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Drive of your life this week…

is the new Mercedes E-Class 220 BlueEFFICIENCY AVANTGARDE

What is it? One of the most luxurious five door five seater saloon cars on the UK roads to date.

Who would want one? Any sassy lady who wants show off her success via her car, adores creature comforts, loves playing with gadgets, but best is conscious of money or rather not wasting money as this E 220 has remarkably low running costs.                            

The exhilarating thrill: is the 7G-tronic Plus 7-speed automatic gearbox mated to a 2.2 litre diesel engine complete with twin turbochargers that sees this car zoom from zero to 62mph in just 8.4 seconds with a top speed of 141 mph. However it gets better as this E220 has steering wheel mounted paddles to shift gears manually that is great fun. More importantly, due to the amazing technology under the bonnet, this car is fitted with BlueEFFICIENCY that makes it ultra-efficient producing just 132g/km of CO2 emissions and a staggering fuel consumption figure of 57.6 mpg on a combined cycle. This is further helped by the Stop/Start function that cuts off the engine when stationary to further conserve precious fuel. So now ladies can have their cake and eat it in driving a gorgeous high performance Mercedes yet not penalised by outlandishly high running costs. How savvy is that lady!  Yet it gets better, if that is possible, as the steering is simply beautiful and so precise thus effortless while the suspension is so finely tuned that this E220 produces a smoother than silk ride and handling.

Wow factors to make the neighbours go green: start with the gorgeous elongated shape that is high at the rear then gently slopes down towards the long bonnet with the traditional Mercedes-Benz emblem that really gives this car a huge road presence. Stylish touches are the lovely light clusters, colour coded bumper with integrated fog lights while to profile are 17 inch alloy wheels, colour coded door handles, body strips and door mirrors that are electrically adjustable heated and fold when the car is locked. To the rear is another set of lovely light clusters, colour coded bumper and rear fog lights.

On the other hand…! Was the overly cluttered steering wheel that had so many devices on, it actually become a bit hazardous. For instance, the stalk for the indicators also had the wipers on it and was under the cruise control with speed limiter stalk so that go muddled up a few times. Behind the wheel are the gear shift paddles; to make more room in the central console the gear lever has been moved to guess where? Yes the steering wheel so rather like the American cars. Then, on the actual wheel are the remotes for the audio devices on one side and telephone hands free on the other.

Where would the sunglasses fit? Surprisingly nowhere in their own right that is a tad disappointing bearing in mind this E220 has everything else.

Will it take the shopping? A resounding ‘yes’ in this department with a shopping capacity of 540 litres of space complete with bag hooks and to make life easier, the boot pops up via the button on the key fob to make loading the shopping that much easier.

To hide secret purchases use either the door pockets, the deep ventilated and lockable glove box, the deep concealed binnacle behind the handbrake with a pop up cover, pockets behind the front seats but best are the pull out drawers under both the driver’s and passenger’s seat! For an extra £160, one can purchase the Easy pack boot box that hides under the boot floor for more guilty pleasure purchases.

Helping hands may light work thanks to automatic lights, automatic wipers, auto dimming rear view mirror, electric windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors that are heated and fold when the car is locked, both front and rear fog lights, front and rear parking sensors plus cruise control with speed limiter.

Creature Comforts to luxuriate in are like having a nanny, au-pair, butler, cook and gardener on board all at the same time with height adjustable leather clad steering wheel with remotes for the CD player and Bluetooth preparation, height adjustable heated front seats, dual zone air conditioning, an ultra-fast demister, relaxing ambient lighting in the dashboard, door and panels complete with a dimmer function. To detect any fatigue is Attention Assist that monitors your steering behaviour and helps to alert you if you have driven too long and are getting tired.  The automatic climate control is dual zones, independent and adjustable for either the driver or passenger thus eliminating any argument with him in doors that he is too cold and you are too hot. With the money saved thanks to the great fuel consumption, one could splash out £390 for the reversing camera, £650 for the Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound system along with 14 high performance speakers and additional amplifier, £645 for metallic paint or if money really is no object a whopping £1,035 for COMAND Online with integrated 6-disc changer.

It’s most annoying feature: was the ear splitting loudness every time the air conditioning was turned on and managed to drown out my favourite tunes blasting out from my son’s iPod that I had “borrowed” being so easy to hook up!

The greatest gadget? Initially I thought of the electrically operated rear window blind but then I thought that might be a little bit of a distraction for following drivers and it was an optional extra at £545 so I decided on the blind spot eliminators on both door mirrors that go red when a passing car is actually in your blind spot hence a great safety feature.

Avoiding the costly repair shop poses no problems thanks to ABS that gives the ability to brake and steer thus avoid obstacles, Hill Hold function that prevents embarrassing rolling backwards into matey boy behind by mistake, ESP with Acceleration Skid Control that will adjust each wheel to prevent skidding, and Brake Assist that will put more pressure on the brakes if it senses the driver is not applying enough pressure. Again, if money were no object, one could purchase the Driving Assistance Package that comprises of the lane tracking package which is the blind spot eliminators plus active lane so it beeps if you accidentally go into another lane without indicating, or Distronic Plus with Pre Safe Brake that is radar based cruise control.

Keeping your precious cargo safe:  well they won’t, thankfully, get a scratch on them due to multi stage airbags for driver and passenger, side airbags in the front seats, pelvis bags for the driver and front passenger, driver’s knee airbag and window bags again for the driver and front passenger plus the rear passengers. . Then there is Pre-Safe that is Mercedes all singing and dancing safety system, neck pro front head restraints to reduce whiplash and Active Bonnet for pedestrians if they stray into your path and this detects on impact and raises the bonnet by 50mm thus creating an additional crumple zone for damage limitation. For the children are automatic child seat recognition sensors that work in conjunction with Mercedes Benz child seats fitted with a transponder. Finally, there are height adjustable front seatbelts with pretensions and seatbelt reminders, height adjustable headrests with tilting function to reduce whiplash injuries, child proof locks on the rear doors, 3X3 point rear seatbelts and Isofix child seat restraint system on the two outer seats in the rear.

Avoiding it being nicked is a simple yet effective remote central locking with acoustic closing settings plus an alarm system with an immobiliser and interior protection.

Star rating: 4.5/5 as one could become a little too complacent driving such a safe car full of safety gadgets.

Consider: the whole range of the stunning E-Class.

Web link:

Jackie Violet
Motoring Correspondent 

At a Glance

RRP: £34,285
Transmission: 7-Speed Tronic automatic
0-62mph: 8.4 seconds
Top speed: 41 mph
Combined Fuel: 57.6 mpg
Insurance Group: 32
CO2 emissions: 132 g/km
Horsepower: 170 hp @ 3000 rpm
Torque: 400 Nm @ 1400 – 2800 rpm


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