Mercedes Benz has carved a solid reputation for itself when it comes to high-end, luxury vehicles. It's best known for its fine craftsmanship and excellent engineering, as well as precision. And with every Mercedes Benz model that rolls out of the assembly line, there's undeniable elegance that comes with it. But as competition in the automotive market fired up, with Japanese, American, and other European luxury automakers releasing more modern lineups, Mercedes Benz had to come up with a new batch of luxury vehicles with the design and manufacturing efficiency from the compact C-Class cars. This new batch became known as the E-Class, a family of executive cars that come in different body and engine configurations. From the E-class came a high-performance luxury car known as the Mercedes Benz E420. It had the comforts of a luxury vehicle but had the performance, particularly speed and handling, of a sports car.
1990s: The unveiling of the Mercedes Benz E420
The E-Class name made its debut in the US through the W124, which was face-lifted for the 1994 model year. The W124 was launched in the US as early as 1986. But during that time, it used the naming system for older models until 1993. The 300D became the fuel economy alternative from the 4- and 6-cylinder gasoline engines at that time. Gasoline V8 engines became available after 1992. These engines amplified power output.
Sedans/Saloons with V8 engines were called 400E/500E from 1992 to 1993. After 1993, these were known as E420/E500. For the E-Class, saloon/sedan, coupé, convertible, and estate body configurations were available.
The E420 had the distinct styling cues of other cars in the E-Class lineup. This high-performance luxury car packed a 275-hp V8 engine. It had the speed and smooth handling of a sports car. But even with this performance, it didn't lose its touch of comfort and luxury. While older Mercedes Benz models had been known for their functional yet conservative design, the recent E-Class introduced a more playful aspect in the Mercedes Benz design. The E-Class cars seemed friendlier without losing their functionality. Some of these vehicles came with lower and wider grilles and oval headlights. The Mercedes Benz E420 had 5-spoke alloy wheels and a badge on the trunk lid. It also had leather interiors, offering not just luxury but also comfort with its power-adjustable front seats. There was a lot of storage space. Rear seats came with headrests and shoulder straps. There were also climate control vents for rear passengers. High-end controls and convenience features were well designed.
In terms of safety, the E420 was well equipped with ASR5 traction control system, along with a good set of safety features used in other E-Class vehicles. These included an anti-theft alarm system and 4-wheel antilock disc brakes. The Mercedes Benz E420 was highly rated for its superb handling and good high-speed driving performance. Some reviews even claimed that the shifts were smooth and crisp.