What is it?

This is the Mercedes E220 CDI, which from launch will be the entry point in the new E-class line up until a cheaper Mercedes E200 CDI becomes available. Until September the Mercedes E220 CDI will also only be available with the five-speed automatic gearbox.

The engine in the Mercedes E220 CDI is basically the same 2.1-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel found in the E250 CDI, but with the wick turned down. Power drops from 201hp to 168hp, and torque from 369lb ft to 295lb ft. While the official fuel figures and CO2 ratings are unchanged; in practice you may see better economy from the E220 CDI.

What’s it like?

The Mercedes E220 CDI retains the new E-class’s main strength: a tangible return to the old Mercedes qualities of robustness and refinement. It’s an impressively polished product.

Exterior noise is kept to a minimum and, although the four-cylinder diesel doesn’t quite have the hushed qualities of a six-cylinder, it’s perfectly tolerable. In comparison with the E250 CDI, the pegged-back outputs of the Mercedes E220 CDI are noticeable (adding nearly a second to the 0-62mph time), but for the most part its performance is entirely adequate. Occasionally you have to work the engine a little harder to build speed quickly, but that’s about it.

All steel-sprung E-classes (Airmatic isn’t an option on diesel models) get Direct Control suspension with hydraulically self-adjusting dampers. Although the two-stage system is hardly at the cutting edge of technology it works very well, mixing a supple and cosseting ride with accurate and controlled handling. At least that was the experience on our Spanish test route.

In developing the E-class Mercedes claims to have completed over 30 million kilometres in testing, including test routes in the UK with right-hand-drive prototypes, so there’s a reasonable chance that the new E-class will work equally well in Britain. We’ll find out next month, with a full UK test.

Stung by previous criticism of its pricing, Mercedes UK is increasing equipment levels to make the E-class more competitive. Entry-spec SE models get 16in alloys, climate control, front and rear parking sensors and heated front seats as standard. Avantgarde trim adds leather, LED running lights and a 15mm lower ride height. Sport brings an AMG styling kit and Mercedes’ variable ratio Direct Steering.

Should I buy one?

The only real sticking point with the new Mercedes E220 CDI is the styling, which looks a little forced from some angles. But get past that and there is very little reason not to like it.

The Jaguar XF may be more sleek and stylish, but it isn’t nearly as practical, especially for rear-seat passengers. The E-class can’t match the BMW 5-series for agility either, but it is more comfortable and, in its own way, no less enjoyable to drive.

If the Mercedes E220 CDI was your only choice we’d recommend it, because it’s a thoroughly decent car. But if you can afford the extra for the E250 CDI you could have an excellent one.

Jamie Corstorphine

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Comments
9

nh

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

5 years 31 weeks ago

"The only real sticking point with the new Mercedes E220 CDI is the styling, which looks a little forced from some angles. But get past that and there is very little reason not to like it.

The Jaguar XF may be more sleek and stylish,..."

Am I really the only one getting fed up with this kind of "journalism"?

Beauty's in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? So what the f**k do I, as a reader, care about how some motoring journalist likes the styling of any particular car?

Personally I'm no Merc, yet a Honda fan. And personally, I think the new E-class looks great. The (current) BMW 5-series is both so ugly and such a commercial success, I belive it's made the streetscape horrible. The same goes for the current 3-series, facelifted or not.

And to mme, the XF is just a bigger Mondeo, albeit with (far) less character, due to far too many roundings and a far too rounded c-pillar in particular. In the metal it looks extremely bland and I suspect everyone will see this within a year or something. So by then, this ungainly "mussel nor fish" XF-thing will look very last generation. Stylish is the last word, I personally would associate the XF with. Like Clarckson described the 407coupé as a gay shark, the XF probably is a gay housecat.

Now the former is my, and thus a reader's opinion. Which goes to show that readers are perfectly capable of making up their own minds about any particular car's styling.

It would be a change for the better, if the car journalists could remember this and just stick to objective commentary instead of appreciating "coloris et gustibus".

I thank you in anticipation!

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

5 years 31 weeks ago

I think it's fine, when journalist shows his opinion. Reading articles without authors own opinion is like eating of plastic (no taste). And author also used words like "may", not "surely" or "certainly".

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

5 years 31 weeks ago

I have to say that the praise from a styling point of view is slightly over the top with regards to the xf. Obviously its my point of view, but while i don't think its horrible looking its got some of the the mondeo about it for me. On top of that, the fancy interior is not the best from a quality point of view in my book and has a nav system that is unfortunately behind the times. The car on the other hand drives fantastically and coupled with that chassis he high power varients will be brilliant.

