In Europe, the typical executive will usually do lots of miles in their executive saloons as they quite often drive long distances from one meeting or appointment to another. Hence, it is essential that the executive saloons that they drive are refined, comfortable and most importantly, fuel efficient. Diesel powered exec saloons like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class then, fit these criteria better than petrol powered equivalents.
The oil burning Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY is one of the most popular range topping executive saloons in Europe. While ‘CDI’ is extremely popular and is a common sight on European roads, the Singapore motorist is more familiar with ‘CGI’ badges on boot lids of E-Class models over here. This is because diesel powered passenger cars are a rarity over here due to the extremely high taxes the authorities slap on such oil burners. Despite the huge deterrent diesel powered passenger cars though, the German car brands like Mercedes-Benz are continuously lobbying for the powers-that-be to reconsider the tax structure for diesel powered passenger cars. In the mean time, Mercedes-Benz will willingly indent a diesel model like the E350 CDI like the one you see here if you insist.
British brand Jaguar Land Rover on the other hand, currently offers a range of diesel models in its local line up, including the Jaguar XFS, an exec saloon that makes for a logical rival for the Mercedes E350 CDI. Both the E350 CDI and the XFS then give us the excuse to find out which is the better range topping diesel executive saloons you can buy here in Singapore today.
Outwardly, only small details like the black grille inserts, different alloy wheel design (19-inch on he S) and the ‘S’ badge on the boot lid differentiate the XFS from petrol XF models. Four years on and the XF still cuts a beautiful shape, proving that it is pretty much a timeless design. Its rump is still one of the prettiest of any four-door model on sale today. A facelifted XF though, was recently unveiled and features updated styling tweaks that make the XF’s styling more in line with the larger XJ’s. The updated model isn’t available here yet till later in the year.
The ninth generation E-Class’ styling is every bit as timeless as the XF if not as evocative looking or sexy. There’s a certain seriousness in the way the E-Class looks and carries itself. Thanks to styling features like the accentuated wheel arches that are said to be inspired by classic Merc saloons, the E-Class has its own distinctive character in the way it looks. The E350 CDI differs from its E350 petrol powered sibling only by its ‘CDI’ badge on the boot lid. Fitted with the optional AMG sports styling kit and large wheels like on the test car here, the E350 CDI manages to look both sporty and purposeful.