The Mercedes E Class in its tenth generation seems to deserve the summary, ‘the S-class alternative’ even as it clearly sets the difference between boxy and sexy.
In the past couple of years, Mercedes models have seen a collective design uplift like they haven’t done in the past 25 years. If you thought the new S class looked good yet the new design language simply elevates the C-class, reserve your comments till you see the new E-class. The two extra inches allows for the tail lamps to light up in full bloom and the flowing lines on the side to be utterly impressive. The tail lamps have a crystal look with 39 LED lamps each in two rows, and a new ‘stardust’ effect.
The wheel base has grown by about two and half inches, while the width and height are practically the same. While the outgoing E class rode on solid ground, there was an X-factor missing from the avant-garde E class design of the previous generation. Now, the new Mercedes design idiom raises this car further up, to claim the ‘desirable’ badge once again.
Wheteher you like it or not, the new E-class is available in our market with a 2.0L Turbo engine only – at least for now. The new engine charts out E-class expectations rather well with its184 hp and 300 Nm of torque proving to be more than sufficient for the 1600 plus kilogram car.
The 9-speed transmission plays along in 5 dynamic select options, which includes a Sport and Sport Plus modes, too. That’s a good thing coz the otherwise business-like streaming of power is killing with its composure. And that’s where the S class and the C class gains over the E. Mercedes Benz seem to have got into their heads that between Richard Branson and Akon, it’s a boring nine to five bunch.
While the six cylinders of the E300 should add some fire to the game, the fact remains that the Sport modes of the turbocharged 2.0 L four pot don’t give you enough reason to wait for the V6. The 0 – 100 kmph came up in 8.8 seconds and they are agile enough to help you ignore the rather flat and futuristic sound of the four-cylinder, for the sake of earth and efficiency. On the other hand, while some cheerfully upbeat driving helped me clock about 12.3 L / 100 km (8.13 km/L), slow traffic dragged the economy down to almost 16 – which makes me wonder why I should give up the two extra cylinders?
Closer to the S-class also means that alerts and action are ready at hand if you slide off your lane or approach the car ahead too quickly. Sometimes, the unforgiving brake assist reacted half a second quicker – a little less haste wouldn’t have mattered, nevertheless I felt a little safer for it. Now, being mindful of your manners will help you fully enjoy the almost autonomous driving features of the new E Class. For instance, while merging into traffic or moving to the next lane, if you forget your indicator, the car could safely slow you down or even scoop you back into the lane, which is definitely not what you want.
Likewise, the car has a disconcerting way of squeezing the last drop of an action. When you switch from D to Reverse or vice versa, the car sort of ‘completes’ the earlier action when you release the brake, before going the other way.
Cabin and Controls
If you asked me to name five in-cabin compellers of the new E Class, it would be business class legroom, tons of boot space, an exceptionally wide screen for navigation and information, an inspiring sound system and an excellent camera. That is, even before I turn your impressed eyes to the tech. Compared with new safety features like Pre-safe impulse side that moves the front riders to a more favourable position in case of a side impact, the option to charge your smart phone on the inductive charging spot on the console could look basic!
The glossy 12 inch dual screen of the one wide tablet ahead and the head up display are brilliant driver aids and you can command the navigation, telephone and music using both a touch pad and a rotary dial. But perfection will have to wait until those two are in sync with each other and with yourself displaying a little more intuition and responsiveness.
If you have ever been in an E-class, and wondered if it could get more comfortable and quieter, the new E class is a big affirmative. The smooth suspensions, the silence brought on by the meek and gentle engine, and the uplifting interior design with the refinement of leather and wood make the new E-class cabin a more desirable place to be.
The previous E-class was like a comfort pill (would make the same sense even if you read it as ‘comfort pillow’) that would lull your baser instincts and adventure sense to sleep. I drove it over 1500 km on our holiday in the UK and will perhaps choose the same car the next time we are there, but it might not be because of its talent to engage. I know my wife would feel rather good and my son would sleep tight again, as I shunt us on the fast lane all the way from Birmingham to London. I know I won’t have to worry about the little grocery shopping we did in Ambleside. But this time, I also know I will yawn less.
The essential 2017 Mercedes E 200
Unlike the question of engines, the uni-spec configuration of the E-class displayed at Gargash reflects the good taste of Mercedes customers in this market. The longstanding dealer of Mercedes seems to believe ‘every car should be an AMG’, if only their customers do!
Yet, this has a price – quite literally. The E-Class is available from AED 194,000 but your Gargash-spec option will cost you close to AED 270,000. The more powerful variants like the 333 hp V6 adds almost 60 grand, not without reason but could cause some buyers to ignore the new Merc’s irresistible style, technical wizardry and butter-smooth comfort for the power per litre and power per dirham equation, in favour of its rivals the A6, BMW 5 series or the all new Jaguar XF. But I stick to what I started off with – this car brings back the sexy into E Class.