Mercedes-Benz E 300 (AVANTGARDE) Review
Old guard, new face

Story by Jeremy R. Chua, pictures by Azfar Hashim
22 Sep 2009
 

Having lost sales to rival German automakers, Mercedes-Benz is now intent on recapturing their core customers with the all-new E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E300

You've heard us go on about this issue countless times. It's been mentioned in one motoring publication after another. We groan when we don't get it, and can't stop talking about it when we do.

We are of course, talking about a car's handling. When it's there, everything is right in the driving world. When it's not, we'd like nothing more than to walk away and hope that something more exciting comes our way. We're biased towards cars that compromise a bit (or a lot) on comfort and are able to tackle tighter bends with gusto. Power is but one element; handling means everything.

But once in a while, we do get tired of driving these types of cars. Stiff springs put a smile on our faces around corners, but they make us grimace when we drive over everything else. We're all for hearing an engine's awesome vocals and catchy exhaust notes, but we wouldn't be able to take dealing with those each and every time.

Yes, we want to enjoy the finer cars out there. We want to be surrounded by luxury. We want to give our senses a rest from all that excitement. We want to be pampered from time to time.

Exterior

For an executive sedan, there are few things more luxurious than the new E-Class. The choice ride of the up-and-coming towkay (until he graduates to an S-Class that is), nothing shouts "I've made it!" like driving a Mercedes-Benz.

The latest E-Class now looks leaner and more chiseled, and its twin-headlamp design is now sharper and more angular. There's a subtle bulge on the bonnet, right where the headlamps and chromed front grille meet. The front bumper has well-defined crease lines running along each side. Oh, and models with the Avantgarde styling package now receive a pair of LED daytime running lamps as standard.

Viewed from the side, the new E-Class retains its familiar wedge shape. Its flanks are defined by the rising shoulder line which, actually, begins at the headlamps and ends right after the C-pillar. The uniquely-shaped turn signal lamps in the wing mirrors add a touch of modernity, while the car's rear fenders and quarter panels are a nod to the original 1950s Mercedes-Benz "Ponton" sedans.

The E-Class' front and sides definitely look leaner and sharper, and do lend the car a more athletic look - so we can't understand why the designers decided on such a heavyset rear end. And if that wasn't enough, the rear-end's overhang now seems even longer when compared to the outgoing model. There's not much that the angled boot lid and LED tail lamps can do to "lighten" things up.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 2996cc
Engine Type V 6
Power 231bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 300Nm @ 2500rpm
Power to Weight 133.1 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 7.4s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 247 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 10.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed Auto Tiptronic
Drive Type FR

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4868 x 1854 x 1470) mm
Wheelbase 2874 mm
Kerb Weight 1735 kg
Boot Capacity 540 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 80 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs