If there’s an E-Class bodystyle for every need, there’s also an engine.
We rate the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup at 8 out of 10 and would gladly add another point for AMG versions. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
2019 Mercedes-Benz E300
Base E300 coupes, convertibles, and sedans make use of a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that’s rated at 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Though an E300 with no options ticked still weighs around 4,000 pounds, the standard 9-speed automatic transmission makes passing effortless. Power surges on from the torque peak at just 1,300 rpm.
The E300 comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but those in the Snow Belt will want to opt for the all-wheel-drive system that splits power 45/55 front to rear.
Underneath, the multi-link independent suspension can be had in plush base or firmer sport tune while adaptive air dampers are a worthwhile option for a smooth, exceptionally well-controlled ride. The air dampers also lower the car for better aerodynamics at speed; at the tap of a button, the air springs raise the E-Class for steep driveways.
2019 Mercedes-Benz E450
An uprated 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 this year means a name change from E400 to E450 for coupes, convertibles, sedans, and wagons. Power’s up to 362 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque this year, and we’re not complaining. Even the heavy, highly optioned E450 wagon we drove made quick work of on-ramps, highway passing, and even around-town hustling. Comparatively lithe coupes should be even zippier.
E450 coupes and convertibles come standard with rear-wheel drive and offer all-wheel drive as an option. Sedans and wagons with the twin-turbo V-6 are all-wheel-drive only. Regardless of where the power goes, it’s sent there via a 9-speed automatic that works as well with the V-6 as it does the E300’s turbo-4.
2019 Mercedes-AMG E53
There’s more than meets the eye with the E53. It might be easy to dismiss it as an AMG-lite because its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 comes from Mercedes’ inventory of standard engines. However, it fires of 429 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque and features a 48-volt electric starter-generator squeezed in between the engine and transmission that can add 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque from a stop.
The setup is designed to provide lag-free reaction to a mashed throttle pedal while reducing fuel consumption by letting the E53 run on electricity alone while cruising.
We’ve driven the E53 throughout Northern California in sedan, coupe, and convertible form and found the performance to be just as potent as a V-8, but with mild-hybrid fuel economy. In mixed conditions, the E53 returned nearly 30 mpg combined—highway speeds and stop-and-go slogs.
The AMG-tuned turbo-6 spits overrun in delightfully pleasant ways, and there’s plenty of power in reserve for highway passes. All AMG E 53 models are equipped with all-wheel drive and are tuned for street performance, not track days.
2019 Mercedes-AMG E63 S
Mercedes’ hot-rod E63 S can morph from executive express to track-tamer at the press of a button. Underhood, its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 puts out 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque fed to all four wheels via a beefed-up 9-speed automatic. The modified all-wheel-drive system can shuttle every bit of that power rearward for hooliganing, something we highly recommend on a closed course in the E63 S wagon.
Chunkier stabilizer bars and more suspension bracing pairs with upsized brakes all around. The nearly 16-inch brakes up front can be swapped out for carbon-ceramics as a costly option. Try before you buy as the standard brakes are easier to modulate in traffic.
The E63 S goads drivers into going fast, but it’s remarkably docile loping along thanks to its air springs and adjustable dampers.
Review continues below