Mercedes-Benz is improving the E-Class lineup with a newÂ driver assistance package that delivers the semi-autonomous capabilities already available on theÂ S-Class. Among them is advanced steering assist and Mercedes’ latest version of adaptive cruise control. Dubbed “Active Distance Assist Distronic” by the brand, the tech allows the vehicle to maintain a comfortable following distance with the traffic ahead and is capable of coming to a complete stop in traffic jams. But, unlike some other systems, it can also resume speed once the road ahead is clear.
There’s also a newÂ SportsStyle Package for the 2019 model yearÂ â€” adding chrome accents to the exterior, tailpipe finishers, special badging, and an upgraded interior featuringÂ stainless steel sport pedals, ash wood center console, new headliner, and unique floor mats.
However, most interesting change comes via AMG. Mercedes has ditched theÂ E43 model for the all new E53 4Matic+. Coming in both wagon and sedan bodystyles, the E53 dumps the E43’s biturbo V6 for an inline unit hosting the same number of cylinders, turbochargers, and adds a mild hybrid application.Â
The 48-volt setup is quickly becoming a staple at Mercedes, which is fine, as nobody can accuse those motors of underdelivering. For the AMG E-Class, the inline 3.0-liter makes use of aÂ electric drive supercharger to eliminate turbo lag. Peaking at 435 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, the engine mates to an AMG Speedshift nine-speed transmission that sends power to a variable all-wheel drive setup.
While those numbers may not sound radical compared to the E43’s specifications, they are an improvement in terms of horsepower. Also, by eliminating turbo lag, the E53 should be able to tap into that uptick in power more quickly and improve on the old car’s zero-to-sixty time of 4.5 seconds (though it’s capable of better with the right set of tires).
The new engine will also make its way to the E53 coupe and cabriolet, both of which should be available in North America. However, Mercedes said it will retain the wagon for European use. As infuriating as that makes a small subset of motorists, don’t forget that the completely insane E63 wagon is available in the United States and Canada.Â Its 603-horsepower 4.0-liter V8 is enough to embarrass practically anything else you’d encounter off the racetrack, provided you have the money to purchase one.
Frankly, we’re glad to see theÂ SportsStyle appearance package. The chrome additions are wildly tasteful and the interior gets some genuine attention, as well. Lately, it seems a lot of automakers are charging more for the elimination of chrome detailing and not always in ways that add to a vehicle’s appearance. While we like giving customers options, charging them more for a car that looks decidedly less expensive doesn’t make much sense to us. Some brands, like Jaguar, have been able to do the stripped-down look significantly better.
In addition to the package, Mercedes-Benz is also adding new options for the E-Class’ interior trim materials, seats, and wheels. Official North American pricing and specs will be announced at a later date, but European prices have already been listed. Doing some currency conversion shows Mercedes is askingÂ roughly $1,500 (USD) for the SportsStyle package, while the 2019 AMG E53 4MATIC+ sedan carries an MSRP of around $85,200.
If that number sticks when it arrives on the domestic market, it’ll represent aÂ $12,600 premium over the outgoing E43. While the majority of that can be attributed to the vehicle’s advanced powertrain, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a sizable chunk of changeÂ â€” even for someone who can afford it.