Mercedes-Benz Malaysia wasted no time in introducing the all-new Mercedes-Benz E-Class into the Malaysian market; five months after its global debut at Detroit, with four variants initially available in CBU form before local assembly gets underway down the road.
The tenth generation E-Class will have the E200 Avantgarde as its entry-level variant, with the Avantgarde and Exclusive trims of the E250 sandwiched between it and the flagship E300 AMG Line.
As the last to the party, it now shares the same design language as its C-Class and S-Class siblings. Short overhangs and a longer wheelbase characterise its side profile together with a swept back roofline that does its best impression of a coupe.
Coded as the W213, the new sedan measures in longer but narrower and lower than its predecessor although with the use of the Modular Rear-Drive Architecture (MRA) that underpins the C-Class, the wheelbase has increased by 65mm for a larger cabin.
Propped under the aluminium hood is a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline four that is set up in different levels of tune to distinguish the trim variations.
In the E200 Avantgarde, it produces 182bhp at 5,500rpm and 300Nm between 1,200-4,000rpm that makes it good for a century sprint time of 7.7 seconds. For the E250, both trims will make do with 208bhp and 350Nm of torque.
Finally, the range-topping E300 AMG Line will get the most powerful version of the engine that packs a 242bhp punch with a 370Nm twist that dismisses 100kph from a standstill in 6.3 seconds.
Linking the engine to the rear wheels will be the new 9G-Tronic transmission that is a torque-converter automatic with nine forward ratios. Paddle shifters are standard on all variants, as is the Dynamic Select that alters the throttle, transmission and the suspension between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport + as well as an individual setting.
The W213 available here rides on the Agility Control suspension that has selective damping and a ride height lower by 15mm.
Mercedes-Benz was particular to emphasise the new cabin that borrows generously from its larger S-Class sibling. Taking centre stage in the cockpit are a pair of 12.3 inch HD display screens that are lined up side by side to form a virtual instrument cluster for the driver with three styles; Classic, Sport and Progressive, available.
Ambient lighting is a feature that Mercedes-Benz has been integrating into its latest models so the new E-Class gets the LEDs littering the trim pieces, central display, handle recesses, door pockets and footwells. 64 colour options ensures you can go two months without the same shade to bore you on your night commutes.
Occupying the standard equipment list is COMAND Online that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Touch Controls on the steering wheel and Parking Pilot that is able to accommodate parallel and perpendicular parking. It also includes Active Parking Assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
On the safety front, Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist and Crosswind Assist tick the active safety box.
Externally, all variants receive Multibeam LED headlights and 360-degree camera except for the E200 Avantgarde that makes do with LED High Performance units and a reverse camera. It rides on 18-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels.
The Multibeam LED headlights comprise of 84 individually controlled LEDs that allows for precise light distribution to avert blinding other road users as the beams for each headlamp is controlled individually and adapts dynamically to the road surface.
Also omitted from its list of features are the sunroof and keyless entry although it does compensate for the latter with keyless start. All other variants get the Keyless-Go kit that throws in keyless entry and a powered boot to boot.
Both E250 trims get 19-inch wheels but the Avantgarde piece is a five-spoke design and the Exclusive rolls on 10-spoke pieces. Unsurprisingly, the E300 AMG Line packs AMG five-spoke twin design alloy wheels under its arches.
Further distinguishing the E250 and E300 as the more premium kit is wireless induction charging. Setting the cabin of the E250 variant apart is an Artico leather-wrapped dash in the Exclusive that is also found in the E300.
To mark the E300 as the flagship of the range, until the E63 AMG appears that is, is a Burmester nine-speaker sound system and an AMG line interior with a metal-weave trim.
Only the pricing for the E200 Avantgarde was revealed during the launch and it will set you back RM395,888 that is on-the-road but not inclusive of insurance. Pricing for the E250 and E300 will only be made available when they are officially available for sale in September and November respectively. Dinesh Appavu