It wasn’t too long ago that Mercedes struggled to get into this guide but with a new range of super hi-tech engines that is all about to change. The company may have been the slowest of the German manufacturers to bring fuel-efficient models to market, but the results are impressive.
Mercedes is noted as one of the best engine manufacturers around, and the 2.2-litre four cylinder engine is no exception, producing 168 bhp and huge reserves of torque with 295 lb ft available between 1,400 – 2,800 rpm.
With ample power and torque on tap, performance is impressive, especially given the substantial kerb weight. For the first time the 6-speed manual gearbox can now match the efficiency of the expensive optional 7-speed 7G-Tronic Plus automatic. However it is worth noting that you need to specify the smallest 17-inch wheels as the bigger 18 and 19-inch options add nearly 10g/km, pushing the E-Class into a higher company car tax bracket and upping fuel bills.
To aid the inherently efficient engines the E-Class also gets a BlueEFFICIENCY pack which means low rolling resistance tyres, energy-saving alternator, fuel pump, air conditioning and power steering. None of this fuel-sipping technology detracts from the usual E-Class strong points of supreme refinement and excellent build quality. In fact the aerodynamic additions result in a class-leading drag coefficient of 0.25 which helps to make the cabin a hushed environment at speed.
The latest E-Class takes the best aspects of the previous model but adds a sharp new look, state-of-the-art engines and the BlueEFFICIENCY pack to great effect. As long as driving thrills aren’t top of your list, and you can live with the list price, the Mercedes Benz E-Class makes a compelling case.