Australian pricing for the all-new 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan has been announced today, ahead of a local market launch set for July.
The new E-Class, revealed to the world in January and driven by CarAdvice in March, will debut locally in three grades, with a starting price of $89,990 plus on-road costs.
That opening price marks a notable step up from the E-Class range's last major update, which saw the facelifted fourth-generation model launch locally in 2013 with a $79,900 starting price for the E200.
The new E-Class will also begin above the now five-year-old sixth-generation BMW 5 Series, which starts at $82,300 for the 520i model.
But, as a brand-new offering with the company's latest styling, engines, technologies and features, Mercedes-Benz will be betting that buyers will be unfazed by the heftier entry price.
The full launch range will include the 135kW/300Nm E200, 143kW/400Nm E220d and 190kW/620Nm E350d. The 180kW/370Nm E300 and 245kW/480Nm all-wheel-drive E400 4Matic later in the year, while the special new 205kW/600Nm E350e plug-in hybrid will debut sometime in 2017.
The anticipated Mercedes-AMG E63 is still to be revealed, but the recently unveiled 295kW E43 - a new entry-level model in the AMG stable for the E-Class range - will debut in Australia next year.
As noted, the E200 will begin from $89,900 plus on-road costs. The E220d will start at $92,900 and the E350d will open at $134,900 - each excluding on-road costs.
The E200 is driven by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, while its diesel-powered sibling the E220d gets an all-new 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit. Driving the E350d is a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel.
Each model, including those coming later, is equipped with Mercedes's new 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission.
Local fuel figures are still to be confirmed, but, on the European test cycle, the E200 lists 5.9L/100km, the E220d lists 3.9L/100km and the E350d lists 5.1L/100km.
The E350d is the quickest of the initial line-up, with a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds, followed by the E350e’s 6.2-second sprint. The E220d lists 7.2 seconds and the E200 lists 7.7 seconds.
On the styling front, the new E-Class shares a great deal with its smaller new C-Class and larger S-Class siblings. But, as Mercedes is often wont to do with each new unveiling - and particularly with its larger models - the new E brings some key firsts of its own.
That's particularly true in the cabin, where buyers will find an expansive new dash display that pairs two 12.3-inch screens and new steering-mounted touchpad controls - a configuration reserved for high-spec models in Europe.
Full local specifications are being kept under wraps for now, although Mercedes-Benz has also confirmed that Australian buyers can expect to see the Driver Assistance Package and Avantgarde trim equipped as standard.
Driver Assistance features include Active Blind Spot Assist, Pre-Safe belt tensioners, and Pre-Safe Plus collision-avoidance autonomous emergency braking and rear-vehicle alert.
Other standard safety features will include nine airbags, Attention Assist, Active
Highlights for the E20 and E220d will include Agility Select drive mode settings with five driving programs, COMAND online infotainment, DAB+ digital radio, a nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel with touch-control buttons, black ash open-pore wood trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, and keyless entry and start.
The E350d gets 20-inch AMG wheels and Air Body Control suspension. There's aso a Burmester surround-sound system with 13 speakers, along with a head-up display, heated front seats, leather trim, MultiBeam LED headlights and a panoramic glass roof.
Full details for the new E-Class range will be revealed in the lead-up to its July launch in Australia.
Likewise, the coupe, cabriolet and wagon variants will be revealed in the months ahead.
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class pricing (before on-road costs):
E200 - $89,990
E220d - $92,900
E350d - $134,900