The most immediately noticeable outdoorsy aspect is the use of copious amounts of black body cladding on the bumpers, wheel arches and side sills. The addition of the off-road-ready armour complements the wind-swept lines of Kodo styling language surprisingly well, particularly in the desert-esque Zircon Sand Metallic paint colour of Darpan’s press loaner.
The already-excellent Lexus Safety System+ suite of technologies benefits from a few additions such as enhanced camera and radar equipment to help the pre-collision detection spot not just oncoming vehicles but preceding cyclists and pedestrians as well.
Formerly offering an already healthy range of 335 kilometres on a single charge of the 78 kilowatt-hour high-voltage battery, minor digital tweaks to energy and thermal management ups the number by 24 to a total of 359 kilometres. Owners of 2021 vehicles are also eligible for the upgrade.
Though the fifth generation E-Class is now getting a little long in the tooth, a replacement is coming soon. To tide enthusiasts over, however, Mercedes-AMG revealed a face-lifted E 53 last year highlighting fresh styling, a revised cabin and the introduction of the company’s high tech Mercdes-Benz User eXperience (MBUX) infotainment system.
Though the Sport hatchback variant is arguably the better looking of the pair, the four door is a sleekly-shaped vehicle showcasing swoopy, fluid bodylines that are a product of the Hiroshima automaker’s Kodo “Soul of Motion” Design language.
Even the interior is quite Lexus-like, as the grade-topping XSE comes with all the bells and whistles like the much-improved Toyota Audio Plus infotainment system utilizing a nine-inch display, beautiful heated leather steering wheel and wireless charging.