Mercedes-Benz has always been associated with luxury – at least in America – and with the interior of the new 2017 E-Class, the company is looking to set a new standard for the segment and perhaps the industry as a whole.
Slotting in between the C-Class and the S-Class, the new E-Class interior is a mix of the two, combining the sportiness of the smaller car with the luxury of the bigger car.
The interior’s focal point is the available dual-LCD screen display that extends from behind the steering wheel to the center of the dash. The two 12.3-inch screens have a resolution of 1920 by 720 pixels and house virtual instruments behind the steering wheel and a central display for infotainment and navigation.
Lower models get standard gauges with a smaller screen in between and a smaller 8.4-inch central display screen with a 960 by 540 pixel resolution, but the whole system is housed in a single piano-black frame to give it the illusion that it’s all one piece.
On the optional widescreen display, there are three different styles of gauges to choose from – Classic, Sport and Progressive. The central screen can be customized to the driver’s preferences, and the whole display can be back lit at night with multi-color lighting that gives it the appearance of floating in midair.
The steering wheel now has touch-sensitive controls on either side that can be used to navigate the infotainment system without the driver’s hands leaving the wheel.
Control redundancy is the name of the game in the new E-Class. Along with the touch controls and regular buttons on the steering wheel, the system can be controlled by the touch pad on the center console, by the COMAND control knob underneath the touch pad, or by dedicated buttons on the dash.
Mercedes took great pains in designing an interface that is intuitive to use. They created new visualizations and animations to help convey information more quickly to the driver. Mercedes released this video to demonstrate some of the system’s new features:
As the video shows, Mercedes didn’t skimp on the luxury in the new E-Class interior. High quality materials abound, including open-pore woods and sumptuous leathers. LED ambience lighting with 64 colors is also available.
The seats are also all new and have different configurations based on the model, with a base seat, an AMG seat, a sport-biased Avantgarde seat and a luxury-biased Exclusive seat.
The E is also available with a Burmester sound system with 3D Surround speakers. A total of 23 speakers make up the system that can make the interior of the car sound like a concert hall. The cross-member and side member are used for resonance chambers to add bass, along with a trunk-mounted subwoofer with its own 400 watt amplifier. The rest of the speakers are powered by two amplifiers totaling 1,450 watts.
The company’s announcement had a few curiosities that may or may not make it to the States. First off, the standard seat is a fabric seat, something that isn’t normally available in U.S.-bound Mercs. The other is the center console, as there are different ones for automatic and manual transmissions. The very fact that Mercedes took so much effort to design a separate manual transmission console means that this car will be available with one. The question is, will it come to the U.S. or will only European taxi drivers have the distinct pleasure of driving a manual E-Class?
Check out this TFLcar video review of the E-Class’ big brother, the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC: