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New E-class is more cosseting and better to drive than ever

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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

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4 March 2009

[quote Autocar]with a 0-62mph time of 8.2sec[/quote]

was this timed yourself? Mercedes quote 7.9 s for the auto and 7.2 s for the manual.

[quote Autocar]

There is, however, a curious weak point in the E250 CDI’s driveline. Mercedes has decided, presumably for cost reasons, to provide all four-cylinder diesel versions of the new E-class with its old five-speed automatic gearbox.


Not really curious. First Mercedes need to justify the extra cost of the 6 and 8 cyl versions and market differentiate them from the 'taxi' versions and second all the 4 cyl versions are blown engines, not just the diesels, and therfore not quite so reliant on engine speed as the naturally aspirated 6 and 8 cyl petrols for driveability and fuel economy.

[quote Autocar]The 450-litre boot [/quote]

It's got a 540 litre boot.

4 March 2009

Not a bad looking car, if a little anonymous, not likely to offend anyone - but won't stand out either, just a little dull in my opinion. Good power levels from the 2.2 engine too.

Styling is harking back to the more solid angular surfaces of early Mercs, and they've done well to get the cD down to .25 for such an angular shape with upright front and rear glass.

A couple of points - why does the article say the car weighs 1660 kg and then in the bottom panel say 1735 kg, and how does a film in the windscreen reduce wind buffeting? I can see how it might reduce wind noise by working like double glazing and absorbing vibration, but how on earth does it stop the car being moved about at speed by gusts of wind?

4 March 2009

Yesterday at Geneva, I had a chance to speak at some length to a Mercedes man who ran the test programme for the new 'E' - they're really proud of this car and in particular of the E 250CDI.

The first things I asked when we homed in on this particular model were:

1) did it have the seven speeder?

2) would customers accept an up-range, as opposed to entry-level E from a refinement point of view with a four-pot engine?

I have to say I was a bit taken aback when he said it would stick with the five-speeder - it's not so much that the five-speed is rubbish, just that the seven-speed is particularly good. On the second point, he reckoned that with 500Nm and a load of noise and vibration suppression measures they had it cracked. I'll be interested to see to what extent they've succeeded in practice.

4 March 2009

The 7-speed in my early W221 S-Class was appalling and one of the reasons I ended up seriously disappointed with the car. Have they improved it? My recollection is of the thing constantly hunting for gears on a trailing throttle, giving a pronounced WHHHUNK!! from the rear when you went from hard acceleration to brakes (e.g. when changing your mind at a busy roundabout), and the actual driving experience when not persecuting me with the above issues was no different to that of its predecessor W220.

4 March 2009

[quote ThwartedEfforts]on a trailing throttle, giving a pronounced WHHHUNK!! from the rear when you went from hard acceleration to brakes [/quote]

I noticed something similar on the first car I tried with the 'box (petrol CLS 350) a few years back - as if it was being caught out unable to push through quickly enough a series of down-changes it was unexpectedly having to try to make under sudden braking and then delivering a jolt when it finally caught up and did manage to push a change through. Didn't notice it subsequently on other examples - mainly diesels - though.

4 March 2009

The information in the article is at loggerheads with the Mercedes brochure e.g. Boot is 540 litres, auto 0-62 mph is 7.4 sec. and this particular 4 cylinder engine gets a 6 speed box, not the old 5, reserved for the other two 4's. Even for a first drive this is a very superficial report.

4 March 2009

Profound apologies! I have re-read the brochure and the 6 speed is manual, the auto is as stated a five speed.

4 March 2009

[quote roadtester]Yesterday at Geneva, I had a chance to speak at some length to a Mercedes man who ran the test programme for the new 'E' - they're really proud of this car and in particular of the E 250CDI.[/quote]

Well, I hope he can duly be proud of the driving position in the right-hand drive versions. It'll be a relief if UK buyers don't have to suffer the badly compromised driving position of the outgoing E-class and its offspring, and, to some extent, the current C-class. Pedals offset to the right and steering wheel offset to the left – and angled – don't make for a comfortable driving position.

Because of this the E-class has been a no-go zone for me; C-class too. I do hope they've learned their lesson, done proper development work on the RHD models at last and got rid of a situation that ruined an otherwise attractive all-rounder for a lot of people.

4 March 2009

"Take time to study the individual elements, though, and you discover there is sufficient differentiation to ensure the E-class gets a truly unique interior, even though the materials are not quite to the standard of some rivals."

If the materials are not quite to the standards of some rivals, are they not still missing the mark on the perceived quality?

What about the actual quality? Mercedes have suffered with that in the past too, so I hope that has been improved.



It's all about the twisties........

4 March 2009

It needs only one supplementary pot :-(

Until the W124, the Mercedes differed by their quality. With, it is true, more austerity. But, we bought a Mercedes which was really different from the others.

Now, they are more flashy.


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