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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

There weren’t exactly major flaws with the eighth-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class released in 2009, but now comes an update the German brand calls its most comprehensive yet for one of its models.

The launch timing is good with the E-Class currently being outsold in Australia by its arch rival, the BMW 5 Series, and also, surprisingly, the Jaguar XF (because it’s a relative underdog in the class).

Visually, the most noticeable change is the front end and the headlights, which have finally discarded with the old-school twin-lamp design and gone to a more modern face (though cleverly employ eye-catching twin LED strips to recreate the effect subtly).

The rear is a little subtler but the new tail-lights have a Bentley-esque look to them with a gorgeous LED design that comes to life at night. Overall, Mercedes has kept the same elementary look of the E-class but with a more contemporary twist. And it works – looking even better in the metal than in photos.

The real story, though, is not about the styling, but the price reductions and added features that include new technology innovations that debut in the E-Class before the flagship S-Class that launches internationally in July.

We tested five models that will be in local dealerships from the same month. These include the E200 and E250 sedan and estate as well as the diesel-powered E250 CDI.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

The base model Mercedes Benz E200 retails for $79,990 but is far from being the cheap man’s E-Class, as it comes with a rather lengthy list of standard features (something German car makers aren’t exactly renowned for).

Apart from all the regular features you’d except, all E-Class variants now come standard with the exterior sport package and Avantgarde styling (no more Mercedes logo sticking out of the bonnet).

In the E200’s case the engine itself has been upgraded from a 1.8-litre four-cylinder to a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo with more power (130kW) and torque (300Nm) yet with less fuel consumption (6.4L/100km).

Behind the wheel the E200 is actually surprisingly pleasant. There’s no urgency to the car’s performance but for Australian road conditions and our anti-speeding mentality, it’s more than adequate. We found ourselves easily getting up to speed and doing all the regular things one would do with a large luxury car without the need for more go.

This was not the case with the previous generation E200, which lacked that little bit of extra power to make it ideal.

Opting for the more expensive four-cylinder petrol E-Class – the $96,400 E250 – brings slightly quicker performance through its more powerful engine (155kW and 350Nm), though there’s more value in the extra $16,000 to be found in additional features that include 19-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlamps, sports package, keyless go, full electric seats, driver assistant package plus and a few other things.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

Mercedes says this presents a $15,000 price benefit to customers over the old E250.

In motion the E250 petrol is smooth and effortless. Like the E200, it has a great relationship with its seven-speed automatic transmission, serving up seamless gear changes.

One of the previous E-Class’s downsides was the feeling you got from the steering wheel, which was pleasant but very light and lacking any feedback over different road surfaces. Mercedes has completely changed the steering design to an electro-mechanical system, which is far more engaging for the driver.

On the road, all three engine variants we tested – E200, E250 and E250 CDI – were capable of doing the task, though the E250 CDI diesel was the most pleasant with its endless torque and great mid-range acceleration.

The diesel is also now priced below $100,000 at $98,900, which given the additional added value and new features, represents a roughly $18,000 benefit to the customer, according to Mercedes.

The ride is typical E-Class: extremely cushy without being detrimental to body control. It’s not as dynamic as the 5 Series, so it compromises its on-the-limit cornering ability, but for the vast majority of usage, it’s the ideal balance between comfort and handling.

The seven-seater E-Class Estate (wagon), which is available as an E200, E400 or E250 CDI, is a great choice if the additional two seats are an occasional requirement only.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

The rear-facing third-row bench seat is certainly not a place a parent would put their own kids for an extended period of time but when the need comes to move some additional passengers for quick drives, it serves as an ideal compromise.

But to the highlights of the new E-Class… technology.

The Comand system has been updated to NTG 4.5 generation 3, which is a technical name for a software update that finally allows Internet connectivity via tethering your iPhone or Android device (a feature that was previously only available with the now defunct Blackberry smartphones).

