It's been around for a few years now but the E-Class Benz remains a favourite because of its looks, size, style and what's on offer.
WHAT IS IT?
The E-Class is a rear wheel drive "saloon" offering plenty of interior room for five and a large boot. The styling is distinctively Mercedes-Benz and probably rates as the best looking E-Class yet.
We got hold of an E250 (previously CGi) with a turbo 150kW/310Nm, 1.8-litre petrol four-cylinder. It delivers considerable Luxury Car Tax savings because of low fuel consumption.
People don't believe us when we tell them it's a 1.8, especially after riding in the car, feels like a 3.5-litre V6 in performance terms but delivers small car fuel economy rated at 6.6-litres/100km. Impressive eh especially as you can't hear a thing even at idle? The engine is quite a high-tech device complete with a variable geometry turbo and direct injection helping it deliver optimum efficiency.
This car runs a suite of BlueEfficiency fuel saving components that include a decoupling alternator, low rolling resistance tyres, auto engine stop/start and aerodynamic refinements to reduce drag. All cars should have something similar.
The seven speed auto transmission is virtually imperceptible at any time an is almost predictive in the way it engages the correct gear for any given driving situation. Paddles on the wheel add a sporty flavour. It rolls on 17-inch five spoke alloys with wide rubber offering plenty of grip. The spare is a space saver.
Inside is typically Benz with a stylish angular dash containing a raft of goodies including white/silver instruments and a large TFT colour info screen containing satnav and a reverse camera.
The wheel is covered in Nappa leather and has about seven functions for phone, audio, trip computer and cruise. The leather upholstery looks chic and sets of the multiple fascia materials used inside that include stainless steel and woodgrain.
We were taken aback with the bixenon headlights that are adaptive and "intelligent" meaning they turn with the wheels and also operate high and low beam automatically really handy.
IS IT SAFE?
You bet. It's a top end, five star crash performer with no less than 11 air bags and the usual array of safety kit like stability control plus extras like pre-safe, attention assist and tyre pressure monitor. If only all cars were like this...
Price: From $94,500
Engine: 4 Cylinder, 1.8 Litre turbo-petrol, 150kW/310Nm
Body: 4-door Sedan
Safety Equipment: nine airbags, ESC, ABS, EBD, EBA, TC. Crash rating 5 star
Thirst: 7.2 / 100Km
Warranty: 3 year, roadside