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New models - Mercedes-Benz - E-class

Mercedes pumps E-Class prices

Power up: Mercedes-Benz’s new entry-level E-Class diesel, the E220d, sports the German company’s newest, more powerful four-cylinder diesel engine.

Benz says best-ever E-Class justifies $10,000 price hike in new gen due in July

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Mercedes-Benz logo2 Jun 2016

By RON HAMMERTON

MERCEDES-BENZ customers will pay about $10,000 more for the privilege of getting into the German company’s all-new, more sophisticated and better equipped tenth-generation E-Class large luxury sedan when it lobs in Australia next month.

Starting at $89,990 plus on-road costs, the entry-level petrol E200 is $9590 dearer than its predecessor, while the base diesel variant, the four-cylinder E220d, goes up $10,000, to $92,900.

A new six-cylinder diesel-powered sedan, the $134,900 E350d, will complete the three-variant launch line-up, with more to come from late this year.

These prices are all higher than those of nearest German rivals in the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 ranges, which start at $82,300 and $79,900 respectively.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific has defended the price rises, saying new levels of safety, comfort, fuel efficiency, performance and features more than justify the premium over the outgoing range and rival offeringsThe company’s senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications David McCarthy said the latest E-Class was an all-new vehicle, bigger but lighter and more aerodynamic than its predecessor.

“Yes, it is more expensive, but it is a brand-new car that is bigger but lighter and more aerodynamic,” he said. “We have had a lot of discussions with customers about what sort of things they want in the car, and we have really listened and added in these things.

“A lot of this stuff is not even available in E-Class’s rivals.”

Apart from the new lightweight body that sits on the modular MRA rear-wheel-drive platform shared with other Mercedes-Benz rear-drive cars, including the C-Class and S-Class, the latest E-Class gains Benz’s new nine-speed automatic transmission, sophisticated driver assistance technology, an S-Class-style widescreen cockpit, keyless operation, a 360-degree parking camera, leather steering wheel with Mercedes-first touch control buttons, front electric seats with memory, and LED headlights and tail-lights.

The E-Class’s new body is claimed to be “outstandingly stiff” and “astonishingly” quiet, as well as lighter thanks to large dollops of aluminium and high-strength steel.

The 2939mm wheelbase is 65mm longer than before, while the overall length grows 43mm, to 4923mm.

The E200’s four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is carried over from the previous E-Class. It produces 135kW of power and 300Nm of torque, speeding the sedan to 100km/h in 7.7 seconds.

The 2.0-litre diesel in the E220d is new, generating 143kW of power – 18kW more than its 2.1-litre predecessor – and the same 400Nm of torque.

Small and lighter than the superseded engine, the diesel consumes 4.1 litres of fuel per 100km – 0.8L/100km less than before.

The E200 and E220d will be similarly equipped, getting a five-mode driving program, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, Nappa leather steering wheel with the new touch-sensitive control buttons, online connectivity system with DAB-Plus radio, black ash wood trim and the new widescreen cockpit that combines two 12.3-inch high-resolution screens into one big, personalised display stretching from in front of the driver to the centre of the dashboard.

Mercedes says the driver can choose between three different styles – Classic, Sport and Progressive – for the screens, while also personalising the digital information displayed.

The touch steering wheel controls work like a smart phone, responding to swipes of a finger to control the infotainment system.

The 3.0-litre turbo-diesel six – shared with the S-Class and GLE SUV – packs 190kW and 620Nm in the E350d.

Apart from features such as the wide screen and swipe steering wheel controls mentioned above, this variant gets 20-inch AMG wheels, air suspension, 13-speaker Burmester sound system, head-up display, heated front seats, leather upholstery, multi-beam LED headlights and panoramic sunroof.

The ambient lighting has a choice of no fewer than 64 colours.

Mercedes says the next E-Class variants to arrive in Australia will be the E300 and E400 4Matic later this year. Pricing for those will be announced closer to launch.

The Estate wagon variants will follow next year, along with the AMG-enhanced sports varieties, in E43 and E63 S versions.

Mr McCarthy said he would have news soon on the plug-in hybrid E-Class, the E350e, which pairs a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined 205kW of power and 600Nm of torque and fuel consumption as low as 2.1L/100km.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class pricing*
E200 (a)$89,990
E220d (a)$92,900
E350d (a)$134,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

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