"It is not until you get behind the wheel of the new E-Class that much of what has been spruiked about the new car begins to ring true. The interior styling is richer, closer to an S-Class than a C-Class as had been the case in the previous generation. The lines are straighter, the surfaces flatter and more functional yet the ambiance retains a richness from the quality of materials used and precision of the layout. The seats are comfortable - spacious and supportive and with the extra padding of the restyled contruction evident immediately.
All very nice, but fire up the new 3.0-litre V6 diesel and the experience takes on a different level of appreciation. This is an engine that Mercedes can be justly proud of. Its strength is that the 540Nm - or a greater proportion of it - is ready for instant action from anything above idle. Tap the accelerator and go, jump on it and go harder - and all without the least hint of harshness. The balance between the engine, the seven-speed automatic gearbox and the active dynamics of the car's suspension and steering is a treat.
The direct-steer variable ratio steering never descends into vagueness, something that can not be said of all such systems and whether punting through twisting mountain roads or sruising along an open motorway the feeling is one of directness and precision.
Ride quality is what you would expect from this level of automobile - no more, no less. The active damping works well, seamlessly adjusting from comfort on a gentle cruise to a more sporting stiffness when pushed. A unexpected delight is how little drive enjoyment is given away by dropping from the hero engine to either of the new-generation four-cylinder offerings.
While the 2.1-litre direct injection turbocharged E250 CGI is an absolute sweetie with its 150kW and 310Nm it is the equivalent diesel, the E250 CDI, that will have you out of the car and counting the cylinders. With 150kW and a thumping 500Nm of torque squeezed out of the four cylinders by the twin-stage turbocharger this one is destined to be a star. Delivery is a little more peaky than the V6 with the torque dropping away around 600rpm earlier at 1800rpm, but you would be really hard to please if it didn't bring a smile to your face. And if there is any need to seal the deal, a combined fuel efficiency rating of 5.3L/100km should be just the ticket."
© Source: emercedesbenz
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