Despite my just calling the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift ugly literally a few minutes ago, the new car is coming to America in both hybrid and wagon form again, and that means the wagon’s doomsday clock ticks further away from midnight. I can’t be mad at that.
While the U.S. has already enjoyed the regular E-Class wagon, we will now get something nearly identical, except with a plastic cladding growth around its lower edge and a slight lift kit.
For the first time ever, the E-Class will be available as a sedan and a new All-Terrain version in America. Both cars come with the restyled fascia and other small changes. The headlights are now smaller and lay more in-line with the grille than the outgoing model’s steeply angled flashers, and the curved shape of the grille has been inverted to now be wider on the bottom.
To me, this look is bad. The expression is, “Turn that frown upside down,” and Mercedes here has done the opposite. The car is frowning now.
In the back, the lights have been reworked to echo more of the new CLA and A-Class, and combined with the changes to the front, make the car seem somewhat smaller and cheaper, which is not a good thing. Why does the E-Class look like the A-Class now?
The standout model, though, is the All-Terrain, which has taken the regular E-Class design updates and morphed them even further to resemble Mercedes’ crossover and SUV lineup, as this one is supposed to dip a toe in that category even if the slightest speck of dirt likely won’t make it more than a day on this car. It gets 4-Matic all-wheel drive, off-road driving modes, hill-descent control, and air suspension as standard.
The bad news? While the Mercedes press release doesn’t explicitly say it, Car And Driver reports this cladded All-Terrain model will replace the current E-Class wagon in the U.S., not join it. It sucks. I get it, but it sucks.
The other significant update is the powertrain. The E 450 models will be electrified, joining a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder with an 48-volt system integrated starter generator hybrid setup, making 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The Mercedes-AMG E 53 has been updated and electrified as well. It gets an “AMG-enhanced” version of the same powertrain spelled out above, this time making 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque.
All new E-Class models also get a slew of new advanced safety and assisted-driving features, including Active Distance Assist with route-based speed adjustment, Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Active Steering Assist, Active Brake Assist, and a new Active Blind Spot Assist.
And finally, in other exciting news, there’s also three new colors! They are Cirrus Silver, Graphite Grey and Mojave Silver. Leave it to the Germans to bring out three new shades of grey.