In true form, Mercedes-Benz wasn’t ready to leave its 10th-generation E-Class alone following its introduction as a 2017 model, nor after bringing back the car’s E 63 performance flagship last year.
For 2019, the E-Class range expands again with the addition of a new E 53 trim level, replacing the 2018 E 43, powered by the brand’s first electric-assist drivetrain.
Further to that, an E 450 model replaces last year’s E 400, complete with a new engine and some additional standard features.
Finally, all E-Class variants gain Benz’s new Mercedes me connect system, which lets you keep in touch with your car via a smartphone app. There’s also a new steering wheel design with adaptive cruise control buttons, and illuminated air vents.
The E-Class comes in sedan, station wagon, coupe and convertible body styles. The sedan gets the widest range of configurations -- E 300, E 450, E 53 and E 63 -- while the wagon comes only in the latter three. Coupe and convertible cars can be had as the E 450 and E53.
Key to the E 53 is Mercedes’s EQ Boost mild hybrid system, which is built into a new, 3.0L inline-six turbo engine. Working alone, the engine makes 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, and an electric motor brings another 21 hp and 184 lb-ft(!).
The E 450 gets an updated version of Benz’s 3.0L turbo V6, now rated for 362 hp and 369 lb-ft, up from 329 hp/384 lb-ft in 2018’s E 400 model.
Entry-level E 300 trim is unchanged, powered by a 2.0L turbo four-cylinder that makes 241 hp and 273 lb-ft. Also carried over is the E 63’s powertrain, which derives a big 603 hp and 627 lb-ft from a turbo 4.0L V8.
All engines come with a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
You could call the E 53 Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the BMW 530e and Volvo S90 T8, though both those cars boast plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology -- but plug-in power will come soon enough to the Benz range as it readies its EQ line of electric models. We figure Mercedes-Benz dealers will be quite happy when they can finally offer a vehicle that can travel even modest commute-type distances on electricity alone.
New-for-2019 standard items (trim dependent) include wireless smartphone charging (E 450 and E 53) and heated steering wheel (E 53).
New options include a night package (available in all variants) and Burmester audio (E 450 sedan and wagon), and front seats with massage and air balance have been moved into the comfort package.
As we write this, Mercedes has yet to publish fuel consumption estimates for the 2019 E-Class. It’s a near certainty the figures for E 300 and E 63 models will be similar to 2018’s 10.8/8.1 L/100 km (city/highway) and 15.5/10.6. The E 450’s numbers should be close to the old E 400’s 12.4/9.4, and we’re guessing the E 53’s ratings will be close to that as well.