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Mercedes-Benz E Class E300de Urban Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic

  • Automatic
  • Diesel Parallel PHEV
  • 4 door saloon
  • 11 g/km CO2
  • 6.4 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 313 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

Cars are rarely as crucial to their makers or buyers as this E-Class model is to Mercedes. This full-sized Executive segment contender is the backbone of the German company's range and a perennial favourite of the corporate car park. This sixth generation 'W214'-series model retains a sensible side but dials up the desirability, aiming to offer a smarter, more prestigious approach to Executive class motoring than close competitors. It does so with more efficient engines, cutting-edge drive technology and comfort that makes you question the need for a larger luxury saloon. Arch-rivals from Audi and BMW still have quite a benchmark to aim at.

Background

Over a history going back more than 75 years, the E-Class and the models it's derived from have been at the heart of the Mercedes range. Today, there's a similarly-sized all-electric E-Class alternative in Mercedes showrooms, the EQE. But the Stuttgart maker remains committed to its core combustion luxury model, as evidenced by the depth of development that's gone into the sixth generation 'W214'-series E-Class we look at here. According to the Three-Pointed Star, this is 'the most personal Mercedes ever', able to sense what you want even before you know you want it, be that media tech, cabin climate or drive dynamics. Much of course, including certain styling elements, is borrowed from the larger S-Class, though as usual, unlike that car, the 'E' can also be had as an estate. And of course it needs to be good, hitting the market at much the same time as new generation versions of its two arch-rivals, the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6. To take on those two, this MK6 E-Class needs to be more than just an evolutionary step forward. Is it? Let's see.

Driving Experience

Class is permanent: fame is transitory. Well this 'FAME' is anyway, the letters in this case apparently standing for 'FAmily of Modular Engines', the portfolio of four and six cylinder combustion units chosen for this sixth generation E-Class. All of which are merely transitory electrified stepping stones to the time, not far off, when EV powertrains rule all. There's no full-EV option here to rival the BMW i5 or the Audi A6 e-tron because of course the brand already has the similarly sized EQE model for that. Instead, there's a selection of combustion powerplants defiantly still built around two formats currently falling from industry favour, diesels and PHEVs. For the time being, diesel E-Class sales are expected to continue strongly, primarily with the 194bhp 2.0-litre four cylinder E 220 d 48V mild hybrid model, which is offered in conventional rear-driven form. If you want the brand's 4MATIC AWD system (now improved), you'll need the E 450d 4MATIC, a six cylinder 3.0-litre diesel. What about the green pump models? well the mild hybrid petrol alternative is the E 200, another 2.0-litre four cylinder variant, which has 201bhp and, like the E 220d diesel, is boosted by a 23bhp electric motor. That motor, by the way, is now built into the improved 9G-TRONIC 9-speed auto transmission that all E-Class models have to have. The same 2.0-litre engine also features in the E 300e Plug-in petrol model, which offers 312bhp and now gets a larger 25.4kWh battery capable of taking the car up to 69 miles without troubling combustion power. Expect powerful Mercedes-AMG variants as usual to top the range. Whatever mainstream E-Class you decide upon, your dealer will want you to consider the pricey optional 'Technology Pack', which adds AIRMATIC air suspension and a rear axle steering system that can add 4.5-degrees of turning angle, reducing the turning circle to just 10.8m.

