The “E” in E-Class quite literally stands for “Executive”, and the line has professional luxury pouring around every smooth line. A full suite of fantastic performance and features makes the E-Class hard to beat, but the mid-sized luxury sedan market has a pack of models that could take the checkered flag of a sealed deal.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan
Price and Trim Levels
Like other Mercedes-Benz models, the E-Class is split into the standard E-Class and the AMG E 53 line with higher performance. The E 350 has a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $54,950 that rises to $57,450 for the E 350 4Matic.
The E 450 4MATIC is the last non-AMG option, and it comes with all-wheel drive (AWD), a bump in engine power, and an MSRP of $62,750.
At the top of the E-Class pack is the AMG E 53 4MATIC. The standard AWD and other major improvements bring the starting MSRP up to $75,000. There are more expensive luxury sedans out there, but that’s still a considerable number for most shoppers.
Overall, the handling on the E-Class is spry enough to manage its sprinting pace. The AMG’s turning circle is slightly above average at 41 feet, but all trims share the same suspension and steering styles.
The E 350 has a 2.0L inline-4 turbo engine with 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. With standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), the sedan can reach 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. Opting for the 4MATIC AWD very slightly reduces that time to 6.0 seconds.
23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway isn’t the greatest fuel economy on the market, but it’s not bad for a luxury sedan with decent performance.
On the E 450, the I-4 is swapped with a 3.0L inline-6. 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque pushes the sedan to 60 mph in a notably faster 4.9 seconds. The EPA estimates it burns through a gallon of fuel in 20 miles in the city and 28 miles with steady highway travel.
Ultimate performance comes with the AMG E 53. The engine is still a 3.0L I-6 like the one in the E 450, but its horsepower kicks at 429 with a bit more torque at 384 lb-ft. It doesn’t quite make the four-second club, but independent testing shows times from 4 seconds to 4.4 seconds.
While more powerful, additional factors lead to it being more efficient than the E 450 at 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
The 2022 E-Class earned a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), though a four-star front driver-side crash test marred its achievement. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the E-Class overall good marks. The headlights were only “acceptable” on some trims, and the standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system was given the lowest rating, “basic”.
Standard safety features are still numerous and include: blind spot assist, a rearview camera, active brake assist, crosswind assist, adaptive headlights, tire pressure monitoring, adaptive braking, and more. For optional safety, the list doubles with features like a dashcam, several active assistive technologies, and additional side-impact air bags in the rear.
Interior and Connectivity
The giant display panel is the first eye-catching feature when you slip into an E-class interior. The sheer amount of interconnectivity takes some time to unravel, but the car can talk to your phone and tell you where it’s located, let you start the engine, or even report a collision. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are there as a standard connection option, and wireless charging and connecting are available as an optional feature.
Mid-size roominess provides space for 5 passengers and 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space, which matches up with plenty of smaller crossover SUVs.
The Top 3 Cars Similar to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan
1. Shrieking speed: Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing
Cadillac has a host of luxury sedans, but the CT4-V roars right alongside the E-Class and overtakes it before the finish. The basic CT4-V has a 325 hp I-4 engine, but the lower hp doesn’t stop it from beating the E 450 to 60 mph by a breath.
The high-performance CT4-V Blackwing has a 3.6L turbocharged V-6 that clears 60 mph in under 4 seconds. The larger CT5-V Blackwing has a much higher price and a larger engine that only shaves a fraction of a second off that time, so this Cadillac presents a better bargain that’s closer to AMG E 53.
Fully loading a CT4-V Blackwing will barely crest over the price of an unmodified E 53. The savings will get eaten up over time due to lower fuel efficiency, but the ride is worth the cost.
2. Electrical luxury: Lucid Air
While it’s name isn’t as widespread as Tesla, Lucid Motor’s Air stands poised to carve out a space for itself on the roads. If you’re willing to spend the price, the performance is truly superb. The limited availability Dream Edition is the second-fastest EV sedan on the market, and the basic Air Pure is still zippy with a 4.2 seconds 0-to-60 time.
The company is also not suffering the same reliability and reputation issues as Tesla, which is important when you can achieve a ten-second quarter-mile time.
Unfortunately, Lucid Motors is a newer company with a much more limited vehicle line-up. A high starting MSRP of $87,400 is helped somewhat by rebates, but it will still cost more than an AMG E 53. Its minimal lineup only increases in price, so there’s no budget entry point like the cheaper Model 3.
Electric vehicles do require a bit more planning for long trips, but home charging combined with a long-range battery will more than handle the distance driven per day by the average person.
Related: Cars Similar to the Lucid Air Dream
3. Bargain brilliance: Acura TLX
Acura is Honda’s luxury brand, and its vehicles have the expected quality for higher-priced vehicles while staying at relatively low prices. Its base model only costs $38,900. At $54,500, the top end is less expensive than the basic E 350. Opting for the Type S swaps the V4 for a twin-scroll V6 with 83 more horsepower that accelerates to 60 in 4.5 seconds. The V4 is no slouch either, clocking in at 5.9 seconds.
Within the cabin, the gadgetry strikes the same balance of busy functionality and refined arrangement as the E-Class. The display panels are split into two instead of one giant screen, but it’s a minor difference that is a matter of personal taste. Overall, the TLX stays on par with the E-Class’s luxury despite its bargain price.
Other Cars Similar to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan
4. Laid-back luxury: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
The Cabriolet is nearly the same car as the E-Class sedan, but it comes with a hardtop convertible roof to enjoy the wind on the highways. The basic E 450 is closer in price to the E 53 Sedan at $73,250. Bumping up to the AMG isn’t nearly as big of a jump, though, bringing the starting MSRP up to $84,350.
Performance suffers slightly on the E 450 Cabriolet, coming in slower than the sedan’s version with times of 5.1 seconds on the 4MATIC and 5.4 seconds with RWD A higher power AMG E 53 hits the 60 mph mark at the same speed as the AMG sedan. Convertibles have to sacrifice a bit of space for the retractable roof and body reinforcement, so the Cabriolet only fits 4 and has a cargo space under 10 cubic feet even with the top up.
5. Alfa Romeo Giulia
Italy’s Alfa Romeo Giulia ranges from the $43,350 Sprint trim to the $80,030 Quadrifoglio trim. Clearing 60 mph in under 4 seconds is a marvelous feeling of power, but the CT4-V Blackwing has the same acceleration at a slightly lower price. On the cheap end, the Giulia’s 5.1-second 60 mph time and efficient 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway blend with a luxury interior for a strong offering against the likes of the E 350 or TLX.
6. Genesis G90
For those who haven’t been car shopping in a few years, Genesis is the luxury division of Hyundai Motor Company. The G90 is a full-sized luxury sedan that dances around the price of the AMG E 53. A bigger chassis does mean somewhat lower performance and more fuel burned, but there’s so much room for 5 passengers to spread out in the nearly 130 cubic feet of interior space.
While it doesn’t have the iconic Mercedes-Benz logo in the middle of its grill, a stately and robust chassis leaves no doubt that it’s a luxury ride when it rolls into view. Size doesn’t mean everything, so the full-sized sedan doesn’t quite make the cut for the top 3 due to the decrease in performance. For those who don’t feel like the E-Class is quite roomy enough and don’t mind a bit more refueling, the G90 should fit the bill.
7. BMW i4
BMW’s i4 has an all-electric motor that’s still getting the full value of U.S. tax credits on top of a price already in the range of mid-tier luxury sedans. It’s not quite as fast as the Lucid Air, it costs a bit more than the Model 3, and its battery range is lower than both. Putting those aside, the i4 M50 speeds past the AMG E 53 with no emissions and a spare 1.1 seconds in 0-to-60 tests.
