The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is at the midway point in its life cycle, and in Mercedes tradition the range of sedans, coupes and wagons have received a round of updates to keep it looking and feeling fresh against some of the newer competition.

Mercedes has only revealed details on the updated E-Class sedan, All-Terrain soft-roader and sporty Mercedes-AMG E53 sedan for now, but details on the other models, like the two-door cars and high-performance E63 sedan, should be released before sales start late this year. The updated E-Class arrives as a 2021 model and yes the United States will also see the All-Terrain this time around.

The tweaks to the styling are extensive for a mid-cycle update and include new headlights, taillights, reworked front and rear fascias, and a more pronounced grille. Mercedes is also adding the sporty AMG styling kit plus a set of 18-inch wheels as standard. The new look should help differentiate the E-Class better from the smaller C-Class which is easily mistaken for its more expensive sibling at present.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

There have also been plenty of tech updates made to the car. Key among these is Mercedes' MBUX infotainment system which features a large 12.3-inch touchscreen that can be operated much like a smartphone or tablet. The infotainment system also includes natural speak voice activation and the ability to recognize certain gestures. A new steering wheel with touch-sensitive surfaces also enables a new degree of control for the driver. A second 12.3-inch screen serves as the digital instrument cluster.

Mercedes also offers its latest electronic driver-assist features. One of the new, more advanced items is an enhancement for the adaptive cruise control. The system can use live traffic updates to recognize and respond to a build up of traffic on a highway well before the driver is even aware of the situation. When it detects traffic ahead and the driver doesn't take any actions, the system will automatically slow the vehicle to 62 mph as a precaution.

The brake assist now also integrates a cross traffic warning feature at intersections, meaning the brakes can automatically be applied when there is a danger of a collision with oncoming traffic when making a turn. And the surround-view camera system has been updated so that the entire side view of the vehicle is shown. This makes it easier when driving close to parallel objects such as curbs and garage walls.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain

There are also new engines in the powertrain department of the updated E-Class—including the availability of plug-in hybrid models in the U.S. for the first time. The range kicks off with the E350 added for 2020, whose 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 continues to offer 255 horsepower. Above this is the new E350e plug-in hybrid which pairs the regular E350's 2.0-liter mill with a 121-hp electric motor for a combined 315 hp. An electric-only range estimate hasn't been provided, and note that the plug-in hybrid only has rear-wheel drive while other models in the updated E-Class family have all-wheel drive either as standard or available.

Further up the performance hierarchy sits the E450 which comes with a new 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 and mild-hybrid setup replacing the current E450's V-6. Output of this model is 362 hp. A beefed-up version of this powertrain features in the Mercedes-AMG E53 added for 2019. The AMG's setup also incorporates an electric compressor to help liberate a maximum 429 hp.

An E63 from AMG will continue to be the range-topper, with its engine to remain a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. Peak output could be lifted beyond the current model's 603 horsepower in E63 S trim, though.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E53

2021 Mercedes-AMG E53

2021 Mercedes-AMG E53

2021 Mercedes-AMG E53

2021 Mercedes-AMG E53

2021 Mercedes-AMG E53

Pricing information for the range will be announced closer to the market launch.

For more on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.