2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review and Test Drive

For a sublime driving experience, a loaded 2024 E-Class is the midsize luxury sedan worth a closer look.

Front of a blue 2024 Mercedes-Benz E350Christian Wardlaw


Sublime is the word that kept coming to mind while driving the redesigned 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Sophisticated is another one. After living with the car for three days, I summarize it as sensational.

For 32 years, the E-Class has set standards in the midsize luxury car segment, and the model's predecessors date back to 1946. Mercedes has offered the E-Class in convertible, coupe, sedan, and station-wagon body styles. To call the new 2024 Mercedes E-Class a critical car to get right is an understatement.

The E-Class doesn't stray from the formula that has made it successful. The simple, elegant design and the classy, quality interior represent quiet luxury at its best, while the available next-generation technology punches above the segment's weight. You can dress this car up, too, making it stand out from the crowd while enveloping you in sumptuous comfort.

Rear view of a blue 2024 Mercedes-Benz E350Christian Wardlaw

2024 Mercedes E-Class Prices Are Appealing, Not Appalling

With the all-new 2024 E-Class, Mercedes is thinning its lineup. The coupe and convertible are now known as the CLE-Class, leaving an E-Class sedan and E-Class wagon called the All-Terrain. In 2025, an AMG-tuned plug-in hybrid joins the sedan lineup as the AMG E53 Hybrid.

That quartet gives Mercedes a compelling lineup against its primary rivals: the aging Audi A6, the recently redesigned BMW 5 Series, and the artfully penned Genesis G80.

The 2024 E-Class sedan comes in E350 4Matic and E450 4Matic models. Base prices range from the low $60,000s to the high $60,000s, including the destination charge to ship the car from the Sindelfingen, Germany, factory that builds it to your local dealership.

I test-drove the E350 4Matic in Southern California. Highlights from the test car's optional equipment list include extra-cost Nautical Blue paint, 21-inch wheels, Tonka Brown premium leather, a Pinnacle Trim package, and nearly every option. The manufacturer's suggested retail price was $82,450, including the $1,150 destination charge. Mercedes-Benz provided the vehicle for this review.

Dashboard of a 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-ClassChristian Wardlaw

The 2024 E-Class Is Warm and Inviting

Refreshingly soft, smooth, and sensual in a world increasingly populated with cold, harsh, and technical automotive designs, the new E-Class relies on proportion and detailing to convey its stature. The E-Class is inoffensively appealing, from the star-studded grille leading into a long hood to the tapered taillights with star-shaped illumination. Standard AMG body styling adds personality, and the test car's 21-inch wheels provided significant presence.

Equipped with diamond-stitched, perforated nappa leather in a new Tonka Brown hue, the test car's cabin exuded warmth and luxury. The natural wood trim on the center console, the deftly integrated air vents on the perimeter of the dashboard, and the metallic Burmester speaker grilles convey a traditional elegance, while the available three-display Superscreen stretching across the dashboard is unmistakably futuristic.

Touch-sensing controls are the rule. Somehow, they aren't as irritating as you might imagine. Still, a volume knob allowing more precise sound adjustment would be welcome.

The Superscreen displays are easy to navigate and use, partly due to zero-layer main menus and a smartphone-style design and user experience. However, the Superscreen rapidly collects dust, lint, fingerprints, and smudges, downgrading the cabin's appearance.

Back seat of a 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-ClassChristian Wardlaw

A Few Comfort Complaints Exist in the Interior

Though my test car didn't have the optional active multicontour front seats with massage, the E-Class proved comfortable with one exception. Unfortunately, the wide center console caused discomfort to my right leg while driving. More padding and a different shape would help.

You'll find the familiar pictogram-style Mercedes seat adjusters on the door panels, but they don't move. Instead, they respond to pressure, which takes some acclimation. Heated front seats are standard, with ventilation an option.

Exiting the car may prove challenging for taller people due to the seat position in relation to the center roof pillar. Also, because Mercedes positions the cabin closer to the rear axle than the front to give the E-Class a long and low appearance, the rear wheel arches intrude on back-seat entry and exit.

Two adults will be comfortable in the sedan's rear quarters, but squeezing in three might be difficult. The bottom cushion is long and supportive, you sit high in the car with a good view out, and a center armrest folds down to increase comfort.

Trunk of a 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-ClassChristian Wardlaw

Hidden Storage and a Large Trunk Offer More Utility Than Expected

That rear center armrest contains pop-out cupholders, and your passengers can stash items in the seatback pockets, a shelf under the air-conditioning vents, and the carpeted door panel bins.

The front door panels have even more accommodating lower bins, and the split-top center armrest opens to reveal another storage compartment. Slide the wood-trimmed top of the center console forward and you'll find a storage area with cupholders and a wireless smartphone charger. Overall, the amount of cabin storage space is helpful.

Mercedes says the trunk holds 19.1 cubic-feet of cargo, but it seems smaller. You can stow full-size suitcases on their sides, however, and Mercedes enclosed the trunklid hinges so they won't crush any belongings. A 40/20/40-split folding rear seat allows you to expand the cargo room or carry long items and passengers simultaneously.

Infotainment display in a 2024 Mercedes E-Class.Christian Wardlaw

The MBUX Superscreen Adds Razzle Dazzle

Every 2024 E-Class includes a third-generation version of Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), the automaker's digital instrumentation and infotainment technology. In standard specification, it pairs a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display with a 14.4-inch center touchscreen infotainment system.

Select the optional Superscreen package, and the car includes a third display in front of the passenger. It is a 12.3-inch touchscreen that activates when someone is sitting in that seat and provides access to navigation, media, games, a Vivaldi web browser, and visual entertainment, including TikTok and YouTube. If the passenger views video content, the screen is invisible to the driver.

