Let’s look at the cars on the road. It varies by region, but among Imports, Mercedes E-Class stands out the most. This is more so in Seoul, especially in the Gangnam area. Although the economic damage caused by Corona 19 was serious, the E-Class seems to be free here.
The Auto View Road Test team has been riding most of the 10th generation E-Class facelift models. Up to E350, E450, E220d. However, the most important model was not tested, the E250.
Let’s take a moment to look at E-Class sales from January to March 2021.
It is impressive that high-end models such as the high-end model E350 and the E450, which have an expensive price of 100 million won, are selling well. Nevertheless, the E250 accounts for the largest share of sales. More than 1,300 units were sold per month. Why are Korean consumers attracted to the E250? So I started testing.
The test drive model is the E250 exclusive. There is a difference in design and models that our team has tested so far. The trim of the E-Class is divided into avant-garde, AMG line, and exclusive, and accordingly, it has a slightly different design.
The avant-garde model pursues sportiness. However, with the AMG line, which is an advanced concept, the equipment tends to be simplified. The AMG line has a more sporty design. Wheels and brakes are also AMG to show differentiation in performance. Most of the amenities are also equipped. However, it is also a trim that has been abusive to consumers because of the missing steering wheel heating wires and ventilation seats. Since these contents were also delivered to the Benz headquarters, we can expect to install these functions in the future.
The exclusive model is a kind of high-end model. It presents the traditional luxury that Mercedes-Benz pursues. The design is also tailored to luxury rather than sporty. The standing logo on the hood of the engine, which can only be seen in the S-Class, is also attached. Various convenience and safety equipment parts are also comparable to the advanced trim.
Likewise, in the E-class, you can choose ‘3 faces’ and ‘3 configurations’ according to the taste of the consumer. In addition, the advantage of being able to select an exclusive model from the E250 is great. If you yield only part of the engine’s performance and a four-wheel system, you can bring a design reminiscent of the S-Class and a wealth of convenient equipment. For domestic consumers who like to reveal what’s out there, the meaning of the Benz’s standing logo is extraordinary.
At the front, there is a grill that is neatly finished with horizontal lines. There is a radar sensor in the center, but it’s not annoying. More metal decorations were used on the bumpers as well. After meeting only the sporty Benz model for a while, and then meeting the high-end version, I now see a Benz-like aspect. The advanced option multi-beam LED headlamp is also a good configuration. The gorgeous opening ceremony that comes out when starting the engine is also good.
There is no big difference between the side and the back. Still, the new shape of the rear lamp design is good because the E-Class’s presence is enhanced.
The indoor atmosphere is also a little different. The wood trim with the feel of solid wood shows a calm atmosphere. When you tap it, it makes a plastic sound, but when you touch it, it feels luxurious in its own way. In particular, it is not tacky even though the general wood color is exposed as it is.
The dashboard and infotainment system that connects two 12.3-inch displays are good elements to convey a futuristic feel. Many manufacturers, especially popular brands, are following the format of Mercedes, but they have not yet delivered a glamorous and sophisticated image like the Mercedes.
Both the dashboard and center fascia support a variety of menus. The center fascia monitor acts as an infotainment, so it is natural, but the use of the instrument cluster is better than any other brand. You can change the theme and check various functions. There are so many menus that the dashboard itself supports as well as the infotainment system. Not only that. You can also change the speedometer or tachometer you use every day with a variety of gauges.
This part is important. Recently, you don’t even have a digital instrument panel. The size also increased according to the trend. But the important thing is what kind of content you put in this screen. Brands that do not have a lot of worries about this can only see maps and sometimes do not pay much attention to the menu composition. Some brands focus on gorgeous animation effects. But everyone was lacking. The content that can be used properly on the big screen. At least, I would like to say that Mercedes-Benz made MBUX after thinking enough about this.
It’s not as big as the GLE, but the head-up display size is also large. The head-up display is also divided into three areas, so it is easy to use by displaying the information the driver wants.
The difference from the AMG line model in the interior is that the steering wheel spokes, which were reminiscent of dragonfly wings, have been changed to a smooth shape. Of course, paddles also run. The design is also good. Even a system that mixes touch and physical buttons is not unfortunate in its usability. For ergonomic design, the direction of the up and down operation was changed to a slight oblique line. Usability will depend on the driver, but most consumers are likely to touch the center console’s touchpad or the center fascia directly, which is more intuitive than this.
