2024 Mercedes-Benz E 450 4MATIC: The Silver Star Keeps Shining

Strong points
  • Remarkable road manners
  • Enhanced comfort
  • Superb fit and finish
  • Cutting-edge tech
Weak points
  • No more wagon in North America
  • Steering wheel controls should be simpler to use
Full report

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class isn’t as critical to the brand’s success as it used to. Customers now have more models to choose from, and conventional passenger cars have become much less attractive. But none of that changes the fact that the E-Class remains the best-selling Mercedes-Benz of all time globally. It’s also the most popular midsize luxury sedan in the country, ahead of the BMW 5 Series. Of course, it faces much less competition these days following the departure of nearly all Japanese and American rivals.

Redesigned for the 2024 model year, the E-Class marks a timid evolution, though it certainly looks more assertive than its predecessor. The star motif that defines the new front grille and taillights is a beautiful touch, just like the illuminated grille surround (optional). Customers can once again choose between a more classic appearance and a sportier package. The latter, which most Canadians prefer, eliminates the hood ornament and various chrome bits, instead adding more aggressive front and rear fascias along with gloss back accents.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Simplified Model Lineup

For 2024, Mercedes-Benz axed the coupe and cabriolet, just like it previously did with the smaller C-Class. In their place is a brand new model called CLE, which is kind of like the old CLK from the early 2000s. We’re bummed that the wagon is gone, too (except in Europe). Poor sales are to blame, obviously, although the AMG E 63 4MATIC+ proved to be a fantastic answer to Audi’s RS 6 Avant. On that note, we have yet to learn about future performance variants of the new E-Class, slated to arrive as 2025 models.

The 2024 lineup consists of the E 350 4MATIC and E 450 4MATIC, with the latter being the focus of the media event we attended in Germany. While it retains a highly flexible V6 engine, output is increased to 375 horsepower, managed by a nine-speed transmission. Thanks to 48V mild hybrid technology, low-end torque is maximized. Same thing for throttle response. Meanwhile, the base 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which now delivers 295 lb-ft. of torque, is the same unit you’ll find in the C 300 and GLC 300, and it should satisfy a fair share of customers.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

On the road, the new E-Class proves extremely comfortable and solid, as you can imagine. Handling is pretty great, as well. Sure, the old one was no dummy, but now with active rear-wheel steering of up to 4.5 degrees, it’s surprisingly agile around town (including parallel parking manoeuvres) and stable in high-speed corners. Despite gaining 22 mm of wheelbase, the E-Class suddenly ranks among the most fun to drive midsize sedans.

Oh, there are sharper competitors out there, such as the aforementioned 5 Series, but the E-Class makes terrific use of its adaptive suspension and various drive modes to remain in the good graces of its loyal customers. Besides, a Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ is coming next year for those who care a little more about sporty driving.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Okay, Where to Start?

It would have been easy to write a whole book about the new human-machine interface in the 2024 E-Class, which combines a 14.4-inch centre touchscreen with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. Optionally, you can add a third display, this one on the passenger’s side (which the driver can’t see while driving) as part of what Mercedes-Benz calls a “Superscreen.” It looks awesome, for sure, though the front passenger can just as easily access the controls on the centre screen.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

The infotainment system is relatively easy to use and offers some interesting features such as augmented-reality navigation and electronic control of the air vents. Through a function called Energizing Comfort, the new E-Class can also learn which comfort systems occupants use repeatedly and automate them in the form of “routines.” Customers will have the option of creating routines themselves, too, linking several functions and conditions. It’s all very sophisticated and smartly thought-out, helping drivers and passengers temporarily escape the stress of their daily lives.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

A smartphone or smartwatch can be used to unlock the doors and start the car, while a new driving assistant enables automatic lane changes. There’s nothing revolutionary about that, but all you have to do to safely change lanes on the highway is to activate a turn signal. Interestingly, the E-Class will also learn your driving and commuting habits over time and eventually suggest routes so you don’t even have to bother with navigation before hitting the road.

The interior is more spacious now, by the way, including a tad more legroom. It oozes with refinement and elegance while letting technology shine all around. The controls on the steering wheel need some time to figure out and become familiar with, though. One thing that’s sure to please music lovers is the standard 21-speaker Burmester premium sound system. Paired with the new Active Ambient Lighting system featuring Sound Visualization, it even makes it possible to not only hear songs but also “see” them.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

In the end, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a marvelous mix of attributes luxury sedan buyers look for. Hopefully the improving reliability scores will continue with this new generation, because there was a time when that was almost a deal-breaker for many people. Here is proof that some traditional cars still have a place in this world. Did we mention our tester achieved a combined 8.7 L/100 km? Considering its weight, size, power and AWD system, it’s mighty impressive.

Watch: 2024 Mercedes-AMG EQE 4MATIC+ First Drive Review

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