I was handed over the keys to the 350d, powered by a 2987cc V6 diesel engine. The new E-Class also comes with a 1991 cc 4-inline petrol engine option. Both the petrol and diesel engines are mated to a 9G-Tronic transmission which in essence means that it’s automatic and has nine forward gears. But it’s the diesel car that performs far better on several fronts. While the peak power is 258hp in the diesel variant, it’s only 184hp in the petrol one. Similarly the peak torque is 620Nm (300 Nm), acceleration from 0 to 100kmph is 6.6 seconds (8.5 seconds) and top speed is 250kmph (240kmph).
The moment you touch the Start / Stop button the engine kicks into life. The moment you engage the gear into D mode, off goes the car like a butterfly. There are different driving modes to choose from, be it Eco, Comfort, Sport, etc. Changing these settings can be done through the scroll button on the console. The space between the dead pedal and the brake pedal was a bit too narrow for my liking.
The new long wheel base is 5063mm in overall length which means it is 184mm longer than the current E-class. The long wheel base means, this car is also 205mm longer that the current model, translating into more than 50pc rear space as compared to the current E-Class. In the front you have signature twin LED daytime running lights and high performance headlamps while at the rear we have LED taillights with crystal look. There is an LED turn-signal in the ORVMs.
While the car looks smart with smooth curvy design lines, a panoramic sunroof adds to the style quotient. The bold, muscular front grille with large air intakes in the bumper as well as grille areas, along with the 17 inch, 10-spoke light alloy wheels, make the new E-Class very sporty in its appearance. Interestingly, to give the rear section a spacious feel, the rear quarter glass has also been moved into the C pillar.
The diesel variant also comes with additional front door illuminated sill, apart from the standard rear door illuminated sills. As for the rear seat where the bossman sits, it can be adjusted to very high levels of comfort. For all practical purposes the big man sits diagonally behind the driver seat and that’s where all the real controls come alive to the touch of a Chauffer Package button.
While the front area has two climate zones for the driver and the co-passenger, the entire rear area has one climate zone which can be adjusted with a tweak of two switches which take care of your fan speed and temperature. But what are horribly missing are the controls for the 13 speaker Burmester sound system in the car which can only be controlled from the front.
The dash area is made of stitched artico which find their way into the plush seats too. The dash has a smart analog clock giving the car a retro touch. The console area is of wood trim in piano black finish. The steering wheel with paddle shifts can be adjusted for rake and reach electrically and what makes this car unique is the fact that even the steering has two touch pads on either sides of it. The left one controls the display of the 12.3 inch screen on the dash while the right one controls the display in the 7.4 inches area in the instrument cluster area. Apart from this the steering has the usual buttons to adjust sound and receive, reject and mute phone calls. The larger touch pad in the console area also serves the purpose of changing the setting on the 12.3 inches screen, and so does the large knob. Two scroll buttons on the console help to change the dynamic drive settings of the car and adjust the volume. The screen now also gets android auto and apple car play smart phone connectivity.
The new E-Class can even park itself, for which it takes its assistance from the 360 surround aerial view cameras and loads of sensors. It also comes with parking sensors for front and back.
Apart from its great drive abilities, one feature that stands out with the car is the Air Body control or adaptive air suspension which once activated through the press of a button on the console, enables the car to be raised by 25mm. But then as the vehicle begins to climb to speeds above 80kmph, the car comes down by 15 mm automatically.
The new E-Class from Mercedes Benz is definitely a car that offers absolute indulgence. Now we have one more thing that the Chinese have, apart from the numbers we share when it comes to population!