Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new

Sanjay · Oct 17, 2021 09:00 AM

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 01

When it comes to executive sedans in Malaysia, a few models come to mind. You have Munich's BMW 5 Series, and Stuttgart represents with the E-Klasse. We'll be taking a look at the latter today, specifically the facelifted (W213) 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 02

The E-Class is locally-assembled (CKD Pekan, Pahang), and a brief overview of both models sold here are as below:

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 01

As usual, all scores and judgements here are relative to the E300's segment and not the new car market as a whole.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300: Driving Performance - 35/50, Quick and powerful

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It's easy to see how one might think this E300 as an all-new model, that's how much better this facelifted W213 is.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Facts and Figures
Engine 2.0L, turbo 4-cyl
Transmission 9AT
Total Power 258 PS @ 5,800 - 6,100 rpm
Total Torque 370 Nm @ 1,800 - 4,000 rpm
Weight 1,605 kg
0-100 km/h 7.5 seconds
100-0 km/h 40.5 metres

The M264 isn't the newest – a prefacelift leftover, superseded in some markets by the mild-hybrid M254 – but really, there isn't much to complain about. Power is abundant, but it's clear that the four-pot prioritises smoothness. Still, call upon it and it will pin your head to the headrest.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 03

It's enough to make you ignore the hoo-ha about how an E-Class needs a bigger engine under the hood. What it has now is commendably smooth and hushed, a great companion for eating up the many kilometres of long distance travel.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 04

Paired to it is a 9-speed automatic transmission (9GTRONIC, in Mercedes' parlance). For the most part it's fantastic, playing to the strengths of the engine, but it does get indecisive once in a while. When this happens, it'll hunt for gears before settling on one with an uncharacteristic clunk.

A minor blemish on what is an adept transmission for most of the time.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 05

It's fine for pootling around town, but in 'Comfort' or 'Eco', there's a certain sense of lag. Selecting 'Sport' mode sharpens it up somewhat, and so some may be inclined to keep it here for the perkier response.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 06

245/45R19 runflats cover the rather-traditional AMG Line wheels

The E300's passive-adaptive dampers work in a way where comfort and ride quality are not affected by switching driving modes. Instead, it makes automatic, minute adjustments as you drive, in the interest of keeping things comfortable.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 07

It's got a nifty variable ratio steering too, which picks up pace rather progressively, coherent to the car's handling characteristics.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 08

Braking performance is top notch, with a very grabby feel. The pedal is easy to modulate, and they give you the confidence at higher speeds. At least on the driving aspect, this is a car that wants and helps you to drive smoothly, which is something your passengers will thank you for as well.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Driving Performance Breakdown
Engine Acceleration 3 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 3.5 / 5
Throttle Response 3.5 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 3 / 3
Smoothness 3.5 / 5
Sport/Manual Mode 2 / 3
Steering Accuracy 2.5 / 3
Response 2.5 / 3
Weight & Feel 2 / 3
Braking Distance 1.5 / 3
Feel 2 / 3
Handling Chassis Balance 2 / 3
Grip 2 / 3
Load Reaction 2 / 3
Total   35 / 50

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line: Ride Comfort - 36.5/50, Smooth operator

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If it's something more of a 'driver's car' you're looking for, then the E-Class's résumé might not look as enticing as a 5 Series'. What the E300 majors in is smoothening your journeys, slipping through the air while you remain undisturbed.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 10

Standard on the E300 AMG Line is the aforementioned passive-adaptive Agility Control suspension setup. Compared to the pre-facelift, this E300's ride is decidely calmer, effortlessly easing you over 90% of common pockmarks and undulations.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Cabin noise
0 km/h (A/C off) 43 dB
0 km/h (A/C on) 48 dB
60 km/h (A/C on) 58 dB
90 km/h (A/C on) 63 dB
110 km/h (A/C on) 68 dB

The remaining 10% of deep potholes and sharp road imperfections will still jolt the cabin, but they have to be particularly terrible. Otherwise, the effects can be somewhat negated by driving slower.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 11

Space is par for the course of this class of cars, and the panoramic sunroof helps to increase the airiness in the cabin.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Ride Comfort Breakdown
Sound Proofing 7 / 10
Suspension 7 / 10
Passenger Comfort 8 / 10
Seat Support 3.5 / 5
Ergonomics 3 / 5
Engine Refinement 8 / 10
Total points 36.5 / 50 pts

2021 Mercedes Benz E300 AMG Line: Interior space – 32/50, Oodles of space

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Short of the lounge that is the S-Class, the E-Class offers the respectable space expected from a car of this stature. Dimensions are unchanged from the pre-facelift, so if you've been in one of those, it's more of the same.

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Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 14

Seat adjustability is practically unlimited, with ways to tailor thigh, lumbar, and side support, among others through the door-mounted controls.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 15

Note the tightness of the pedals; no footrest on the left

Though there's oodles of space for passengers, the driver's side is a bit iffy. The offset driving position (more on that later) results in a borderline-claustrophobic driver's footwell.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 16

As far as space for rear occupants go, there's about two-and-some tennis balls worth of legroom and two tennis balls of headroom for an 177 cm tall adult.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 17

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 18

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 19

Glovebox is a little tight

For things, there's the usual cupholders, a rather large centre armest, medium-sized door cards, a sunglasses holder and a nifty covered storage area just below the centre console.

