Displaying items by tag: Mercedes

Thursday, 06 May 2021 05:42

Mercedes GLC SUV review

“The Mercedes GLC is an SUV that benefits from a lot of C-Class pedigree, but with a raised ride height and improved practicality”

Mercedes has had a car battling against the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 since 2009, but to UK buyers this may not have been obvious because the old GLK-Class was only sold in left-hand-drive markets. However, since 2015, the GLC, which replaced the GLK, has been sold here and is an SUV version of the popular Mercedes C-Class saloon on which it’s based.

Mercedes gave the GLC a mild facelift in 2019, which involved some tweaks to the exterior design, some new engines and a plethora of technology upgrades inside. The updates were needed given how competitive the SUV market had become, and 2021 ushers in a plug-in hybrid version for the first time too.

Best 4x4s and SUVs
The revised GLC borrows engines and equipment from the C-Class. The similarities between the two models are harder to spot in style terms, however, unlike the Mercedes A-Class and GLA, which have more in common. The GLC is an attractive car in its own right, with the latest design including slimmer headlights and tail lights, and the latest Mercedes grille.

Every GLC comes with Mercedes' 4MATIC four-wheel drive and a smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard. Versions badged 220 d and 300 d are fitted with the same 2.0-litre diesel, but tuned differently to produce 191 and 242bhp respectively. The 220d returns up to 45.6mpg and has CO2 emissions starting at 175g/km, while you can expect 42.8mpg and 184g/km from the 300 d, which are competitive figures. These are trumped by the GLC 300 e plug-in hybrid model, which can manage 26-31 miles of electric range and 122mpg. What’s more, its low CO2 emissions mean company-car tax is a third of the petrol and diesel engines.

A clear highlight of the GLC is its attractive and well built interior, which also has enough room for front and rear occupants to be comfortable, along with heater controls for people sitting in the back, which is surprisingly rare. There are lots of thoughtful cubbies and the 550-litre boot puts the GLC in the same territory as the X3 and Q5, while the Discovery Sport is more practical and has the option of seven seats.

The introduced the latest Mercedes MBUX infotainment system, but unlike all-new models, there's still a tablet-style central screen perched on the dash, that looks slightly incongruous. The software is a major upgrade, though, and the main screen now responds to touch as well as the central control pad. A regular set of dials are standard, while a large 12.3-inch digital version is available as an option.

On the road, it soon becomes apparent that Mercedes concentrated on comfort when developing the GLC. It’s very smooth on the standard suspension and even more cosseting if the optional air-suspension is fitted. Drivers on the hunt for thrills may feel short-changed, though – while the Volvo XC60 is even softer, the newer BMW X3 is more responsive and poised on a country road.

There are effectively three trim levels, consisting of the core AMG Line trim, plus Premium and Premium Plus versions. The 220 d engine is only available in AMG Line Premium and below; the more powerful 300 d is the AMG Line Premium and up. Desirable items like a powered tailgate, reversing camera and Artico leather upholstery are all included, along with sat nav and LED headlights. AMG Line Premium GLCs gain distinctive body styling and an interior makeover, as well as even bigger 20-inch alloy wheels.

AMG Line is now the most appealing trim for company-car drivers and we'd recommend spending the extra monthly finance cost for private buyers too, to benefit from all the GLC has to offer. The Premium equipment line includes adaptive headlights, running boards, a larger instrument display, ambient lighting, augmented reality navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility and wireless smartphone charging.

Before it was facelifted, the GLC came 61st out of 100 models in our 2019 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but reliability wasn't a strong point, so owners will be hoping issues have been remedied. Further peace of mind should be provided by the GLC’s five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.

 Mercedes GLC SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2

The Mercedes GLC is pretty economical for an SUV, with its claimed figures rivalling the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Mercedes also offers competitive warranty and servicing plans.

Mercedes GLC MPG & CO2
The 220 d version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine can return up to 45.6mpg, reducing slightly in top trims with optional wheels fitted. CO2 emissions of 175g/km mean it sits in the highest BiK band, which won’t appeal to company-car drivers. The more powerful GLC 300d is a shade less economical, at up to 42.8mpg, with emissions of 184g/km. By comparison, the BMW X3 xDrive 30d offers more pace and returns 46.3mpg with 159g/km.

