Mercedes-Benz E 350 CDI

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					Mercedes-Benz E 350 CDI

The new ‘business class’ car
With its solid reputation as market leader in the luxury car segment, Mercedes-Benz has comple-
tely redesigned its saloon car, over 10 million of which have already been sold down several gene-
rations of the innovative style of the C-Class and the GLK! As usual, the Stuttgart car university has
come back with a dazzling array of technical and electronic innovations. The new E-Class therefore
raises the bar to a dizzying new height.
                                                                                                       In the estate version with its steep tailgate,
                                                                                                   available this autumn, we can see once an im-
                                                                                                   pressive loading capacity. Unlike the compe-
                                                                                                   tition, Mercedes remains here faithful to the
                                                                                                   estate car category instead of minimising its
                                                                                                   advantages by allowing some of the loading
                                                                                                   capacity to be cut off by the slope of the roof.
                                                                                                   We can expect a record for this category in
   So, goodbye W211 and hello W212! An image vehicle and best seller for Mercedes,                 terms of useable loading capacity.
the E-Class has traditionally been the focus of attention. It keeps its fourfold look. The front
headlights, nowadays angular, may be viewed as a modern interpretation of its predecessor.            On the road again…
The LED headlights, creating a visual signature that is typically Mercedes, are superb and com-
pletely innovative. The rising ‘character line’ comes into the fashion effect which we already        Our test car was the 350 CDI BlueEfficiency
know from Audi and BMW models. The profile of the door sills also of course shows a rising          with the AMG kit and loads of innovations.
dynamism. The car has a racier, more decided look than the preceding generation, a definite         As well as a night vision system there’s also
stamp of modernity.                                                                                a speed limitation detector, direction-assisted
                                                                                                   front lights which lower in the face of oncom-
   The design of the rear wings above the wheel arches is entirely new and is rather remi-         ing vehicles, and also a radar that can detect
niscent of that of the S-Class, giving the new E-Class a more refined look. With its huge           collision condition and keeps a watchful eye
                                                                                                   on the driver to warn him when he starts to
                                                                                                   doze off.

                                                                                                      In fact, 50 years after inventing crumple
                                                                                                   zones which protect vehicle passengers in
                                                                                                   the event of a crash, Mercedes has raised the
                                                                                                   game again in its quest for safety. This system
                                                                                                   called Attention Assist, which warns a driver of
headlights, the new rear reveals itself as fundamentally deliberate, but stays in harmony with     drowsiness (a real problem that causes many
the rest. The AMG kit on our test car makes the ensemble very agreeable to the eye with a          accidents), does not need a camera. It analy-
lower radiator grille, sporty side skirts and a set of ‘rounded off rectangular’ exhaust pipes     ses non-stop the driving style of the driver. If
integrated into really splendid bumpers, together with the legendary AMG 18 inch aluminium         the latter presents signs of fatigue – sudden
wheels! Dynamic elegance like a tailor-made suit !                                                 corrections in direction, abrupt manœuvres,
                                                                                                   loss of control of the vehicle – an audio and
                                                                                                   visual alarm prompts him to stop for a break.
                                                                                                   The icon on the dashboard represents a cup of
                                                                                                   coffee or tea … depending on taste!

