First Impressions

When you ask people to rattle of a few large sedans models or more preciously German large sedans, the majority of them will easily list the Audi A6 and BMW 5-Series, but there is another option that is sometimes forgotten, but still stands as an equal beside these other German brands, it’s the Mercedes-Benz E Class. The E in the E-Class must stand for Elegant. Its not a show car, its not limo, but it does sit somewhere in between the two. Executive modern looks any business man would be envious of and a smooth comfy ride to match. But does this $114,000 redesigned E Class shed those “Old Retired Man” trates that a lot of people say Mercedes models are so heavily burdened with, or will these new looks appeal to the latest working generation.MercedesBenz-E250-9

The Test Drive

The exterior styling of the new E Class could be part of their new revitalised look Mercedes are chasing after which is targeting the younger generation, sharp, slightly aggressive, from certain angles, but all in all and very well designed modern package. The eye catching advanced led headlight system is cleanly integrated into the front bumpers sweeping up and across the wheel arches, everything just feels like it should belong there. Well almost everything, the only thing that does from time to time grab your attention is the massive Mercedes badge on the grill, could be a bit smaller in my opinion i reckon, but I will gladly take it over the old fashioned hood ornament. The rear has seen much of the same attention to detail, with LEDs and an integrated rear diffuser & dual exhausts system. All of this styling has combined to give the base model E Class the look and feel of a more expensive model.MercedesBenz-E250-11

After firing up the E250 via its keyless go push button engine start and you can’t but be impressed at how smooth and quiet it is. The 2.0L turbocharged inline 4 is not a big engine by any means, however it does not seem to struggle with the cars size and weight like other base model manufactures. With 155kw and 350 Nm of torque it achieves 100kph in 7.4 seconds and had a half decent engine note too, which was quite pleasant surprise. The handling was smooth but there was quite a bit of body roll in standard drive mode, which tightened up when you the sports mode was activated. This was not expected in a base model, most sports mode buttons at this level don’t really change much other then flicking it down a gear to give you more revs. So to have the suspension stiffen up was great, and really added to the value of the overall package. The suspension was never stiff and unbearable, just tighter, which is probably more what I would prefer for day to day life as it helped give a little more road feedback though the wheel, but this is an E-Class and smooth sailing is what its all about, back in normal drive mode it had no problem in ironing out even the worst road conditions very easily.MercedesBenz-E250-7

If there is one thing you can expect in an E Class Mercedes, its that it has a lot of toys, and it has them by the truck loads. The option list is long and quite impressive, Keyless Go with hands free access, Reverse Camera, Distronic Plus (radar guided cruise control), Lane Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, LED Intelligent Light System with Adaptive HighBeam Assist, Pre Safe Brake with Active Pedestrian protection and these are all the standard features. The options list has more hi-tech features like the 360 Camera, Thermotronic Climate Control, Airmatic Suspension, Climatised Front Seats and Digital TV Tuner to name a few. Add this to the long list of custom interior finishes and it could take you some time to pick how you want your E Class to be configured.MercedesBenz-E250-18

The interior is what one would expect from an E Class Mercedes, a lavish array of materials, leather, wood with some highlighted trim. It does not say sporty at all, its all about being refined and a very relaxing environment. The Premium Package’s ($6,200) leather seats where very comfy once you sorted out your settings. This in itself took a while, not because it was hard to do mind you, it was just due to the amount of adjustment you could have to both the driver and passenger seat. You will have no problem in adjusting them to that perfect position no matter what size or shape you are. There was a fair bit of wood in the interior, and I am not a big fan of wood trims, but i have to say that the majority of this dark wood did not bother me to much. It was subtle enough that it complimented the black on black leather interior quite well, but I did have to draw the line with the wood trim on the steering wheel. I would like to think we are past this stage in modern cars, and I found it more annoying than tasteless. When left sitting in the sun the wheel became crazy hot, and mixing a sweaty palm with a polished smooth wood trim wheel is just asking for trouble. But to be honest, this was about the only complaint about the E-Class’s interior.MercedesBenz-E250-26