Petrol engines are offered too. A GLC 300 model promises up to 33.6mpg, while the AMG 43 and 63 models above are even thirstier. They certainly prioritise speed over running costs; you can expect 26 and 22mpg respectively. All petrols are in the top BiK band.

A plug-in hybrid GLC 300 de version is now available, pairing the 2.0-litre diesel engine with a 13.5kWh battery. It offers 27 miles of electric range and up to 156.9mpg if you regularly recharge the battery, while business users will be drawn to its 12-13% BiK rate. It’s also exempt from the London Congestion Charge until October 2021. In 2021 it was joined by the GLC 300 e, with a petrol 2.0-litre engine and an electric range of 26-31 miles. It can officially manage up to 128.4mpg with emissions of 62g/km and it takes around 2.5 hours to charge the battery using a 7kW home wallbox.

After the first year's CO2-based road tax (generally included in the on-the-road price), Mercedes GLCs cost the standard annual rate in VED (tax), or £10 less if it's a hybrid. Every GLC now has a list price (including options) of more than £40,000, making it liable for an additional surcharge in years two to six, elevating the annual bill during that period.

Insurance groups for the facelifted Mercedes GLC are quite high, with diesel versions starting in groups 32 and the GLC 300 de in groups 44-45 out of 50. Oddly, this is just as high as the AMG versions in groups 41-44.

Mercedes provides a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty on all of its new models, which is the same as BMW offers on the X3. Pan-European Mercedes Roadside Assistance is also included, that can last up to 30 years if you keep the car maintained within the dealership network.

Mercedes offers fixed-price servicing plans that cover all scheduled maintenance. You can pay all in one go up front or spread the cost over monthly instalments, which should be about £35 for a diesel GLC.

Mercedes GLC SUV - Engines, drive & performance

Its diesel engines are smooth, but the Mercedes GLC is more of a comfortable cruiser than an exciting driver’s car

Engine choice is reasonably limited in the Mercedes GLC, but the two diesel options are very smooth on the move. All also come with four-wheel drive as standard – a system Mercedes calls 4MATIC. The GLC is almost car-like to drive and as comfortable and sophisticated as a luxury limousine – a happy consequence of sharing a platform with the C-Class saloon.

The GLC is at its best when driven in a relaxed, unfussed manner than on spirited back-road jaunts. Although all models have clever dampers as standard, they seem optimised for soaking up bumps and improving ride comfort rather than providing sharper responses. For a truly rewarding SUV driving experience, the BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace remain the cars to beat, although in the comfort stakes, the Merc trumps the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The Volvo XC60 is even more comfortable still.

The GLC leans a little during hard cornering, but not so much as to feel unsettling and less than the Audi and Volvo. The steering is accurate enough, yet feels rather light and requires quite large inputs, so there’s little to encourage fast driving anyway. It’s far better to ease off the accelerator and cruise, which the Mercedes does very well.

All models use a smooth, responsive nine-speed automatic gearbox, which does a good job of keeping the engine revs low in the interest of fuel economy. The four-wheel-drive system is permanently engaged and uses traction control to ensure a firm grip on the road – any wheel found to be slipping is lightly braked and the engine's power is sent to the wheel on the opposite side to get you moving again.

Mercedes GLC diesel engines
Many people buying an SUV of this size will choose a diesel, and there are two available, badged 220 d and 300 d. Both are different versions of Mercedes' four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine, which is smoother and quieter than the 2.1-litre diesel it replaces, but still slightly more clattery than the best diesel engines found in rivals.

It might not appear like it if you look at the official performance claims, but most drivers will be satisfied with the slower 220 d, and it suits the GLC well. Mercedes claims 0-62mph times of 7.9 for the 200 d and 6.5 seconds for the 300 d, both of which will be more than fast enough for most SUV owners. That means our top pick is the cheaper 220 d, and it's a shame this isn't available with every trim level. Unlike the coarse old engine, the GLC 300 d we sampled was as smooth and quiet as a petrol, but with even more urge in real-world driving.

Petrol engines
Talking of petrol, the GLC 300 with 254bhp is available, featuring a new turbocharger, engine design and particulate filter all aimed at reducing emissions. It's also fitted with a mild-hybrid system that can recoup energy as the car slows down, then use it to aid acceleration. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 6.2 seconds, while its top speed is 149mph. AMG models are even faster - the 43 model cracks 0-62mph in under five seconds, and the 63 and 63 S reduce this to four seconds or less. With the speed limiter removed, the GLC 63 S will carry on all the way to 174mph.

