Menu
Lifestyle

Mercedes-Benz E300 and E400 road test and review

ON A CLOUD: The Mercedes-Benz E-Class brings autonomous driving through its driver assistance systems.
ON A CLOUD: The Mercedes-Benz E-Class brings autonomous driving through its driver assistance systems. Mark Bramley

DEBATE rages about autonomous cars. Concerns focus on giving driving responsibility to machines and reactions various daily scenarios.  

Well, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is proof its here - and it works.  

Not perfect, but it can take control when you have no interest in being behind the wheel. Traffic snarls and benign highway travels become easy behind the wheel of this technological marvel.  

It steers, maintains safe distances from the car ahead and continually monitors its surroundings. Without regular remainders to touch the steering wheel, it would have conceivably carried us on a boring motorway journey without any intervention.  

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is full of technological wizardry.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is full of technological wizardry. Mark Bramley

Mercedes-Benz has developed one of the best safety suites in the business. The latest from BMW is also on near equal footing, while Audi is not far behind.  

Yet the salubrious sedan from Mercedes isn't all hands-off shenanigans. It's arguably the most loveable luxury sedan currently on the market.   

Value

The range starts from about $90K, where you get some nice kit such as the drive assistance package, awesome large dual screens which can be controlled by your thumbtips, man-made leather and alloy wheels, but for some extra power (20 more kilowatts and 50 extra Newton metres) it's worth stepping up into the E300 where it comes with air suspension, AMG wheels and real leather trim for just shy of $110,000.   

Although for an extra $32,000 and even more creamy power from a six-potter with twin turbos, the E400 adds all-wheel drive, an awesome Burmester surround sound system and a massive panoramic sunroof.   

As with all luxury marques there is an options list, although Mercedes has thrown a lot of kit at its E-Class.   

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is full of technological wizardry.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is full of technological wizardry. Mark Bramley

 

On the road

Oozing luxury, it's a sublime experience behind the wheel.  

Courtesy of air suspension in both models sampled the ride was cloud-like... seemingly effortless with minimal noise.   

There is the now widespread option to change driving modes, with the E-Class offering five different personalities, from Eco for fuel consumption, Comfort for luxury rides and two sporting derivatives which both sharpen throttle and steering responses and hunker the car down for less roll in the bends.   

Whether we'd stump up the extra cash for the six-cylinder version is debatable.   

The turbocharged four-cylinder motivates the E-Class with consummate ease, but our test vehicle had a tendency to shunt down in abrupt fashion from third to second - an aberration with the vehicle rather than the rule.   

Both run on premium unleaded, and despite being the size of a Holden Commodore have fuel consumption figures of a compact hatch. Expect each to deliver about eight litres for every 100km. 

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Photo: Mark Bramley
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Photo: Mark Bramley Mark Bramley

Safety

They don't come much better than the E-Class.   

Hidden within are a range of technologies to keep you safe. It has the autonomous function which can slam on the brakes from 100kmh to avoid a crash.   

There are also rear sensors which can flash brake lights to hopefully grab the attention of the driver to avoid it being hit from behind.  

And if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident, "white noise" inside the cabin is activated to help prevent damage to eardrums when one or all of the nine airbags deploy.

If the car senses it is about to be hit from behind, it will flash the brake lights in the hope it may alert the driver of the incoming car.   

And when you have the radar cruise control set, hold the indicator for two seconds and it will even change lanes for you.  

The autonomous functions work best in highway conditions, and it's best to take complete control on twisty terrain.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is full of technological wizardry.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is full of technological wizardry. Mark Bramley

Verdict

Step inside an the E-Class looks futuristic.   

Two 12.3-inch screens controlled by a central dial, or via your thumb-tip controls on the steering wheel, offer infinite access to settings, colour schemes and set-ups.   

Both E300 and E400 models were easy to steer, accelerated to expectation and just generally delivered on every front. As you would expect from anything in this price realm.  

Yet they deliver so much more than a nice ride.   

Looking like a grown-up version of the smaller C-Class, it's high-tech wizardry which feels special every time you open the door.   

And if the hues don't take your fancy when you get in... just change them.  

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Photo: Mark Bramley
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Photo: Mark Bramley Mark Bramley

Vital statistics

Mercedes-Benz E300 and E400

PRICE: E300 $107,900, E400 $139,900.  

ENGINES: 2.0-litre four-cylinder 143kW/400Nm; 3.0-litre six-cylinder 245kW/480Nm.  

TRANSMISSIONS: Nine-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive E300 and all-wheel drive E400.  

THIRST: E300 7.1 litres/100km, E400 8.4L/100km.   

PERFORMANCE 0-100KMH: E300 6.2 seconds; E400 5.2 seconds.    

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Photo: Mark Bramley
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Photo: Mark Bramley Mark Bramley

Topics:  autonomous driving mercedes mercedes-benz review road test sedan



MJ on Sat'day: Why you should buy local

KEEP IT HERE: Ginger Says owner Michelle Wilson and creative design assistant Taylor Butcher encourage shoppers to support local business. The Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the same and so do we.

We hear the phrase 'buy local' often, but do we ever ask why?

Gladstone filmmaker strikes gold at Capricorn Film Festival

Clifton Schulke receives his trophy from the judges, after taking out the CAPS Open Category at Capricorn Film Festival, December 16, 2017.

Gladstone's Clifton Schulke won CAPS Open category at the Film Fest.

Guest celebrity judges shine spotlight on region's filmmakers

Australian actors David Berry and Bianca Brady.

It was a busy day at the Capricorn Film Festival today.

Local Partners

The weirdest ways parents choose their baby names

UNIQUE names are all the rage these days and the quickest way to bag one of your own is to start thinking outside the box...

CHEAPEST WAY TO SHOP: How to bag the best bargain

Waiting for things. Yuck.

Costco warehouse shopping is a jaw-dropping experience

How a dietitian spent $50 at ALDI

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not hard to stick to a balanced diet.

The healthy haul you can get at ALDI for $50

Alcohol will be gone in ‘a generation’

A top scientist has claimed we’ll stop drinking alcohol within ‘a generation’ after swapping it for a synthetic alternative that doesn’t harm our health. Picture: Supplied.

Scientist: We’ll swap it for a synthetic alternative

Are you really that racist?

The test used to identify implicit bias, including racism, may be flawed. Illustration by John Tiedemann

Are you really that racist? We’ve been putting that to a flawed test

Crushed by a truck: 'I beat the odds to walk again'

Despite her horrific injuries, Clare Sultmann was able to smile for a photo with nurses and hospital staff during one of her long stays in hospital.

HORROR accident changed my life forever

Surgeon: The weird things people put in their butts

Image: The real Axe Effect

Welcome to 2017, where folks aren’t just losing their keys