Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Power, Elegance or Family-Friendly. Which One Is Right For You?

E 450 All Terrain Wagon

Mercedes-Benz has a lot of E-Class cars. How do you possibly pick one?

Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class lineup are the epitome of refined luxury. Plus performance capability with AMG choices. And with plenty of cool body styles to choose from. What more could we want from a European luxury brand making killer cool cars, and how do we narrow our choices? There are are some solid differences between all of the E-Class models I’m going to talk about here but truthfully, they’re all super luxurious, fun to drive, and simply beautiful.

E 450 Cabriolet Interior

This Macchiato Beige and Yacht Blue interior on the E 450 Cabriolet is ultra luxurious! Photo: Connie Peters

European Luxury with Plenty of Choices. Sign Me Up.

I drove the E 450 Cabriolet, a soft-top convertible in the summer, which was perfection. Then I tested the E 450 All-Terrain Wagon which is ideal for families who want maximum flexibility. I also drove the E63 S that is the AMG, or performance, version of the family wagon. Lastly, I had a turn in the E 53 Coupe which is the sexy 2-door superstar. Let’s first talk about what these models all have in common.

Related: Super Luxe, Super Fast, Super Swag: 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S [Station] Wagon

The E-Class hits the mark with some unique luxury features you won’t find on just any other luxury car out there. These features amp up the cool factor, and will surely dazzle you and your passengers.

  1. Available perfume. Yes, you read that right, you can buy perfume and an ionizer for your luxury car and E-Class deserves this bit of posh extra! I had the pleasure of enjoying the ionizer and Perfume #63 in the E 63 S. I loved it for the first couple of days, but then I had to turn it off. I think as an owner, you would either love it or hate it. But this option sure does feel over the top.
  2. Interior Trick Lighting. When you’re alone and driving in the dark, if you reach your hand over towards the passenger seat, the interior light above the passenger seat comes on automatically, and then off again when you move your hand back to the driver’s side.
  3. Forward bending camera. When you go from Reverse back into Drive, the forward camera view comes on the multimedia screen (and stays on until 10-15 km/hr) and bends around corners, following the direction of the steering wheel.
  4. Heated Armrests. In our chilly British Columbia winter, heated armrests feel like a warm hug. It’s like your whole body gets pampered in the driver and passenger seats when both the center console and the door’s armrest warm up your arms.
  5. Massaging Seats. Yes, getting a massage while driving sounds a bit tricky, and it can be depending on your mood and for how long you will be driving. So, when used with caution I find this little luxury is so soothing. During school pick up every day, I pick up sometimes-moody emotional teens, and they love to use them, too.
  6. Automatic Power Seat Adjustments. Enter your height into the Mercedes User Experience system and it will set the seat, thigh extenders, head rest and even the steering wheel to fit your driving position perfectly. I had fun playing with this feature going from my 5’1″ settings to 6’1″ and back again.

Now for the Actual Cars. Because It’s Nearly Spring, Let’s Talk Cabriolet First

The Mercedes-Benz E 450 Cabriolet is the E-Class model to be seen in. This beauty is ideal for warm weather climates of course, but truthfully with its neck warmer (or a Heat Scarf, in Mercedes-speak) you could drop the top any old day that it’s not raining or snowing. I don’t think I drove with the top up, not even once!

Mercedes E 450 Cabriolet Convertible

The beauty is luscious in Silver with beige and blue interior. Photo: Connie Peters

My test car is full of options, making it feel like a yacht. The blue and beige combination, called Macchiato Beige and Yacht Blue Leather, elevates the elegance to another level. The blue soft top and silver metallic exterior match the rest of the car without missing a beat.

The 4-seater E 450 Cabriolet comes equipped with a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine with EQ Boost – that’s Mercedes’ addition of mild hybrid electric motor. It is powerful, with 362 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. This version of the E-Class is quick yet quiet, and incredibly smooth with its adaptive air suspension for an ultra calm drive experience.