Hybrid engine
Most plug-in hybrids use a petrol engine, but the GLC 300 de has a diesel engine for long-range economy. The combination produces 302bhp, so the PHEV is quick too - 0-62mph takes 6.2 seconds. For 2021 the petrol-based GLC 300 e plug-in has also arrived, and it's even faster, taking just 5.7 seconds to get from 0-62mph.

Its 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and electric motor produce a combined 316bhp, and it does a good job of prioritising electric power when the battery is charged. In this mode it's almost silent, and even when the petrol engine kicks in it's almost imperceptible. There's also a clever regenerative braking system that can be adjusted using the paddles behind the steering wheel or left to work automatically based on the road and traffic.

 Mercedes GLC SUV - Interior & comfortThe

Mercedes GLC has a well built interior and even the entry-level model has loads of standard kit

The Mercedes GLC boasts an impressive, high-quality dashboard and interior design that’s more luxurious and up-to-date than what you’ll find in many rivals. All models are well equipped, but you’d expect them to be considering the GLC’s price. We'd recommend choosing an AMG Line Premium trim or above to really experience all the GLC has to offer.

Thanks to a honed suspension setup and using some parts from the Mercedes C-Class saloon, the GLC is very comfortable on the move whether on the standard steel springs of the Sport or the optional AIRMATIC system. Road and wind noise are minimal and a clever crosswind prevention system helps to keep the GLC stable at high speeds. Even the more sportily tuned AMG Line models maintain the comfortable ride of the Sport, although the wider tyres do kick up a little more noise from the road.

Mercedes GLC dashboard
The GLC shines when you sit behind the wheel. The entire design looks like it’s been lifted straight from the C-Class saloon, as there’s loads of solid metal switchgear and clear instruments. The middle of the dashboard is dominated by a single piece of wood or gloss-black veneer that starts from just underneath the infotainment screen and swoops down to connect to the centre console.

The classic air vents look like they’ve been taken straight from a vintage aircraft and the control for the sat nav and infotainment is the only control interruption on the centre console. The steering column-mounted gear selector is a little strange to get used to, though. It's also a shame that the standard analogue gauges and central trip computer look dated compared with the digital instruments fitted in AMG Line Premium trim.

The GLC now comes in AMG Line trim as standard but extra kit can be added by upgrading to Premium and Premium Plus versions. Even the entry-level model has a comprehensive amount of equipment: a reversing camera, Parktronic, a powered tailgate, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights, leather seats, automatic climate control, sat-nav and DAB radio are all standard.

The AMG Line Premium version throws in a sports bodykit and interior makeover, sports suspension, 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, adaptive headlights, ambient lighting and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display. Premium Plus is even more lavish, thanks to a panoramic sunroof, Burmester stereo system, keyless entry, 360-degree camera view and memory front seats and steering wheel.

The Driving Assistance package is worth considering if you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, adding blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control and a system that applies the brakes if it thinks you're about to hit the car in front. Air-suspension can also be fitted, further improving the ride quality. If you plan on towing, an official tow bar costs around £750.

 Mercedes GLC SUV - Practicality & boot space

The Mercedes GLC provides loads of storage areas and its boot is a decent size, if not class-leading

Considering it’s an SUV, the GLC is easy enough to get into, as its doors open nice and wide. The steering wheel and driver’s seat have plenty of adjustment and there’s plenty of room in the back. Boot space is good, if not class-leading, but the plug-in hybrid offers noticeably less due to its batteries taking up some of the luggage room.

Mercedes GLC interior space & storage
The GLC offers a decent amount of leg and headroom in the rear, but the transmission tunnel can eat into space for the middle-seat passenger.

Interior storage is good, thanks to a generous space in the front armrest and a deep cubby in front of the infotainment dial in the centre console. The door bins can all hold bottles and rear-seat occupants get their own air ventilation and an armrest that features a storage cubby and two cup-holders.

Boot space
Total boot volume is about on par with a lot of the GLC’s rivals. The 550 litres on offer is the same as what you get in the BMW X3 and equal to the Audi Q5’s boot. However, it’s less than what’s available when you fold down the Land Rover Discovery Sport’s third row of seats. The GLC’s rear seats fold in a 40:20:40 configuration with the pull of a lever, offering extra versatility and more room in the boot if needed.

