History of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Evolution over the decades

The history of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a fascinating chronicle spanning several decades of automotive development. From its humble post-war beginnings to becoming an icon of German engineering, the E-Class has constantly evolved to meet the changing demands of the market and the expectations of drivers around the world. In this comprehensive review, we will explore each E-Class series, from its earliest models to the most recent technological innovations.

The beginnings: Mercedes-Benz 136 and 191 series (1946-1955).

The history of the E-Class begins with the 136 and 191 series models, which emerged in the post-war period, specifically from 1946 to 1955. The iconic 170 V (136 series) was the first passenger model built by Mercedes-Benz after World War II. This vehicle laid the foundation for what would become the E-Class in the future.

Significant Advances: Mercedes-Benz 120 and 121 series (1953-1962)

In the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz launched the 120 series with the 180 model, which featured a modern three-box design and was the brand’s first car to feature unitary construction. The 121 series, with the 190 model, was later added to the range, along with diesel variants. These models introduced significant improvements in engineering and design, laying the groundwork for future iterations of the E-Class.

Foto: ©Mercedes-Benz

The fin era: Mercedes-Benz 110 series (1961-1968)

In 1961, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 110 series, characterized by its distinctive rear wings. These models, like the 190 and 200, inherited the body of the W 111 series luxury sedans, marking a transition in E-Class design. The 110 series also saw the introduction of special bodies and Mercedes-Benz’s foray into the production of its own family wagon.

The advent of modernity: Mercedes-Benz 115 and 114 series (1968-1976)

The 1960s ushered in a new era with the Mercedes-Benz 115 and 114 series. These models, launched in 1968, represented the first independent generation of the brand’s upper mid-range series. With four- and six-cylinder engines, these vehicles combined balanced proportions with straight lines, setting a new standard in E-Class design.

Consolidation and Expansion: Mercedes-Benz 123 series (1975-1985)

The 123 series, launched in 1975, marked an important milestone in the evolution of the E-Class. These models, which included sedan, coupe and estate versions, offered a variety of body and powertrain options to suit customer needs. With continuous improvements in performance and safety, the 123 series cemented the E-Class’ position as a stand-alone model family within the Mercedes-Benz portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What distinguishes the E-Class from other Mercedes-Benz models?

The E-Class is positioned in the upper mid-range of Mercedes-Benz, offering a balance of luxury, performance and advanced technology. It stands out for its elegant design, wide range of powertrain options and reputation for reliability and durability.

What are some of the highlights of the modern E-Class?

The modern E-Class is equipped with a variety of advanced features, which may include driving assistance systems, state-of-the-art infotainment technology, electrified powertrain options and a wide range of body configurations.

How has the technology in the E-Class evolved over the years?

Since its earliest iterations, the E-Class has been a pioneer in the introduction of innovative automotive technologies. This includes advances in active and passive safety, fuel efficiency, connectivity and autonomous driving.


The history of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence in automotive engineering and design. Over the years, this iconic vehicle line has evolved to meet the needs and expectations of drivers around the world, establishing itself as a benchmark in the luxury and upper-mid-range segment. From its modest beginnings in the post-war era to today’s cutting-edge technological innovations, the E-Class continues to be a symbol of elegance, performance and German quality.