This E-Class is your pick if you want luxury topped off (sorry, I couldn’t help it) with some fun in the sun. It starts at $71,950 USD/$88,900 CAD and the test model we drove came with some extras like the intelligent drive, the premium and tech packages, and 20″ wheels topping it out at a spicy price of $82,640 USD/$99,700 CAD.

Related: G-Wagen, G-Wagen, G-Wagen! Swooning over the 2021 Mercedes-AMG G 63 Luxury SUV

The E 450 All-Terrain Wagon Has a Surprise

Wagons in general tend to speak to families. The E 450 All-Terrain is here to suit the adventurous ones who want something sleek and sohpisticated, and still has space for the kids and the gear. Guess what? The All-Terrain wagon has a jump seat! The rear cargo area holds 35 cubic feet or two extra passengers making it a seven passenger wagon. I wouldn’t say this is a full-time third row, but it works in a pinch. This wagon is a dream for the city, the suburbs, or the meandering road trip any family that would be luck enough to own one.

The E 450 All-Terrain’s higher ground clearance, all-wheel drive, plastic cladding, and terrain drive modes gives it the right to get a little muddy on the weekends so you can go off pavement and get out camping, to the cabin or up to the mountains.

It has the same powertrain as the E 450 Cabriolet, so it will not win any drag races. But it is plenty powerful enough for daily driving, merging and passing with the whole clan on the way out of the city.

E 450 Wagon

This wagon shouts family fun! Photo: Connie Peters

The E 450 All-Terrain Wagon is a touch more family-budget friendly than the Cabriolet and starts at $68,400 USD/$81,700 CAD. The model we tested came optioned up with the premium, tech, and intelligent drive packages It also had some cosmetic upgrades and finished with a price tag of $83,200 USD/$94,100 CAD.

Related: 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250: the Luxury Handbag You Didn’t Know You Needed

If You Want Speed AND Space, Get the E 63 S Sleeper…I Mean,Wagon

It’s currently not available in 2022 due to materials shortages, but we tested the 2021 E 63 S Wagon and fell in love with this absolute sleeper. What I mean by that is that you would not think this station wagon, of all body styles, has over 600 horsepower and growls like a big, big cat. It is a total beast to drive, and yet it just makes so much sense as a mom car with the wagon body style. This sleek, sinewy choice offers plenty of cargo space, room for family, gear and everything else that comes along. And it blows away anyone unfortunate to be stopped next to it when the light turns green.

E 63 S Wagon

This is a classy speedster! Photo: Connie Peters

This saucy wagon starts at $113,500 USD/$127,900 CAD and is no longer even listed on the Mercedes-Benz website (but keep an eye out…if it’s on your vision board you may find a re-sale!).

I wrote more about the E 63 S here.

Wait, Perhaps the Stylish (and Quick) AMG E 53 Coupe is the One for You

The AMG E 53 Coupe is a speed demon, and yet it is sexy and smooth, with a comfortable and smooth ride including standard all-wheel drive and air suspension. It has all the luxury we love in the E-Class with the sassiness of a true sports car. Coupe styling mean 2-doors and frameless windows which give it that truly sporty edge.

Black Amg E 53 Coupe

It’s sleek lines scream sporty! Photo: Connie Peters

The E 53 Coupe will get you to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds with its turbocharged six-cylinder engine and 429 horsepower including a mild hybrid. It’ll garner a few head turns too, with new styling for 2021 both on the front and rear end. The E 53 Coupe starts at $74,950 USD/$83,900 CAD.

Only you know which E-Class is right for you. As for me? My practical Mom-self would opt for the E 450 All-Terrain Wagon because it’s the most family-friendly, of course, but my drive-loving, speedy self would opt for the AMG E 53 Coupe! And in this case, the latter would ultimately win out.

Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz provided the cars I tested. All opinions are my own.

Connie Peters is a mother of 3 girls in suburban Vancouver, Canada and has been an online entrepreneur since... More about Connie Peters