A for Adorable; B for Balanced, C for Comfortable, D for Dazzling, E for E Class
If you are looking for a car which is adorable, as every time you turn around as you park the car and walk off, you go weak in your knees, has balanced ride, takes you from place A to place B in utmost comfort, and people invariably turn around and look on your arrival no matter how many times people must have seen the car, as in any colour, the car simply dazzles, then look no further than the New E, the Mercedes Benz E Class. Well, there’s certain E for Elegance into it too.
It was a no brainer that when Mercedes Benz India decided to launch the E Class in Long Wheel Base (LWB) version, they were playing on their inherit triumph card- Unrivalled Luxury, with class leading space, practically everywhere. The car then became so good, that you probably need not buy their flagship the S- Class at all. Now you may say, are you serious? Well, read on further to know why we are saying, the E is very much everything you need in your car, if back seat comfort is your only and utmost priority.
Recently, Mercedes-Benz India, updated their E220D with BS6 Norms.That means the car has now become that much more cleaner, quieter, fuel efficient and well, Mercedes-Benz finally have given that all digital driver display, aka the S Class style.
But before we go to see the car in details, let’s understand the E Class’s history briefly, to appreciate the significance of the name E in the Mercedes-Benz lineup.
Mercedes-Benz E Class has been produced since 1953 and has been marketed worldwide across five generations. The first ever E Class was code named the W120, while the current fifth generation one is code named W213. It was unveiled at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, and this one takes design cues from its elder sibling W222 or popularly known as the S Class. Launched in India in 2017, to take on the likes of the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Volvo S90 and the Jaguar XF, Mercedes updated the car few months ago, and we have the 2019 E220D for the review.
Now with the history done, can we have a look at the car
Design Language - Exteriors
As mentioned earlier, first glance at the car and you realise, this is a baby S, it carries the same silhouette, elegantly. Untrained eyes may be mistaken to think of this as an S. While the predecessor of this E Class had tighter surface and harder edges, this new model is curvier and more flowing.
The front is flanked by two slat grille with the three pointed star logo in the centre. The headlights adorn two LED daytime running lights, (a visual differentiator to tell this is the E) with Mercedes-Benz patented Auto LED Headlights. The longish bonnet is reminiscent of the fact that, there is much more powerful versionof the car available for the enthusiasts in you.
Moving to the side is where you realise the length of the caras this LWB version is the lengthiest car in its segment at 3079 mm of wheelbase which automatically translates into space on the inside, whether on the front or back. The chrome window line accentuates the premiumness of the car. There is a distinct shoulder line which runs from the bonnet right up to the rear of the car which blends beautifully with the rear, giving it a Maybach style finish. The 220D comes shod with 17 inch tires, and a boring to look at 5 spoke alloy wheels, however the top of the line 350D comes shod with 10 spoke alloy wheels, which in my opinion add that much flare and class to the overall design.
The rear comes with all LED taillights and it is from this rear 3/4th corner the car looks simply smashing to look at. The taillights are sharp and lit up beautifully in the night. Chrome finish around the exhaust pipe give elegance finish to the rear, while the logo sits proudly on the boot. Another interesting feature is the pop out rear camera, which is smart enough, as the car pops out only when the reverse gear is engaged, and remains enclosed at all other times. This really comes handy during monsoons, where the camera lens tends to get murkier due to long distance travel and is a hindrance as it reduces the clarity. However, with this E Class, that issue is sorted.
Open the boot and you realise that the space saver tire is fitted in the boot, which practically renders the boot unusable.
If exterior is elegant, same theme continues on the inside too, Shall we step in and have a look at it.
Design Language- Interiors
Open the door and it has typical German three step opening, which feels secure and safe. While shutting the door you realise, there is soft touch mechanism which works beautifully well, every time you close the door with soft hands.
For starters this time, we are going to go to the back seat first and then come to the front seat, as this is where, you are going to spend most time in. Open the door, get in the back seat, the first thing that you notice is how easy the ingress and egress is. Once in, you simply soak in, in the comfort the back seat, and you realise this backseat is a supremely comfortable place to be. With recline angle of almost 37 degrees, you go from business class to first class in matter of seconds. The seats themselves are large, well contoured and whether it is your city traffic drive or long winding highway sections, you are always going to be super comfortable back in there. The amount of comfort creature features Mercedes Benz offers in here, are much more than what the front seat passengers get. Pampering should be the next word along side elegance. Practically everything back in here, is electrically operated. Be it the rear sun blinds, window blinds, or even pushing the front co driver seat front, for that enormously additional leg room. Speaking of which, it anyways is in loads out here. What further adds to the sense of space is massively huge panoramic sun-roof, it is the only car in its segment to get one.
If BMW offers wireless charger in the front, well you guessed it right, Mercedes-Benz offers wireless charger on the E, well right here in the rear centre arm rest. Now the E220D Exclusive Variant also gets an touch screen pad, that virtually lets you control the car sitting right behind. Through the touch pad one can control the car temperatures, switch between ambient lights, talking of which, it has class leading 64 colours to choose from, seats’ recline and even the blinders for the windows and the sunroof.
Well, once in the rear seat, you hardly want to go to the drivers seat, but then, its time to check the front row too, coz on days, when your driver doesn’t come in, you will have to be there.
