Same sausage, different length
We Like: The class-leading tech and affordable S-Class interior.
We Don’t Like: The uninspired styling and inconsistent driving behavior.
It’s the German-car cliché: Design it once, sell it in three sizes. It’s something we thought the Germans had gotten away from. But it seems to be creeping back. So although this new E-Class is a perfectly good car, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.
Familiarity has its pluses and minuses. Judges lauded its baby S-Class technology suite, although the touch-sensitive steering wheel controls and layered infotainment menus met with mixed reviews, as did the lane keeping steering assist. All the gizmos quickly packed more than 17 grand onto the price tag, and there are plenty more options we could have specced.
For what should be a statement car, the E300’s anonymous styling drew our ire. “They’ll sell a ton as taxis in Europe,” Angus MacKenzie said. But that might be tricky given that the rear-seat legroom is more C-Class than S-Class.
The Merc also displayed inconsistent driving behavior. For some, the nine-speed automatic worked beautifully with the spunky turbocharged four-cylinder. For others, the gearbox was out of step, behind the play, and hard-shifting.
Handling impressions were likewise mixed, with some praise for its sporty demeanor and rear-drive character but also some derisive comments for the inadequate body control in long sweepers and a tendency to understeer when driven aggressively on winding roads.
In all, the E300 was not convincingly at the top of its class—either as a sport sedan or a luxury sedan. It has all the right ingredients to be either but couldn’t seem to do both at the same time.
2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contenders
- Buick LaCrosse
- Chevrolet Cruze
- Chevrolet Volt
- Fiat 124 Spider
- Ford Focus RS
- Honda Accord
- Hyundai Elantra
- Jaguar XF
- Kia Cadenza
- Kia Forte
- Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe 4Matic
- Mini Clubman
- Toyota Prius Two Eco
|2017 Mercedes-Benz E300 (Sport)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$70,525|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||2.0L/241-hp/273-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,891 lb (53/47%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||193.8 x 72.9 x 57.8 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.5 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||14.9 sec @ 92.4 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||106 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.90 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||25.8 sec @ 0.70 g (avg)|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||20.4/35.2/25.2 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||22/30/25 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||153/112 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.78 lb/mile|