In the boot you’ll find the usual range of neat practical touches like anchor points for smaller items and a cubby either side to store bits and bobs. The boot itself is square and the opening is large, so getting awkwardly shaped items in should be a breeze, especially with the power-operated tailgate.

Compared to the 550 litres you get in petrol and diesel cars, the PHEV’s boot is a bit smaller at 395 litres. That’s only 25 litres more than in the A-Class hatchback but at least the boot floor is flat, unlike the annoying step in the boot of the E-Class plug-in. It also benefits from underfloor storage, so you can keep your charging cables separate from your shopping.

All diesel GLC models can tow 2,500kg – more than most versions of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, and matching the D240. Both the GLC 300 de and 300 e can also tow up to 2,000kg, which is an impressive amount for a plug-in hybrid.

 Mercedes GLC SUV - Reliability & safety

There’s an impressive amount of safety technology as standard, but there could be questions about long-term reliability of the Mercedes GLC

The Mercedes GLC has an impressive suite of safety kit, which can be added to with optional equipment like adaptive cruise control. Although owners expressed reliability concerns in our 2019 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.

Mercedes GLC reliability
Looking at the 2020 results of our Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, Mercedes as a brand came a disappointing 28th out of 30 manufacturers, with 16.5% of respondents reporting a fault within the first year of ownership.

Things were even worse for the Mercedes GLC in particular, because despite coming a reasonable 61st out of our top 100 cars overall in our 2019 results, it came dead last for reliability. A worrying 44% of owners reported at least one fault in the first 12 months, including engine, electrical and interior trim problems. The GLC didn't appear in our 2020 results. Hopefully Mercedes will have identified these teething problems and recified them as part of the model's facelift.

Along with the standard spread of airbags and traction control, the GLC has an advanced stability program, Mercedes’ crosswind-assistance technology and a collision-prevention system. An optional semi-autonomous driving system is available. This takes adaptive cruise control a step further, maintaining a safe distance from the car in front, steering the car if you drift out of your lane and braking automatically if it detects an imminent collision.

All this led to the Mercedes GLC scoring the full five stars when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP at the end of 2015. It scored an impressive 95% in the adult occupant protection category, as well as 89% in the child occupant protection category.

The collision-prevention technology can get a little over-zealous, as it tends to flash a warning at you even when you’re a safe distance behind the car in front. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to deactivate if you find it to be more of a hindrance than a help when on the move.


Published in Mercedes
Wednesday, 21 April 2021 07:32

2021 Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe AMG Line Review

Only launched a few weeks back, we have already had the chance to test Mercedes-Benz’ all-new E-Class Coupé. In fact, this E300 Coupé was a bit like Darth Vader’s wheels. Well, that’s what at least two of the people we happened across said. They’re coupled at the tote, old Darth Vader and black.

Anywa, this is the freshly face lifted Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe AMG Line. And it does one thing really well. It very much looks the part. But it also does a so much else very well, too.

E 300 Coupé Accelerates Strongly, Handles Well

Acceleration is impressive, smooth; road holding and handling involving – especially at an elevated pace. For a larger family-coupé, that is. Albeit a touch rowdy, this latest 255 hp 277 lb-ft Nm turbo four-pot has a fruity exhaust note and works the chassis well enough. Although that four-cylinder noise may be a disappointment to the petrol heads expecting a V8 burble. Welcome to tomorrow, Darth Vader.

Tight, fast cornering is a pleasure and road-feel is positive, if a tad noisy over rougher tar surfaces. Probably because of those tires. Otherwise, it’s silent as a ghost with impeccable ride quality. The E 300 Coupé reduces the effects of gnarly speed-reducing road-bumps and humps to a far smoother, more acceptable experience.
That 9-speed gearbox is a treat in everyday driving, although it tends to get a bit laggy if you push it hard, when the car’s considerable heft also starts to make itself known. And we noticed a tendency to creep without notice when stopped and idling though.
But there’s more to this car than just the go. It has the show in spades, too. Ours had the coolest black on black wheels and LED headlights on the outside. And if technology exists, it’s in this AMG line specced cabin.