The change from a 30-pin to an 8-pin connector for Apple’s latest devices has also limited some functionality (unless an adapter is used) with Comand, as a direct USB plug-in doesn’t support the iPhone natively, though it does charge it. But given the full-scale Bluetooth connectivity, this is really a non-issue until such time as Mercedes-Benz releases an official lightning adapter.

Another feature is the steering assist, standard on all models except E200 and E220CDI, which essentially drives the E-Class on highways for a short period of time. You can let go of the steering wheel and the E-Class will happily steer itself on the highway. Add to this the smart cruise control system that can pace itself with the car in front and you’ve effectively got yourself a self-driving car.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

Legal and moral issues have led Mercedes (and other manufacturers with similar technology) to limit the system’s complete autonomous driving to just a few (but sweet) seconds. The idea is that if you happen to get distracted – say by your baby in the backseat or by the stereo– the car can take over temporarily to avoid a potential accident. It’s a great system that works well, but the one we tried in the new Honda Accord is actually better.

Then there’s the interior, which although is updated with new switchgear and nicer feeling material, still presents that fundamental Mercedes issue of a small, 7-inch screen. And unlike BMW’s iDrive, or the mammoth 11-inch screen in the Lexus GS, it cannot be optioned with a bigger screen (even though space around the screen doesn’t seem to be an issue).

Further to that, Comand’s satellite navigation system inside – while sufficiently accurate in providing directions – is starting to show its age with an old-school 2D-like map display that lacks the finesse or modern-feel of full 3D with terrain and life-like display found in BMW’s latest version of iDrive – the industry-leading standard.

The interesting models in the E-class range will be the E300 Hybrid and E400 V6, which replaces the E500. These two models will represent small portions of overall sales but provide an interesting direction for the range. Both these models will arrive in the next few months.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

Overall, the updated Mercedes-Benz E-Class is far more than just a regular facelift. It brings more powerful and efficient engines, much higher standards of equipment, a substantial redesign, as well as improvements to the steering, interior and technology.

In many ways it betters its German and Japanese rivals for a daily luxury drive, but it does cost more and, at least compared to some rivals, is far more conservative in its entire philosophy.

Check out the Mercedes-Benz E-Class photo gallery for many more pictures.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class price and specifications:

Mercedes-Benz E 200 – $79,900 or $86,900 for Estate

Technical Data

  • 1,991cc, 4-cylinder, 135kW, 300Nm
  • Direct-injection, turbocharged
  • 7G-TRONIC PLUS
  • ECO start/stop
  • Rear wheel drive

Fuel Data

  •  6.4L / 100km Combined cycle ADR 81/02 – 95 RON – 148g CO2 p/km

Key Features

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
  • 18-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels
  • ARTICO man-made leather upholstery
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST
  • COMAND APS with reversing camera

Mercedes-Benz E 220 CDI – $82,400

Technical Data

  • 2,143cc, 4-cylinder, 125kW, 400Nm
  • Direct-injection, 2-stage turbocharged
  • 7G-TRONIC PLUS
  • ECO start/stop
  • Rear wheel drive

Fuel Data

  • 4.9L / 100km Combined cycle ADR 81/02 – Diesel – 132g CO2 p/km

Key Features

  • 18-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels
  • ARTICO man-made leather upholstery
  • Blind Spot Assist
  • COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST
  • COMAND APS with reversing camera

Mercedes-Benz E 250 – $96,400

Technical Data

  • 1,991cc, 4-cylinder, 155kW, 350Nm
  • Direct-injection, turbocharged
  • 7G-TRONIC PLUS
  • ECO start/stop
  • Rear wheel drive

Fuel Data

  • 6.4L / 100km Combined cycle ADR 81/02 – 95 RON – 148g CO2 p/km

Key Features

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
  • 19-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels
  • Driving Assistance Package PLUS
  • Electric seats with memory function
  • KEYLESS-GO package
  • LED Intelligent Light System