With the Superscreen, the E-Class also gets a cabin-facing camera on the top of the dashboard. Occupants can use it to take selfies — why? — and to participate in video conference calls via the WebEx and Zoom apps embedded into MBUX.

In my experience, past versions of MBUX offered an intuitive interface, pleasing graphics, and impressive voice-recognition technology. That remains true, now enhanced with artificial intelligence and a digital voice assistant that is, frankly, a little too eager to join the conversation uninvited.

My test car had the optional 17-speaker Burmester 4D surround-sound system featuring Dolby Atmos and Apple Spatial Audio technology. Using the car's streaming service and Apple Music, I listened to the latest release from my new flavor-of-the-month band, and the quality and clarity of the music were stunningly good.

The head-up display data on the windshield of a 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.Christian Wardlaw

The 2024 Mercedes E-Class Boasts Numerous High-Tech Features

As you might expect, the E-Class boasts numerous gizmos and gewgaws. For example, a large head-up display shows you plenty of data, including directions to a destination.

The navigation system on the center infotainment screen includes augmented reality, providing a video feed from the car's front camera and overlaying directional graphics at crucial junctions on your journey.

You can also choose from several instrumentation display themes, including Sport, Classic, Navigation, and Assistance. My favorite is Classic, which provides a couple of round gauges with a data panel in the middle. However, the Assistance theme is helpful when using the car's advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Digital gauges of a 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.Christian Wardlaw

The E-Class Driver Assistance Package Gives You Configurable Competence

When you add the optional Driver Assistance package to the 2024 E-Class, you install a long list of technologies, including active driving assist, collision avoidance, and crash preparation. Turn all of them on, and it should prove difficult, but not impossible, to get into an accident.

Still, some of the features can irritate. For example, an automatic lane-change assist is active when you're using the adaptive cruise control and the lane-centering assist on a large highway. As the car approaches slower vehicles, it can automatically check the adjacent lane to see if it is clear, signal, and execute a lane change to pass them.

I wasn't a fan, but I would find this feature helpful and trustworthy if I drove across the country on an interstate instead of the multilane madness of Los Angeles freeways. I almost always overrode the unexpectedly insistent technology, resulting in what felt like and must have appeared to other motorists as erratic driving.

Otherwise, the car's driver-assistance features performed well, if not flawlessly. When rounding curves, the lane-centering system behaved less confidently. In construction zones, the route-based speed adaptation feature turned the E-Class into a rolling traffic cone, sparking a need for anger-management therapy in my fellow travelers. However, through MBUX, you can adjust many ADAS settings or entirely defeat some features.

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine in a 2024 Mercedes-Benz E350.Christian Wardlaw

Turbocharging and Mild-Hybrid Technology Are Standard

The new 2024 E-Class is available in E350 4Matic and E450 4Matic flavors, each equipped with standard all-wheel drive and 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain technology, including an integrated starter-generator.

A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers the E350, delivering 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes says it will accelerate to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. For improved power and performance, consider the E450. It has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine producing 375 horsepower and 369 lb-ft across a broader portion of the rev range, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.

Front view of a blue 2024 Mercedes-Benz E350Christian Wardlaw

The E350 Is Quick and Capable Enough to Hustle

My E350 4Matic test vehicle had the turbo four but rarely felt underpowered. In Comfort mode, when accelerating from a stop in a hurry, the car felt slower to respond than desired. In most situations, however, the starter-generator's electric motor assist helps to launch the E350 so that when peak engine torque arrives at 2,000 rpm, the overall impression is smooth and swift acceleration.

The E350 4Matic returned 23.8 mpg on my testing loop. According to the EPA, it should get 24/33/27 mpg in city/highway/combined driving. The evaluation route is mountainous but includes plenty of highway driving at speeds between 50 and 75 mph, so the observed result is low.

The engine uses a smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission, contributing to the unfettered E-Class driving experience. In addition, the optional Airmatic package significantly contributes to the car's sublime nature. It installs an adaptive air suspension and rear-axle steering with up to 4.5 degrees of input to tighten a turning radius and add stability on the highway.

Rear view of a blue 2024 Mercedes-Benz E350Christian Wardlaw

In Comfort mode, this Mercedes glides around town and down the freeway, isolating pavement zits and erasing unwanted body motion. You can sometimes feel the Airmatic suspension performing its miracles, but its work is usually invisible to the driver.

Sport mode noticeably alters the E350's character, as though it has downed a double espresso. The powertrain is more alert to inputs from your right foot, and the ride firms up.

In Sport mode, the E350 4Matic can hustle, and you'll enjoy yourself while doing it. But ultimately, this version of the new E-Class is about calm, cool, and collected luxury, especially when you've equipped it with all the extras.

Side view of a blue 2024 Mercedes-Benz E350Christian Wardlaw

The New 2024 E-Class Is a Therapy Session on Wheels

When driving the new 2024 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic, I felt a sense of calm, the din of the world fading to gray. Somehow, the E-Class eased my stress, added perspective, and put me at peace. If that's what the best luxury cars do, then the redesigned 2024 E-Class succeeds in that mission.

That detachment from reality, however, might not be for everyone. If you're seeking something else from a midsize luxury sedan, you can also consider the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, or Genesis G80, but none of those offer quite the same style, comfort, technology, and driving experience as this all-new Mercedes.

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Christian Wardlaw
My first word was “car.” That’s what I’m told, anyway. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with them. The design. The engineering. The performance. And the purpose. I’m a car enthusiast who loves to drive, but I’m also most interested in the cars, trucks, and SUVs that people actually buy. Anybody can tell you that a sports car is fast. What you need to know is whether or not you should buy that new SUV, and why. My life purpose is to help you make that decision.