The masterpiece of intelligence
“The masterpiece of intelligence!” This is what Mercedes-Benz call the new E-Class. And so they should. It is the most technologically advanced car from the manufacturer. Which is saying something when you think it’s older sibling, the S-Class, is also in this stable.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an executive saloon or as we at Women on Wheels would describe as a Luxury Sedan. It competes with the likes of the BMW 5 Series and the Jaguar XF. When I posted a pic of the new E-Class many commented that it looked exactly like the new C-Class. Well, it does I guess, but it also has style links to the S-Class and so it should. The E-Class sits comfortably between these two siblings. It may not be the most striking car on the roads, but it certainly has an elegant air about it. It’s the car you would be happy to be chauffeured around in.
Whether you sit at the back or in the front there is no shortage of space! The new E-Class’ wheelbase has grown by 65mm which means there is more space for passengers. The boot is also a generous 540-litres.
The quality of materials used around the cabin continue the elegant and stylish look and feel. You can choose from, wait for it, 64 different ambient lighting colours. Talk about choices!
But the most impressive thing, as I mentioned in the intro, is the incredible technology the E-Class now offers. I simply cannot list them all so I am going to list a few of my favourites:
I know many people who could benefit from this, and you may remember us mentioning that the BMW 7-Series will be able to do this from the key, well the E-Class lets you park your car by simply using an app on your smartphone. That’s right, you can get out of the car and park it by using the E-Class’ automated-parking app by rotating your finger on the screen. To get it out of the parking spot you reverse this action. I am looking forward to the interesting insurance claims when this hits our shores.
The new E-Class will detect if a side impact is about to occur and an air chamber will inflate from the door moving the driver toward the centre of the car which will reduce the intensity of the impact on the occupants. But that’s not all! The next on the list is Pre-Safe Sound and it keeps your ears safe. How considerate is this car? Even worrying about your ears.
Again, when a collision is detected, an interference signal is emitted through the car’s sound system. This signal can trigger the natural reflex and thus prepare the occupants’ ears for the expected sound of the impact in order to reduce stress on the occupants.
This is the first high definition lighting system available and I believe it should be standard on every car on our roads. What a great safety feature to have. It does cost an extra R24 500 but it is certainly worth it. It consists of 84 individually controlled LEDs per light (you may remember the Opel Astra’s IntelliLux LED Matrix system I was impressed by which only had eight). It lights up the road without blinding oncoming traffic because the grid allows the light distribution of the left and right headlamps to be controlled separately and adapted to the changing situation on the road quickly and dynamically.
This is the next step closer to autonomous driving. It can follow cars and take over steering and braking at speeds of up to 210 km/h. You can take your hands off the steering wheel for 30 seconds before the car will remind you to place your hands back on the wheel. If the car has to warn you multiple times and you do not place your hands on the wheel, accelerate, brake or press the Touch Control button, the car safely decelerates to a standstill in the lane and warns the following traffic by means of the hazard lights. This is to curb those of us who may nod off behind the wheel when there isn’t much for us to do. Also integrated in to Drive Pilot are things such as Active Brake Assist, Evasive Steering Assist and advanced assistance systems.
When it comes to the local engine line up you can expect three models. The entry-level E200 which has a 2,0-litre turbopetrol engine powering it. Then there is the middle-of-the-range E220d with its 2,0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel. The range is topped off with the E350d which has a 3,0-litre, six-cylinder turbodiesel engine that produces 190 kW of power and a whopping 620 N.m of torque. All are mated to a 9G-Tronic automatic transmission.
We will see the E250 and E400 4Matic models in October as well as the E43 AMG. But most of us will be excited about the E63 AMG which is due to arrive in SA in 2017. And finally, the plug-in hybrid will follow in 2018.
This may not be a car enthusiast’s dream car, but this car’s focus is on comfort and composure. If you want to ‘shake’ things up a bit you can switch to Sport or Sport+ mode for sharpened steering, throttle response and damping. You will certainly feel the difference from driving in Comfort mode, but I can’t imagine why someone would buy an E-Class if it’s sporty performance they are after. It’s more about cool, calm and collected driving instead.
Pricing starts at R710 100 for the E200. The E220d is available at R759 100 and the E350d comes in at R946 300.