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2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.0

 The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is loaded with high-tech features and plush materials, including attractive wood and leather trim. There’s acceptable passenger space in both rows, but the sedan’s cargo capacity trails what key class rivals offer.

  • "One minor disappointment: plastic, unpadded door pockets, and plastic, unpadded door-panel bottoms. Otherwise, the interior materials are fantastic, but reaching down to stow a water bottle or a face mask and feeling economy-car plastic is an odd experience in a pricey executive car." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Aside from the tech update, the E-Class' interior carries over largely unchanged, which is fine by me. This is an incredibly comfortable and stylish cabin, with nice details like open-pore wood, real metal finishes and a gazillion different ambient light choices." -- CNET
  • "Step inside and you'll find one of the most handsome and well-crafted cabins around. Everything you look at or touch has a premium feel. Mercedes even nails little things like the click of a button or the feel of the air vent knobs." -- Edmunds

Cargo

The E-Class sedan has a 13.1-cubic-foot trunk, which is somewhat small for a luxury midsize car. You can fold the rear seats for a bit more space, but the load floor is uneven, which can make it hard to load cargo. On the other hand, the wagon has a cavernous cargo hold, with 35 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 64 cubic feet behind the front seats. The E-Class coupe has 10 cubic feet of trunk space, and the convertible has 9.5 cubic feet.

  • "But even the trunk impresses with good lighting, cargo netting for storing loose items, and motorized access." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Lowering the rear seatbacks opens up much more space for hauling cargo, but they don't fold completely flat so loading heavy items may feel like a chore." -- Car and Driver
  • "At 13.1 cubic feet, the E-Class' trunk is on the small side for the class, especially compared to the cavernous BMW 5 Series. That said, the space itself is wide and tall, so it's easy to actually fit items inside." -- Edmunds

Seating

The E-Class’ seating configuration varies, depending on the body style. Coupe and cabriolet models seat four on genuine leather upholstery. The sedan seats five, and the wagon seven, both on synthetic leather upholstery, though genuine leather is available. Heated and power-adjustable front seats are standard throughout the lineup.

Upgraded Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, heated front armrests, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel with wood trim are available. You can also get a power rear sunshade and power soft-close doors.

Passenger space in the E-Class is fairly good in both rows, though knee room in the front and rear is a tad tight. Still, the seats are comfortable, and the cabin is well-insulated to exclude road and wind noise.

For installing child safety seats, there are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats. The sedan has an additional tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

  • "The E-Class nails the most important aspect of a luxury car: quiet refinement. The seats offer lots of support and adjustment, though we found the padding to be on the firm side. Even so, they remained comfortable after a few hundred miles behind the wheel." -- Edmunds
  • "The other complaint we have about the E-Class interior is that it’s a bit tight. Your 5-foot-11-inch author found that the center tunnel steals knee room and means that you may find your throttle leg rubbing against it frequently. Headroom and hip room are fine up front, at least. It’s the same story in the back where your author’s knees were rubbing against the seat back of his preferred driver seat position." -- Autoblog
  • "Although the E 53 Cabriolet’ 2 + 2 cabin is a handsome and beautifully appointed place, we wish the rear seatbacks weren’t quite so upright. Also worth noting: The seats of the E-Class sedan are much more spacious than those of the cabriolet, thanks in part to its 2.6-in.-longer wheelbase." -- Autotrader

Interior Features

Standard features in the base E 350 sedan include remote start, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, 64-color ambient interior lighting, a sunroof, and the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touch screen, a 12.3-inch digital driver display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a touchpad controller, navigation, a FrontBass stereo, HD Radio, two USB ports, and Bluetooth.

There are multiple ways to access the infotainment functions, including using the touch screen, touchpad controller, voice commands, and physical controls. Overall, using the MBUX system is easy. However, the steering wheel’s touch-sensitive buttons can make some adjustments difficult.

Several more features are available, including a panoramic roof, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, dual rear-seat USB charge ports, satellite radio, gesture-based infotainment controls, and 13- or 23-speaker Burmester stereo systems.

Standard safety features include blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a rearview camera, a driver attention monitor, and crosswind assist. Also standard is Mercedes’ Pre-Safe, which rolls up the windows and tightens the seat belts in the event of an impending rear-end collision. There’s also Pre-Safe Sound, which emits pink noise to guard your ears from the potentially damaging sounds of a collision.

Several more safety features are available, such as lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, evasive steering assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, parallel and perpendicular park assist, a surround-view parking camera system, side impact sensors, and a head-up display.

See 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class specs »

  • "The biggest issue is the new steering wheel. It ditched hard buttons for capacitive touch ones and, unfortunately, it's not as intuitive as before." -- Edmunds
  • "Unfortunately, the touch pads are the first of a couple E-Class foibles. With many functions come many menus and layers of menus, and they can become tedious to navigate with loads of repeated swipes. Inputs using the pads aren't as accurate and precise as when using control knobs or scroll wheels, either. This is particularly annoying with the cruise control and volume touch pads on the steering wheel." -- Autoblog
  • "The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 is pretty feature-rich to start with, including big screens, phone projection, and surround-view cameras as standard." -- Automobile Magazine 
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