I would like a little less of the jag loving though as i've already had eneugh of it with the pm in waiting - clarkson, its just boringme to tears and doesn't seem that objective.

Now I can stick my two pennies in about styling and say that I am sure I will get to like the new e class lines but never the led lights which are awful in my book. I know it brings up an old debate, but they are crass and horrible bling....ugh.

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

5 years 31 weeks ago

tommallett wrote:

I would like a little less of the jag loving though as i've already had eneugh of it with the pm in waiting - clarkson, its just boringme to tears and doesn't seem that objective.

Personally I am a Jaguar fan, and am happy to admit that the XF isn't bad looking at all but it could have been better - it could have been the C-XF concept. Lets hope the new XJ and XF coupe move more in that direction, or even further.

As for the Jag comparisons recently, styling is subjective, yes, but there is a consensus of opinion that the Jag is best in class at the moment and everything will naturally get compared to the class leader. It does seem to wind people up for some reason when it's Jaguar. It's happened for years with the BMW 3 / 5 series and no one complained then.

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

5 years 31 weeks ago

Orangewheels wrote:
As for the Jag comparisons recently, styling is subjective, yes, but there is a consensus of opinion that the Jag is best in class at the moment and everything will naturally get compared to the class leader. It does seem to wind people up for some reason when it's Jaguar. It's happened for years with the BMW 3 / 5 series and no one complained then.
Orangewheels wrote:
Personally I am a Jaguar fan, and am happy to admit that the XF isn't bad looking at all but it could have been better - it could have been the C-XF concept. Lets hope the new XJ and XF coupe move more in that direction, or even further.

Fair point and i agree. However, the 5 and 3 series were and are not without their problems and i wouldn't claim that they are to be revered in all areas. However, some problems with the xf do seem to be over looked. for instance the sub standard interior fit and finish / quality, and the lack of decent engine varients, particularly a 520d / e220cdi competitor along with the lack of a shoothing brake (as I have mentioned in aother thread).

I will re-read this tomorrow and apologise for any mistakes as i am not compos mentis at the moment.

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

5 years 31 weeks ago

What, no pics of the rear end? Wonder why...

Anyway, I do approve of this car being rated as enjoyable to drive, in its own way. Thank the lord for any Autocar hack able to see that cars needn't handle like trams and/or jump to light speed to deliver enjoyment.

Fact is, most of us would take comfort over slot car handling any day of the week. A soothing, quiet, solidly built cruiser can deliver more real world enjoyment on more occasions than some highly strung missile. A comfortable car is comfortable 100% of the time you're sat in it, whether you're plodding along in traffic or loping up the A1 with the family and luggage.

Seldom is a fast car able to go fast these days... and even when you do, the only reward is points and a fine. Or nagging from the better half!

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

4 years 51 weeks ago

I have driven this car yesterday for cca. 150 miles and I can say that it is really the reference point in this class - a great car. The ride is perfect, the materials used very good quality, the engine is powerful enough (I would not bother with the bigger ones). It was a pleasure to drive it and I would be very sattisfied if I would own it.

GRB

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

4 years 51 weeks ago

MarkusMorelli wrote:
It was a pleasure to drive

I'm driving one of these in Europe and have covered 780 miles so far.

I would only go so far and say it rides well. It does not handle though and the steering is wooly. Styling is strange. Went futuristic with the front and gave up with the rear, which is plain awful.

Interior is well built but very frustrating. IPOD jack connection only..and its in the glovebox..whats the point of that! The indicator stalk is not at the natural 10 to 2 postion so you keep hitting the cruise stalk. The bluetooth is rubbish and would not synch to mine or any of my other 3 colleagues phones.

Swapped the car with a colleagues XF for the weekend. We both agreed after that the Jag was the better car...rave reviews or not.

GRB

Re: Mercedes E220 CDI Avantgarde

4 years 51 weeks ago

I agree with you.

I plunged for the Merc, whilst several colleagues went for the XF (company cars!). You can see my review of the Merc below but I have to say I made a mistake with this one.

Had a BMW 525D before, which was a great car. Thought I would stay German but I cannot warm to this car.

The XF is something else. Just makes you feel darn special...where the Merc just blends in with all the other Euro Taxi's. My colleagues take great pleasure in pointing this out.

Sadly I have to endure another 11months of the Merc... then i'm going for either an XF 3.0d Lux or another 5 Series.

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Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The E-class is a refined and relaxing return to old Mercedes qualities

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