If you’re shopping for an E Class Mercedes
sedan in the U.S., your least expensive option is the E350, which carries a starting price of $51,365 before you check off a single option box.
If you’ve got your mind made up to buy a new Mercedes, the price is what the price is. If you’re cross-shopping rival German brands, there are variants of the BMW 5-Series
and Audi A6
that offer similar amenities for thousands of dollars less.
In other words, Mercedes-Benz is potentially giving up sales to rival German automakers. Now comes word from Car and Driver
that Mercedes may launch a new E300 sedan, priced noticeably below the current E350.
The E300 would be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6, likely the same engine used to power the Canadian E300 4Matic launched in February. It’s also the same powerplant used in the current E350, but de-tuned to produce 248 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque instead of the E350’s 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
Launching an E300 would also allow Mercedes-Benz
to increase the standard content on the existing E350, taking it further up the luxury ladder with a price increase to match.
Documents filed with the NHTSA show that Mercedes may introduce the E300 in both rear drive and in all-wheel-drive 4Matic form, and may even launch a revised C300 4Matic with the same engine.
We say may, because filing vehicle listings with the NHTSA doesn’t always mean a model will come to market. It’s a necessary first step, and the launch of the E300 in Canada makes expansion to the U.S. likely, but Mercedes-Benz doesn’t comment on future models.