LEADING EDGE | Westcon
Mercedes Benz E-Class: A Modern Masterpiece
The success of any product or brand can only be determined by taking all facets into consideration that make up the whole. To put the new Mercedes Benz E-Class into perspective we need to look at the overall concept of the manufacturer, the products and the service delivery to the clients.
At launches we focus on the brand and the product specifically. The brand normally speaks for itself and the acceptance of the product is very much based on the articles written by the journalists.
With the aforementioned in mind it was really an eye opening experience to be invited not only to the launch of the new Mercedes Benz E-Class but also to the opening of the Mercedes Benz dealership in Pinetown’s 10 000 square metre building. The new dealership has cost its owners R125 million and is an environmentally friendly and modern building to further enhance the experience of the client. To walk into the building is a pleasurable experience by itself and the service received whether, visiting for coffee, checking on new developments, servicing or buying a new vehicle is second to none.
The staff ensures that the client and prospective clients will want for nothing and that the experience remains memorable. Future Mercedes Benz ‘sites’ will be much more service orientated and sporting online stores.
Add to that an excellently manufactured modern vehicle that has again raised the benchmark substantially in technology and driving pleasure and you understand why Mercedes Benz products are sought after and why the product range will grow from 29 models to 48 models. Mercedes Benz are voted as the coolest motor brand and as per the opening of the dealership, more and more young affluent people are buying the brand.
The new Mercedes Benz E-Class looks are very distinct very much like both the S-Class and the C-Class and will not be easily distinguished from a distance, unless you know your cars. The E-Class is at present technically the most advanced Mercedes in the World and probably, if not, the most advanced premium luxury car in the World.
I can only describe the 10th generation Mercedes Benz E-Class as the most advanced, functional, efficient, intelligent and safe modern car that oozes a sensual beauty and modern charm.
The features are too many to cover in this article but from the exterior design, to the modern metal, leather and wood interior the E-Class welcomes you into its luxurious, virtual presence while enjoying the multitude of technical wizardry such as the high definition displays. There are three displays to choose from being the standard cluster display, the digital display or the advanced 12.3 inch digital display. All essential controls are in easy reach on the steering wheel. Some features such as individual user interface with a cellphone is available for the car and can also function as a digital key. Mercedes will have a completely connected car by the end of 2016 and these connectivity features will be available in E-Class models from 2017. South Africa will be the first Country outside Europe to get this.
Safety features are never left in abeyance and intelligent drive is again taken to the next level with remote parking via an App and then there is Pre Safe Impulse Side Protection where a potential side impact is sensed and a bladder in the seat pushes the person out of harm’s way.
Lighting has always played a major role for Mercedes and an option on the new E Class is the Multi beam LED with 3 driving modes being an active lighting function, control shaping the form of lighting and cornering lights with pre-emptive crossing functionality.
The E Class has a very advanced Drive Pilot that regulates speed, distance and stopping up to 200kp/h. The Pilot will keep you in the centre of the road while reading road markings. Where markings are unclear the E Class will read the road width, barriers and other structures to determine where it should drive. Although fairly new the pilot system works well but is by no means a system to be left without constant input via the steering from the driver. Standard in all models are Active Park Assistance Parktronic which makes all parking hassle free.
The new Smartphone Integration Telephony system in the E Class makes use of the visual cockpit and has wireless charging through NFC with QI for certain makes of phones like the I-phone 7 and Samsung S7. It will also automatically connect audio data hands free through Bluetooth. It can be set up to also read SMS messages and you can dictate messages that will then be sent as SMS messages. Other makes and models will soon follow. Your whole telephony intelligent system can be customised through your steering wheel and you can select a sport display or a classical display. We will have to wait till 2017 for the App to download this functionality.
The three powertrains for the E Class have the brand new straight 4 cylinder strengthened aluminium base engines which are both lighter, smaller, more powerful and through single, double, smaller or bigger turbo’s can deliver a higher output. The new 4 cylinder engine is to carry Mercedes Benz into the next decade.
E 200 four-cylinder 1991cc petrol 135kW Prices from R707 100.00
E220d four-cylinder 1950cc diesel 143kW Prices from R759 100.00
E350d six-cylinder 2987cc diesel 190kW Prices from R 958 300.00
E250 and E400 4Matic
Mercedes-AMG E 43
Mercedes-AMG E63 S
All models are available with the 9G-TRONIC Automatic transmission
And vehicles can easily increase in price by R300 000.00 with optional extras.
Service and maintenance agreement is 100 000kms over a six year term.
The ultimate test of how all this innovation performs on the road is what is essential for deciding what to buy. Although I only drove the E200 and E220d I can say that except for the power factor of the E350d the cars handle very much the same. I was amazed how quiet the 220d was and also how well the E200 performed from start. Gear changes are very smooth even when driving in sport mode. The E Class can be individually set up by the driver for his or her own preferences. Fuel consumption for the E220d came down to 5.4l per 100kms and that of the E200 averaged at 8.1 l per 100kms.
Performance of both these models was more than expected with no turbolag and impressive acceleration even when overtaking. Driveability of the new E Class is as expected a pleasure with luxury surrounding you and enough ‘wizardry’ to occupy you and to make your drive an enjoyable experience. Space in front and in the back is more than adequate and I was still amazed at the boot space and of course some extra stowage space under the floor cover as there is no spare tyre due to the E Class being fitted with run flat tyres.
Yes, I will definitely replace my 2006 E Class with the new E Class as I have confidence in the brand, their quality and service capability. Furthermore I believe the Mercedes Benz E Class can easily carry me safely, efficiently and in comfort for the next ten years.