This week, I have the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E350 mid-sized luxury sedan, one of the most popular Benz models sold today. It slots between the smaller C-Class and the super-large S-Class flagship sedan. Mercedes did a mid-cycle refresh of the E-Class including updates to the MBUX infotainment system, and they refreshed the front and rear end. They also made the standard engine a 4-cylinder instead of a 6-cylinder.
Speaking of the 4-cylinder, under the hood we find a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that is putting out 255-horses and 273-pound feet of torque. It is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. My review vehicle is the 4Matic, which is Mercedes designation for all-wheel drive. 0-to-60 is a very respectable 6.1 seconds.
Exterior looks are attractive with a raised hood, the large MB 3-point star in the grill, and chrome running below the grill. There are 19” 5-spoke wheels that look terrific, and as you go to the rear, there are dual exhaust and an understated spoiler. I find this car to be extremely attractive from every angle.
As you enter the cabin, the seats are fairly bolstered and the Nut Brown interior with Burl Walnut wood looks extremely luxurious and inviting. Round chrome air vents complete a very modern look throughout.
Two 10.25” screens greet you, but it looks like just one huge screen. The detail of the door panels, the stitching on the dash, the use of stainless steel, and cool stripes above the glove box let you know this car is a Benz all the way.
The gauges are bright and the screen in the center that operates the sound system, navigation, Bluetooth, rear camera, apps, and settings can be operated by touching the screen, or a touchpad on the center console. It is much easier than previous versions I’ve tested, but there is still a bit of a learning curve.
On the center console, you have a good number of shortcut buttons and this is where you change the drive modes, of course Sport Plus is my favorite and that changes the steering, the transmission shifts, and the exhaust sound. It also defeats the start/stop system, but there is a button to do that manually if you are in a different drive mode.
Standard Equipment and Options
This is a Mercedes, so that means two things: it comes with a nice list of standard equipment AND the base price goes through the roof when you stack on the options like most dealers would order for inventory.
For free you get the navigation system, heated power front seats, power tilt steering wheel, remote keyless entry, a power trunk release and closer, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto.
My tester has $15,000 in options including the 19” wheels, air suspension, wireless charging, a Panoramic moonroof, Acoustic comfort sound deadening package, AMG exterior package, the exterior lighting package, parking assist, air-conditioned front seats, and Burmeister sound.
It also has the Driver Assistance Package, which is adaptive cruise control, emergency stop assist, cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, and evasive steering assist.
Back seat room was surprisingly large, and the backseat passengers get their own air vents. The trunk space is massive and there is even more space underneath for valuables, or if you had a spare tire.
Ride and Drive
Driving characteristics are good, the ride is firm in Sport Plus mode, but you can calm it down in comfort mode. Steering is precise with good feedback and the car is incredibly quiet inside. When you come to a stop, if you push a little harder on the brake, the brake hold will kick in allowing you to take your foot off the brake. When you touch the gas, the brakes release. This is a feature you will absolutely love when you get used to using it.
You’ll get 22 miles per gallon in town and 30 on the highway, really good mileage for a heavy car the size of this one. I will add that the acceleration is quite good. Before I looked at the Monroney sticker, I would have bet this was a six-cylinder.
What You’ll Pay
MSRP is $71,990 but there may be some options you’d want to eliminate, getting the price down some.
2021 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC
- What I liked most: Interior & exterior looks, the luxurious interior.
- What I would change: The infotainment system, although improved, could still use some simplification.
- MSRP: Base price $56,750, as equipped $71,990 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 22 city/30 highway/25 combined.
- Official Color: Selenite Grey Metallic.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1,600 miles.
- Weight: 3,781 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Inflator kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 194.3” long/81.3” wide/57.8” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.4 gallons with the filler on the passenger side.
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
- 2021 E350 in a few words: Easy to see why MotorTrend picked this car as the sedan of the year.
- Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance.
- Final Assembly Location: Sindelfingen, Germany.
- Manufacturers website: www.MBUSA.com