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The Mercedes S-Class is the perfect tool making a big impression, as June Neary discovers
Added 28th July, 2017
Whether you want to make a really big statement with your choice of large SUV or you simply want the most capable, road-sensible off roader there is, the Mercedes G-Class offers a money-no-object solution. With a design dating back to the Seventies, it may be old in concept, but it remains classily cool with an appeal remaining undimmed against the changing fads of automotive fashion.
Yes of course the high pricing is difficult to justify. And you could spend far less on a larger, more practical and better handling luxury SUV. But G-Class buyers want something more than just another luxury SUV. They want something exclusive. Something unique. And something more capable in the world's toughest terrains than just about anything else on four wheels. It's at home anywhere, from Afghanistan to the Amazon, from Kensington to the Kings Road. And it is quite simply, unique.
Mercedes' E-Class Cabriolet brings an extra touch of class to the executive drop-top sector, a very cultured convertible that aims to set new standards for comfort and refinement in its segment. With the impressive built quality, slippery aerodynamics and high-tech engines, it's a tempting package for those wanting a drop-top to use all year round.
As for the soft top roof, well, it can be fully opened and closed in 20 seconds when travelling at a speed of up to 31mph and buyers can specify the AIRCAP electric draught-stop system and the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system.
As you'd expect, this E-Class Convertible shares its engineware with the E-Class Coupe, which means that all models get 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission and there's a 194hp 2.0-litre diesel engine in the entry-level E220d variant. There are five other engine options - a 340hp E400d diesel and four petrol choices, the 245hp four cylinder E300 and the 299hp E350 (both 2.0-litres and four cylinders in size), then the two 6 cylinder 3.0-litre options, the 367hp E450 4MATIC and the Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC which uses a biturbo 435hp unit.
So you want a mid-sized SUV with a prestigious badge; but you'd like a more dynamic-looking one. Something like a BMW X4, a Range Rover Evoque - or perhaps this car, Mercedes' GLC Coupe. Jonathan Crouch looks at the revised version.
And overall? Well it's true that there are sportier, more dynamic models of this kind you could buy. But we're struggling to think of many that offer a better all-round package from this era. Find a car that was specified for off road use and it'll deliver mud-plugging prowess expert enough to suit any right-minded user. Yet with AIRMATIC suspension fitted, it can ride like a Rolls Royce. Quick, capable, practical and luxurious, this is at last the car Mercedes always should have had in this segment.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a reputation for buttoned-down efficiency. It's one continued by this vastly improved tenth generation version which retains a sensible side but dials up the desirability, aiming to offer a smarter, more prestigious approach to Executive class motoring than its closest German rivals. It does so with efficient engines, astonishing technology and comfort that makes you question the need for a larger luxury saloon.
Some full-sized Executive saloons claim to be sporty: BMW's 5 Series, Jaguar's XF. Others, like this one, simply don't feel the need to try that hard - unless an AMG V8 happens to beat beneath the bonnet. There's a base 184hp E200 petrol variant if you want it but almost all E-Class buyers choose a diesel, probably the four cylinder 2.0-litre 194hp biturbo unit you'll find in the E220d most customers are going to choose. Those in search of more diesel performance are offered a 3.0-litre six cylinder unit in the E400d 4MATIC putting out 340hp and capable of rest to 62mph in 4.9s. There are also a couple of 'EQ Power' Plug-in hybrids, both of which mate a 2.0-litre combustion engine with a 122hp electric motor - namely the E300 de diesel derivative and the E300e petrol variant.
Overall, the Mercedes E-Class puts in an impressive performance. It's the benchmark choice.
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