                                                                                                      The V6 3.0 BlueEfficiency with 231 horse-
                                                                                                   power could take up a large part of sales in
                                                                                                   Germany, especially for long-distance drivers
                                                                                                   who will appreciate its wide range of utilisa-
                                                                                                   tion. It has to be said that with 540 Nm of
                                                                                                   torque, the new six cylinders of the brand rolls
                                                                                                   absorbs difficulties with a smoothness that is
                                                                                                   hard to beat. Even more so as the 7G-Tronic
                                                                                                   automatic gearbox, which comes with the
                                                                                                   series, presents very smooth, almost imper-
                                                                                                   ceptible gear changes. Add to that an impec-
                                                                                                   cable soundproofing and a low average fuel
                                                                                                   consumption of 7.1 l/km (and 186 g/km of
                                                                                                   CO2), and you suit pretty nearly perfectly the
                                                                                                   needs of any driver who wishes to clock up
                                                                                                   the miles in complete serenity … in a great
                                                                                                   deal of comfort!
   The engine is very discreet in D mode, only     xenon headlights with assisted beam correc-            In its ‘low consumption’ BlueEfficiency
changing gears at reasonable speeds for a          tor (their beam lowers for oncoming vehicles).      model the new E-Class displays an exceptional
better control of fuel consumption in town         Passengers in the back will have a choice of        Cx drag coefficient of 0.25 which, according
driving, while it is even more dynamic and         a bench seat or two independent seats sepa-         to the maker, is the most virtuous in its cat-
forthright in S mode for motorway overtak-         rated by a leather-covered elbow-rest. In both      egory. Mercedes calculates the fuel efficien-
ing. We were not impressed with the manual         cases there’s a great deal of legroom and           cy thus obtained as about 0.25 litres at 130
mode ... this isn’t what this type of automatic    headroom. The AMG finish doesn’t add much            km/h. We ourselves discovered that this large
gearbox is designed for. The paddle shifters       to the interior … just special carpeting and a      saloon has a really bird-like appetite, well - of
on the steering wheel are practical for decel-     sporty driving wheel.                               a migratory bird maybe, but still very low for
eration and retakes on motorway slip roads or                                                          the miles covered and the performance ob-
in town for increasing the throttle response.         But the most visible signs of progress are       tained.
In short, you can drive with 7 gears, 6 gears,     to be found in the performance of the new
5 etc. This transmission therefore adapts          E-Class. Despite its heavy weight (1,825 kg)            Available from 41,600 euros (the E220 CDI
to respond to the mode, the gear engaged           the saloon develops less sway than in the           Classic model), the new Mercedes E-Class once
and the style of driving. This deserves a gold     past and its steering has gained in lightness,      again demands a high price for its comfort
medal!                                             making normal driving far more agreeable.           and engine quality. However there’s no price
                                                   These are welcome improvements, as they             rise by comparison with the previous model.
   Home sweet home                                 have not in any way modified the comfort of          This is a positive point which should prompt
                                                   this German car. On this topic, the Airmatic        current E-Class car owner to renew their pur-
    Although it is particularly aimed at the       adjusting suspension option provides sensa-         chase and, in return this will allow Mercedes
comfort of the rear seat passengers, the           tional smoothness.                                  to maintain its leading position in the luxury
E-Class also pampers its driver. As always                                                             saloon market. A ‘best seller’ renewed every
paying more than due attention to comfort,            Heritage                                         generation. Tradition has its good points.
its interior is particularly welcoming and the
new cleaner design of the dashboard adds a             The W124 surprised its world and made              Info:
modern touch. The dark-tinted natural wood         its mark on history through the adoption
trim is very elegant and used with refine-          of several bold solutions in the interests of                                Thanks and contacts:
ment.                                              streamlining: wing gutters removed, auto-                                         Mrs. Rina Facchin
                                                   clave doors with visible seals, smooth hub                                  Mr. Sven Van den Bruel
   Several modifications will be noticed im-        caps, integrated shields and – an astonishingly                                Mr. David Gérimont
mediately by connoisseurs, like the new, more      raked radiator grille. Some twenty-five years
intuitive air conditioning controls and the GPS,   later, history seems to repeat itself by bringing
now installed in the high part of the central      the drag coefficient to the forefront of design
console. As usual, Mercedes offers loads of        preoccupations.
technology designed to make your journey
even more agreeable: air ventilated seats with
massage function, panoramic glass roof with
motorised opening, a 14 HP Harman/Kardon
audio system, reversing camera etc

   Our E 350 CDI came with the top of the
range AMG Avant-garde finish and also had
fitted as standard, an MP3-compatible navi-
gation system with 6 DVD exchanger, dual-
zone air conditioning, rain detector, both
front and rear 12 V sockets, and adaptive bi-