluminium trim.
Standard specifications already include 16-inch light-alloy wheels in a nine-spoke design, eucalyptus wood or aluminium trim and a multifunction steering wheel trimmed in fine nappa leather with chrome inserts. Also included in the standard equipment is the Audio 20 CD infotainment system with a twin receiver, CD player, eight loudspeakers and a Bluetooth interface for a mobile phone. The colour display (5.8-inch screen) in the centre of the dashboard can be operated by the driver or front passenger using the Controller on the centre tunnel.
The individualisation programme for the E-Class is based on two design and equipment lines. The ELEGANCE line lives up to its name with a decidedly elegant, classic appearance. This is in part due to additional features such as a chrome-plated radiator grille with four louvres painted in metallic silver, 16-inch light-alloy wheels in a ten-twin-spoke design, burr walnut trim and stylish ambient lighting with fibre optics that frame the dashboard and door panels.
In contrast the AVANTGARDE line shows the E-Class in a decidedly modern and innovative light. This is ensured by additional standard features such as bi-xenon headlamps with the Intelligent Light System and LED daytime driving lights, LED technology for all the rear lights, 17-inch light-alloy wheels in a five-twin-spoke design, a special lowered suspension setup, ambient lighting and the instrument cluster in a sporty tubular design. This model variant can also be distinguished by its distinctive bumper design and a chrome-plated radiator grille with three high-gloss, black louvres.
Equipment packages: extras for customers who want even more from their E-Class
In addition to the design and equipment lines, the AMG Sports package and the Exclusive package offer customers even more scope for equipping the new E‑Class in line with their personal tastes. These packages contain high-quality features, most of which are not available separately. In the AMG Sports package they include AMG-styled bumpers and side skirts, sports seats with enhanced lateral support, contrasting decorative stitching on the seats and armrests, a three-spoke sports steering wheel with shift paddles, a black roof liner, a lowered sports suspension, perforated brake discs featuring callipers with the Mercedes logo and AMG-styled 18-inch light-alloy wheels. The Exclusive package includes a wood/leather steering wheel, roof liner, pillar trim and sun visors in Alcantara, seat upholstery, armrest and door panels in nappa leather and a high-quality dashboard finish with decorative stitching, and velour floor mats.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, E 350 CGI AVANTGARDE, exterior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, E 350 CGI AVANTGARDE, exterior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, E 350 CGI AVANTGARDE, exterior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, E 500 AVANTGARDE, exterior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, E 500 AVANTGARDE, exterior
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, E 500 AVANTGARDE, exterior