The composition is good. Ventilation seats and steering heating functions, which are missing from the AMG line, are standard on exclusive models. The reality of the domestic market is that there should be only this without brake pads. In addition, it is equipped with configurations that domestic consumers like, such as a driver’s seat memory function, wireless charging of a smartphone, an electric trunk, and an automatic parking function.
The same goes for the ADAS function. It is equipped with all safety equipment such as adaptive cruise control that can stop and restart, lane maintenance, lane departure warning and prevention, front collision warning and emergency braking, blind spot and rear warning.
Unlike the past, it actively reflects driver intervention. Don’t hold the steering wheel hard on your own when you’re in the middle of the car. A sensing pad is installed on the steering wheel, so it recognizes that you are driving even if you hold the steering wheel without manipulating it, and there is no separate warning. Many luxury cars use this method. For reference, the domestic Genesis has not yet used this method, so the message to hold the steering wheel repeatedly pops up even though it is holding the steering wheel. In the end, there is no choice but to shake the steering wheel from side to side every cycle. When using ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control), it is a type that activates the brake only when the driver in front of the vehicle and the distance is controlled.
There are also some missing features in the higher model. The around view monitoring system, AR navigation, boomer audio system, rear seat sun blinds, rear air conditioning system control, and soft closing stand out. However, except for the around-view monitoring system, these are not very regrettable.
Time to start driving. The E250 is equipped with a four-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline turbo engine. It exhibits 211 horsepower and 35.7kgf·m of torque. It’s the familiar engine we’ve had with the A 250, CLA 250 and GLB 250. But these are 224 horsepower. Did the Benz give the E-Class some output?
But there is a reason. It yields the highest output for the maximum torque produced from 1300rpm. A, CLA, and GLB produce maximum torque between 1800 and 4000 rpm, but E 250 generates maximum torque within 1300 and 4000 rpm. The starting point of the maximum torque has become faster.
Let’s abandon the prejudice that there will be no power. After starting, the engine speed in idle state is 710rpm. Even if you press the accelerator pedal a little, the engine speed exceeds 1300rpm and enters the maximum torque utilization area. When the gear is raised around 2000~2500rpm, the engine speed drops by about 500rpm. In simple terms, it can be seen that in the everyday life area, it is always in the area of maximum torque use.
The movement itself is also relaxed. Starting from a standstill is also light. It is also easy to overtake. It is satisfactory that the speed rises smoothly even if you don’t step on the accelerator pedal a lot. This is the same even when using the Eco mode. Sometimes, when the eco mode is activated, there are cars that are slow enough to ignore the accelerator pedal command, but the E 250 is not uncomfortable even in everyday driving except for a slightly dull sensation.
However, it takes some engine noise. It doesn’t mean the sound peculiar to the four-cylinder, but the engine sounds louder after the facelift for all E-classes. However, it is unfortunate that this does not sound great or stimulates the driver, but rather becomes an element that counteracts the luxury of Mercedes.
The same goes for listening by ear or checking with a measuring instrument. The E 300 4MATIC Exclusive model, the predecessor model, was quite good at 36.5 dBA for children’s quietness. However, the current E 250 is 38.5 dBA, an increase of about 2 dBA. In addition to the central part of the vehicle, the dashboard, front and rear seats all increased from 1dBA to 2dBA. What is the reason? Is Mercedes trying to promote the presence of internal combustion engine models while expanding its electric vehicle model lineup?
The feeling of the accelerator pedal or the brake pedal is like a Mercedes. From the beginning to the second half, it can be expressed as a constant feeling of manipulation and dullness.
The high-speed stability is also like a Mercedes. When running on a highway, the perceived speed is definitely low. The same goes for speeding up by pushing the accelerator pedal further. Only the surrounding landscape flows quickly, and the interior is calm. Recently, domestic cars are also evaluated to have improved a lot, but there is still a gap. When you experience premium German brands like this, you can feel the difference from other brands once more.
The E 250 showed good enough power in the everyday area. How about the acceleration performance? As a result of the test, it recorded 7.57 seconds from a standstill to 100 km/h. The acceleration time is 0.5 seconds faster than the E 220d (8.07 seconds). Competitive models of the same class exceeding 250 horsepower have entered the 6th century, but considering the number of 211 horsepower, it is sufficient performance.
