The 2024 Mercedes E 350 4Matic is the thriftiest luxury workhorse

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The 2024 Mercedes E 350 4Matic is the thriftiest luxury workhorse


Enlarge / The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the brand’s workhorse, covering millions of km a year ferrying German taxi passengers around.

Peter Nelson

Mercedes-Benz’s E Class badge possesses a lot of canon. When asked to picture a ’90s-or-newer Mercedes full-size sedan, it’s hard not to conjure up mental snapshots of W124-and-up generations schlepping around well-heeled suburban communities. I bet a lot of folks also picture the taxi lineup outside any German train station, too.

Well, at least I do. But I’m not talking about envisioning surly Munich cabbies but rather the faithful four-doors they putter around in. A lot of them are E Classes, which further proves that the cars have always been quintessential Mercedes luxury workhorses.

The brand-new 2024 E 350 4Matic, with its thrifty turbo-four powerplant, might have the most direct lineage in the US market to those cream-colored rickety diesels. It’s easy on fuel for its size and ready to soak up all the miles across both traffic-ridden cityscapes and high-speed stretches of highway. And with its expansive suite of tech and mild hybrid propulsion, it’s an overall great next chapter for the badge.

This thing is big

The first thing I noticed when the 2024 Mercedes-Benz E 350 was dropped off on my driveway was its size. Measuring 194.9 inches (4,950 mm) long and 74 inches (1,880 mm) wide, it may only be eight inches (203 mm) longer than the original W124-gen, though it’s a whole 5.5 inches (140 mm) wider. But considering one would come up with similar figures on the BMW 5 Series, it’s par for the course in 2024.

In terms of how the E 350 uses all that exterior real estate, I dig Mercedes’ latest design touches, like the star shapes within its tail lights and front grille and its sure-of-itself facial expression, all integrated into a gently curving sedan figure.

Thankfully, “big on the outside” translates to “amply commodious on the inside.” You might be surprised how many dimensionally large non-SUVs sorely lack rear leg and head room, but that’s not the case here. My 6-foot-3 (1.9 m) stature had so much room in the latest E Class’ back seat, and the same went for up front. Its comfortable power front seats have heating and venting as standard, and overall visibility is quite good. When it comes to interior materials quality, this opulent Benz possesses a great mix of supple satin stitched leather and substantial plastic, and I love the wood center console (I think it’s real, though it could be a very good faux material), which hides the cupholders and phone pad to boost the overall minimalist luxury vibe—the lid has a very nice action to it that I couldn’t stop opening and closing while cruising along.

Finally, the E 350’s interior is as quiet and relaxing as it is opulent. Wind and tire noise were barely there at any speed—even at allegedly very high speeds on the highway.

Technology

Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system has received some flak in the past for its complexity. I’m familiar with previous iterations’ learning curve, but the E Class’ latest iteration is overall much simpler to use. If I ever got buried in some settings, it was easy to bail out and return to the home screen. One of the ways Mercedes made MBUX easier to configure was by simply making the icons bigger and therefore easier to tap—was this designed with everyone in mind, or was it erring-on-the-senior-demographic, who’s often the E Class’ target market? You be the judge. Finally, whether giving it a destination to navigate to or changing the SiriusXM station, the car’s voice commands are among the most natural I’ve ever interacted with.

My tester possessed Mercedes’ $1,500 Superscreen Package, which is exactly what it sounds like: You get a 14.4-inch center infotainment screen and also a 12.3-inch unit for the front passenger. You might consider this a little overkill, and I wouldn’t blame you; why would the passenger need their own?

A clean freak’s nightmare of fingerprints aside, the screen is actually pretty neat: The passenger can use their dedicated screen to change music, input navigation, and even use third-party apps like YouTube and TikTok via their screen, all while being blocked off from the driver’s angle to prevent distraction. Though, because of the blocking, a major downside is the driver’s inability to quickly swat away the passenger’s hand when they go to change Spotify from relaxing driving music to something lame and annoying.



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