Mercedes-Benz

For the last 17 years, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has worn four headlamps.

However, in a comprehensive make-over for 2013, Mercedes has ditched them in favour of a conventional pair of headlights which have integrated LEDs in them.

It's not just the headlamps the German giant has changed on the uber-posh BMW 5 Series rival. More efficient engines and new safety wizardry has also been ushered in to keep the E-Class a favourite among executives.

The range's two petrol engines are now direct-injection 2.0-litre four-cylinder units in 187 or 214bhp flavours, while diesels come in four varieties, three of which are four-pot units and there's one 3.5-litre six-cylinder lump.

The recently-introduced 2.1-litre, four-cylinder hybrid remains in the range as well, and E-Classes come with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto. Bigger-engined AMG models will also get the same 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 as the current E-Class.

New E-Classes can be ordered with four different types of suspension, and there's a wide selection of safety equipment – from the standard pedestrian detection system to the optional Adaptive Highbeam Assist (a system which allows the main beams to be kept on permanently).

Other visual changes include new bumpers and rear lights, while on the inside there's a new "two-part" trim line which can be ordered in wood or metal depending on how you like your E-Class to look.

The new "E" will appear in Mercedes dealers in March 2013, but word has it the price will rise a tad thanks to all of that extra equipment.