Photos: Karthik Nair (Shot with Gopro Hero 5)
The only car where I preferred the rear seat than the cockpit in recent times!
On a beautiful Sunday morning, the sun rose as if all the sorrows of the world have been washed out. The fresh array of sunlight hit my face through the dual sunroofs while I was gazing at the beauty of Vaalparai hills, being chauffeured in the all-new stretched out E-Class. Or should I call it a mini S-Class?
The 5th generation Mercedes Benz E Class was launched earlier this year as the extended wheel base variant which was exclusively designed for India. The E-Class comes in three variants: E200, E220d and E350d. The E200 is the only petrol variant available in the E-Class which you can see in the pictures while the E220d and E350d are diesel variants of the E.
Both the E 200 and E 220d make use of the same five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels and there is only the badging to differentiate between both variants; the pricier E 350d comes with 10-spoke alloys of the same size.
The E250d comes with a 2 litre 4 cylinder diesel engine which churns out 194bhp of power and 400Nm of maximum torque. The E350d is the powerful version of the E which comes with a 3 litre V6 diesel engine and has 258hp of peak power and 620Nm of torque.
The E200 petrol is a very pleasant car to drive. Despite the long wheelbase of the car, it feels light and nimble, especially the steering feedback. It goes exactly where you want it to go! The 2 litre petrol engine churns out 184bhp at 5500 rpm and 300Nm of maximum torque right from 1200rpm to 4000rpm. Forget the engine figures. The 4 cylinder petrol engine has enough power to munch miles and keep your driver in all the comfort and beware that the effortless driving might make your driver fall asleep. And before you ask, no – this engine doesn’t lack power. Compared to the more powerful diesel variants, you’ll feel the engine lacks punch. But we felt the engine is just perfect. Listen to the engine note from outside and you might mistake it for a diesel. From the inside, it’s quiet and pleasant; you barely notice the engine note.
100kmph comes in 8.6 seconds and the E200 comes equipped with paddle shifters. Extended wheel base means you have to be cautious over bigger speed bumps and you don’t get the 25mm raise option as in the E350d. The top variant also has airbody control air suspension which makes things better than the coil springs. The Parking Pilot option which is standard across all variants allows you to park the car by itself and unfortunately, we had forgotten to try out the option.
After around 100kms behind the wheel, I preferred enjoying the rear seat comfort. It was splendid I should say. The E Class isn’t a car to be driven; it is a car in which you should be chauffeured. Mercedes Benz analysed and found that most of their E Class owners were chauffeur-driven and hence the latest V213 (V stands for Verlängert – Extended in German) came to India.
Before going to the rear, the front portion is beautifully sculpted with the 12.3 inch screen integrated in the dashboard which has a dark wooden trim further enhancing the luxury factor. The steering has touch pads for the first time and simply sliding on them will help you change menus and music. All the driver controls (Drive modes, Parking options and auto start/stop) are to the left which is a pain to reach out initially.
V for extended and hence Mercedes added an extra 140 mm of length to the wheelbase, making it 3,079 mm (compared to the normal W213’s 2,939 mm). The overall length is now 5.3 meters. Compared to the outgoing W212, the wheelbase is 205 mm longer. Rear seat legroom has been generously enhanced by 134 mm and is now at 320 mm.
The reclining rear seats combined with ride comfort are the best bits of the stretched out E Class! Extended wheel base literally allows you to walk into the car when the doors open up. Once you are seated, you immediately notice the soft pillows of the rear headrests. Being a 6 feet tall boy, I never preferred rear seats in my life, but this one is sublime! The rear passenger also has controls for the rear and side window sunshades as well as the panoramic roof shades. Being chauffeured in the E200, you can stretch your legs, sip a coffee and listen to your most favourite track in a blissful way! And when it comes to business tycoons, the rear is an immediate office.
Well, to add more oomph to the party we have the advanced 64-Colour ambient lighting with unique zones
Spec comparison of E-Class Variants
|E 200||E 220 d||E 350 d|
|No. of cylinders/arrangement||4/in-line||4/in-line||V6|
|Total displacement in cc||1991||1950||2987|
|Max Power||184hp @ 5500rpm||194hp @ 3800rpm||258hp @ 3400rpm|
|Rated torque in Nm at rpm||300Nm @ 1200–4000rpm||400 @ 1600-2800rpm||620 @ 1600–2400rpm|
|Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in s||8.5||7.8||6.6|
|Top speed (km/hr)||240||240||250|
What you don’t get in the E200 but in the E350d?
|43.2 cm (17-inch) 10-spoke light-alloy wheels in himlayas grey with high sheen finish|
|Exclusive Interior package|
|• Sports seats with vertical quilting on the seat cushions and sporty backrest curvature|
|• Beltlines in black or espresso brown man-made leather with top-stitching|
|• Open-pore black ashwood trim|
|• Illuminated front and rear door sill panels|
|• Memory function for front and rear seats|
|• Gear shift paddles in chrome|
|AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension|
|360 degree camera|
|Burmester® Surround Sound System with 13 high-performance loudspeakers, a 9-channel digital signal processor (DSP) amplifier with a total power of 590 watts with highly advanced Vehicle Noise Compensation (VNC) technology|
|COMAND Online with 31.2 cm (12.3 inch) high-resolution media display|
And at the end, the E200 can park itself, has the reverse view camera, parking sensors front and back, driver assist and alert features, 7 airbags, a beautiful petrol engine and much more! The key highlight is the 140mm of additional wheelbase which provides acres of space at the rear and the serene ride experience. Well, even though the new 5 Series has remote parking as an option, it can’t beat the serenity offered by the E-Class!
|E 200||E 220 d||E 350 d|
|Price||Rs. 54.56 lakh||Rs. 55.52 lakh||Rs. 67.49 lakh|