E300 Coupé Party Time as tech Meets Craftsmanship

Our specimen E300 Coupé had an impressive and immaculate party time red and black trimmed leather cabin. Red? Oh dear – don’t tell old Darth. It’s an intriguing space where Mercedes tech meets craftsmanship. Unique turbine vents compete with that twin 12.3-inch widescreen in a spectacular trade-off for the most attention.

Mercedes-Benz has also taken its already hugely impressive multifunction steering wheel tech another step forward. It takes a bit of getting used to, but the expanded touch tech on this new wheel takes multifunction to a new level altogether. Merc’s rivals were still trying to catch up to the touchpad tech on the last level multifunction wheel. Now it’s just moved even further ahead…
You get a kaleidoscope of ambient lighting, a reversing camera, split folding rear seats and that bigger 12.3-inch screen. Trying hard to be an IMAX cinema on wheels, with proper smartphone connectivity to boot, infotainment really is top class. And Miss My Mercedes at your beck and call.

It’s Roomy for a Merc Coupé

The seats are adjustable. In every direction. So, in spite of a lower driving position visibility is great. Add a panoramic roof and splendid 13-speaker Burmester stereo. And even a Driving Assistance pack for semi-autonomous motorway driving. It had a Lane Tracking pack, which I’d never have. I stopped to turn it off post haste. But if that floats your boat…

That cabin really looks great and has high quality, rigid components. Typical merc. Most of all, this E 300 Coupé is sensibly roomy and without much compromise. Which is good for a Merc coupé. Four adults fit inside. All their baggage in the cavernous trunk. And those pillarless windows bring a bit of Subaru-esque je ne sais quoi, mind you.
So, if looking good and driving cool is high on your agenda, this Vader-like E-Class Coupe defines Mercedes at its imperious best. Not quite the boy racer, it’s more of a sporty posh luxury sled. It away takes that driving stress, rather than piling it on.

E300 Coupé is basically a Mini Me S Coupé

And it’s half the price of its S-Class Coupe big bro, so maybe best without the badge. It is a serenely relaxing experience, all the same.
Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupé AMG Line
Engine: 255 hp 277 lb-ft 2-litre turbo petrol I4
Drive: 9-speed automatic RWD
0-40 mph: 2.81 sec
0-60 mph: 5.89 sec
0-100 mph: 14.16 sec
¼-mile: 14.3 sec @ 98 mph
50-75 mph: 4.14 sec
75-100 mph: 6.12 sec
VMax: 155 mph
Fuel: 38.7 mpg 



Published in Mercedes

The world premiere of the new flagship of the Mercedes-Benz brand was held on April 15. In the years ahead, the EQS model will have the significance that the S-Class had in the years behind us.

It may be able to connect with important Mercedes only because it is luxurious, but the new top limousine from Stuttgart is different in everything else. The unexpected design, called the "one bow roofline", has made the EQS the most aerodynamic production car in the world.

There is also a giant hyper-screen in the cabin of 141 cm and a range of 700 km on electricity (and the same amount of horsepower in the strongest version). These are just some of the trump cards, in fact, not trump cards, but tasks for others, because we know that, whether people like it or not, history records that Mercedes regularly sets standards. Meet the EQS - the electric sedan of the future, in the present.

The design of the arch-like sedan, which may not appeal to everyone, has contributed to the 0.20 cd EQS being, as we said, the most aerodynamic production electric sedan (better than both the Tesla S and the Lucid Air model). It's even a kind of legacy from Mercedes - some of the most cult models from the past could also boast that the gusts of wind can be their allies. We are thinking of one of the models that always evokes fond memories, and it was also the first compact sedan with a star on the hood - the legendary 190.

So, design. Yes, it is unusual. Some are already saying that the profile is "critical", while the EQS from the front and back is great. But it's still too fresh to comment. The design should be given time to settle, which has been confirmed many times throughout history. What we can say is that we liked the electric rival from Audi - the e-tron GT, at first glance. But we whispered that to you. We said we wouldn’t talk about design, much less about tastes.

EQS is the so-called "Liftback" sedan which, as they say from Mercedes, should cost something similar to the new S-Class. We'll see.

This sedan is also the first Mercedes to be built from scratch as an electric vehicle. It was created on the EVA platform on which EQE (E-Class on electricity), then EQE SUV, as well as EQS SUV will be based.

