As the rest of the Mercedes-Benz line up received some youthful injection in the form of the A- and CLA-Classes, the luxury E-Class sedan carries on its mission of providing luxury and refined motoring. David Taylor spent a week with the diesel-powered E250 CDI.
Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI introduction and stylingThe E-Class, like the S-Class, has been an important model for Mercedes-Benz as it epitomises the brand perfectly. Luxury, refinement and classiness are words used to describe the E-Class. It's no wonder that 13-million E-Class vehicles have been sold over 60 years.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI is an attractive sedan. Many sedans lack that head-turning appeal, but the E-Class has some subtle nuances which hint at the latest technology and features underneath. Take that front end, for instance. Dominated by spectacular LED lamps and curvy touches, the E250 has become rather eye catching. The shape is pretty much similar to the majority of executive sedans, while the rear is optimised for generous boot space. LED tail lamps look rather good, especially at night.
Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI engine and efficiencyUnderneath the bonnet of the Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI is a rather special engine. It may only have the capacity of a 2.0-litre and be a diesel, but it has outputs of 150 kW and 500 Nm! Thanks to a twin turbocharger setup, where the smaller turbine boosts quickly at low revs and the larger turbo increases power at high revs, the E250 offers respectable performance while still keeping fuel economy at a respectable rate. Mercedes-Benz says its E250 CDI will hit 100km/h in under eight seconds, which is decent considering it's a large sedan weighing close on two tons. Speaking of fuel economy, the E250 CDI is claimed to sip 5.2L/100km on the combined cycle.
Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI build quality and featuresIf you're a Mercedes-Benz fan or owner, you'll be pleased to know the cabin of the E250 is swish, luxurious and well assembled. Just as you would expect it to be when you're paying over R500 000 for a fancy German sedan. First impressions from behind the driver's seat are a little daunting as there are buttons galore and there's no handbrake or gear selector visible. The park brake is located by your left calf muscle, while the gear selector has been moved to the right-hand side of the steering wheel.
There are features galore in the Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI. I have heated, electronically adjustable seats which can gently massage you as you drive. There's dual-zone climate control, active cruise control, Mercedes-Benz COMAND system (satnav, Bluetooth/mp3 connectivity) and even things like automatic wipers and lights. It's astonishing how much tech has been crammed into the E-Class.
Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI safetySafety is where the Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI shines. There are no fewer than nine airbags, an automatic parking system, driver-drowsiness detector, city-braking that stops the car at low speeds if a collision is imminent, headlights which dip down at night when other cars are about, as well as a system which alerts you to cars which have braked in front of you.
The auto-steering function will keep you within the lines on the freeway and there's a blind spot monitor which alerts you to vehicles you may not seen, too. There is also the standard features like stability control, traction control, ABS, EBD and brake assist.
Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI ride and refinementI was happy with the way the E250 CDI drove. It is quite refined as long as you don't drive it in any other manner than gently. If you start to push the car, the engine sounds a little rough and the gearbox doesn't appreciate the brash approach. When left to its own devices the seven-speed gearbox is acceptably smooth, unless you put it in sport which then forces you to use the manual overide to change up. The bottom line? Drive the E250 CDI leisurely and you'll be rewarded with a relaxing driving experience.
Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI conclusionThe E250 CDI is probably the pick of the range this side of the manic E63 AMG. A petrol-powered E-Class won't offer much more in terms of ability, but will happily consume a lot more fuel. While Mercedes-Benz has done a tremendous job aiming its products at a younger audience, I can't help but feel that I, as a 28-year-old feel a little out of place behind the wheel of an E-Class. It gently floats along effortlessly, but doesn't offer much in terms of driver-orientated enjoyment. If that's your thing, then check out the BMW 5-Series which still retains a hands-on driving approach. If you're over driving shenanigans and are after a quiet and refined executive saloon, the E250 CDI offers a great balance of comfort and economy.
Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI price in South AfricaThe Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI starts from R592 892.
We like: · Refined . Excellent engine . Fantastic safety technology . Huge boot and rear legroom
We don’t like: · Not for enthusiastic drivers . Gearbox can be a little hesitant . Engine a little rough when pressing on
Mercedes-Benz E250 CDI specifications
Engine: 2.1-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel Power: 150 kW @ 3 800 rpm Torque: 500 Nm @ 1 600 rpm Transmission: seven-speed automatic Wheels: 17-inch 0-100 km/h: 7.5 seconds (claimed) Fuel economy: 5.2l/100km (claimed combined cycle)