First Drive – Mercedes-Benz E 250 CDI Elegance Automatic

The new-generation E-Class features a new front-end design

The new-generation E-Class features a new front-end design

For 2013 the E-Class has been to boot camp; it is now trimmer, lighter, more efficient and generally a lot more appealing

What is it? The previous E-Class was never the jewel in the Mercedes Benz crown, eclipsed by the elegance of the CLS and surpassed by the technological and luxurious blend of the S-Class; it was the reliable, enduring and understated family member.  Despite being the car that defines the Mercedes brand and the best seller in their range, there was something a little too comfortable and almost dull about the last version.

First impressions of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class? While changes to the exterior are not instantly obvious the new grille, bumpers and tail light give the E-Class a far more modern and elegant look.  Underneath it’s unrecognisable thanks to a range of new engines that are tuned for greater efficiency and better fuel economy.

What about the interior? Inside the E-Class has always been an oasis of opulence and comfort. The redesigned interior benefits from a richer dashboard veneer, a much improved console and a beautiful analogue clock. The spacious interior offers plenty of room for five adults and the boot is huge.

Inside the E-Class is oasis of opulence and comfort

Inside the E-Class is an oasis of opulence and comfort

And on the road?  The  E-Class is a refined and comfortable cruiser.  Despite its size it never feels quite as big on the road as it actually is.  It is balanced with lots of power on reserve and shifts through the seven speed automatic gearbox with ease; overall the new model feels slicker and more responsive than before.

How Much? Prices for the new model start at €44,540. Our test car, the 250 CDI Elegance automatic was priced €55,415 as tested and returns 4.9 litres/100km on a combined cycle.

How Safe? Safety is a key component to all new Mercedes  models and the new E-Class is no exception. A raft of safety features are offered including a new package called Pre-Safe Plus.  One of the features of this system is that in the event of an impending rear-end collision the system alerts the driver to take action by means of beeps and visual warning signals.

What about my options: There are three diesel and two petrol engines, including the Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec Hybrid Automatic. Three trims are available Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde.  The Avantgarde, the sportier of the three, gets CLS-like  styling and unique features such as a sports style grille.  An Estate, Coupé and Cabriolet versions will follow in the next few months

3 words to describe the Mercedes-Benz E-Class:  Classy; Refined; Efficient


For more information check out or the Mercedes Benz facebook page,

5th April, 2013



Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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