review by SOMMET AUTO
: 1,796 cm3
: Inline-4 CGI , 16V DOHC (M271 DE18LA)
Bore x Stroke (mm)
: 82 / 85 (Under-square)
: 201 bhp @ 5,500 RPM
: 310 N·m @ 2,000 ~ 4,300 RPM
: 9.3 : 1
: Timing Chain
: Euro 5
: 5-Speed Automatic + Torque Converter
: MacPherson struts + Multi-link + Anti-Roll Bar
: Multi-link Independent + Anti-Roll Bar
Top speed (km/h)
: 238 km/h
0-100 km/h (sec)
: 7.8 s
: Ventilated Solid Disc
: Solid disc
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
L x W x H (mm)
: 4,868 x 1,854 x 1,465
Wheel base (mm)
Track width front / rear (mm)
: 1,585 / 1,604
Min. kerb-to-kerb turning circle (m)
Ground clearance (mm)
Wheels & rim Size
: 5×112 ; 8Jx17 ET48
DIN kerb weight (kg)
Gross weight (kg)
Boot space (Litres) – VDA
PROPELLANT & EFFICIENCY
Tank capacity (litres)
Urban cycle (km/L)
Extra urban cycle (km/L)
Combined cycle (km/L)
Owned from November 2019
The E-Class has always been as one of the top premium executive car in the market, mostly driven by what we local calls “Tow-Kays” or to the rest of the world, businessman. Heritage of the model runs deep since 1950s.
HOW DOES IT LOOK…
Personally the W212’s pre-facelift is the best looking E-Class in the last 2 decades with sleek lines; broad shoulders, chiselled bodyline, and aerodynamically shaped, coupled with the twin headlamp design makes it unmistakable and adds on to the masculine look.
The HID main and dipped bi-xenon headlamp are housed in the outer lamp unit, together with the very nice reddish-orange coloured indicator lamp on top, and the parking lamps resides in the inner lamp cluster nearer to the grille. Cornering lamp is housed in-between the inner and outer lamp cluster. They are of course essentially one large assembly. Not forgetting the iconic ‘hockey stick’ Daytime Running Light (DRL).
A prominent crease from the front bumper run through the front wheel arch cut through right in the middle of the door handles, however another crease from the rear lamp droops down after the rear wheel arch, looking like 2 designers started at different part of the car and didn’t want to give in to their own perspective. Well… before we start questioning, it’s actually a homage to the original car, the W120, which got to the E-class in present day. A set of chrome strip along the lower end on both sides tastefully only to meet at the rear bumper.
The brake lamp assembly is actually a work of art, they are not just plain LEDs for warning other road users, behind the actual LEDs is a red background of red lights curtain reflecting off frosted metallic surfaces, it’s a beauty… but on the condition that you will have to pay deliberate notice.
How About The Interior…
A decade old car, getting in can definitely feel its age however the saving grace is that the built quality is top notch, places of panel joining have minimum gaps and everything in it feels very well screwed together, nothing feels loose or rattling*1 (except for my particular car where the roof lining was repaired prior to my ownership and a sound seemingly like a unsecured cable set hits the roof whenever it goes over uneven stretch of roads), steering wheel is still in good condition after 110,000 km. Coated surface like the windows buttons and the likes ain’t ageing as well with peeling starting to show.
*1 Rattling noise is now fixed which indeed was a loose cable in the roof lining, sound is gone. – reported 22 October 2021
The MOST annoying part of the car is the driver’s seat is about 30 mm offset to the right (for a right-hand-drive) from the centre of the steering wheel, making seating posture really awkward. Passenger seat could be the same as the vanity mirror in sun visor’s with flipped-open cover, is lob-sided too. The front seats are all electrically controlled, even for the height of the head restraint, with memory functions and 3 memory slots each.
Speaking of the sun visors, a neat feature where it has 2 layers, the outer larger one which houses the vanity mirror, and when the inner side is unhinged to block the sun from the side window, another smaller visor can be folded down to block the sun from the front, nice touch by Mercedes-Benz there, really useful but wish it could be larger; having wished that but that will spark another problem as the car’s interior dimensions seemingly more suited for taller drivers; seated way too forward and the head will get too close to the sun visor(s) which hinders operation.
A electronically controlled rear windscreen sun shade is available as option, convenient if you frequently haul passengers in the second row, this option includes a set of manually operated built-in sun shade for the their windows too.
The rather small Infotainment screen (6″ maybe?) sits in the centre of the dashboard at the Instrument Cluster level which is a plus for quick glance while driving and it looks integrated rather than the more modern tablet style. What comes below is really showing the design age with trapezoidal centre air vents flanking the Traction Control and hazard light push button. Further down is the buttons-filled multimedia player controls and 4 ‘miscellaneous’ control buttons for the electronic rear windscreen blind, a button for dropping the rear seats head restrain, parking sensors deactivation, and a blank.
Climate control comes in at the lowest position with rather tactile buttons and it’s a joy to use.
Storage compartments could be better and most are not exactly big too, there’s a roughly 100×50 mm slot (or ashtray in some cars) in front of the gear lever together with a 12 V socket with a nicely dampened sliding cover, a larger compartment under the 50/50 longitudinally-split centre arm-rest as opening which can be opened from both driver and passenger side. Carpeted glove compartment is of decent size with a dual layer layout, great for separating sizes of things, it’s air-conditioned and comes with a 12V socket. All door bins adopt a long but slim shape and are pretty shallow, they are carpeted to minimise rattling sound from small items placed in them.
