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This is the interior of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabin

We haven’t seen the body yet, but ahead of the Detroit debut of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, here’s your first comprehensive look at the new mid-size Benz’s interior.

Blending the opulence and high technology of the W222 S-Class with elements of the sportier, smaller W205 C-Class, the E-Class’s cabin will set a benchmark when it arrives in the medium luxury sedan class in mid-2016.

The E-Class might be dropping around the same time as the new 2016 Jaguar XF, but the Benz’s interior sits on another level entirely. Like the C-Class has done for smaller luxury sedans, the E-Class cabin will kick up buyer expectations and give both BMW and Audi a tough act to follow for their next 5 Series and A6 respectively.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabin

The whispers of S-Class are most evident here in the use of twin 12.3-inch screens up top. One sits directly behind the steering wheel, offering digital gauges and key travel information, while the other provides the traditional infotainment on a generous canvas.

The twin-display feature will be standard on higher-end models, and available across the range. In their regular configuration, though, entry-level W213 E-Classes will stock analogue gauges and a smaller 8.4-inch infotainment screen in the centre.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabin

Beneath the screens, we’ve got a curving band of trim hosting a trio of air vents. It’s a nod to the S-Class Coupe. Linking with the wrap-around panels on the doors, this is where a variety of optional trims will feature, from open-pore woods, to aluminium or carbon fibre.

Cascading down from the trim band is a centre console very reminiscent of the C-Class. Here, a variety of hard shortcuts for the climate and infotainment sit above the inputs for the COMAND system—like other recent Mercs, there’s both a rotary dial and a touchpad.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabin

There may not be hand-waving inputs like the 2016 BMW 7 Series, but the E-Class does introduce one key change for Mercedes-Benz interiors: both spokes of the steering wheel now contain a touchpad. These tracking zones will allow the driver to swipe through pages in the infotainment system.

We’re still waiting on engines and the like, but we do know there will be four basic 2016 E-Class trims: a base level, Avantgarde, Exclusive, and AMG. The opulence of the trim will depend on the level you go for—base cars will stock ARTICO man-made leather, moving up to genuine leather, while Exclusive cars will feature Nappa trim and extended leather on the dash and sills.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabin

Sound quality promises to be good with another Mercedes tie-up with audio group Burmeister. The 3D Burmeister speakers rotate out of the door panels on ignition, which is a cool novelty.

Additional details on the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will be available on the press days of the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Camouflaged

A reminder of what we’ve seen so far of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class exterior.