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Those looking for a polished, impressive executive sedan with state-of-the-art technology can prepare to have the new E-Class at the top of their shopping list.

01 Apr 2016

As some of you may know by now, the arrival of the all new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is marked by the debut of some of the brand's most cutting-edge technology. 

But making the headlines is the introduction of a quiet and efficient new four-cylinder diesel engine, which complements enhanced aerodynamics and the reduced weight of the executive sedan that results in a leaner E-Class than ever before.

Having already sampled the E300, we took this E220d variant out for a spin to find out.

You can easily mix up the E-Class for a C-Class or S-Class but you will never mistake it for any other makes

Up close and Personal

A thorough redesign sees the new E-Class take on a more dynamic form than its predecessor in a bid to appeal to a younger demographic.

With its huge grille, long bonnet and tapered rear end, the car has a strong resemblance to the rest of the Mercedes family now. 

The themes introduced on its C-Class and S-Class brethrens give the new executive sedan a classically handsome look. The lines all seem functional and intentional, and the proportions balance well.

Combining very high standards of material and build quality with an attractive layout and lots of very neat design touches, the cabin of the new E-Class is definitely one of the car's strong points and is a superbly relaxing and comfortable place to spend time in.

More interestingly, the elongated iPad-like dashboard that features two 12.3-inch high-resolution screens is a more impressive and modern-looking application than the twin screens on the S-Class.

The new E-Class boasts a tech-laden interior

Graphics and information rendered are pin-sharp and access to the COMAND infotainment system is provided either via the controller on the centre console or a world-first pair of touch pads on the steering wheel (left and right screen respectively).

A longer wheelbase also means the new E-Class is more spacious, especially for rear seat passengers, with a versatile option of a 40:20:40 split to access the trunk, which is the same as the outgoing model at 540 litres. Meanwhile, front seat passengers are treated to plush leather seats as well as generous amounts of head and legroom.

The Drive

The E220d variant tested here is an important one for Mercedes as it marks the arrival of the brand's all new four-cylinder diesel engine.

Replacing the old cast iron 2.1-litre diesel block is a brand new 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel that, according to the German carmaker, is poised to be its masterpiece.

We've often heard criticisms for the old motor's clatter and gruffness, and it's obvious that the new powerplant improves significantly on that.

New turbodiesel replaces the clattery old mill and it's a huge improvement

It's quieter from start and during our drive in Lisbon, the new engine proved to be a whisper at highway speeds, without any intrusive grumble even when we leaned on it to summon all its 194bhp and 400Nm of torque.

There's ample performance on tap and little reason to rev it out to its red line with huge dollops of torque on demand. Meanwhile, the standard 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission is a good companion with its silky smooth changes and sensible calibration.

Along with the steering, suspension and throttle response, choosing Sport or Sport+ from the DYNAMIC SELECT switch sharpens the gearbox's reactions. It's also in these driving modes when enthusiasts will not mind reaching for the paddle shifters behind the wheel.

Executive sedans spend most of the time ploughing up and down highways and city roads, so although sharp handling is never a bad thing, it shouldn't come at the expense of a supple ride or hushed cruising manners. Fortunately, the E-Class does the important things right.

With AIR BODY CONTROL suspension fitted on our test car, the new E-Class drove as if it was on a cloud. This makes moving from urban to extra-urban environments a pleasant and effortless task. In that sense, when cruising on the expressway, the car is really in its element.

In fact, we would go as far to say that on a European highway, the new E-Class is unmatched in its segment for comfort and refinement.

There's plenty of oomph, whether from standstill or overtaking on the highway


Facing tough competition, the W212 Mercedes E-Class was in long need of a major update. Thankfully, this new model ticks all the boxes, offering high levels of luxury in a smaller package - boosting the E-Class back to the top of its class and making it a car worth taking a closer look when it arrives later this year.

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