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Review: New Mercedes E-Class

Driven June 2013

Review: New Mercedes E-Class

There’s no limit to pampering. And that’s true even when it comes to luxury. And when it comes to cars, if you couple good looks with luxury, there’s almost nothing that sounds like a better deal.

And that brings us to the new E-Class. Someone at the Merc design team thought the current E-Class looks a bit aged and decided to take it to the sketch board and came back with this new design for the E. This is not one of those ‘mildly refreshed’ versions of a car. The twin quad headlamps have made way for new ones with newly designed daytime running LEDs, which distinguish the new one instantly. The grille too is now in sync with the new Merc design theme.

And the changes are not restricted to just that. The big three-pointed star that sits right in the middle of that grille is now illuminated. It gives the E that extra touch of specialness to the new face. The side profile stays almost similar to the car that it replaces with nice flowing lines running right up to the C pillar. Nothing much has changed at the rear too. But now, the tail-lamps feature a new design for the LEDs.

On the inside, you get an option of either black or beige interiors with an aluminium strip running through the length of the dashboard. You also get the aluminium finish on the centre console. Otherwise, the interiors are almost similar to the current E-Class. The fit and finish, like the current car, is impeccable. The front seats are nice and large and offer good support even while cornering. The rear seats too are comfortable and have decent under-thigh support and sufficient legroom.

Most of us have complained about the lack of features in the current E-Class. But the new one doesn’t disappoint in any way. It gets an upgraded COMAND system, which connects to your phone through Bluetooth. You also get a sat-nav system and a bigger screen. What’s also new on the E-Class is the reverse cam, which comes quite handy while parking in tight spots. Talking about parking, the new E-Class gets a Park Assist system that not only auto steers the car into the parking slot but also applies brakes by itself. The system is something similar to what we have seen in the VW Passat.

The new E-Class will be available with two engine options – the E250 CDI and the E200 CGI. What we have here is the E250 CDI with a 2.2-litre oil burner under the hood. It churns out 202 horses and 500Nm of torque. The motor feels highly refined and power delivery quite linear – with enough power right from 1800rpm. The engine is clatter-free through most of the rev-range and can be heard inside the cabin only once you pass 3800rpm.

The motor is mated to a seven-speed automatic ’box. It keeps the engine spinning at revs where there’s enough power and then glides through the ratios pretty effortlessly. It’s not one of the quickest trannies that we’ve seen, but does the job well if you’re not looking at racetrack-like driving. Well-sorted seven ratios mean that it should be quite fuel efficient especially at highway cruising speeds. We’ll be able to second that with accurate numbers once we do a complete road test.

The new E-Class has a rather excellent ride. It goes over road undulations with ease and only the really sharp bumps make it to your spine. The springs and the dampers are well suited to take the abuse that our roads have to offer.

The new E-Class handles pretty well too. Although the steering is light, it is precise and points the car right where you intend to. Though, we wish it was more communicative and offered little more feedback. The softer setup for the suspension has resulted into noticeable amount of body roll around bends. The grip levels are pretty good and the E doesn’t lose its composure very easily even while cornering at higher speeds on a wet surface.

Mercedes will announce the prices on June 25. But we expect it to be in the range of Rs 55-56.5 lakh (on-road, Mumbai).

The E-Class has always appealed to people looking for a luxurious sedan that offers good performance. And the new one too continues to do that. And this time, you’re not going to be left longing for more features. Enough said.

The numbers
2,143cc, 4-cyl, diesel, 202bhp, 500Nm, 7A, RWD, 0-100kph – 7.5sec (claimed), top speed – 242kph (claimed), LxWxH (mm) – 4,879 x 1,854x 1,474, kerb weight – 1,800kg

The verdict
The new E-Class gets a better-looking face and new features that the current E-Class desperately needed. That coupled with good performance, the new E has almost everything that earlier one missed out on.

Agasti Kaulgi

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