Monday, September 19, 2016

Used Car Review - Mercedes Benz E Class Sedan (2009-2016)

Myk Belmonte finds something luxurious and desirable in a package you can afford for this month.

2009-2016 Mercedes Benz E Class Sedan

In June 2015 the E Class nameplate sold 13 million copies worldwide throughout its 68 year run which is unbroken among all Mercedes Benz vehicles and its lineage had started before World War II. From a variety of body styles including the ubiquitous sedan, wagon (a European favorite), coupe, and a long wheelbase model exclusive for the Chinese market, there is an E Class for everyone who can afford it.

Representing the fourth generation model of the E Class is the W212 chassis, which is available in sedan and wagon body styles while the convertible and coupe rides on the C Class' W202 chassis that is still produced until today. Development started in 2003 followed by styling work in 2004 with design cues reminiscent of certain then-current and past models from the brand. The previous model was marred with quality issues so this one had to return to its bank vault, high quality roots.

The Philippine market was the first South East Asian country to receive this model in the region, citing a stable market despite the global financial crisis affecting larger markets such as Singapore and Thailand. The E300 sedan came first followed by the E350 Coupe in October and other low displacement engines appeared later on, with an update in 2013 that had streamlined into two variants.

Value and Costs
With the W213 model being recently launched, expect prices to dip down further but if you are aiming for this one, prices range between P1,700,000 for the older units while going for a recent release will shell you at least P4,700,000. For peace of mind and security, we suggest going for a certified pre-owned unit since these are inspected and a limited warranty is offered. Other models such as the E500 are available from the grey market and can be serviced with a nominal fee.

Since Mercedes Benz promised to return to its bank vault roots and to leave out poor reliability from its equation, there are no problems reported as of now so it is safe to assume that this will hold long than its problem laden predecessor. For luxury models like this, do inspect electronic items since they have the tendency of being an expensive fix when they go wrong and the suspension system. The 1.8 engine is turbocharged, so use high octane fuels to be safe.

Exterior and Interior
As we said above, cues of some Benz models were integrated in this vehicle including the W204 C Class, W221 S Class, and 1950s "Ponton" era models. Although still luxurious looking, the design is a mixed bag since designers took a streamlined approach to keep up with the current design language of the brand.

Go inside and be pampered by a leather filled cabin coupled with high quality materials and a clean dashboard layout. Other highlights of this vehicle include a COMAND system which could be confusing for first timers, a Harman/Kardon sound system, and steering wheel controls for audio, Bluetooth, and information controls. For the passenger's point of view, it is still spacious and comfortable to be in.

First release models are in the form of the M272 3.0 gasoline that puts out 231hp at 6,000rpm and 300Nm at 2,500-5,000rpm with later engines such as the M271 DE 1.8 turbocharged gasoline having 204hp at 5,500rpm and 310Nm at 2,000-4,300rpm and a OM651 DE 22 LA 2.1 diesel churning out 201hp and 500Nm at 1,600-1,800rpm. Lets do a rundown of the engine's characteristics, the 3.0 V6 is a smooth performer, the 2.1 diesel is much fuel friendly and can go for long while retaining the petrol's traits, and the turbo having power at 2,000, will make the car lunge forward and can keep at bay while being fuel efficient thanks to the BlueEfficiency package.

Driving Impressions
Striking a balance between comfort and handling, the W212 E Class is a hoot to drive. A Direct Control selective damping which makes the suspension soft or firm automatically depending on the road condition comes standard. Despite the somewhat bulk, it defies its weight making it a great all around vehicle.

While old E Class models were luxurious but afflicted with reliability problems, this generation is in fighting form especially that it comes more prepared than before. With a sheer driving pleasure rivaling BMW while retaining MB's luxurious cabin, you have a winner here for less the price.

The Good:
  • Powerful engines
  • Spacious cabin
  • Balance
The Bad:
  • Not that athletic like before
  • Styling isn't for all
  • Expensive
The Pick: E250 CDI

Engines: 1,796cc M271 DE I4 turbocharged (E250 CGI, 2010-2013), 2,996cc M272 KE V6 gasoline (E300, 2009-2016), 2,143cc OM651 DE 22 LA I4 diesel (E250 CDI, 2011-2016)
Power: 204hp @ 5,500rpm (1.8), 201hp (2.1 diesel), 231hp @ 6,000rpm (3.0)
Torque: 310Nm @ 2,000-4,300rpm (1.8), 500Nm @ 1,600-1,800rpm (2.1 diesel), 300Nm @ 2,500-5,000rpm (3.0)
Fuel Consumption: 7-11km/L (city), 9-14km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Suspension: Front double wishbone, rear multilink

Price (New): P4,980,000-P5,680,000
Price (Now): P1,700,000-P4,300,000
Rivals: Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF, Lexus GS
On Sale: 2009-2016

CATS Pre-Owned: (02) 784-5000

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