Mercedes-Benz E-Class Long-Wheelbase Review — The Advent Of Extended Comfort

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Is there a better status symbol than driving a car that has a three-pointed star on the grille?

The go-to nameplate in the luxury sedan segment has remained the Mercedes-Benz E-Class for a long time now. This luxury sedan was launched in India in 1995.

In 2017, Mercedes-Benz offers the E-Class in a long-wheelbase (LWB) model in India. It is time to determine if the new E-Class — Made in India, for India — offers a more relaxed driving environment.

Interior

Happiness comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and this is best found in the new E-Class' interior.

As always, there is plenty of high-quality material that defines the interior style.

These days, a majority of folks prefer relaxing in the backseat, as opposed to combating the all too familiar city traffic woes.

Making this experience possible is the E-Class' extra legroom in the rear seat. (an increase of 140 millimetres in wheelbase helps to achieve this additional legroom).

To enhance the driving experience and possibilities for personalisation, the new E-Class offers:

1. Panoramic sliding sunroof

2. Burmester surround-sound system

3. 64 different colours of ambient lighting

4. 37-degree reclining rear seats with comfort head rest

5. Chauffeur Package, where, the passenger seated in the rear seat can control and move the front seat for more legroom

These are the top 5 creature comfort features (in random order) according to the reviewer.

To sum up, the interior is comfortable for both the driver and passenger(s), physically and psychologically.

Technical Data

New E-Class Specs E 200 E 350 d [reviewed]
No. of cylinders 4/ in-line V6
Total displacement (cc) 1,991 2,987
Power KW (hp) at rpm 135 (184) / 5500 190 (258) / 3400
Torque (NM @ rpm) 300 / 1200 - 4000 620 /1600 - 2400
Transmission 9G-TRONIC 9G-TRONIC
Acceleration 0 - 100 km/h (s) 8.5 6.6
Top speed (km/h) 240 250

Performance

With every efficient engine, comes smooth transmission. The new E-Class is a perfect example of this driving force. The diesel E-Class (E 350 d) comes with a 2987cc V6-cylinder engine.

The acceleration is linear, and there is a generous amount of low-end torque. And the nine-speed automatic transmission is quick to shift during fast sprints.

The Air Body Control air suspension, a first-time feature on the E-Class compliments the engine performance.

The damping system in the air suspension adjusts to the road conditions. Mercedes-Benz achieves this level of damping by using separate valves for the compression and rebound of the dampers.

At high speeds, the suspension automatically lowers, helping reduce aerodynamic drag. The Air Body Control air suspension also features a pneumatic all-round self-leveling feature. This system helps the E-Class maintain a constant level irrespective of the load (weight).

The driving experience improves with the dynamic select. A total of five distinct driving modes is available: Comfort, ECO, Sport, Sport+ and Individual.

The best of the driving modes are Comfort and Sport+. In Comfort mode, the steering gets lighter and offers a dampened throttle response and suspension. Comfort mode is the best choice for a smooth ride on daily drives and long trips.

However, for a sportier ride, the Sports+ mode is a better choice. This driving selection provides better acceleration, tighter steering and a firm suspension setting.

The new E-Class also offers high-level driving stability while cornering or braking. The pitching and rolling especially are well under control.

Overall, the driving dynamics for a long-wheelbase sedan such as this is indeed commendable.

Standout Feature

An automobile manufacturer's design principal defines its brand. For every automaker, design is a hallmark feature. With the new E-Class, this is immediately apparent.

The elongated bonnet, a coupe-like roofline and a beautiful rear end are the design highlights.

However, in our opinion, the standout feature is the Parking Pilot. Confused? Don't be. Watch this video to see the Parking Pilot feature in action.

Safety and Assistance Systems

Parking Pilot with PARKTRONIC — as seen in the video above. This assistance system automatically steers the E-Class into parking spaces.

Other support systems come in the form of a 360-degree camera (only with the E 350 d). On the selection of reverse gear, the 360-degree camera switches on automatically.

The driver can activate the 360-degree camera whenever required as well. The system also provides a realistic image via the head unit's media display while parking.

Other reassuring Safety features are

Airbags: there is a total of 7 airbags in the new E-Class. From dual front airbags, front side airbags, curtain airbags, to a knee bag for the driver.

Adaptive LED brake lights: a system that comes in handy during emergency braking. If the initial speed is more than 50km/h, a flashing red warning signal from the brake lights activate. This system, in turn, can help the driver behind reduce the reaction time and avoid a rear-end collision.

Attention Assist: an industry-first feature by Mercedes-Benz. During long trips, drivers are prone to drowsiness. This system can detect drowsy steering inputs. Once detected, the Attention Assist system warns and helps drivers correct their errors.

Electronic stability program (ESP): the ESP reduces any tendency to oversteer or understeer. Also, on dusty Indian roads, this system can counter any tendency to skid.

Pricing

The Powerful. Stylish. Made in India, for India E-Class is available in E 200 (petrol) and E 350 d (diesel). Prices start at INR 56.15 lakhs for the petrol version and INR 69.47 lakhs for the diesel version (ex-showroom, Mumbai).

10 Key Product Highlights

1. Parking Pilot

2. Air Body Control

3. Chauffeur package

4. Recliner rear seats

5. 64-colour ambient lighting

6. Panoramic Sliding Sunroof

7. 9-speed automatic transmission

8. High-resolution 12.3 inch media display

9. 13-speaker, 590W Burmester surround-sound system

10. Touch-sensitive touch controls on the steering wheel

Jobo Kuruvilla Thinks!

The new E-Class has luxury written all over it and pricing is aggressive. For sure, the E-Class will continue to be the go-to nameplate for business users.

And, with Mercedes-Benz elevating the comfort, styling and safety to a whole new class. There is no doubt — The Advent Of Extended Comfort — begins with the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class LWB.

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Story first published: Thursday, March 9, 2017, 14:54 [IST]
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