Mercedes-Benz is on a mission to overtake BMW and become the world’s number one car manufacturer in the luxury market by 2020. New product is a key part of that strategy: 8 new models and 6 facelifted models were launched in 2015 and there are more new cars on the way this year.
One of those, the new E-Class, has just arrived in Ireland. Now in its tenth generation, the E-Class has grown in length by 43mm and has a 65mm longer wheelbase compared to the outgoing model. It remains a sleek, elegant car and is instantly recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz – that’s regardless of whether you go for the traditional louvered grille and body mounted star, or grille with large inset star (yes you can choose).
The new interior is pure class from top to bottom and Mercedes-Benz has mixed the traditional executive feel well with the style and technology demanded by today’s premium car buyer. An 8.4 inch touchscreen infotainment system comes as standard and can be controlled via a dial on the central console and by innovative new touch-sensitive finger swipe buttons on the steering wheel. Two high-resolution 12.3 inch display screens are available as options and are also a first for the segment.
The new E-Class debuts new driving aids, safety equipment and exciting tech that will give buyers a taste of autonomous driving – the optional Drive Pilot allows the car to cruise effectively on auto pilot with the car controlling speed, braking, acceleration, gear changing and even overtaking.
Mercedes-Benz has invested heavily in a new diesel engine family and the E-Class debuts with this new four cylinder 2.0-litre diesel. The new diesel engine, badged E220d, is a significant improvement in terms of power, economy and noise suppression over the outgoing 2.1-litre diesel. There’s more power (194bhp) and CO2 emissions have been lowered to just 102g, so the car will prove economical for owners (motor tax of €190 per year and a claimed fuel economy of 72.4mpg). Later in the year we will see the arrival of a lower powered version of this new engine (154bhp).
There are three trim levels for the new E-Class on the Irish market (Avantgarde, Exclusive and AMG Line), and all cars comes as standard with a 9-speed ‘9G-Tronic’ automatic gearbox. You can mix the design lines, for example select an Avantgarde spec car but choose an AMG Line exterior for a sportier look.
Pricing for the range starts at €52,850 for an E220d Avantgarde Automatic, an €850 price reduction over the outgoing model but with more standard kit including parking assist, heated front seats, full leather upholstery, reversing camera, LED lights, satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, ambient lighting, climate control and cruise control. Exclusive models start at €55,210 and AMG Line versions at €57,650.
The lower-powered E200d will have an entry price of €50,550.
The saloon will be joined by an E-Class estate later in the year, and there is also an E350e hybrid in the pipeline.