2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift CKD launched in Malaysia (RM326,943-RM375,432)
The ongoing lockdown might prevent car showrooms in Malaysia from operating as usual, but it’s not stopping Mercedes-Benz’s W213 E-Class facelift from entering the domestic market sporting cleverer tech and posher luxuries than before.
Historically, the E-Class is the best-selling car sporting the three-pointed star with over 14 million units sold since worldwide since 1946. Closer to home, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has managed to sell over 10,000 units of the current-generation W213. And it’s looking to build on that momentum with two variants spearheading the locally-assembled E-Class facelift, namely the E200 Avantgarde and E300 AMG Line.
Both models are powered by Merc’s familiar two-litre four-pot turbo hooked up to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. But the states of tunes differ, with the E200 outputting 197hp and 320Nm while the E300 gets 258hp and 370Nm of twist. On the straights, the E200 will do 0-100kph in 7.4 seconds up to 240kph while the E300 is expectedly quicker with a 6.2-second century sprint and 250kph top speed. Interestingly, Mercedes quotes the same 6.9l/100km fuel consumption average for both models.
As for equipment, the new E-Class features completely redesigned LED light clusters all-round. The split horizontal tail lamps are particularly refreshing while the Multibeam LED headlights on the E300 now include something the company calls ‘Ultra Range’ high beams. Other exterior differences include grille pattern, bumper inserts and wheels – 18 inches on the E200, 19-inch AMG footwear for the E300.
Inside, both variants get Merc’s new multi-function steering wheel with capacitive ‘Touch Control’ buttons to navigate the digital instrument cluster. The ‘Widescreen Cockpit’ made up of two 12.3-inch displays is equipped with the latest-generation MBUX infotainment with Mercedes me connect services and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, although only the pricier E300 gets Burmester speakers.
Aesthetically, it’s safe to expect sportier trimmings in the E300 AMG Line. AMG-labelled bits that even include floor mats aside, the range-topper also gets a panoramic sliding sunroof and genuine leather as opposed to the E200’s synthetic Artico upholstery.
Onto the clever stuff, the new E-Class packs some of Mercedes-Benz’s latest innovations in electronic driver aids. These include new sensors in the steering wheel to detect the driver’s grip – emergency brake assist engages if it detects an inactive and potentially compromised driver. There’s also active brake assist, which is essentially an improved AEB system able to detect more scenarios which call for an emergency halt.
Unique to the E300 AMG Line is the Driving Assistance package which adds on active distance assist (Distronic), active steering assist, active brake assist, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist and Pre-Safe Plus. If those assists aren’t enough, it also gets active parking assist with Parktronic and a 360-degree camera to ensure no spot’s too tight for the 4,935mm German saloon.
And now, the prices…
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E200 Avantgarde starts at RM326,943 on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of the ongoing sales tax exemption. The E300 AMG Line goes for RM375,432 – roughly RM50k more for a justifiable increase in performance and kit. For a limited time, customers can finance the new E-Class from RM2,388 per month for the E200 and from RM2,988 per month for the E300 via the company’s Step Up Agility Financing Plan.
So, now that the new E-Class is here, do you think it can re-establish its dominance in a segment contested by equally improved rivals such as the recently updated Volvo S90 and BMW 5 Series? Will Mercedes-Benz Malaysia's lack of a plug-in hybrid variant matter in the grander scheme of things? We'd love to hear your thoughts on our social media channels.