Pros and Cons
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class in this current generation had gotten an upgrade at the start of 2021, three years after its launch in India. As part of this, itgot significant upgrades in terms of the exterior design, interior design as well as feature list and for a very good reason too; it’s one of Mercedes’ most successful cars in the Indian market to date with over 46000 E-Class sold till now. Now, the updates have been brought in to keep the car’s momentum strong among the growing competition.
We have reviewed the car and you can watch our video below or read our review by clicking here. To give you a quick insight into what we found, here are five things that we liked about the E-Class and two things that we didn’t.
- Rear seat experience
The very idea of bringing a long-wheelbase (LWB) E-Class to India was to make the car more appealing to those buyers who wanted to be chauffeured around. Over the standard wheelbase version, you get an additional 140mm, all of which has been concentrated in the second row for additional space within. You get more than sufficient headroom and legroom and can even recline the rear seatback or move the front passenger seat from the rear to find just the right seating position.
Now, this wouldn’t be a Mercedes if they didn’t spoil you with a comprehensive kit list, the likes of which include automatic sun blinds, seat memory, rear vents with its own climate zone and armrest with pop-out cup holders and wireless charger. The highlight for the second row is a tablet (running the MBUX infotainment system) which can be used to control functions like ambient lighting, media and volume. The only major drawback that we can find in this rear seat package is the presence of a massive transmission tunnel and the protruding AC vents, both of which make seating for the centre occupant quite a challenge.
2. Feature list
Now, as we had detailed in the second half of the rear seat experience positive note, this just wouldn’t be a Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan if the German automaker didn’t lay out a rather comprehensive feature list across both rows. As we said earlier, the rear seat occupants get their climate zone, memory function for the seats, multiple charging points and of course the MBXU tablet for controlling various functions across the car. In addition, in front, you get ventilated seats, wireless charging, cooled glove box and cup holders, 64 shade ambient lighting, two-zone climate control and multiple USB type-C charging points. The entire cabin has been trimmed out in bespoke leather with rather fancy wood inserts in the dashboard and doors.
3. Dual digital displays
Once you have been awed by all the space and luxury that this LWB E-Class offers, your eyes will next move on to massive 12.3 dual displays dominating the dashboard. The one on right is the instrument cluster while the one on the left is for the MBUX infotainment system.
Mercedes has been pushing its digital clusters since 2013 with the 2014 MY S-Class debuting it (no surprise there). Now seven years later, the latest generation digital instrument cluster combines classic Mercedes speedo design with the latest tech. All functions are controlled via the steering wheel and there are even three different display modes each matching various eras of modern Mercedes cluster layout and design. It’s extremely bright even on the sunniest of days and offers so much information in a quick and easy to gauge format.
On the passenger side, you get another 12.3-inch touchscreen display running the latest MBUX operating system loaded with things like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G connectivity. It can be controlled via the steering, haptic touchpad, voice commands or through the screen itself. It also doubles up as the display for things like ambient lighting and lumbar support. But that’s not all. You get a mobile app called Mercedes Me through which you can enable/disable functions like pre-cooling or pre-heating the cabin, choosing the ambient lighting colour, emergency call services and music control.
4. Comprehensive Safety suite
There are three versions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and all three get a comprehensive safety suite. First up, all versions get seven airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control and even a tyre pressure monitoring system. Also included are active bonnet technology, active parking assist, 360-degree camera and a blind-spot monitor. After years and years of research, Mercedes has tested and developed its Pre-safe technology that prepares the car and ensures the safety of the occupants before, during and after a collision or large impact.
5. 9G-Tronic gearbox
There was a time when six-speed gearboxes were considered fancy and advanced. However, Mercedes has always been ahead of the curve and today offers a nine-speed gearbox with a variety of cars including all three versions of the E-Class that are sold in India. Mated to this 2.0-litre petrol engine, it’s a very effective transmission if you choose to be involved or if you just want it to do its thing in the background. The gearing is sorted to make optimum use of the 320Nm of torque and you will rarely feel like you need more punch for overtakes or maintaining good speeds to cover the distances out on the highway. You get a 0-100kmph time of 7.60 seconds and a top speed of 240kmph.
1. Low-speed ride
The E200 that we have driven has not been fitted with Mercedes’ legendary AIRMATIC air suspension. Instead, you get McPherson struts in the front and a multi-link setup at the rear. It’s in no way a lacking set up but at city speeds, the low-speed ride is on the firmer side and what’s more, it is quite audible when you go over the really big stuff. However, it is not uncomfortable and settles quickly, something that should go well for it when the target market is the chauffeur-driven buyer. As you gain speed, the E-Class’ ride quality improves significantly with that firmness showing its presence when you need stability at high speeds.
2. Driving dynamics
At 5.1-meters this LWB E-Class is quite a large car by any measure and with dynamics leaning towards comfort, it was never going to be a that you can hustle around corners. Rather you take your time and arrive comfortably at your destination. However, it does have one ace which is that with underlying stiff ride and large length you get some lovely straight-line stability, a boon out on the large and flat highways.
There’s quite a lot to like on this updated E-Class both in terms of the exterior as well as the interiors and feature list. The driving dynamics and ride quality are not the greatest but it’s got massive space and a huge feature list that would appeal to those who want to spend time being driven around.
This updated E-Class range is priced from Rs 73.66 lakh to Rs 80.76 lakh (on-road Delhi) and can be had with one petrol engine or two diesel engine options. It’s a rival for the BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF, Volvo S90 and the Audi A6.
Photos: Kaustubh Gandhi