First versions of the new restyled Mercedes-Benz E-Class have arrived in Ireland and can now be seen in dealer showrooms.

In a departure from tradition aimed at extending the E-Class customer base, the new range comes in two distinctly different design formats.

First come the Classic and Elegance versions, with their traditional triple-louvre grille and bonnet-mounted star – both elegantly crafted to appeal to those conventional and loyal E-Class owners whose purchases have accounted for half of all Mercedes-Benz cars sold in Ireland.

Alongside these two versions comes a third, altogether different, CLS-inspired Avantgarde version.

With its punchy lines, squat looks, sports style grille and inset star, the Avantgarde has an altogether different job to do - to capture the affections of younger, sportier buyers never before listed amongst the ranks of Mercedes-Benz owners.

Mercedes-Benz has devised a price package broadly comparable to the outgoing range.

Amongst the diesels, the E200CDI launches at €44,540 (ex works), with annual road tax of €270, while the more powerful E220CDI launches at €47,110, with road tax of €270.

Third in the trio of diesel models – an E250CDI – launches at €49,495, with road tax of €270.

Two petrol versions are the E200 BlueEFFICIENCY version at €47,015, with road tax of €390, and the E300 BlueTec Hybrid Automatic at €53,020, with annual road tax of €190. This model is only available in automatic.

(Prices quoted are for Classic versions in all cases. Prices for Elegance and Avantgarde versions will carry a small premium and will be announced as models arrive.)