Latest Mercedes-Benz newcomer to launch on the Irish market is the new E-Class, for over 75 years the mainstay of the Mercedes-Benz model range. As with every new E-Class, ‘evolution, not revolution’ are the words that best describe the approach taken by Mercedes-Benz in reaching out to a new generation whose choice is influenced by modern trends and technology whilst retaining the loyalty and affection of traditional E-Class customers.
Transformed in a host of different ways, those most evident are the subtle shifts taken to move E-Class even further up the luxury ladder in terms of its visual appeal, passenger comforts and interior appointments. Retained in its latest interpretation is the classic, three-box proportions, albeit in a visually more dynamic form. Stand-out features are its sporty appearance, elegant character lines, elongated bonnet, and well-proportioned rear, all fronted by a new generation facia and grille. Standard are high-performance LED headlamps, all with a distinctive day and night design.
Improvements to watch for – made possible by its slightly longer wheelbase – are its increased interior headroom, greater rear leg and knee space, and a 25mm increase in elbow width. Luggage capacity has also increased up to 540 litres. Attractive to younger owners ‘at home’ with technology, are its added tech and a more software- driven approach in which the performance and speed of data streams enables a greater use of ‘intelligent ‘functions. In practical terms, new E-Class owners can access an enhanced menu of driver assistance features, better communications, a superior music and entertainment package, and a more extensive use of third-party apps. An available feature is one that allows the driver to participate in online video conferencing.
An imposing element is its latest MBUX Superscreen through which information, communications, entertainment and guidance systems are managed. Using its ‘Just Talk’ function and ‘intelligent voice control’ drivers can call-up assistance without using the ‘Hey Mercedes’ keyword. A red microphone symbol on the display indicates that the vehicle is ready and waiting for commands. Additional enhancements available as options are AIRMATIC air suspension and rear-axle steering.
E-Class is available in three petrol versions (E200, E300 e, E450 4MATIC) and three diesel versions (E220 d, E300 de and E450 d 4MATIC) – two equipped with fourth-generation plug-in mild hybrid electric power. A new battery increases electric motor power from 15 to 17 kW and boosts torque to 205 Nm. Models most likely to appeal to Irish motorists are E220 d Saloon and E 200 Saloon whose prices start from €80,525 and €82,130 respectively. (PHEV production will begin in mid Q1 for customer orders and pricing will be released next month on both diesel and petrol plug-in hybrid engines prior to their launch).