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.