December 5, 2013
A truly surprising Mercedes-Benz
Since it appeared on the scene, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has undergone significant changes to its interior and exterior design, and of course its inner machinery (engines and gear boxes). And as generations progress, the security provided for drivers and ecology are the factors that have been pursued the most in an increasingly challenging market.
I had the chance to drive the Mercedes-Benz E-350 sedan, which is surprising whichever way you look at it. For example, its interior has been redesigned and oozes comfort and luxury.
Mercedes’ new design features are younger, carefree and include elegant details that accentuate the quality of the vehicle. Even at first glance, there are no doubts: The new E-Class is an authentic Mercedes.
The front of the new E-Class has an air of fluidity. The hood ends in a tip that is born harmoniously in a redesigned radiator grill, along with two newly-configured headlights.
On the sides, you are immediately drawn to the ascending lines that are reinforced by its characteristic line on the rear door. These add a visible force to the bodywork of the car. The long wheelbase and short overhangs give the body the proportions of a typical sedan.
The horizontal distribution of the rear lights and the black, compact rear bumper dynamically underline the width of the vehicle.
When you take a seat, you notice a truly special interior, as the new E-Class offers elegant interior equipment, with innumerable customizable options that guarantee a unique driving experience for each driver.
Attractive aluminium mouldings and an analogue clock on the central console provide a sense of refinement to the driving position. The newly configured three-level instrument panel and the Flat-Frame effect central unit add a functional, vanguard touch of innovation.
Regarding the E-Class’s safety, it’s impossible to cover everything, but the automatically rotating headlights are noteworthy; they turn according to the car’s moving direction. And what’s truly surprising is the active Parktronic parking aid system, which is included as an option to ease the driver into difficult spaces.
The system uses sensors to detect if a longitudinal or transversal space is sufficiently large. The driver begins the parking manoeuvre by directing the vehicle toward the chosen space, shifting into reverse and selecting the Parktronic button on the instrument panel.
The active parking aid takes control of the wheel and the brakes to park the car for you in the spot you have chosen. Parktronic can also help you exit as long as you have also employed it to park first.
The car also comes with ABS, ASR, a driver fatigue alert called “Attention Assist,” BAS, ESP, adaptative brakes with a hold function and a rear camera for parking. Obviously, it has airbags almost everywhere.
The engine powering the E-Class forward is a 3498cc V6 with 306hp at 6500rmp, which allows for a top speed of 250kmph and accelerates from 0 to 100kpmh in only 7.6 seconds. Its consumption rate per 100 kilometres in the city averages at 9.5 litres and 5.6 litres on the highway.
Another factor to highlight in this motor is the standard stop and start ECO function, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions by automatically switching the engine off when the vehicle stops. The ECO indicator is located on the central instrument panel and reports on the efficiency of each driver’s style, encouraging improvements to reduce consumption.
The automatic 7G-TRONIC PLUS gear box also helps you save money on petrol. It is optimized to reduce consumption and boost performance with precise gear changes and lower noise levels. Sporty and comfortable, an option on the console allows the driver to pre-select a driving mode: E (Economy) and S (Sport).
In brief the Mercedes-Benz E 350 Sedán has everything you could want from a car, and it surprises us with something else: its price of US$89,900.