Is there a car that covers more bases than the Mercedes E-Class?
It’s capable of absorbing starship miles and untold abuse as a Munnich minicab. In estate form it’s one of the finest load-luggers on the planet and the AMG version is one of the great super saloons. And, as tested here, it’s one of the best luxury cars there is.
The interior is yet more proof that Mercedes is at the head of the class when it comes to design, these days. It’s modern and classy, beautifully wrought and sumptuously trimmed. And the dual screen dashboard layout is a thing of wonder, so stuffed full of gadgets my brief drive was only enough too register that it looks fantastic and the touchscreen responds instantly. I reckon you’d still be finding new things buried in the menus after years of ownership.
Honestly, never mind being a rival to the BMW 5-Series, this E-Class can easily sit alongside the S-Class with which it shares much technology. But there is, of course, the caveat that almost everything fitted to this car is optional. Still, all the extra gubbins is reasonably priced at it’s not as if the interior is completely bare as standard.
The E220d is powered by Merc’s brilliant new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel engine, serving up 193bhp and 295lb/ft of torque. It’s smooth and refined, pulls strongly and the nine-speed automatic gearbox is barely noticeable. The AMG Line returns 65.7mpg and 112g/km, though in lowlier SE guise with smaller wheels it’s capable of 72.4mpg and 102g/km.
There has to be a catch somewhere and that catch is the handling. There’s absolutely nothing wrong the way it corners, indeed between the accurate steering, balanced chassis and good grip, it’s possible to go as fast as you like. The (optional) air suspension gives an extremely comfortable ride, too, but it you are almost totally isolated from what’s going on, resulting in an uninvolving driving experience.
But if your primary concern is simply getting from A to B with the absolute minimum of fuss, the E-Class is peerless in the class.
Mercedes E220d AMG Line
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel
Transmission: 9-speed automatic; rear-wheel-drive
Power/Torque: 193bhp; 295lb/ft
Economy/Emissions: 65.7mph; 112g/km
Top speed: 149mph
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By Only Motors
- So sumptuous
- So refined
- So many gadgets
- Most gadgets are options
- Uninvolving to drive