Latest Mercedes saloon will travel further per gallon and is packed with high-tech wizardry.

Safety, comfort, and green credentials. Mercedes-Benz’s latest version of its E-class executive saloon raises the bar in each of these key areas.

The car, which will go on sale in the UK by mid-June, will feature nine airbags as standard equipment. The bonnet will also raise its rear edge by 40mm in a collision with a pedestrian, to provide extra cushioning. The newcomer will also be packed with active safety features, including a system which monitors the car’s steering to check for signs of driver drowsiness, and issue a warning if he or she becomes sleepy.

The car also has automatic emergency braking, where sensors detect cars or other objects ahead using radar and add will add pressure once braking begins to stop the car in the shortest time. It also has a system that helps the driver recognise pedestrians and other hazards at night.

The E-class’s angular lines mark a departure from the current model’s curves, so much so that, while the model’s signature four head lamps are retained, the inner ones are now rectangular. The car looks closest to the current C-class.

The car has air suspension and adaptive shock absorbers. In normal driving, the system is biased towards ride comfort but stiffens if taking bends at speed or when evasive action is needed.

A choice of nine engines is available: all are direct-injection units, promising fuel savings of up to 23%. The most economical diesel returns up to 53.3mpg across a mix of conditions and produces 139g/km of carbon dioxide.

Prices for the new car will be announced later: we’d expect a small rise over today’s prices, so expect to pay £28,000-£68,000.

Stephen Jury


January 13, 2009

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