Mercedes E-Class

It’s the perfect car for the modern executive who drives many miles throughout day and night

From last month’s BMW sporty Z4, I moved on to this month’s all new Mercedes E Class, courtesy of my local Mercedes- Benz dealer in the Borders at Guards Road, Coldstream. And I had a very enjoyable driving experience around the Borders roads in what can only be described as an executive saloon.

I was fortunate enough to be allocated the ultimate diesel power option available, which is badged as the E350 CDI. Fuel consumption is around 50 mpg, whereas the equivalent petrol engine only manages 32 mpg, and the diesel engine is so quiet that you would think that you were in fact driving a petrol version. Top speed for both models, at 155 mph, is really irrelevant, but the diesel engine was keen to show me that it enjoys being tested, especially with a seven gear paddle shift on the steering wheel.

Apart from a racing competition seat, I have never been more comfortable in a production car, and this made me feel immediately at one with the vehicle when cornering at speed. Car handling was excellent, except for some bumpy stretches of road where the suspension bottomed out on several occasions. The fi rst E Class model came off the production line in 1947, and as you would expect with this manufacturer, safety and passenger comfort are paramount. The cabin is very well appointed, all round vision is good, there is ample room in the back for rear seat passengers and the boot will carry two sets of golf clubs. There is a good range of models to choose from in both the diesel and petrol versions, starting with the E200 CDI 2.1 litre diesel and the 1.8 E200 CGI petrol engine.

All the new E Class cars, except the V8, are badged as ‘Blue Effi ciency’ models, and fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 23%. CO2 emissions were 186 on the E350 CGI diesel car that I tested, which means it would come into the £215 vehicle excise duty bracket. By contrast, the E500 petrol engine model with a V8 5.4 litre engine has fuel consumption of 26 miles per gallon and CO2 emission of 261 g/km, which would set you back £405.00 for road tax. Before you choose your model, you might want to know how much it is going to cost: the E200 diesel Sport comes in at £30,325, the E350 CDI Sport is £35,970, and the E500 petrol Sport tops the list at £47,010.

There are various additional options available, such as ‘Adaptive High Beam Assist’, which uses a camera on the windscreen to detect approaching vehicles in the dark, and ‘Lane Keeping Assist’ which vibrates the steering wheel when the car is drifting out of its lane. ‘Brake Assist Plus’ helps with emergency braking, and ‘Attention Assist’ keeps you from falling asleep at the wheel. Mercedes have thought of everything for the modern executive who drives many miles throughout the day and night.

This car, although not cheap, appears to have all the attributes to compete with the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar or Lexus market, and the technology along with comfort and good looking clean lines of this new E class family will see off most of the opposition.

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