In 1994 a new class name assigned to the Mercedes Benz W124 generation engine configuration, the E Class, was trotted out. In 1994 there were four Mercedes Benz E Class models, the E320, E420, E500 and the E300D. Both the Mercedes E420 and E500 were available only in sedan style; the E320 was available as a sedan, coupe or wagon, and the E300D was a diesel fuel model.
The 1995 Mercedes Benz E-Class vehicles saw little change from the previous year's models which had been popular and successful. The only significant change in '95 was the discontinuation of the E500, which had been test marketed within the confines of limited production. 1996, however, brought about the next generation of E Class.
The second generation of the Mercedes E-Class, the W210, was first produced in 1996 and manufacturing continued until the upgrading of the W210 in 2002. The power and performance of the W210 were almost identical to the W124. The need for a new 'E' class generation was attributed primarily to a surprisingly shocking and appealing Mercedes body style make over. The new 1996 E320,E300D, E320 Coupe and the E420 Sedan all now saw an increase of 2 inches in overall length and a 2 plus inch longer wheel base to accommodate a completely new and superbly designed aerodynamic body style. The most intriguing new exterior feature may very well have been the four very striking elliptical headlights.
Between the introduction of the second generation of E Class in 1996 and the introduction of the third generation in 2003, the W210 saw a variety of changes and enhancements. Sport package options were offered and an E55 sport sedan was added to the E Class family of automobiles; enhancements in technology were incorporated into various components and safety features, all wheel drive was offered, and intuitively developed and appropriately performance based engines continued to see impressive positive growth.
In 2003 the third generation of E Class arrived as the W211. The 2003 Mercedes Benz E Class was available as an E320 with 221 horsepower or as the E500 with a 5 liter V8 delivering 302 horsepower. Style and convenient comfort features were also updated with a slightly more refined body style, adaptive suspension, drive dynamic seats that respond by altering cushions according to driving conditions and four zone climate control.
As of the 2007 model year, the W211 is still the current generation of Mercedes Benz E Class and several additional changes have occurred since its introduction in 2003. The most significant changes have occurred under the hood. The E320 was replaced by the more powerful E350 with a 3.5 liter V6 engine, with a sports package option. The E500 has been replaced by the E550 with a 382 horsepower engine and the E55 has been upgraded to the E63 AMG with a 507 horsepower V8 engine. Although typically more costly than the competition, the outstanding driving dynamics, style and luxury continue to make the Mercedes Benz E Class a favorite amongst both industry analysts and luxury car consumers.