Turbocharged 1.8-litre unit is lively and frugal

What is it?

Ignore the badge. While Mercedes has a long history of naming individual models according to the displacement of their engine, the realities of modern-day marketing mean the practice is sadly dying out.

Witness the new E-class coupe. The entry level Mercedes E250 CGI coupe model driven here actually runs a turbocharged 1.8-litre engine. Well down in size to what the badge attached to its boot lid suggests, then.

It’s significant, as it runs Mercedes’s first-ever four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine.

What’s it like?

Delivering 201bhp and 228lb ft between 2000rpm and 4300rpm, it is quite lively, with impressive response down low and willingness to rev – qualities not associated with the Mercedes’s older supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder used in this car’s direct predecessor, the Mercedes CLK180 Kompressor.

What the Mercedes E250 CGI coupe does share with its predecessor is a particularly strong mid range, although it’s much smoother – the result, no doubt, of the decision to replace the old Roots-style supercharger with a combination of direct-injection and turbocharging.

Indeed, despite having 1500kg to haul, there’s solid performance: Mercedes claims 0-62mph in 7.4sec and a limited 155mph top speed – an improvement of 1.4sec and 7mph. The best bit, though, is the ability of the new engine to deliver the kind of hushed progress you’d normally expect from a six-cylinder engine.

It also benefits from a range of fuel saving initiatives, including a new stop-start system built into the standard five-speed automatic gearbox, as part of Mercedes’s BlueEfficiency package to give it a near-40mpg combined average.

In other areas the Mercedes E250 CGI coupe is the equal of its more expensive siblings. In fact, with a lighter engine sitting up front it feels livelier over challenging roads and its standard 235/45 R17 tyres provide an added element of on-the-limit adjustability.

Should I buy one?

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class E250 CGI BlueEfficiency is proof that the trend towards engine downsizing needn’t come at the expense of driving enjoyment.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
deepheatthemovie 29 April 2009

Re: Mercedes E-Class E250 CGI BlueEfficiency Coupe

Those kind of numbers make this car suddenly attractive.

Audi Tastic 29 April 2009

Re: Mercedes E-Class E250 CGI BlueEfficiency Coupe

They are definitley right to badge this a 250 despite all the power and efficiency claims.

I cant see a Merc owner forking out over £40k for something that says E180 on the back of it.

It's like the opposite of the de-badging effect - it's more like outright lying, but sales wise they know their customers are vain and are right to do it!

Samiur Rahman SHAH 29 April 2009

Re: Mercedes E-Class E250 CGI BlueEfficiency Coupe

I just can't help but wonder that it might take it a while to reach the 155 mph quoted top speed. Still, it's a big step in the right direction I say.