This base, among other things, allows them special air suspension and control of the rear wheels. Thus, the EQS is 5.2 meters long, 1.9 m wide and 1.5 m high, in addition to being aerodynamic, it also boasts a turning diameter of only 10.9 meters.

The distance between the axles is 3.2 meters (106 cm more than the S-Class), which means that two-meter walkers will be able to stretch their legs inside without any trouble. The lucky ones. And they will also enjoy the "No.6 Mood Linen" fragrance designed especially for EQS. It is number 6 because the first electric cars were added to the 1906 model range with "Mercédès Electrique" vehicles.

Who cares, the trunk is 610 / 1,770 liters (60 liters more than the S-Class).

Design. Again. It is important to say that the EQS is also made of a lot of aluminum, and in front of the mask there is a black panel that connects the headlights connected by a light strip that extends the entire width of the front part. Now watch this - Digital Light has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs with light that is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro mirrors. The resolution is, therefore, greater than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle. That's what they say in Mercedes.

What's inside

We have already written about the cabin, because it was shown before the premiere (find out more here), so we will now present some very interesting figures and information about the hyper-madness inside. With the MBUX Hyperscreen, several screens seem to blend seamlessly, resulting in an impressive curved screen width of 141 centimeters.

The large glass covered by the Hyperscreen is three-dimensionally curved in the molding process at temperatures of approximately 650 ° C. This manufacturing process allows the display to be displayed without distortion across the entire width of the vehicle.

To get to the most important MBUX applications, the user navigates through 0 menu levels. Everything is there right away. That is why it is called "zero layer". Also, through this system, the driver has the option of remotely opening the rear door.

The display area of ​​the optional larger head-up display corresponds to a 77-inch screen. The projection unit consists of a high-resolution matrix of 1.3 million individual mirrors. And they say that in a Mercedes.

For haptic feedback during operation, a total of 12 actuators are located below the surfaces of the Hyperscreen. If the finger touches certain places, they trigger vibrations. The coating on the glass makes cleaning easier, and only the curved glass consists of scratch-resistant aluminum silicate.

Two versions of EQS

The rear axle of the EQS 450 has an electric motor that delivers 333 hp and 568 Nm, while the more powerful EQS 580 has two electric motors (on each axle), thus offering e-4 × 4 drive and a total power of 523 hp and 885 Nm.

It reaches the "hundredth" EQS, weighing 2.5 tons, in 4.3 seconds, or 6.2 in the weaker version. Top speed is 210 km / h. Both versions use a powerful 107.8 kWh battery that can provide a range of 700 km.

An AMG variant is planned to be based on the EQS 580 iwill have more than 700 hp.

Otherwise, depending on the equipment, up to 350 sensors monitor the functions of the EQS and explore the vehicle's environment. And we don't count antennas in that number. The sensors measure, for example, distance, speed and acceleration, lighting conditions, precipitation and temperature, seat occupancy, and count and monitor the movement of the driver's hood or passenger speech.

So much for advanced technology for today.

Published in Mercedes
Monday, 12 April 2021 06:20

New Mercedes EQS prototype review

From behind the wheel, the late prototype version of the Mercedes EQS reveals the tech-packed EV’s quiet and refined character


The Mercedes EQS is the kind of car where you don’t miss a combustion engine. It’s all about refinement, which it seriously delivers. It’s surprisingly agile given its size and weight, while performance is strong.

This is our first chance to sample the new Mercedes EQS – the company’s all-electric flagship – ahead of its world premiere, and from our experience of this late-stage prototype, the technology is certainly something impressive.

Mercedes recently revealed more EQS specifications, with an EQS 450+ and an EQS 580 4MATIC available from launch. It’s the latter we’re testing here, and with 516bhp and 855Nm of torque, even for a 2.5-tonne car the EQS pulls powerfully and smoothly. The thrust on offer is considerable, but it’s superbly relaxing.

Electric cars with the longest range
That’s thanks to the incredible refinement the car offers. The pair of electric motors give four-wheel drive and very little whine, so cruising along in the EQS is hushed, helped by an ultra-low drag coefficient of just 0.2Cd, so the experience fits perfectly with the luxury demands of this electric limousine.

Adaptive air suspension is standard, and again, despite the weight due to the big battery (two battery sizes will be offered from launch, a 90kWh unit and a 108kWh pack, which offers up to 478 miles of range), the EQS drives with a light touch.It smooths bad surfaces and filters out the worst the road can throw at it.

