Mercedes-Benz fans will be delighted to know that April has been announced as the arrival date for the new E-Class. Fitted with an array of standard specifications and high-tech features that puts it ahead of anything in the three-pointed-star stable and a leap ahead of its rivals in the luxury segment, it boasts what their sales manager in Ireland, Ciaran Allen, says is ‘a combination of stylish design, competitive pricing, standard specifications, high-tech safety and driving dynamics that redefine standards in the business-class segment’. Available in three style and equipment lines, Avantgarde, Exclusive, and AMG, it maintains what is Mercedes-Benz’s established price-value offering whereby features that previously came only as options are now included as standard. Bringing this approach to what Ciaran Allen says is ‘a completely new level’, the entry level Avantgarde model will come decked with over €7,000 worth of standard features compared to the outgoing version.
Include in these will be Parktronic parking assist, heated front seats, full leather upholstery, reversing camera, LED static lights, satellite navigation, mirror pack, ambient lighting, stowage pack, ‘through loading’ feature, seat comfort pack, alarm pack and a ‘connect me’ function. As before, buyers can choose between models with a bonnet-mounted star and louvered grille preferred by traditional E-Class owners or one with the more youthful, sporty grille inset star. First model to be marketed here – and the one most likely to find favour with Irish owners – will be a E220d Avantgarde Automatic version. The all-new E220d engine has lower CC (1950 compared to 2143 for the previous model), lower C02 (102g/km), lower fuel consumption (4.3 litres/100Km combined), lower road tax (€190), increased horsepower (194 HP) and 400Nm of torque. All models available at market launch are equipped with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.
Despite its vastly increased level of standard specification, it will launch at €52.850 ex works – a price decrease of €850 compared to the model it replaces. Also available to order will be Exclusive (€55.210) and AMG versions (€57.650). Mirrored in their description of the E-Class as a ‘masterpiece of intelligence’, Mercedes-Benz has set out to give owners an insight into what motoring will be like for future generations. Showcasing a number of features that electronics and mobile technology make possible – features that may well become standard issue in the future – the new E-Class moves the era of ‘autonomous motoring’ even closer.
One that every motorist will applaud (optional in all markets) is a feature that allows the car to be manoeuvred remotely via a mobile phone without the driver being inside – a development likely to appeal to all who ever found themselves hemmed in within a narrow parking space and unable to gain entry to their car. This movement towards ‘autonomous driving’ is seen also in systems such as Remote Parking and Drive Pilot (also optional in all markets) that demonstrate its ability to travel on ‘auto pilot’ while essential functions – such as speed control, braking, acceleration, gear changing and an ability to anticipate hazards ahead and take whatever corrective action may be necessary – are all carried out automatically.