The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a range of executive cars manufactured by German automaker Mercedes-Benz in various engine and body configurations. Produced since 1953, the E-Class falls midrange in the Mercedes line-up, and has been marketed worldwide across five generations.
Before 1993, the E in Mercedes-Benz nomenclature was a suffix following a vehicle’s model number which stood for Einspritzmotor (German for fuel injection engine). It began to appear in the early 1960s, when that feature began to be utilized broadly in the maker’s product line, and not just in its upper tier luxury and sporting models. By the launch of the facelifted W124 in 1993 fuel-injection was ubiquitous in Mercedes engines, and the E was adopted as a prefix (i.e., E 220) and the model line referred to officially as the E-Class (or E-Klasse). All generations of the E-Class have offered either rear-wheel drive or Mercedes’ 4Matic four-wheel drive system.
Historically, the E-Class is Mercedes-Benz’ best-selling model, with more than 13 million sold by 2015. The first E-Class series was originally available as four-door sedan, five-door station wagon, 2 door coupe and 2 door convertible. From 1997 to 2009, the equivalent coupe and convertible were sold under the Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class nameplate; which was actually based on the mechanical underpinnings of the smaller C-Class while borrowing the styling and some powertrains from the E-Class, a trend continued with the C207 E-Class coupe/convertible which was sold parallel to the W212 E-Class sedan/wagon. With the latest incarnation of the E-Class released for the 2017 model year, all body styles share the same W213 platform.
Due to the E-Class’s size and durability, it has filled many market segments, from personal cars to frequently serving as taxis in European countries, as well special-purpose vehicles (e.g., police or ambulance modifications) from the factory.