Class leading safety
Mercedes might well argue that the new E leads the way on safety, too. Some of its features are so advanced that the company has felt compelled to transfer them to S-Class by mid-year to avoid the flagship model being made to look second-best.
In return, the E-Class benefits from things already on the S-Class.
The safety advances are led by Attention Assist, a drowsiness detection system that monitors the driver's behaviour and sends out an audible and visual warning if it starts to waver. Mercedes is so convinced of its effectiveness that it will gradually be fitted to every range.
Brakes that are automatically applied in an impending crash, headlights that progressively adjust themselves between high and low beam, and lane-change and blind-spot warning systems are also available. So is the night vision camera from the S-Class, and it now highlights pedestrians as an additional warning.
If you do hit a pedestrian, the bonnet springs up to minimise injury, and it can be reset by the driver quickly and easily, unlike the pyrotechnic systems in Citroens and Jaguars, which need to be put back by a dealer.