For decades Mercedes-Benz has been a symbol of luxury and refinement. In fact, Mercedes-Benz is one of the oldest carmaker.
As you know at RoadRugCars we like cars in general and their histories. Because of that we have to admit that Mercedes-Benz is quite special in our eyes.
It has been incorporated in 1926 but its origins comes from the mid 1880. Back then, in 1886 Karl Benz created the Benz Patent Motorwagen. Nowadays, it is consider by a lot of people as the first “modern” car ever built. At the same time, Gottlieb Daimler worked on developing a better terminal engine. In 1924 the two of them came together to create one of the most prestigious collaboration, Mercedes-Benz.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class is back in the modern days
In 1993 Mercedes launched the first E-Class (the type 124). It was a mid size family sedan made to be driven on the german Autoban. Luckily for the brand, It has been a tremendous success with more than 2.7 millions cars produced between 1993 and 1997. Four generations later the one we tried started its career in 2016.
Same recipe, a mid size sedan with plenty of luxury and elegance. How is it to drive, to live with and how do you feel driving the E-Class 2018? Let’s find out together.
E400 from the outside!
No surprise, it’s a Mercedes, all the characteristics of the brand are presents, it’s big, statutory, and quite sober (perhaps a bit too much).
The actual E-Class is not really a mid-size sedan, with 4.92m length it’s almost the size of the mid 2000’s S-Class. Each generation is slightly bigger than the previous one, it’s a common fact in the industry.
The overall design of this car is beautiful, the lines are quite sporty for the size of the car and it literally asks to be driven. The front of the berline is quite a success in our opinion, it looks agressive while classy.
However, we have to admit that we preferred the rear end of the previous generation. Back then the rear of the E-Class was classical but timeless with straight lines, this one is particularly rounded and we don’t really know how it will age.
The silver livery of the press car suits very well to this sedan but it doesn’t stand out in traffic. In fact, it’s probably it’s biggest quality and biggest default at the same time. The E-Class is statutory but too normal. Actually, you can drive it everywhere without being judge for what you’re driving. It is a day to day car.
Let’s jump into this German salon
Immediately when you getting onboard, your eyes are delighted by the wooden central console and the beautiful dashboard.
We are not really fan of this modern trend to put a ton of screens into the car to control everything and it seems that Mercedes agrees with us! Just one screen. Splendid. It’s a 12,3 inches panoramic screen for the driver instrumentation and the central entertainment system. It looks awesome and way cleaner than a lot of modern cars.
However the entertainment system is quite complex to use and we don’t really like this touch pad on the central tunnel to control everything. Probably that one week wasn’t enough for us to get used to it properly and enjoy the endless possibilities in term of interior lightings and displays options.
On a technological side, this car has everything you can think about, this E400 is at a forefront of its time.
Overall the interior is stunning, very elegant and confortable for long distances and your commuting. Special mention for the optional Burmester sound system which is mind-blowing! Great, in this type of car you need a good sound system because it’s very quiet inside.
Behind the flying wheel
Driving a Mercedes-Benz is a special experience, like no other, it’s completely different from its german counterparts. It’s less sporty than a BMW (except for the AMG versions) and more luxury than an Audi.
The E-Class we had for a week was the E400 which means unlike its name suggests a 3.5L twin turbo V6.
The engine develops 329hp which is a decent amount of power for this segment. However the weight of 1,905kg handicaps the car and makes it reasonably quick without surprising you by an outstanding power.
0-100 in 5.2s is one more time decent without breaking any record! the tone is set you’re not abord a sports car but in a cosy sedan.
The car is made to be driven on the highway in an imperial confort without feeling tiredness and pain in your back. And it does its job really well. The soundproofing even at high speed is great and the car is pleasant to drive, even if the direction is really light and not very communicative.
Several driving modes are available from eco to confort all the way to sport +. When you select a different driving mode it changes the engine response, but also the suspension settings and the gearbox reaction time. The difference are quite important between the modes, however we didn’t feel that the sport + mode was really useful.
Yes, you can tackle some backcountry roads with it and go quick in the curves, but the car is not made for that and it’s dynamism isn’t its first quality.
Don’t fool yourself. It’s not a like driving a boat, it’s stable and really safe with a limited body roll. However it’s a big sedan that prefers to be driven on the highway rather than on small and winding roads.
In the city traffic the light steering is really appreciated because it makes it super easy to navigates with. The dozens of sensors all around the car are also well appreciated considering the size of the car especially when comes the time to park it.
The torque of the car is good and surprisingly in confort mode the car isn’t using the 1st gear at all.
Concerning the gearbox the changes are really smooth and quick. The gearbox feels quite smart in the sense that it anticipates most of your wish to make sure that you’re in the right gear at the right time.
Considering that we are in our twenties, we don’t think this car is particularly oriented toward us! It’s confortable, big and luxurious but it lack a bit of spices. The AMG version is probably all you need in your life.
On our side, if we had to choose a E-Class it will definitely be a coupe version which is absolutely stunning (especially from the back). In fact, it’s the same car as the one we tried but without the back doors. At the end of the day, the E400 coupe is way more impressive because of its size for a coupe and its beautiful lines.
The sedan E400 is a really good day to day family car for those who wants confort more than performances.
#FunToDrive score : 69/100
Luxury and sedan is always a good match. In this SUV time it feels good to see a big sedan. A good engine, and a lot of confort is the recipe of the E400. Nothing wrong about it, it’s a good (family) car. It could have a bit more of character and this would makes it one of the best car. Thanks the lords, because AMG exists and they make an E63. Even better? Choose the E63 AMG coupe.
It’s now time for you to discover our “Mercedes E400” story at the top of our Instagram profile.
#MakeBerlineCoolAgain and Keep it #FunToDrive.