Hailed as the best executive sedan by some, and hailed at airports by others, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a truly legendary vehicle. We recently took this new base model for a spin around Windhoek…
You should know: The E in E-Class stands for “executive” and I would happily declare it to be elegant, efficient and eloquent as well. With body shapes from coupé and convertible to sedan or estate (available elsewhere), and engines ranging from 2L turbo-diesels to a 4L twin-turbo petrol V8, there’s something in the range for everyone.
More info: We were handed the shiny white key to a near-base model, this E200 AMG Line in obligatory rental white over black. The W213 generation was introduced a few years ago but has recently received some tweaks for this 2021 facelift model. As always, it’s a soft design evolution with heavy emphasis on new tech.
What else? This includes, in no particular order, large gauge cluster and infotainment screens, MBUX voice command system, a new hybrid 6-cylinder engine (for upcoming versions) and a button-infested steering wheel whose star emblem is threatening to take over the whole centre boss.
Or perhaps the entire wheel will be a star in a few years?
Why you shouldn’t: Anyway, it’s here where we have to caution conservative drivers because the wheel has twin touch-sensitive areas for the overwhelmingly intricate gauge cluster and infotainment screens. Oh, and it’s ready for part-autonomous driving, a function we briefly (yet nervously) tested on the B6 airport road.
Why you should: I honestly thought that this 2L four pot engine would struggle with such a bulky body; especially at Windhoek’s altitudes. However, no thanks to a clever 9-speed gearbox (yes, nine!) and maximums of 145kW or 320Nm, there was always sufficient shove at or near the posted speed limits.
On top of that, the ride is a wonderful mixture of smoothness and agility, average consumption is claimed at just 7L/100km from the 66L tank, 0-100 takes 7.5 seconds, and the top speed is apparently 240km/h. The only real problem I found is that the price starts at N$930,000, although you do get a 2-year warranty and 5-year/100,000km service plan.
|Engine:||2L i-4 Turbo-petrol|
|Transmission:||9-speed DCT, RWD|
|Avg. cons.:||Claimed 7.0L/100km|
|0-100km/h:||Claimed 7.5 seconds|
|Top Speed:||Claimed 240km/h|
|List Price:||From N$ 927,680|