The light weight also played a part. The E 250 is missing the Mercedes 4-wheel system, the 4MATIC. Some additional equipment was also removed here. As a result of our team’s measurements, it weighed 1692.5kg. Since the E 350 4MATIC was 1856 kg, the weight was reduced by about 163 kg.
A braking test was also conducted. It stops at a speed of 100km/h, but the shortest distance traveled is 37.8m. The average distance that came out after repeating the test was 38.1m. Even if pushed back, it only showed a deviation of about 50cm to the level of 38.34m. It’s very durable. In order to achieve this performance, the pure braking system and tires must maintain consistent performance.
Lightly run the winding rod. It’s a daily sedan, but it even supports the Sport Plus mode. The steering is about 2.5 turns from end to end. It’s a short gear ratio. Although the body size is not small, it has a dynamic feel in its own right.
All of the E-Class’s suspensions feature variable damping. The avant-garde and AMG lines also have a function to adjust the ground clearance according to the speed. Thanks to this, it shows a good ride comfort in normal times and the ability to support the body well when changing modes to run.
It is a rear-wheel drive system that rolls the rear wheel, but you don’t have to worry about the situation where the rear suddenly comes off while driving (oversteer). This is because the Benz’s straight-line stability is great, and the steering tendency is also based on understeer. Even if the posture control device ESP is released, it is controlled again when the vehicle slips to a certain level. It is a natural choice as a premium business sedan. It means that you don’t have to worry about rear-wheel drive.
The nine-speed transmission is good enough. It’s not as good as BMW’s 8-speed Sport, but it’s compliant with speed and shows modest shifts. The feeling of power transmission is good enough. The shock that occurred when going down from 3rd to 2nd and 2nd to 1st in the past has also disappeared.
On the other hand, the tires are unfortunate. The tires mounted on 18-inch wheels are the 245mm Pirelli Sinturato P7. Recently, the new Turato P7 this season model is receiving quite positive reviews overseas, but the model that entered the E 250 is a regular summer tire. Even considering the fact that the New Turato P7 is a touring-oriented tire, it is 245mm wide, but it left a regret that it could not receive the performance of a 211 horsepower class car. That means the limit is very low. It’s not a problem that consumers who buy the E 250 love and don’t like to run. What if you may not be able to cope with the driver’s intention in a dangerous situation? What if it’s because of the tires? You made a compromise for the winter environment by using summer tires, but what if the performance of the dry road significantly decreases? It would be better to use four seasons.
Fuel economy is average. If you drive at a constant speed on the expressway, you can see more than 15km/L, but hopefully it will be a little higher. The official combined fuel efficiency is 10.1km/L. In fact, if you drive in various environments, you can see that it is maintained at the 9km/L line. However, as it produces less emissions, it has also received three types of low-emission car certification. You can get discounts on some sections, such as parking lots. You can enjoy a little joy.
The E 250 was well packed with configurations that consumers would love. The exclusive model has a nice appearance that reminds me of the S-Class, and some configurations are omitted, but it has been faithful to the basic elements that domestic consumers will like. The driving performance was also good, and the vehicle itself was also highly complete.
Let’s think about it. A car with a standing Benz logo greets me. When boarding inside, colorful lights (?) or ambient lights surround the passengers. When the engine is started, the multi-beam LED light also shows a nice ceremony. When driving, various ADAS systems create a safe and comfortable driving environment. Driving sensation? The luxury of Mercedes is also well revived. However, this car costs around 60 million won. The E 220 diesel is also around 70 million won. I want to buy an expensive 80 million won E 350. Despite the price, the domestic environment is emphasizing low speed. First of all, it would be nice to have a 1.6 hybrid engine version for the Genesis G90 for government offices operated by tax.
Let’s go back to the Mercedes E 250. The composition was good. The price is more expensive than the 520i, but slightly ahead of the brand value. The configuration of the invisible suspension is also better than the 5 series. The support of female consumers is also contributing to its popularity. Not only that, but also its completeness is supported. Competitive cars also have good performance and configuration. However, given the domestic characteristics (?), the E-Class is likely to sell well for the time being.
Clean up | Auto View Road Test Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)