* Class leading safety * New cleaner engines, too * Emphasis returns to quality...
There's been a concerted attack on quality with the new E after the reputation battering the current model received in its early days.
The interior style and trim is a scaled-down version of what's in the S-Class, and you'll get many of the flagship's features, including a central controller linked to a dashboard-mounted screen for swapping between the hi-fi, phone interface, car set-up and any options you add such as sat-nav.
Mercedes claims it's the unprecedented amount of pre-launch testing that will ensure quality is back to what people expect of its cars.
The new E-Class has done the equivalent of 88 return trips to the moon (20 million miles) in laboratory and on-road tests involving 1400 prototypes, and been to Japan, America, South Africa and the Arctic Circle to stress engines, climate systems, body, chassis and electrics to breaking point. This time, the engineers reckon they've left nothing to chance.
You get the idea that Mercedes has gone back to being Mercedes after a period of casting covetous eyes at BMW's more dynamic image.
Comfort, safety, quality and luxury were the things Mercedes traditionally specialised at, and it's what the new E-Class will deliver if it lives up to the promises. We'll know soon enough.