Design and Build

Design chief Gordon Wagener describes this E-Class as 'the business icon of Mercedes-Benz', something you don't mess with, hence an evolutionary take on the 'Sensual Purity' styling theme already established in current versions of the C-Class and S-Class. With 4,949mm of length, 1,880mm of width and 1,468mm of height in saloon form, this MK6 E-Class is slightly larger than before and it's 0.23Cd drag coefficient is slightly sleeker. But you're more likely to notice the smarter gloss black-framed front grille, which can now be back-lit and is flanked by slim LED headlights. The tail lamps are narrower too and get a Three-Pointed Star illuminating signature. As before, there's an estate body style option, but this time round, there will be no Coupe or Cabriolet versions, these body shapes relocated to a newly-created CLE model line-up. Accessing the cabin can be done via a 'Digital Vehicle Key' stored on your phone. And once inside, the promised 'digital experience' continues, though as with the EQE, the dash seems primarily designed around a premium screen format most models won't have. The 'Superscreen' dash, like the bigger 'Hyperscreen' layout of top EQ saloons, sees driver, passenger and central displays bonded together into one expansive (and expensive) layout. Replaced by acres of empty trim space if, as is more likely, your E-Class has merely a big central portrait monitor and a digital instrument display. Either way, you're treated to a new generation version of the brand's MBUX infotainment system, which can take on third-party apps, access social media services like TikTok and even allow you to run Zoom meetings via an in-built camera. There's more built-in Artificial Intelligence to learn your habits and routines (suggesting new routes or automatically switching heated things on when it's cold). And there's an active ambient lighting bar on the top of the dash that works with the various camera safety systems. A longer wheelbase means slightly more rear seat space, but the more conventional Modular Rear Architecture platform in use here doesn't of course free up anything like as much leg room for folk at the back as the full-EV platform in the EQE allows for. Boot capacity is 540-litres for conventionally-engined E-Class saloons - and 370-litres for PHEV-powered ones.

Market and Model

Expect pricing in the £55,000 to £70,000 bracket for mainstream versions of this E-Class, with a premium of £2,640 if you'd prefer the estate body style. There's a choice of six trim levels - 'Urban Edition', 'AMG Line', 'AMG Line Premium', 'AMG Line Premium Plus', 'Exclusive Premium' and 'Exclusive Premium Plus'. There are lots of key options to consider: we'll brief you on just a few of them here. The 'THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control' Digital Vent Control system automatically adjusts the front air vents to a desired ventilation scenario. This can be done for each seat via the car's user profile, but the nozzles can also be aligned by hand as usual. Mercedes has also improved its 'ENERGIZING COMFORT' system with a clever Anti-Travel Sickness programme. You might also like to add the clever Active Ambient Lighting with Sound Visualisation system, which allows occupants to 'see' music tracks and the sounds of films or apps. Visualisation takes place on dashboard's top Active Ambient Lighting light band. For example, fast sequences of beats can cause rapid light changes, while flowing rhythms can create softly merging lighting moods. As you'd expect, there's also loads of advanced camera safety and drive assist kit. 'ATTENTION ASSIST', in conjunction with the optional camera in the 3D driver display, can detect signs of microsleep. If the driver's eyes are not focused on the road for several seconds, 'ATTENTION ASSIST' can detect a distraction and warn the driver acoustically and visually. If the driver still fails to turn their attention to the traffic situation, there is an escalation with a second warning and a continuous warning tone. If the driver still fails to respond to the warning, the system will initiate an emergency stop.

Cost of Ownership

No matter how advanced this sixth generation E-Class might be, if it doesn't return the right efficiency figures, business folk won't consider it. But of course, Mercedes has covered that off thoroughly here. The volume E 220 d mild hybrid diesel variant that many will want manages 58.9mpg on the combined cycle. Of course, if you really want efficiency in your E-Class, then you'll need to stretch to the E 300e PHEV, which has a segment-leadingly long EV range of up to 69 miles thanks to a now-larger 24.1kWh battery. And otherwise? Well this model series is designed for the long haul. There's plenty of proof of that: Greek taxi driver Gregorios Sachinidis clocked up 2.9 million miles in his 1976 240D and though build quality took a bit of a dip with the W120 series range we had between 1995 and 2003, it's now better than ever with this current 'W214'-series version. This car will easily out-last you, one reason why all-important residual values have traditionally been strong with diesel and lower-order petrol engines. Unless you do something silly like specify an overly bright colour scheme, you can expect to get over 60% of your initial purchase price back after three years. Another thing we'll need to tell you is that the comprehensive three year unlimited mileage warranty is built upon by Mercedes' Mobilo scheme which delivers breakdown cover for up to thirty years, as long as you continue to have your car serviced at a Mercedes main dealer. And it's worth knowing that your maintenance outlay can be kept a little in check by going for the optional Service Care package that takes care of routine maintenance, spreading the cost of regular servicing, guaranteeing the price of parts and labour for up to four services and covering the cost of all recommended service items such as brake fluid, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters and screen wash.