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Pop open the powered boot and there's 540 litres of bootspace with the rear seats up. More space can be afforded by folding away the rear seats, but rather annoyingly this can't be done from inside the car - you'll have to get outside every time you need to do this.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Interior Space Breakdown
Front Row 7 / 10
Middle/Back Row 7 / 10
Boot Space 3.5 / 5
Practicality 4 / 5
Storage Space 4 / 5
Visibility 3.5 / 5
Storage Flexibility 3 / 5
Total 32 / 50 pts

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line: Quality and Features – 45/50, Quite complete

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 21

The W213 facelift brings with it a completely new look, which – as with almost any other car's design – can get polarising. Some like the smoother lines, but there are others who beg to differ by saying the C-, S- and this E-Class all look the same now.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 22

Regardless on what's your take on things, build quality of the E300 is tight in all the right places.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Panel Gaps (mm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side Difference
Bonnet 3 2.5 0.5
Front Fender 3 3 0
Front to Rear Door 3.5 4.5 1
Rear Door to quarter panel 3.5 3.5 0
Tailgate 3.5 3.5 0

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 23

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 24

The E300's AMG Line garb brings with it Multibeam LED headlights, more aggressive bumpers, a studded grille, and 19-inch AMG wheels.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Paint Thickness (µm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 115
Front Fender 96 102
Front Door 125 119
Rear Door 117 122
Rear Quarter Panel 122 130
Tailgate 78
Roof N/A, because glass
Average paint thickness: 113 µm ±8

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 25

Don't just settle for noise-blockers, sight-blockers are important too
2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Exterior Materials
Bonnet Soundproofing Material Thick
Struts Gas
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Single-glaze
Rear Windows Single-glaze
Construction Single-piece
Boot Opening Powered

Stepping into the interior is an occasion everytime, even better at night with the fully-customisable ambient lighting turned on.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 26

Always fascinating to look at

The E300 AMG Line gets Nappa leather upholstery, black open-pored ash wood trim, and an Artico man-made leather-lined dashboard.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 27

Amenities in the E300 include a wireless charger, triple-zone climate control, a powered sunblind for the rear window, a panoramic sunroof, and the great sports steering wheel.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line  - Cabin Material Use
Seat Seat Cover Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover Leather
Dashboard Upper Section Leather
Lower Section Soft Plastic
Front Doors Upper Section Leather
Middle Section Leather
Lower Section Hard Plastic

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 28

What's shared between the two E-Class variants sold in Malaysia is the expansive, delightfully high-resolution Widescreen Cockpit.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 29

Reverse camera is top notch

Comprised of two 12.3-inch widescreen displays, one is for driver instrumentation while the other touchscreen is for infotainment and everything else.

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Screen quality is top notch, and so is the software - the infotainment system is much more smoother to use than in the pre-facelift. However, it's not without its foibles as well.

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Most have got to do with ergonomics and ease of use. For one, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay doesn't run in full screen, which takes away from the otherwise grand sense of occasion.

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Looks pretty cut-rate...

Then, the user interface is still poor as simple things like skipping songs can't be done through single touches on the steering wheel.

Instead, you'll have to use either:

  • Voice command

  • Jabbing at the screen while driving

  • Using the haptic buttons on the steering wheel like a mouse, which means it's easy to click the wrong thing entirely

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 33

See the arrows? You move your finger around on it like you would a very tiny mouse. Either that or using them as buttons – needlessly complicated while driving

That, and some panels that creak with pressure, dent an otherwise pixel-perfect interior.

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Another issue persists in this W213 facelift, and it's the noticeably skewed seating position. You don't sit very straight, as your feet points towards the right, as a result of the steering's slightly left-leaning offset.

Yes, it's easy to get used to it over time, but such a twisted driving position can cause ironically cause discomfort during long-distance drives.

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Meanwhile, the E300 AMG Line safety arsenal is made up of these functions:

  • 360° camera
  • Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC
  • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC
  • Active Brake Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Blind Spot Assist
  • Adaptive brake lights
2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Quality & Feature Breakdown
Exterior Paint Finish 3 / 4
Panel Gaps 3 / 4
Assembly Quality 2 / 2
Interior Build Quality 4 / 5
Materials Used 4 / 5
Features Safety 10 / 10
ADAS 5 / 5
Luxury 5 / 5
Convenience 4 / 5
Infotainment 5 / 5
Total   45 / 50 pts

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line: Fuel consumption – 13/20, Rather thristy

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 36

After driving around for 109.3 km through mixed driving conditions – equally split between spirited and sedate, highways and cities – the E300 returned 9.9-litre/100 km.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 37

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line: Purchase and cost – 19/30, Middle ground

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 38

As tested, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line starts from RM 375,432, which is a RM 49k premium over the E200 Avantgarde.

Among its competitors, it sits in between the hybrid Volvo S90 T8 Inscription Plus (RM 339,314) and BMW 530i (RM 395,800, with extended service package).

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 39

Meanwhile, the table below shows an estimation of how much it'll cost to maintain one over five years:

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line Maintenance Cost
Interval (month / km) Cost (RM)
4 years service package 5,488.00

Like other models in Mercedes-Benz Malaysia's stable, the E300 gets a four-year warranty, although there are paid options to extend that by another two years as well.

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 40

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line - Purchase & Cost
Purchase Car Price 10 / 15
Warranty 3 / 5
Cost Maintenance 3 / 5
Fuel Cost 3 / 5
Total   19 / 30 pts

2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line: Conclusion – 180.5/250 pts overall

Ratings: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift - So good, it feels all-new 41

To sum it up, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 AMG Line facelift is one to have rekindled the mojo of what a good ol' E-Class should be. It looks the part, it's techy, and finally it has a much improved drive as an icing on the cake.

Also read: Review: W213 2021 Mercedes-Benz E300 - A facelift shouldn't be this much better

Sanjay

Writer

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.

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2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E 200 SportStyle Avantgarde

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