In a time of growing uniformity in automotive design, the début of the new E-Class in 1995 impressed with an unusual appearance. The distinctive front end with four ellipsoid headlamps and the coupé-like rear-end design represented a refreshing change and attracted attention alike. The 210 model series was promptly awarded the "red dot" design prize.
For the first time, the E-Class offered a choice of three design and equipment lines (CLASSIC, ELEGANCE, AVANTGARDE).
The standard specification included a host of technical highlights from the ETS electronic traction system to the belt force limiter.