Once inside in the front, you will end up mistaking the car to be the S Class, especially with the updated instrument cluster. Yes, this 2019, E220D comes with full screen display just as the S Class, which is at 12 inch for the media player and 8 inch in the instrument cluster, which is mammoth 20 inch wide and looks beautiful even when off. This in my opinion is the crispest screen ever that I have seen amongst the cars in this segment. Mercedes-Benz also updated the steering wheel of the 2019 E Class, which now gets touch pads, to control the entire UI system. The leather contours on the steering are perfect and the thumb recesses fall in place perfectly to give you a grippier feel. The front seats, just as the rear seats, are good place to be. They are large and supportive, very typical to the E. The quality of materials used in here is top notch and attention to detail is admirable.
The dashboard is finished in faux wood and leather with minimalist buttons all around, adding that much charm to the interiors, its is not as busy as say a Jaguar or a BMW, and equally not void of any buttons what so ever say like a Volvo. All the switches are placed perfectly where they should be in the first place, which allows the driver to drive without taking off the eyes off the road. Its interesting the the rear occupants get memory seats, but the front, well they have to do without it. Undoubtedly then, even MB pushes this car as a chauffeur driving car.
In Car Entertainment
The E Class comes fitted with 13 speaker hi fidelity Burmeister speakers. What I particularly loved about the setup was the crispness of the lows and the mids. Play your favourite instrumentals from your library, and you will be simply amazed with the crispness of each note that the speakers are able to throw at your ears. Imagine this, after long day at work, you head back to the car, sit back, relax and enjoy your instrumentals on mid volume, and with ambient lights set to auto, you will not realise when the car started moving and when you dozed off to the soothing music falling on your ears.
The beauty of this setup is, even EDM sounds as equally as good as the instrumentals in this car. So on a day, when you are in a mood to pump up the sound, don’t worry, this Burmeister, won’t disappoint you.
Shall we see, what’s under the bonnet, which let’s you sleep so peacefully.
Performance- Engine and Gearbox
Mercedes-Benz offers the E Class with three engine options, one petrol and two diesels. There’s a E200 with, 2.0 litre 4 cylinder petrol, which churns out 180 PS of power and 300 NM of torque, there’s range topping E350D with 3.0 litre, 6 cylinder V6 which generates 255 PS of power and healthy 620 NM of torque, and the new E220D, with BS6 compliance, which generates 190 PS of power and 400 NM of torque. What we had for the review was the BS6 complaint E220D.
The BS6 Compliant engine is not only greener, but it is now ultra silent too, as compared to the earlier one. Along with the 220D, Mercedes has also made the 200 BS6 Compliant, and for now the production of E350D has been suspended.
All the three cars come mated to a 9 speed G-Tronic gearbox which is smooth and quick to upshift or downshift basis the situation. Not once did I feel while driving the car in multiple situation over 4 days, that the gearbox was struggling to find the right gear. What 9 gears also do to have a better driving ratio, aiding in better fuel efficiency. The E220D, returned 15 kmpl on our highway runs and 9 kmpl on our bumper to bumper city runs. Not bad figures at all for the car of this size.
Performance- Ride, Handling and Drivability
If you are looking for a sporty executive sedan, then look no further than the 5 Series or the Jaguar XF, both of which we reviewed on our website, and can be found under reviews section.
However, if comfort is your top most priority, then you have come to the right place. E Class is supremely comfortable to drive and has the best ride quality amongst the cars in this segment. While the range topping E350D comes with air suspensions for that additional comfort, this one in the 220D is not far behind. The ride is absolutely supple and comfortable. With new BS6 complaint engine, it gets eerily silent inside the cabin. So much so, that you don’t realize that the car is in motion. Though the car is capable of being pushed around the corners, and loves to be pushed, the silhouette of the car and the demeanor of the car is such that, you won’t push it. The car is so relaxing to drive. The car comes with Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual driving modes. 9 out of 10 times, the chances are that you will find yourself driving the car in comfort mode. Put it in sport or sport plus mode, the suspension stiffens up and the steering inputs become tad sharper to excite the driver in you. But remember, this is no BMW.
Honestly, if you were in the market to buy a car for outright performance, I would say go ahead, buy the 530D, sure even Mercedes-Benz makes the E Class with 3.0 litre engine, but honestly, I think, the best engine option to choose in the E is the 220D, it goes about doing the job, pretty well. It does 0-100 in almost 7.6 seconds, which may not be earth shatteringly fast as the three litre, but then that’s ok. You don’t buy an E and go drag racing, for that you buy the AMG.
Owing to almost 6 meter length of the car, handling is pretty direct. The car is eager to get into the corners, and holds the line pretty well. The steering response, may not be class leading as a BMW, but not overtly vague as an Audi.However, should your driver or you get overtly aggressive behind the wheel, be ready for the complaining rear occupants as they would get tossed around at the rear.
But out an out, this E is definitely a car to be enjoyed from the back seat.
Well it’s a no brainier no contest situation here. If you are looking for a car, which can take you from Place A to Place B in utmost comfort, look no further than the E. If you are looking for a car, which people get mesmerized and they look at it from admiration and a feeling of “I will own this one day”, look no further than the E. If you are looking for a car, which is environment friendly, can be driven occasionally and wont let you down when you are behind the wheel, look no further than the E.
The E is the most preferred sedan in its segment in India and there is a reason for it. Most of the owners/buyers in this segment, prefer to be chauffeur driven, and this LWB E is the perfect answer to that situation.
So if you are out there, where you are going to spend 90% of your time in the rear seats, enjoy the music on medium sound as you travel, stretch out and take a quick power nap as the world goes by, look no further than the Elegant E.