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  • Four eyes: the combination of four elliptical headlamps defines the face of the 210-series Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1995 to 2002).
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    The eyes have it.

    Unmistakable: The so-called “twin headlamp face” has been a salient characteristic of the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy for years.

    Text: Thomas Giesefeld | Photos: Mercedes-Benz Classic Archive

Aerodynamic advantages.

In 1995, the first newly developed E-Class model series – the W 210 – celebrated its premiere. The term ”E-Class” was in use from 1993 for the executive segment model series; in other words it was actually coined during the production period of the predecessor model series, the 124. The considerably longer, smoother body of the W 210 brought with it aerodynamic advantages and a space concept previously only familiar from the luxury segment. The new headlamp design, which has since been copied several times, featured four elliptical lamp units. This was also the first time that an E-Class could be ordered in various equipment lines.


Four eyes: the combination of four elliptical headlamps defines the face of the 210-series Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1995 to 2002).
The Mercedes-Benz four-eye face.

From a comfort-oriented setup to a focus on sportiness.

For the W 210, the lines “Classic”, “Elegance” and “Avantgarde” were available, offering various nuances from a comfort-oriented setup right up to versions with a focus on sportiness. The engines initially ranged from the E 220 diesel with 70 kW (95 hp) to the eight-cylinder E 420 model with its 205 kW (279 hp). And of course, the Estate versions presented in 1996 were also back on offer. They offered a great deal of ­utility space at a time when it was still very early days for SUVs.


Standard safety and comfort features.

The standard safety and comfort features included the ETS electronic traction system (in the E 420 ASR) and airbags for driver and passenger (as well as sidebags and windowbags – standard from 1996 and 1999, respectively). Air conditioning and four electric windows also became standard features in 1998. An especially fine detail was the optionally available rain sensor for the front windscreen. The major facelift in 1999 is distinguished by the flatter front end as well as by the additional turn signals integrated into the exterior mirrors and the multifunctional steering wheel. In addition to the rather rare AMG versions and designo models, well looked-after six-cylinder models from the final production phase have the potential to be interesting cars for enthusiasts of this model series


Both as a Saloon and as an Estate model, they can often be found for a good price. Today, almost two decades later, the problems with rust that accompanied this model series represent a challenge familiar to fans of classic vehicles. Nevertheless, the admiration for the W 210 is well deserved thanks to the fusion of tradition and innovation that this car exhibits – aspects which have become core values of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class model series.


Looking at the world through four individual headlamps: The coupe concept premiered Mercedes’ new four-eye face.

The coupe concept premiered new four-eye face of Mercedes-Benz.


The W 210.

1995 Premiere:

The model programme initially comprised eight models, three of which were powered by a diesel engine and six by a petrol engine. Especially innovative was the E 290 Turbodiesel, the first diesel passenger car to feature the brand’s direct injection system.

1999 Facelift:

All diesel models were now equipped with CDI engines, the latest six-speed manual transmission and further electronic assistance systems.

2002 End of production for the 210 ­series:

From 1995, a total of more than 1.65 million Estates and Saloons were built.