Pertinently it's the bridge between electric vehicles (EVs) and internal combustion engines (ICEs), and just like the recent GLC Coupe, every powertrain option is electrified, be it mild hybrids or plug-in hybrids (MHEV, PHEV).
The sole petrol MHEV variant is the E200 that packs a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with 204 PS/320 Nm, with the integrated starter generator providing a 23 PS/205 Nm boost.
The PHEV variants also feature the same engine, but with an output of up to 252 PS/400 Nm in the E400e 4Matic, supplemented by a 129 PS/440 Nm electric motor to deliver a combined system output of 381 PS/650 Nm.
The E300e and E300e 4Matic provide a combined output of 312 PS/550 Nm.
Still classically three-box, it looks lithe with a short front overhang and a long bonnet, and the new bubbly high-performance LED headlamps look a bit like a callback to the quad-headlights of older models (think W211, W212). Illuminated grille surrounds, as above, is an optional extra.
Lots of the design picks from the EV-only EQ range, such as the black panel that joins the grille to the headlamps.
Naturally the trim levels will also see some differences - AMG Line brings with it a studded grille with a logo in the middle, and the Exclusive Line with a simpler design and a hood ornament.
Illuminating the rear section are LED tail lights with the Mercedes logo motif in them.
Overall, it's a larger car too. It's 4,949 mm long, 1,880 mm wide, and 1,468 tall, sitting on a 2,961 mm wheelbase makes it 14 mm longer, 28 mm wider, and 8 mm higher than the preceding W213, resulting in slightly improved interior space.
The bigger news is of course, inside, and the new W214 doesn't hide its office-on-wheels ambition. Through the optional MBUX Superscreen, the display extends to the front passenger area, and it looks like it floats above the concave surface of the trim elements.
It's loaded with a bunch of apps too: standard on the E-Class is TikTok, Angry Birds, Webex, Zoom, and the Vivaldi web browser. If you ticked the MBUX Superscreen box, they'll also bundle a selfie and video camera that allows you participate in said video conferences or take a photo of yourself when the car isn't moving.
Beyond all that, there's the customary ambient lighting, and everything is infinitely customisable. A new Routines feature means you can get the car to do what you want based on conditions you set (say, turn on orange lights when the temperature is below 30 celcius) for a more personalised experience.
The 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has Active Distance Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and Speed Limit Assist as standard advanced safety features.
Optional features include the driver distraction warning with a visual and acoustic warning, and the Driving Assistance Plus package, which includes Active Steering Assist and automatic restart in city traffic and country roads.
All of these sounds very enticing isn't it? Mercedes-Benz may have what it takes to build a small lead over BMW for a while, at least until Munich unveils their latest 5 Series on 24-May, 2023 and then the battle heats up again.
Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce the all-new W214-generation E-Class into European showrooms in autumn 2023, with sales commencing in the summer.
It'll be a while yet before it sails into Malaysia, for now we have the W213 E-Class in E200 Avantgarde trim (from RM 349,888) or the E300 AMG Line trim (from RM 399,888), both locally-assembled (CKD Pekan, Pahang).
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.