34 M-B E220D d

It costs: $102,292.

It has: A 143-kilowatt two-litre turbocharged diesel with a nine-speed auto.

We got: 7.2 litres per 100 km in the city, 4.7 in the country. The official combined figure is 4.1.

Consensus: Best in class

 

He says:

The new E-class is, at first, all about electronics. It has the best surround-view camera display I’ve ever used, two touch pads on the steering wheel and a third over the console selector wheel, five driving programmes and great audio. Good for showroom demonstrations but you’ll buy the car for the way it drives which is, in two words, class leading.

34 M-B E220D bIt rides beautifully and it’s only over very rough patches that you’ll begin to feel the sharp reactions of a car that is very well tied down. And you’ll only discover how well when you push it into a sweeper and feel it tuck in and go, smooth and efficient. Cornering even fast enough to trip out the cruise control is all very uneventful here, the car simply copes.

The diesel has good power off the mark and is excellent at overtaking, and the fuel economy is brilliant. The auto stop/start is generally seamless and the nine-speed auto is a ripper, good at anticipating and not calibrated to be hell-bent on fuel economy. And there’s a tonne of room front and rear and a very good boot with push-button closing.

The current BMW 520d is eight grand cheaper and Audi A6s start at $90k. If you can find the extra buy the E-class, it’s worth every cent of it.

Rod’s verdict:
Exceptional.

 

She says:

This is more a cocoon than a car. One floats along, stately as a galleon, gloriously indifferent to all the nasties outside. The feeling is especially strong while using cruise control, in which the car keeps a respectful distance from anything ahead and steers itself by reading the white lines each side, occasionally reminding you that you really should be doing a bit of the work yourself.

34 M-B E220D aThe electronics, initially a bit intimidating, turn out to be easy and intuitive once you get their drift, a definite improvement on the last E-Class. I love the huge LCD screens stretching across the dash, giving the most generous navigation display in the business. You can dial up three different instrument-cluster displays, one typical of Mercedes, another that’s sporty and a third that makes the tachometer the star. And the steering wheel controls include two tiny touchpads that turn out to be intuitive and highly usable.

The 220d is surprisingly willing for a diesel and the auto is seamless, it’s a beautiful drive. And the cabin is nicely appointed and comfortable, although I’m less enthused by the fake wood along the dash and door sills.

I may be a BMW tragic, but the coming new 5-series would have to be very good to keep me out of this.

Sheryl’s verdict:
My speed entirely.

Published October 2016

 

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