However, you’re not completely decoupled from the driving experience, even if the car packs plenty of driver-assistance systems. Instead, the air suspension removes the bad elements, yet still offers a degree of connection between driver and machine, which is certainly refreshing.

The steering is light, but for a 5.2-metre-long car the EQS is surprisingly nimble, too. Rear-axle steering is fitted to help boost agility and give a feeling that the EQS is smaller and lighter than it actually is. It definitely helps manoeuvrability in built-up areas, and out of town the Mercedes corners well for a range-topping saloon, with great traction and strong punch out of bends thanks to that huge torque being supplied to all four wheels. The brake regeneration is great too and allows for easy one-pedal driving in its strongest setting, while there’s also an adaptive auto mode.

There are some sound and ambient light programmes designed to inject a bit more emotion into the driving experience, but we’d say you don’t need them.

There are some drawbacks. Given the location of the battery in the car’s floor, you sit quite high, so headroom might be a little limited if you’re tall. From the driver’s seat you also can’t see the bonnet – although you soon get used to placing the car on the road. It’s partly due to the high dashboard that features the EQS’s party piece: the 55.5-inch curved Hyperscreen infotainment system, which is beautifully crisp and clear.


Published in Mercedes
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Mercedes-Benz does not break down its end-of-year sales by model, but we know that the 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 Wagon is a rare car; it’s likely more exclusive than most Ferrari and Lamborghini models. “Generically speaking [E63 S Wagon owners] are high income and are very much brand and model-loyal,” a Mercedes spokesperson told CarBuzz. “[They] do not differ so much from a typical AMG customer; rather, the E63 S Wagon buyer is more of a superlative of these characteristics.”

 Seeing an E63 S Wagon on the road is already rare sight, especially in the wagon-phobic US market, but Mercedes gives its customers a chance to be even more unique. Mercedes offers the Designo Manufaktur program, which allows owners to “have a car painted in a historic Mercedes-Benz color, painted to match a color sample.” Think of it like Porsche’s Paint to Sample Program but less saturated on social media.

“Nearly any color is possible through this program, from various shades of purple to bright greens and yellows,” Mercedes told us. More often than not, these colors are a one-of-one, making them highly coveted on the second-hand market. “Only a few dozen E63 S Wagons go through this special process each year,” including the pre-facelift 2020 E63 S Wagon pictured here wearing a Designo Manufaktur Steel Blue exterior paint with an AMG Black Exclusive Nappa leather interior.

Audi offers something similar through its Audi Exclusive program, which allows owners to order virtually any color on their RS6 Avant. But unlike Mercedes, which only sells a handful of custom-painted wagons per year, Audi’s program is completely booked for 2021.

“At AMG, I think it’s fair to say that we not only appreciate strong competition, but we seek it out,” Mercedes commented about the recent wagon rival from Audi. “We compete in race series around the world (F1, IMSA, DTM, etc.), but we also compete in numerous competitive segments in the US market and others. Competition is good for the industry as a whole and helps to bolster the wagon segment, for which we set the benchmark.”

There’s no arguing that the introduction of the RS6 Avant to the North American market hasn’t gone unnoticed by enthusiasts, but the E63 S is heavily facelifted for the 2021 model year to take on the competition.

“The overall goal was to make the E63 better in a number of measurable ways. By bringing over knowledge we gained in the development of other products (i.e., the AMG GT 4-door).”
The most notable difference between the 2020 E63 and the facelifted 2021 model, aside from the styling (pictured above), is the suspension. “We revised some of our bushing stiffness and adjustable suspension logic in an effort to make the car both more comfortable for around-town driving, and more sporty on a back road or a racetrack. The tuning has been affected by changing the bushing stiffness and changing the logic for the air springs and variable dampers.”

We’ll have to evaluate the effectiveness of AMG’s suspension changes in our upcoming E63 Wagon review. Audi typically places a heavy emphasis on comfort, even on the RS models, so it might be tough for AMG to challenge in this area. 


Published in Mercedes
Tuesday, 09 March 2021 06:12

Mercedes E-Class hybrid review

"The smooth and quick Mercedes E-Class plug-in hybrids combine luxury with impressive fuel efficiency”

Those who live out of town might only encounter heavy traffic during the latter stages of the daily commute to and from work. It's in these circumstances, where the roads get congested, slow and polluted, that a plug-in hybrid really makes sense, and the Mercedes E 300 e and E 300 de plug-in hybrid’s are compelling options for those who want a decent amount of pure-electric range and low running costs for the daily commute.

