LIKE harpsichords and hard drives, the latest Mercedes-Benz E-class is about enduring traditions co-existing with an evolving high-tech world.
Recent models, while progressive in many ways, have lacked the unimpeachable quality of their 1980s predecessors, so the Germans have set out to address that by looking back at what made the old W123 and W124 Benzes such enduring icons.
The result, as tested in the E250 CDI, is one of surprising ability and genuine quality.
Mercedes, at last, has finally sorted itself out.
Model release dates: July 2009 - July 2013
MERCEDES’ previous E-class suffered from serious quality issues abroad, diminishing the brand’s reputation.
But the package was basically sound, quite attractive, sufficiently spacious, extremely comfortable and quite dynamic.
No four-cylinder diesels were available in Australia, so the 140kW/400Nm 3.0-litre V6 diesel known as the E280 CDI sufficed, priced a little bit over $100,000 but offering the company’s sweet-shifting 7G-tronic seven-speed auto.
It was as strong and smooth unit, providing the performance needed for the keen driver to get the most out of the agile rear-drive chassis.
A wagon was also part of the deal.
Equipment and safety levels were also among the best in class.