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Sunraysia Daily Saturday, May 6, 2017
HE Mercedes-Benz E-Class has long been
that middle child unable to truly hog the
spotlight despite its long list of favourable
talents. With the sublime S-Class as
a confident older sibling and the precocious
headline-grabbing C-Class as a younger, you
have to jump pretty high to get noticed.
Now, however, repositioned as the core
of the brand and charged with taking the
Mercedes-Benz tradition of style, comfort
and top-class innovations into the future, the
E-Class is taking centre stage.
We put the E220d, which starts at $92,900,
to the family test for the week. Until the end
of May 2017, Mercedes-Benz Australia is
offering a limited 220d Night Edition, priced
from $96,800 with a reported $9000 worth of
extra kit including black 19-inch AMG wheels,
panoramic sunroof, special Night Package
details and styling and a 13-speaker Burmester
surround sound system as a start.
Smooth and sleek, the E220d sits low and
proud to the ground the imposing front grille
and badge package a complementary foil to an
almost coupe-like rear end. More traditionally
styled lights should look out of place but don’t
while pronounced door creases complete a
classically stylish look.
That effortless chic is mirrored in the
spacious cabin where fit and finish is as you
would expect from a true luxury offering.
Despite the soft leather, modern highlights
and considered touchpoints, it is the double
12.3-inch integrated colour touchscreens
placed next to each other on the top of
the dash that capture the attention and
imagination. This is the face of Mercedes’
infotainment and driver instrumentation
system and can be controlled either by a
touchpad on the steering wheel or by a larger
unit in the middle of the console.
The thing about luxury is that looking
is not enough, you want to feel it as well,
and Mercedes obliges in this instance with
supportive and bolstered powered seats in
standard leather. Heated and vented, they fit
nicely in the small of the back and are long
enough under thigh too, making extended trips
a welcomed event.
The back seat can hold three in reasonable
comfort although the transmission tunnel does
intrude on the legroom allotted to the person
in the middle. There are two cup holders in the
centre armrest to match the two in front, deep
usable door bins and two IsoFix mounts on the
At 540-litres the deep boot further adds to
the sedan’s practicality, and will fit two medium-
sized suitcases with ease, that space growing
at the pull of quick access levers that will lower
the 40:40:20 back seat. There is no spare though,
which may raise the eyebrows – Mercedes
opting to go with the run-flat tyres instead. But
look at the above comment, ‘deep boot’...
Inclusions in our base model test car (feels
weird calling a $100,000 car a base model)
included such niceties as keyless entry and
ignition, dual-zone climate control, auto
headlights and wipers, front electric seats
with memory function, LED high performance
headlights and stardust effect taillights,
360-degree camera, sat-nav, reverse camera
with sensors and an enviable driver assistance
The 12.3-inch screens that front the Mercedes-
Benz COMAND multimedia system is an
impressive unit featuring top notch graphics
and a crisp clean design. They stretch cross from
the centre of the dash behind the steering and
feature Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and digital
radio and also display the speedometer, fuel
levels and tacho for the driver. You can choose
from three different looks - Classic, Sport and
Progressive – and the digital nature of the
system allows you to customise the screens to
show only the information you think relevant.
This is the home of your ambient lighting
colour wheel as well giving you the option of
more than 60 colours. It seems trivial but it is a
feature the kids had fun with all week.
Operation of the COMAND system either
via finger swipes on the steering wheel
touchpad or the touch sensitive control in
the centre console takes a while to master.
It is not as intuitive as you would hope and
can be cumbersome to change on the move.
Potentially dangerous, as well.
While the E-Class’s cabin, exterior and
features are certainly big selling points, it is the
drivetrain in this 220d that is the true hero of
The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel unit
offers 143kW of power and 400Nm of torque
providing a platform for a seemingly effortless
drive. The nine-speed automatic transmission
is a sensible companion, moving quickly
through its repertoire for peak fuel economy
but is quick to drop down a gear or two when
extra effort is required.
It is super quiet, too, a rare quality in a
Mercedes is at the top of the tree when
it comes to safety technology and the suite
featured in this E-Class gives more than a
small indication of where they are placed in
the autonomous driving space. Nine airbags,
autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep
assist and active bonnet assist are just three
highlights in a list that also includes self-
parking, semi-autonomous driving, active blind
spot assist and cross traffic detection.
Let’s face it, driving is a cinch when you have
a car that can pretty much do everything for
you and keep you ensconced in comfort while
This E-Class is definitely an interesting
proposition. It can park itself. Not just
manoeuvring into a space while you control the
brake and accelerator, mind you. Once a space
has been detected and at your signal it will
slide in easily, even switching from forward to
reverse if needed, while you gather your things
and wait to alight.
It can overtake by itself. If you are driving
along the highway and indicate your intention
to overtake, the E-Class will move you across to
the adjacent lane as suitable and will bring you
back after you have passed the car in front.
It can drive by itself. OK, this is a little bit of
a stretch but it can, mostly. Mercedes is quick
to point out that we are talking autonomous
driving here not automated so there has to
be driver involvement. The car does better on
clearly marked roads with a car in front of it,
like freeways for example, but is less astute on
country backroads where the edges of the road
especially without line markings are trickier to
As an aside, you can technically take your
hands off the steering for up to a minute but
that’s not allowed here in Australia.
Having these driver aids at your disposal is
an advantage especially as they don’t detract
from the enjoyment of the car.
And this definitely is a lovely car to be in. The
ride feels comfortable and balanced and course
road sections are nicely managed. There is
poise from take-off, no hesitation when pushed
to overtake or merge and relaxed refinement
when cruising. The air suspension in our test
car kept it eager in and out of corners adding a
dynamic quality to a classy drive.
There is no question that some competitors
in this class like the Jaguar XF, BMW X5 and
even the Audi A6, can offer a more engaging
experience if you want it the E-Class’s balance
between comfort and handling is hard to beat.
Fuel economy is pretty good too with our week
in the E220d showing figures of 5.2L/100km in
the real world. That’s 25 percent more than the
manufacturer’s claim of 4.1L/100km, though.
Sometimes you step into a car, settle yourself
in and take a deep, relaxing breath. The
Mercedes-Benz E220d is one of those.
It is not flashy or loud, just quietly confident
in its ability. It has class and style, offers an
accomplished drive, eye-widening technology
and reassuring comfort. A job well done.
Mercedes-Benz E 220d pricing and
Price: $92,900 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Fuel: 4.1L/100km (ADR Combined)
CO2: 108g/km (ADR Combined)
Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP
For all your Mercedes-Benz enquiries, contact
North Star Motors, LMCT 8241 at 29 Orange
Avenue, Mildura, phone 5021 3866 or visit
2017 Mercedes-Benz E220D
takes centre stage
With innovative life-saving technology and
luxurious comfort and styling, the Mercedes-Benz
E220d is happy to take centre stage.
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