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Just when the E-class was feeling the heat from newer cars like the Jaguar XF and the Volvo S90, Mercedes has replaced it with an all-new model. This time, though, the highlight of the E-class is that it has hit out shores in a long-wheelbase-only avatar, a first for a car in this class. Prices for the new E range from Rs 56.15 - 69.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai), which makes it slightly more expensive than the older car (priced between Rs 53.77 – 67.05 lakh, ex-Mumbai).
The new E-class for India is the first long-wheelbase version of the car that’s available for a right-hand-drive market.
It comes in both petrol and diesel versions, an E200, powered by a 184ho 2.0-litre turbo-petrol, and a E350d that comes with a 258hp 3.0-litre V6 diesel. This time, however, there isn’t an option of a 2.1-litre diesel, and instead, the carmaker will introduce a new 2.0-litre diesel on the E-class later this year. All versions use a 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox.
This stretched-out E-class pays special attention to rear seat comfort and space, and is teeming with features like an electrically reclining rear seat back and powered seats with a memory function. You can even extend the car’s legroom by pushing the front-passenger side seat with the touch of a button. Safety features on board the new E-class include seven airbags, attention assist and Mercedes PreSafe system.
The car’s dashboard features a 12.3-inch display for Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system that can be controlled via a centre-console touchpad and also by steering-mounted scroll-pads. The unit is paired with a 13-speaker 590W Burmester sound system. Unlike the international car’s fully digital instrument console, though, the Indian model uses a rather basic looking twin-dial analogue instrument binnacle.
With the new E-class, Mercedes-Benz has created a new niche in the Rs 50-70 lakh luxury sedan space. While the higher price-tag for the new E may seem like a gamble, the carmaker is confident that the new car will cater to the E-class buyers better. What remains to be seen is how buyers respond to Mercedes’ bold move.