Video review: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The 'E' in E-Class could stand for elegant but it could also stand for effortless. At any speed and on any route you will be treated to possibly the most relaxing, calm and serene drive you will ever experience.
Before you even set foot in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, you’re confronted with something that is, on the outside, simultaneously classy, sophisticated and stealthily sporty looking. You know what you’re getting into before even stepping in the car and that fact brings a big ol’ grin to your face.
In walking around the car to take it all in, the first thing that struck me was just how big the E-Class is.
Sitting in a car park packed with hatchbacks and crossovers, the length and width of the front end almost dwarfed the majority of these vehicles.
For a saloon I couldn’t get over the size, but when there’s a four cylinder diesel engine of fine German engineering underneath the bonnet providing 191bhp and 400Nm of shove, you know it will pack a punch when you need it to.
No matter what new tech innovations and gimmicks other manufacturers bring to the market, Merc will always be about class and faultless performance first and foremost.
Measuring in at 4.9m, you’d expect there to be more on offer than a big engine and what you also get is a 540 litre boot space. In addition, any passengers you allow to grace the vehicle won’t be complaining about a lack of leg space meaning that the premium comfort and class on offer extends to them as well as the driver.
Looking over the dash, I was struck by a little touch that most people will take for granted but that I thought exemplified every superlative I said in the first paragraph – front and centre on the console is an understated yet thoroughly elegant analogue clock. This seemed to act as a parable, conveying to drivers that no matter what new tech innovations and gimmicks other manufacturers bring to the market, Merc will always be about class and faultless performance first and foremost.
On this note, I did find the in-car tech somewhat lacking. I don’t know what it is about tablets but I always expect them to be touchscreen. Alas, the entry-level 220d makes do with a conventional dial in which you navigate around the 8.4in central screen.
When in Comfort Mode you’ll be amazed at how effortlessly the car will float over any bumps and holes in the road.
‘But how does it driiiiiiiiive?!’ I hear you cry. In case you haven’t noticed, if there’s one thing to distract me away from the driving experience of any motor it is the aesthetics and engineering that goes into it, and I can spend an hour just wandering around looking at a car before my foot even touches a pedal.
So let me tell you about what it was like when my foot did hit the accelerator.
Wow. If there’s one word I would use to describe the driving experience in an E220d it would be effortless. With a host of modes suitable to any individual style of driving, the car offered an agile ride, smoothly responsive nine-speed automatic gearbox, and unbeatable comfort. And comfort is so often the name of the game here, with a driving mode named just that.
At any speed and on any route you will be treated to possibly the most relaxing, calm and serene drive you will ever experience, heightened by the premium quality on offer in the cabin.
When in Comfort Mode you’ll be amazed at how effortlessly the car will float over any bumps and holes in the road, insulating you and your passengers from any nasty surprises our roads can throw at you.
Break away from the A and B roads and onto the motorway and with the effortless flick of a button on the central console you can be quickly into Sport or Sports+ mode. Do this when stationary and you’ll feel the chassis prepare the car for a more aggressive drive.
However, while it offers enough grip, you don’t get much of a feel for the road through the steering wheel when flying along in these optimum modes. On top of that, there often isn’t much call to use them on our oh-so-often infuriatingly gridlocked roads, meaning Comfort Mode is where the E220d excels in offering the best the car has.
The E-Class is effortless to drive, and any long distance journey remains comfortable, engaging, efficient and enjoyable at all times.
While that nine-speed automatic gearbox may scream ‘excessive’ to you, it does help the E220d return on average 67.4mpg and 109g/km of CO2 emissions. These figures can challenge even the best supermini and are one of the main reasons why you won’t find a better company car on the market.
The other main reason? At any speed and on any route you will be treated to possibly the most relaxing, calm and serene drive you will ever experience, heightened by the premium quality on offer in the cabin. So whether you’re up and down the motorway attending meetings or you’re simply looking to drive nowhere in particular with no allotted arrival time, there are few better cars to be clocking up the miles in.
Safety features on offer ensure that the driver remains alert at all times. There’s electronic stability control, attention assistance warning you to take a rest, and lane assist to warn of your proximity to cars if drifting over lanes. On top of this, all models get a full complement of airbags, as well as electronic stability control leading to impressive Euro NCAP stats and a five star safety rating.
Mercedes identify the E-Class as the heart and soul of the entire company, so if one model needs to impress and fire on all cylinders it’s this one. The E-Class is effortless to drive, and any long distance journey remains comfortable, engaging, efficient and enjoyable at all times due to the superior quality on offer.
Model tested: Mercedes-Benz E 220 d SE Saloon
|Official fuel economy:||67.3mpg|
|Car tax band:||B / £20|
|Engine:||2.0-litre 4 cylinder diesel|
|Luggage space:||670 litres|
Average lease rate for tested model:
Personal lease rate: £368*
Business lease rate: £311*
*Average monthly lease rates calculated using ContractHireAndLeasing.com data and based on typical 6 + 35 10k deals. Correct at time of writing.