Summary

The E-Class remains a cutting-edge statement of Mercedes style and technology - and this 'W214'-series version puts in an impressive performance. Beforehand, it felt like quite an expensive car. Now it feels like one that's pricey but which offers a compelling value proposition. The changes made here future-proof this E-Class a little further against the constant assault from its key rivals. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this sixth generation model though, is the fact that its appeal has broadened so far. It was once hard to see anybody under the age of fifty contemplating an E-Class. A more dynamic image and a focus on sharper design and driving dynamics has seen that demographic become younger. What's more, all this has been achieved without diluting this design's Stuttgart DNA - and without alienating its legacy market. That is the mark of a very special car. In summary, this is, in short, very much a 21st century full-sized Executive sector conveyance. True, it's slightly more expensive than the competition. Also, there are rivals you could choose that'd be more dynamically rewarding to drive, though as Mercedes well knows, that kind of thing doesn't tend to be prioritised by many likely customers. Certainly if you can see beyond these two issues, then what's on offer here remains arguably the ultimate statement of technology and luxury in this part of the market - and possibly even a package good enough to leave you questioning the need to spend more on a larger S-Class model. 'The best or nothing' was the slogan that Mercedes founder Gottlieb Daimler's lived by. If it's yours too, then we think you'll like this car.

  • ECO start/stop function
  • Fluorescent jacket for driver
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Preinstallation for MBUX Entertainment Plus
  • AMG Line exterior
  • Digital air vent control
  • Pre-installation for roof rail systems
  • Rear boot
  • Rear side wing doors
  • AMG brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs
  • AMG line interior
  • Artico/Microcut microfibre upholstery
  • Central stowage compartment with USB socket for use with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Front centre armrest with stowage compartment
  • Gearshift paddles in galvanised silver
  • Glove compartment - lockable, air conditioned and illuminated
  • Instrument panel and door beltlines in artico nappa look leather
  • Multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather
  • Roof liner in black fabric
  • Steering wheel touch control buttons for audio and onboard settings
  • Night pack - E class
  • Parking package with 180 degree camera - E Class
  • USB plus package - E Class
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Active bonnet pedestrian safety measure which detects an impact and raises bonnet
  • Automatic front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Central airbag
  • Childproof locks manually operated for rear doors and electrically operated for rear power windows
  • Driver and adaptive front passenger airbags
  • Knee airbags
  • Pedestrian protection
  • Pre-Safe anticipatory safety system
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Window airbags
  • Alarm system/interior protection/immobiliser
  • Central locking with interior switch, automatic locking and crash sensor with emergency opening function
  • Guard 360 degree vehicle protection
  • Increased anti theft protection
  • Keyless Go
  • Urban guard vehicle protection plus
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 25.5
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 180
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 10-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 7.4
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 120
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 10-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 11
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 20
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 10-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 55
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 55
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 62000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 6
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 25.4
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 111
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 69
  • CO: 0.039
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: 0.018
  • NOx: 0.014
  • Particles: 0.0003
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 11
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1993
  • Compression Ratio: 15.5:1
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 94.3
  • Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Gears: 9 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Comb: 5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Extra High: 4.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - High: 4.3
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Low: 6.8
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (l/100km) - Medium: 5.1
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Comb: 56.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Extra High: 58.9
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - High: 65.7
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Low: 41.5
  • WLTP - FC Ch Sus (mpg) - Medium: 55.4
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb: 0.4
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb: 706.3
  • AdBlue: True
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Badge Power: 313
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: de
  • Coin Series: Urban Edition
  • Generation Mark: 6
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 49E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 30
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 92
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 90
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 84
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 87
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Mileage: 15500
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 6.4
  • Engine Power - BHP: 313
  • Engine Power - KW: 230
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 3600
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 516
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 71.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 700
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1800
  • Top Speed: 146
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 245/40 R20
  • Tyre Size Rear: 275/35 R20
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: AMG MULTI SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 20" ALLOY
  • Height: 1480
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4949
  • Wheelbase: 2961
  • Width: 1880
  • Width (including mirrors): 2065
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 50
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2810
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 370
  • Max. Loading Weight: 640
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2170
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.6