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"NEW LOOK" MERCEDES-BENZ E-CLASS AT PRICES "CLOSELY COMPARABLE" TO CURRENT RANGE By Brian Foley

One of the most significant new arrivals this year is the restyled Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon due at the end of March/early April.

Long a dominant player in the luxury segment, the E-Class range accounts for some 50 percent of all Mercedes-Benz cars sold in Ireland. For the first time, Mercedes-Benz offer two distinctly different cars with front-end designs that bear little resemblance to one another.

In Classic and Elegance models, the tastes of traditional E-Class owners are catered for with a design that features the classic triple-louvre grille with the familiar Mercedes-Benz star mounted on the bonnet where owners can keep it within view. The trendy Avantgarde version has a completely different look with a CLS-like styling with a sports style grille and inset Mercedes-Benz star.

In overall appearance, the new E-Class looks even more elongated and elegant. Changes include a completely redesigned bonnet and bumper with three large air vents common to both versions. New side feature lines create a visually more exciting profile. New intelligent LED headlamps provide additional safety features whilst continuing to reveal the typical E-Class look. At the rear, lights and bumper have been revised to create a more broad and distinctive appearance. Interior changes include a redesigned centre console, new instrument cluster, a multifunction steering wheel as well as new wood and aluminium dashboard trim and new high-quality materials throughout.

Noteworthy is the fact that each vehicle can be tailored to ensure that it is unlike any other. For example, a model that is totally classic on the outside can be configured to display a highly modern character inside thanks to options that allow owners to ‘individualise’ their vehicle, irrespective of its equipment line.

A broad range of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines power the new E-Class, all fitted with ECO start/stop. Of special interest to Irish owners will be the E200CDI, E220CDI and E250CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel versions. Included also will be the low-tax, low-fuel diesel/electric powered E300 Hybrid. Consuming just 4.1 litres per 100 km with CO2 emissions of 107 g/km, this version has road tax of just €160 per annum. A 250 BlueEFFICIENCY petrol unit is also offered . Transmission options are 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic.

High-quality appointments include a multimedia infotainment system and elements drawn from the new S-Class. Its suite of safety items includes driver assistance, accident prevention and occupant protection systems. Amongst these is technology that detects driver drowsiness and a devise that helps drivers keep a safe distance between the vehicle in front and those following.

First of the new models to arrive will be the saloon version, followed in April by an Estate and in May by Coupé and Cabriolet versions. Describing it as the product of ‘a unique approach’ to car design, Mercedes-Benz passenger sales manager in Ireland, Ciaran Allen, said that it would arrive on the market at prices closely comparable to the current range. ‘Though exact figures have yet to be finalised, our aim will be to hold increases to just 1.5% approximately’ he said.