The console ends with a pair of rear air vents, a hidden ash tray and 12 V socket. Rear air vents cannot be controlled for temperature or fan speed making this E-Class only a dual zone climate control system.
The outer seats are comfortable with relaxing backrest angle, cushions are slightly on the firm side but does provides good support. Knee room is adequate with about 20 cm distance to the front seats with our driver set position. Foot wells are pretty spacious makes up for the lack stretch room under the front seats as they are mounted quite low down. Foot wells air-conditioning vents under the front seats are very visible as they are mounted quite far back – not exactly a pretty sight. Middle seat can be folded down as arm rest with 2 flipped-out type cup holders. Beneath the arm-rest hides a shallow storage compartment.
Front door open adequately wide, but not so for the rear which fully open still make entrance look quite narrow perhaps because the rear Quarter Lights are integrated into the doors, extending the already long door even more. Matching trim pieces and seat leather colour are on all door, giving a cohesive design throughout.
Ambient lighting is a plus in adding to the luxury touches to the interior, not exactly bring but bring a pleasant beautiful orange hue to the entire cabin at night; can’t change the colour though, but only the brightest.
A square and practical 540 litres of loading capacity will suits most family, but height of loading area is in short supply, only made worse with the EASY-PACK Boot Box albeit it is really useful for storage of smaller or potential wet items for it can adjust in depth and is water resistant. A flip-Up boot floor reveal a full size spare wheel.
HOW DOES IT DRIVES…
The drive is a big love-hate relationship!
The love: the nicely adequate power for ease of overtaking which is not overly powerful to potentially mishandle the car, and the nature of rear wheel driven car where it gives a balance stance in corner exits. The straight line stability is good, together with well insulated cabin makes traffic violations a breeze without noticing! In-gear accelerating doesn’t take too much effort attributing to the huge torque pretty low down from just an 1.8 L engine.
The hate… the overly light steering wheel in city drive, coming from probably-the-heaviest-assisted-power-steering Volvo S40, it’s a common affair to be over compensating on the steering ALL THE TIME; getting better now but we still favour heavier steering any day. The turbo lag is the other frustrating thing, the lag can be as bad as around 2 seconds, not a major problem if overtaking is timed properly but there will be times the need for instant acceleration is appreciated. On both acceleration and cruising, the engine can sound slightly raw which can be quite typical of most 4-pots motors but expectations will be different between a executive premium badged car and a bread-and-butter car; on comparison the previous resident car, Volvo S40, scores better in this aspect.
Wing mirrors are a tad too small for the size of the car, it may be for the bringing down of wind noise, but still… we believe Mercedes-Benz should be able to do better. Passenger side of the wind mirror is worse, the view on the already small mirror is further cut off by around 15% by the mirror cover itself.
A consistent 3 hours drive with a fair mix of highways and city driving brings on backaches and general fatigue which was never an issue even for a 7 hours drive before; would say it’s the evil work of the offset seating position, it is sadly a monumental disappointment for a car in this class accentuated by all the rest of the very dazzling options, features, and driveability of the car.
AND DOES IT HANDLES…
Hell yes… the weight distribution as advised by our daily driver’s butt seems that the front axle has slightly more weight to lug around, but when on power, it does feels quite balance out however not a lot of feedback can be felt through the steering. Corner entrance is smoother and more natural than the exit, with the adequate grip from the 245 mm section tyres size all round, holding to the line in mid-corner is surprising good too; exit is slightly unfamiliar but with practice for slightly above average drivers can take on corners nicely with ease.
A small down-size is when the car is going over a crest, I suspect that the rebound rate of the suspension is a bit slow and at times may get slightly unsettled, even when within road legal speed if the crest sharp; worse when the crest is at a bend thus is something new drivers to this car must take note before exploring the car’s limits.
After all the maniac driving and settling down to pick your family back home, the car transform into a comfortable mile munching cruiser. Ultimately this E250 is still a comfort biased Mercedes-Benz offering occasional pleasure cheap thrills speed that handles pleasantly.
COST AND OWNERSHIP
Price when new is overwhelming without a “Tow-Kay” pocket, however maintenance of this E250 seemed somewhat decent for a premium make, hence trading off a little of the initial higher cost of purchase if it’s even a consolation? Mercedes-Benz generally also holds its value well, even after the first life of COE, value will be generally higher than equivalent models from competitors.
A short few months of ownership was faced with some maintenance woes mainly involving electronics; a replaced accelerator pedal and a repaired ECU (Yes, the ECU!) solved the ABS + TCS warning lamps lighting up resulting in power loss on initial acceleration but mellowed down when reached cruising speed. Others are mostly routine maintenance with replacement of wear-and-tear parts for a 120,000km car… acceptable.
Ultimately when you are serious at getting a car in this bracket, buyers just needs to be prepared for that kind of expenses and depreciation.
For once I’m still fighting for an answer with myself, it’s a good car with many favourable aspects, however what this car does exceedingly well is that is is an exceptional all-rounder only regrettably that nothing specific really stands out from competition.
If frequent long distance fast commute is common to your usage pattern, this can be a very good option.
There are no good or bad cars to us – the different makes and models are there to suit people of different needs, budgets, lifestyles, and egos.
In the event you are keen in looking to get this car, or any car for that matter, we will gladly assist you in finding the best possible unit. Do look us up at Sommet Auto.
Let us know in comments how you think of our reviews and anywhere you would like us to put more emphasis on in our future reviews.
EDITS & CORRECTIONS
18 September 2021
– Replace spider chart.
22 October 2021
– Include additional and replaces photos.
– Include more in-depth opinion of interior.
– Slight changes to words used for better interpretation of our opinion.