2017 Mercedes E-Class LWB Review
Car Tested: 2017 Mercedes E350d; Road Test No. 787; Test Location: Goa
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 65.32 - 81.13 lakhs
The Mercedes E-Class LWB is what can be termed as a proper business class car!
Sauve, classy, regal, powerful, comfortable - that's the set of words I would use to describe a car that I'm driving today. What is it? It's the 2017 Mercedes E-Class LWB V213, a car that has been made specially for the Indian market. Right from the days of the classic W124, the E-Class has been a favourite with the elite audience in India. The E-Class now enters the 10th generation and we're here to find out how the baby S fares.
Motor Quest: The 10th Generation E-Class is available in the long wheelbase version only in the left hand drive trim and the RHD LWB version has been designed specifically for the Indian market. Mercedes entered India much before its rivals and they sure know our market better.
Exteriors – Compared the to the 9th gen E-Class, the new E has gone a few leagues ahead in terms of design. The styling is highly inspired by the S-Class and we totally love this design. The front fascia carries the standard Mercedes face with a large logo encrusted in the grille. I, for one, would have preferred the logo on the hood though, you know it just has a better appeal. The LED headlamps look striking and the bumper gets a sporty touch, something that differentiates it from the S.
A lot of styling elements have been borrowed from the S-Class
Move to the side and the long wheelbase makes the car look like a limo. What I really like about the new E is that it has a sense of royalty attached to it and it is a sure shot feel good factor for buyers in this segment. Mercedes has skipped low profile tyres and have provided a more sensible set of 17-inch wheels which have generous sidewall size. The rear again reminds you of the S-Class and to a layman, identifying the new E from the S would be quite a task. Overall, Mercedes is scoring on the design front and we must say that the E looks the best in its segment, as of now.
Interiors – While opening the doors to get inside, I am greeted by a familiar feel and look. Jumping in to the rear seat first, what astonishes me is the sheer amount of legroom that the car has. From the rear left seat, you can control the front passenger seat and free up some space for yourself. The rear seat itself is supremely comfy and the soft cushioning really helps matters. The seat back can be reclined by up to 34-degrees and I'm sure you'd want to take a nap here while your chauffeur navigates through traffic. The rear windows come with sunblinds and both of them can be controlled from either of the rear doors. There's a large centre armrest but shockingly it misses out on audio controls. Another negative is the fact that there are just no cupholders at the rear apart from the bottle holders on the doors.
Moving to the front seats, the design and feel is rather sporty but again the seats are really supportive. The seats have electric adjustment with tons of adjustment options. You also get memory function for the seats. Top notch leather has been used all around and you'll definitely feel special here. The E, however, has a large transmission tunnel which translates into less space for a third passenger at the rear. The boot is again large enough at 540-litres. The boot is well-shaped but the space saver tyre takes up a lot of space since it is strapped in the cargo area. There is a 3-zone climate control system compared to the S-Class which gets a 4-zone unit.
Large cabin has top-notch materials used, feels like a proper limousine
The dashboard carries a neat layout. While the global E gets an all-digital instrument cluster, the Indian spec car comes with twin dials in the cluster. The instrument cluster gets a nice screen in the centre and there's another large 12.3-inch screen for the infotainment system in the centre console. The COMAND system has been upgraded and it gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. However it is still not a touchscreen system. You do get two touch pads on the steering though and once you get the hang of it, the system is pretty intuitive. On the audio front, you get the usual Burmester system with 13-speakers which sounds brilliant. Another useful feature is the 360-degree Park Assist camera. The large panoramic sunroof helps the cabin feel airy.
Performance – The 2017 Mercedes E-Class gets two engine options - 2.0-litre petrol and 3.0-litre diesel for now. The petrol engine produces a decent 184 HP of power but we had a go in the diesel engine. The V6 unit belts out 258 horses and has a massive 620 Nm of Torque. 0-100 km/hr comes up in a swift 6.6 seconds and the engine is paired to the 9G-TRONIC gearbox. Later this year, Mercedes will also start offering a smaller 2.0-litre diesel engine but that is still some time away. The 2.0-litre oil-burner should make for a good choice for those who don't really need the extra power of the V6 and will help keep Merc at bay from the NGT's unexpected mood swings.