Some familiar design choices are here, like the giant display panel that stretches from the driver-side console to the middle. Every variation of the upholstery and interior trim feels both prestigious and classy. Other modern luxury features for tech and safety are all here.
Related: Tesla Model 3 vs BMW i4
8. Lexus ES
Toyota’s luxury line sells a versatile and cheap mid-sized sedan with its ES line. Basic models start at the lower end of luxury pricing, and they top out at a $52,405 starting MSRP for the ES 300h Ultra Luxury trim.
Looking at the performance numbers quickly shows the lack of speed. The high-end trim may cost less than the Mercedes-Benze E 350, but it crawls to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. Slower times of 8.1 seconds and higher on the cheaper trims will barely feel like accelerating after test driving many other cars in its tier.
Having a hybrid option does give a significant fuel economy boost without going fully electric. All hybrid trims on the ES get 43 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway. Even if you somehow manage to only drive on the highway, that’s still 150 gallons of gas saved per year for the average driver.
Related: Cars Similar to the Lexus ES
9. Tesla Model 3
Tesla’s pure electric engines on the Model 3 are shockingly fast, and the competitive price sits below middle-tier and higher luxury vehicles, including the E-Class. The Base model outpaces the lower end E-Class, taking 5.8 seconds to reach 60 mph and costing considerably less at $46,990.
The E 450 and AMG E 53 outpace the basic Model 3, but the Performance trim crushes them at 3.1 seconds in the acceleration test – and it costs just a couple hundred above the E 450.
On the inside, the Model 3 is far less luxurious. It’s not ugly, and the cargo space is admittedly bigger. The aesthetic just doesn’t have the same air of refinement, though drivers are at least spared from a mandatory steering yoke.
10. Audi S4
Audi’s S4 is another luxury sedan that manages to give better performance at a lower price than the E-Class. The time taken to reach 60 mph ranges from 4.2 seconds to 5.5 seconds, and that lower number comes with the $60,200 Prestige trim. Performance doesn’t come at the cost of efficiency, either, since the upgraded Prestige uses the same engine and gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway.
11. Audi A8
The A8 is another acceptable Audi automobile, but a larger chassis opens up the interior for a full-sized luxury experience. The big bodied beauty isn’t as fast as the E 450 or the smaller S4, but 5.6 seconds to hit 60 isn’t bad for a car that weighs nearly 5,000 pounds. A 19 mpg city and 28 mph highway isn’t bad for the slight extra bulk.
Like everything else about the A8, the price tag is big, too. $86,500 is the minimum, and adding extra creature comforts and fees will push it above $100,000. The Genesis G90 is somewhat cheaper with better acceleration, but the A8 is more fuel efficient.
As a size upgrade that stays close to the specs of the E-Class, the A8 might be worth considering if you want to jump from mid-size to full-size but want to keep fuel costs down compared to the G90.
12. BMW 5 Series
The 5 series includes everything from the plodding 530i to the blistering M5 CS. Its lower-end trims are certainly luxury cars, but there’s not much to make them stand out against a faster and equally posh E-Class. A six-figure price tag unlocks the M5 sedan with its 3.2-second 0-to-60 time. With the Competition package, the M5 CS hit 60 mph in 2.6 seconds according to some independent testers.
Price point woes keep the BMW 5 Series from ranking higher. The lower end doesn’t fare very well against similarly priced alternatives, and the more expensive model pushes past the dreaded six-figure line that may scare many shoppers away.
FAQs about the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
What type of car is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class?
The E-Class is a mid-sized luxury vehicle that comes in a variety of body types: coupe, sedan, and convertible.
Is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class being discontinued?
There is no indication at this time that Mercedes-Benz plans to discontinue the E-Class.
Is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class fuel efficient?
The E-Class ranges from 20 mpg city and 28 mph highway to 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. The average car has an average overall fuel economy that’s under 25 mpg, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, making the E-Class more efficient than the average for typical driving.