While a mid-cycle update and not an all-new model, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class makes a small yet important change to the car’s design, dropping a feature that has characterized its look since 1995.
Yes, gone are the four-eyes headlights, replace by two larger units, one on each side (obviously), though unique LED light bars within the headlights will still give the nigh-time effect of four individual units.
Apart from that change, the overall design is now smoother and less busy, with the large flared hindquarters now blending into the rest of the vehicle.
Under the hood, the usual V6 and V8 engines are offered in the E350 and E550 making 302 hp and 402 hp respectively. Coming next Fall, however, is a new diesel engine, in the E250 BlueTEC. With 4-cylinders it will offer 190 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, with fuel economy numbers being announced closer to launch.
Those who prefer their miles per gallon to be more electric can opt for the E400 Hybrid, with a 302 hp V6 mated to an electric motor to deliver 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Also helping improve fuel economy, all models will get a start-stop feature.
Inside the cabin come modest updates with new gauges and a new screen at the top of the center stack; though the usually-cluttered set of buttons below remains.
With a continued focus on being a safety leader, Mercedes has equipped the 2014 E-Class with Collision Prevention Assist as standard, which will warn the driver if they are approaching a vehicle in front too closely.
Optional safety equipment includes a new generation Driver Assistance Package with Distronic Plus, which combines a full speed cruise control that will allow the car to keep a set distance from a vehicle ahead, while also helping keep it in its lane. In addition, the package includes Bas Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist that will apply the brakes if a vehicle or pedestrian comes into the lane, plus there’s a full Pre-Safe Brake system with autonomous emergency braking.
Mercedes will give the new E-Class its world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class