The center console and steering wheels controls as easy to use and quick to pick up as any of the other models in the Mercedes range. The gear stick stalk wasn’t awkward or hard to get used too, but if I had the option I would have preferred a gear stick, mainly just to give your left hand something to do when not holding on to the wheel, which everyone should be doing anyway as its safer. There is plenty of storage spaces around the cabin, drinks holders and convenience tray that can be covered up and a large center console storage compartment under the split armrest. The handbrake and release will forever be something that I do not 100% understand with Mercedes, not so much a problem for someone small or average height, but can be awkward for taller people, as the SUV style foot parking brake requires you to pull your leg back up quite a bit and the pull handle release thats on the other side is in behind your right knee. Looking back, it was not something that would stop me buying a Merc, but with some of the other more economical design’s I am surprised that they have continued to implement this setup.MercedesBenz-E250-23

The rear seats had plenty of room for taller folk like myself, even with the front seats adjusted to for taller driver or passenger. The 540 litre boot gives you more than enough space for all your needs, but unlike some other brands the E class has a spring loaded boot lid with push button assisted to close. This is usually something you only see on as an option on a full sized wagons, however the entire E Class saloon range have this optioned as standard.MercedesBenz-E250-13

What it’s up against.

The two hard hitters are Audi and BMW, both known in their own right for high end luxury cars, and their high price’s. Mercedes is known just as well for both of these things too, but what you wouldn’t expect is that the E Class is actually cheaper than the other two and its standard equipment is far superior. Lexus and Jaguar both come in quite a bit cheaper. Is the German engineering and craftsmanship worth the extra bucks ?

Brand / Model



Fuel L/100km

Luggage Capacity

Price Highest to Lowest

BMW 535i

3.0 Turbo V6

225 kw / 400 Nm

9.8 L / 100km

520 Litres


Audi A6

3.0 TDI

150 kw / 450 Nm

7.2 L / 100km

530 Litres


Mercedes-Benz E250

2.0 L Turo I4

155 kw / 350 Nm

7.0L / 100km

540 Litres


Lexus GS 250

2.5 L 4GR-FSE V6

154 kw / 253 Nm

9.3 L /100km

520 Litres


Jaguar XF SE

2.0 L Turbo i4

177 kw / 340 Nm

8.9 L / 100km

540 Litres





  • Very latest in sleek executive styling

  • Even power delivery with smooth gear changes

  • Very comfy seating, endless adjustment settings, great for long trips

  • Standard Options list far superior than other brands.

  • Command System straight forward and easy to use. And now integrated into the dash unlike other new models

  • Good sized boot

  • Very wide angle rear camera

  • Feels expensive and classy

  • Not a huge amount of power for a big car, but you get what you pay for.

  • This particular sunroof felt dated, and for $4800 its an expensive option. The panoramic sunroof option is the way to go as it will complemented its great looks.

  • Foot pedal parking brake and grab handle release, could easily be replaced with a button on the central console.


What do we think ?

The E Class is a bit of a forgotten model, when people think about large euro cars they think Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series, leaving the E Class sulking away in a corner. But the E Class is not something anyone should overlook, especially with its redesigned lease of life. It stands toe to toe with the other big brands and in many cases you’re getting much better value. With a better array of standard options, smooth ride and sleek sophisticated look, the E250 is quite an elegant machine.


Rating – Chevron rating 4 out of 5

Mercedes-Benz E250

Vehicle Type

Front Engine, RWD, 4 Door Luxury Sedan

Starting Price

$ 114,000 NZD

Tested Price

$ 125,000 NZD


2.0L Direct-injection, turbocharged I4, 155kW, 350 Nm


7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic

0 – 100 kph

7.4 seconds

Kerb Weight

1680 kg

Length x Width x Height

4885 x 1850 x 1465 mm

Cargo Capacity

540 Litres

Fuel Tank

60 litres


Urban 7.7 L/100km

Motorway 5.1 L/100km

Combined 6.4 L/100km, 148 g/km CO2

ANCAP Safety Ratings

5 Stars out of 5


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John Galvin (JSG)
It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.


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