Mercedes-Benz E 200: An E-nduring appeal

THE Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the one that establishes the three-pointed star as the must-have limousine to reflect one’s achievement of success.

Since its introduction in the 1946, Mercedes says more than 14 million E Class vehicles were delivered globally, making it the top seller in its stable.

Our appreciation of this statement was better reflected in the 1960s when the W123 series was a favourite among the well-to-do and taxi trade, at least in the town that I grew up in Johor.


It was the diesel-powered version, the 240D in particular, that appeared to be the hot seller back then and we have sat in our fair share of 240D taxis on long distance runs.

It wasn’t until the early 1990s – when the W124 reigned - that Mercedes decided the model designation should take precedence in the name and the E was moved in front of the variant classification i.e. from 230E to E 230.

History aside, the E Class continues to stamp its success status among premium car buyers as Mercedes says more than 10,000 of the current generation E Class models were sold in Malaysia.


Whichever way you look at it, the E Class has a lot on its shoulder to carry to continue its success story as the favoured premium class limousine.

That was how we approached our drive impression of the latest E 200 (W214), helped by fond memories of our 230E (W124) and a C 200 (W204).

The E 200 Avantgarde Line is clearly a limousine of current times with its full array of electronic dashboard info display, capacitive swipe controls, multiple choice interior ambient lighting, among the host of features.


Its almost five-metre body length and near two-metre body width gives it the dimensional impact to reflect its premium class status.

The wind-swept body lines with two raised ridges on the bonnet add a sporty element that should endure it to the younger and young-at-heart owners.

Mercedes has used LEDs (light emitting diodes) to good effect in the headlamp and rear lamp arrangement to give the E 200 a contemporary sparkle.


Besides using the key fob to lock and unlock the car, you could opt to use your hand on the door handle; place your hand between the handle and door panel to open and pressing a button on the handle to lock.

Using the key fob, the car system turns on the LEDs under the door mirrors to light the way, which is practical at night.

For the driver, the Widescreen Cockpit that has a full screen running from the centre area to almost the driver’s door provides a dazzling display of information.


It’s actually two 12.3-inch screens that is seamlessly presented as a single unit and the light intensity of the graphics, even at night, is just about right.

This is the latest MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system that uses capacitive touchscreen selection and adjustment of the respective items.

Taking the capacitive approach to a safety level is that for the steering wheel; it comes with a pad with ‘appropriate’ sensors in the rim.


This registers whether the driver is holding the steering wheel and if it detects that the driver is not doing so for a certain time, warnings are issued, failing which the Emergency Brake Assist is activated when there is no driver reaction.

We always like the feel of the steering wheel in a Mercedes and this goes back to our 230E days; the rim width is just about right and the steering wheel is of a practical size for manoeuvring in tight areas.

Getting comfortable in the driver’s seat along with that for passengers works well with good seat contours and padding; of course, the driver has four-way lumbar support to pander his back curvature.


On the move, there is plenty of push in the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that delivers 197hp (145kW) and 320Nm of torque that comes in early at 1,650rpm.

Even with four people on board, we didn’t find any sluggishness in the E 200 as it took off with relative ease each time from the traffic lights.

And when we worked the accelerator pedal hard, the turbo kicked in with the strong horses to give us quick overtaking moments.


Mercedes says the E 200 accelerates from 0 to 100kph in 7.4 seconds, which is respectable for a car of its dimensional stature, and a 240kph top speed to reflect its autobahn breeding.

In fuel miserliness, it is said to cover 100km with 6.9 to 6.5 litres on average and with its 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, the E 200 should return good long-distance mileages if experiences with other Mercedes-Benz models of similar engine displacement are any indicators.

The E 200 aerodynamic lines reduced air turbulence and wind noise noticeably when cruising on the highways and we enjoyed a quiet ride to carry conversations in the car.


Chinks in the armour, however, came in the louder than expected road noise, especially over some adverse surfaces.

The E 200 came with Michelin Primacy 245/45 R 18 tyres, which couldn’t do miracles with a quieter run over not-so-good road surfaces.

We also expected the sound damping measures along the suspension linkages to do a better job of road noise suppression into the passenger cabin.


The other one was the rather jerky engine restart function with the auto stop system; this is a fuel saving feature as the engine was cut off each time we came to a stop at the traffic lights or elsewhere, and restarted to get moving again.

That means Mercedes engineers have a bit more polishing to do with the E-Class to make it an even better car for a more complete drive experience.


Nevertheless, we have had a few good days living it up in the E 200 Avantgarde, which by the way is locally assembled, and enjoyed driving it over a variety of traffic conditions.

At RM349,888 on the road without insurance, it’s competitively priced for a premium range executive limousine and which would not fall short of admirers for the “New Attitude’ status that it has to offer.

Mercedes-Benz E 200 Avantgarde
Engine: 1991cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged
Maximum power: 197hp from 5,500 to 6,100rpm
Maximum torque: 320Nm from 1,650 to 4000rpm
Transmission: 9G-Tronic automatic
Acceleration (0-100kph): 7.4 seconds
Top speed: 240kph
Fuel consumption: 6.9-6.5 l/100km
Features: Airbags, Agility Control suspension, Dynamic Select, LED High Performance headlamps, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, ambient interior lighting, auto dimming rearview mirror and driver’s side door mirror, electric sunblind for rear window, active parking assist with Parktronic, tyre pressure monitoring system, run-flat tyres, MBUX multimedia system, Widescreen cockpit, Touchpad without controller, rear USB ports
Price: RM349,888 (OTR without insurance)
CarSifu's Rating: 8.2