Mercedes-Benz E-Class

We Drove It: Out For E-talian In The Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class – the motoring stalwart that has graced our roads with elegance and authority for over 75 years, remains a statement in 2024.


  • Mercedes-Benz has produced more than 16-million upper mid-range vehicles since 1946.
  • The new 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a bridge between the luxurious tradition we love and the digital future we eagerly await.
  • Under the bonnet, South Africa gets two variants: the E200 and the E220d.
  • Visit for more stories.


The Sandton Times joined Mercedes-Benz South Africa in Umhlanga for the launch of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupé. The launch kicked-off with a briefing by Mark Raine, co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Alex Boavida, Vice President Sales & Marketing of Mercedes-Benz South Africa at the Mercedes-Benz NMI Umhlanga Dealership. We then had a chance to hit the road and let the new releases speak for themselves on a leisurely drive to Trattoria La Terrazza in Southbroom for an undemanding Italian luncheon.


Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Side on, the E-Class maintains its harmonious proportions and introduces flush-fitting door handles – a feature trickled down from its more luxurious siblings. The twin character lines running along the sides hint at the car’s sporty undercurrent. It’s not all show, though. Image: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Let’s dive into what makes this latest incarnation of Mercedes-Benz’s executive saloon a head turner. First, let’s talk about those classic saloon proportions. The E-Class sports that familiar three-box design, but with a modern twist. The short front overhang and elongated bonnet lead to a cabin set well back, showcasing that distinctive ‘cab-backward’ look. It’s a design that says, ‘I mean business’, in a distinct luxurious whisper.


The front end is where tradition meets the future head-on. The black-panel-like element linking the radiator grille to the headlamps is straight out of the Mercedes-EQ playbook, giving it a sleek, futuristic vibe. High-performance LED headlamps come as standard, but for those who want to truly light up the night, the optional Digital Light with projection function is a must-have. It’s like having a light show every time you drive.


Step inside, and you’re greeted with an interior that screams modernity. The MBUX Superscreen is the crown jewel of the dashboard, offering an expansive glass surface that seamlessly integrates the passenger screen with the central display. The driver’s display floats above, giving an illusion of separation while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic. It’s digital, it’s sleek, and it’s downright impressive.


Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The two-section LED lights at the rear, featuring the iconic star motif, ensure the E-Class is unmistakable, day or night. Image: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The active ambient lighting sets the mood, creating a spacious and inviting atmosphere. The centre console, with its homogeneous design, flows gracefully into the lower section of the dashboard. The attention to detail is evident in the door panels, where the metallic high-tech elements blend functionality with style.


Comfort is paramount in the E-Class. The new model offers more headroom for the driver and extra legroom for rear passengers, thanks to a longer wheelbase. The rear seats feel almost S-Class-like in their spaciousness, and the luggage capacity of up to 540 litres means you can pack for every eventuality.


But it’s not just about looks and comfort. The new E-Class is a tech powerhouse. Its new electronics architecture is more software-driven, ensuring faster and more efficient processing. The MBUX system, now sharing a central onboard computer with the screens, offers a seamless and responsive user experience.


One of the standout features is the Active Ambient Lighting with Sound Visualisation. This turns your music into a visual feast, with the light strip reacting to the beats and rhythms. It’s an immersive experience that makes every journey feel like a private concert. For the front passenger, the optional screen offers dynamic content without distracting the driver, thanks to a clever privacy function.


Mercedes-Benz E-Class
On the road, the E-Class continues to impress. The standard AGILITY CONTROL steel spring suspension with selective damping ensures a smooth ride. Image: Mercedes-Benz

For those who crave even more precision, the optional AIRMATIC air suspension with ADS+ continuously adjustable damping and rear-axle steering is available. The latter reduces the turning circle by up to 90cm, making the E-Class exceptionally agile.


Safety is, as always, a priority. The E-Class comes equipped with a suite of driving assistance systems, including Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, ATTENTION ASSIST, and Active Brake Assist. The Driving Assistance Plus package adds features like Active Steering Assist, enhancing the car’s ability to navigate complex driving scenarios autonomously.


The E200, with its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, delivers 150kW and a 0-100 km/h time of 7.5-seconds. The E220d, with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel, offers 145kW and a slightly slower sprint time of 7.6-seconds, but with the benefit of greater fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Prices start at R1’344’750 for the E200, while the E220d comes in at R1’430’550, both inclusive of a five-year/100’000 km service and maintenance plan.


The new E-Class blends tradition with innovation. It’s a car that respects its heritage while boldly stepping into the future. Whether it’s the cutting-edge tech, the refined interior, or the assured performance, the E-Class remains its prime position in the executive saloon segment.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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