Mercedes-Benz E 250 CDI – $98,900 or $106,700 for Estate

Technical Data

  • 2,143cc, 4-cylinder, 150kW, 500Nm
  • Direct-injection, 2-stage turbocharged
  • 7G-TRONIC PLUS
  • ECO start/stop
  • Rear wheel drive

Fuel Data

  • 4.9L / 100km Combined cycle ADR 81/02 – Diesel – 129g CO2 p/km

Key Features

  • 19-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels
  • Driving Assistance Package PLUS
  • Electric seats with memory function
  • KEYLESS-GO package
  • LED Intelligent Light System

Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID – $108,900

Technical Data

  • 2,143cc, 4-cylinder, 150kW, 500Nm
  • Direct-injection, 2-stage turbocharged
  • 7G-TRONIC PLUS
  • Rear wheel drive

Fuel Data

  • 4.3L / 100km Combined cycle ADR 81/02 – Diesel – 113g CO2 p/km

Key Features

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
  • 19-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels
  • Driving Assistance Package PLUS
  • Electric seats with memory function
  • KEYLESS-GO package
  • LED Intelligent Light System

Mercedes-Benz E 400 – $128,900 – $136,700 for estate

Technical Data

  • 2,996cc, 6-cylinder, 245kW, 480Nm
  • Direct-injection, Bi-turbo
  • 7G-TRONIC PLUS
  • ECO start/stop
  • Rear wheel drive

Fuel Data

  • 7.6L / 100km Combined cycle ADR 81/02 – 95 RON – 177g CO2 p/km

Key Features

  • 19-inch 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels
  • 360° camera
  • Glass sunroof
  • Hands-free-access
  • Harman Kardon® Logic 7®

Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG S – $249,900

Technical Data

  • 5,461cc, 8-cylinder, 430kW, 800Nm
  • Direct-injection, Bi-turbo
  • AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed
  • ECO start/stop
  • Rear wheel drive

Fuel Data

  • TBA – 98 RON

Key Features

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review
  • 19-inch AMG 10-spoke alloy wheels
  • Active Multicontour Seat package
  • Climatised front seats
  • Panoramic sliding sunroof
  • Digital TV tuner

 


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Mercedes-Benz E200 Specs

ELEGANCE BE : 212 MY12 : 1.8L TURBO MPFI - 7 SP AUTOMATIC G-TRONIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 4D SEDAN
Car Details
Make
MERCEDES-BENZ
Model
E200
Variant
ELEGANCE BE
Series
212 MY12
Year
2013
Body Type
4D SEDAN
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$45,100 - $51,250
Dealer Retail
$44,120 - $52,470
Dealer Trade
$34,600 - $41,000
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
1.8L
Cylinders
TURBO 4
Max. Torque
270Nm @  1800rpm
Max. Power
135kW @  5250rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
81.8W/kg
Bore & Stroke
82x85mm
Compression Ratio
9.3
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
7 SP AUTOMATIC G-TRONIC
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.27
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
80Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1650
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1471mm
Length
4568mm
Width
1854mm
Ground Clearance
155mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1900  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11.3
Front Rim Size
8.0x17
Rear Rim Size
8.0x17
Front Tyres
245/45 R17
Rear Tyres
245/45 R17
Wheel Base
2874
Front Track
1585
Rear Track
1604
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Front Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Power front seats
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Stability Program, Hill Holder, Traction Control System
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering, Trip Computer
Entertainment
CD with 6 CD Stacker, Radio CD with 8 Speakers
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows, Wood Grain Trim
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, PreSafe, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Heated Front Seats, Power Sunroof
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels
Driver
Reversing Camera
Entertainment
Premium Sound System, Television
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Package
AMG Styling Wheels & Body Pack, Competition Package, Enhancement Pack
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft
Other
Service Interval
24 months /  25,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Front Floor
Country of Origin
Germany