The V6 oil-burner is extremely powerful with lots of punch, 9G-TRONIC is smooth
The V6 oil burner has brilliant power delivery. Turbo lag is well contained and once you cross the 1500-1600 RPM mark, the car just flies. The power surge is addictive and the delivery is linear all the way to 4500 RPM. Apart from being a great performer, the engine also loves cruising and it does 100 km/hr in 9th gear at 1500 RPM. There are the usual driving modes on offer - Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. Eco mode helps you extract few more kms per full tank of diesel while Comfort mode is adequate for daily usage. If your chauffeur takes an off and you want to drive the car, better switch to Sport and exploit the engine. Sport+ is even better for aggressive driving but we still prefer the Sport mode which feels a bit more controlled.
Driving Dynamics – For the suspension, you get Comfort and Sport settings. The Comfort setting is brilliant if the car is moving at slow speeds but gets slightly bouncy as the speeds increase. This is where the Sport setting comes into play. It stiffens the suspension properly and you get a more planted ride at high speeds. The air suspension does a fantastic job on our roads. The ground clearance is 120 mm and it can be raised to 135 mm at the touch of a button. However, the operation takes quite a few seconds to complete. Due to the long wheelbase, you need to be careful on our infamous speed breakers if you love your car.
The handling isn't sporty but the E feels predictable. The steering is feather light at low speeds and weighs up a bit as the speeds increase. However, it just lacks any sort of feedback or feel. Again, Sport setting helps matters here but still I didn't find the dynamics as involving as the BMW 5-Series. The 17-inch tyres help matters on our roads since they are appropriately sized and have nice grip. Should Mercedes have provided larger 18-inch wheels, the ride and comfort would've definitely been affected. The brakes do a fabulous job and stopping power is impressive.
Safety and After Sales Service – The best part about having a Mercedes is the fact that the automaker provides simply splendid levels of service across the country. Moreover, they have a good spread throughout major cities and hence servicing your car shouldn't be a problem. On the safety front, the E-Class is loaded with lots of airbags, ABS with EBD, Traction Control, ESC, ESP and Pre-Safe. The sedan, however, seems to miss out on Lane Departure Warning with auto steer.
Verdict – The 10th generation Mercedes E-Class LWB is a great product and it should satisfy all the needs of its target audience. The sedan has taken comfort levels to a whole new level. For those you want sheer luxury and comfort and of course the snob value that comes with a Merc badge should definitely consider this car. The long wheelbase makes sure you get S-Class levels of space and comfort and the E badge helps you save some monies over the S. Until the new 5-Series gets launched, it might be safe to day that the E is definitely the best in its segment and should bring in good sales for the automaker.
* Looks very premium with great character
* Interiors are awesome, oodles of space and comfort
* Diesel engine is a power-packed unit
* Air Suspension makes the car glide smoothly
What's Not So Cool
* Certain equipment like touch-screen infotainment system is missing
* No cupholders at the rear!
Alternatives: BMW 5-Series, Volvo S90, Jaguar XF, Audi A6
2017 Mercedes E-Class LWB Specifications
* Engine: 1991cc, 4-cylinder | 2987cc, V6
* Power: 184 HP @ 5500 RPM | 258 HP @ 3400 RPM
* Torque: 300 Nm @ 1200-1400 RPM | 620 Nm @ 1600-2400 RPM
* Transmission: 9G-TRONIC
* 0-100 km/hr: 6.6 Seconds (Diesel)
* Fuel Consumption: 6-7 km/l | 8-9 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol | Diesel
* Suspension: Air Suspension
* Tyres: 225/55/17
* Brakes: Discs (Front), Discs (Rear), ABS
* Safety: Airbags, ABS with EBD, TCS, ESC, ESP, Pre-Safe
2017 Mercedes E-Class LWB Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 5065 mm X 2065 mm X 1467 mm
* Wheelbase: 3079 mm
* Boot Capacity: 540-litres
* Ground clearance: 120 mm