The E-Class hybrid range underwent a midlife facelift in 2020, getting a subtly tweaked exterior design that included a new grille and restyled LED headlights. The interior was also given a tech refresh with the latest touchscreen version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system.

Unlike plug-in hybrid rivals such as the BMW 530e and Volvo S90 T8 Recharge, which can only be had with a petrol engine and electric motor, the E-Class hybrid is available as a petrol or a diesel, badged ‘E 300 e’ and ‘E 300 de’ respectively.

Both versions combine their conventional internal combustion engines with a compact battery and an electric motor that's capable of propelling the car using only pure-electric power, while emitting zero CO2 emissions. Mercedes claims both cars are capable of triple-digit fuel economy figures, low CO2 emissions and over 30 miles of pure-electric range.

In fact, make frequent use of that capability and you could come close to realising Mercedes' fuel-efficiency claims, while emitting less than 50g/km of CO2 – a figure far lower than a petrol or diesel car can deliver. The former is good news for anyone who has to pay for fuel and the latter will be appreciated by company-car drivers who have the cost of Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax to worry about.

Away from what's under the bonnet, the cars conform to the usual E-Class template. That is to say you get an elegant, upmarket-looking car that continues to impress when you take a seat inside, finding yourself surrounded by high-quality materials, attractive finishes and advanced technology. A highlight of the latter is the dual-screen digital dashboard and infotainment system, as well as the smart blue mood lighting unique to the plug-in hybrid.

Every Mercedes E-Class is a smooth, quiet cruiser and the E 300 e and de are no exception. Although the four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines aren't as pleasing to the ear as a six-cylinder might be, it's certainly not obstructive and settles into the background once up to cruising speed. The ride is smooth and wind noise is minimal, so motorway cruising is relaxed.

The E-Class doesn't embarrass itself on winding roads, either – it doesn't have quite the steering precision of a BMW 5 Series or feel quite as agile when you pitch it into a fast corner, nor does it resist body lean as stoically as an Audi A6, but it's responsive, safe and well controlled, so you can take the rural route home in a hurry if you want to. There's no shortage of power, either – the E 300 e petrol engine produces 208bhp and the 121bhp electric motor provides a handy boost, for a total of 316bhp when you need it. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes less than six seconds.

The E 300 de diesel version is no slouch either, taking 5.9 seconds, and might be better suited to those who make frequent long high-speed journeys with an urban portion at either end.

Overall, the E-Class is a fantastic executive saloon that makes plenty of sense for business drivers. Its range and technology impress, as does refinement and the interior, but we'd stick with the AMG Line Edition without adding expensive Premium packs for the best value.

MPG, running costs & CO2
Business drivers stand the best chance of saving money in a Mercedes E 300 e or de

If your daily commute runs to no more than 15 miles each way, both the petrol and diesel versions of the Mercedes E-Class plug-in hybrid can get you to work and back without having to burn any fuel at all. This is courtesy of a claimed all-electric range of over 30 miles, which also helps the E 300 e to return a claimed fuel-economy figure of 176.6mpg, with the E 300 de even more efficient at up to 235.4mpg. The digital dashboard gives suggestions for economical driving, which can actually be curiously engaging to follow, gamifying the driving experience.

However, the testing procedure under which these economy figures were achieved assumes that owners can maximise the use of electric mode for a majority of their driving. If you cannot recharge the battery, or are making longer journeys where the battery becomes depleted, then you will be relying on the engine more often, which will make the official fuel consumption figures impossible to achieve.

During our test of the E 300 e, we spent the majority of our time running in pure-electric mode. One of the most impressive aspects of the car is its realistic electric range estimate, with a mile of range falling for every actual mile travelled - sadly this isn’t the case in every electrified car.

While Mercedes claims 33-35 miles of range with a fully charged battery, most drivers should be able to manage close to 20-25 miles in mixed driving, with around 30 miles possible at slower speeds in town. With the battery depleted, fuel economy is liable to fall to around 35mpg.

When compared to the petrol version, the E 300 de is a slightly different prospect that’s aimed at higher mileage drivers. While the claimed fuel economy of over 200mpg is a little fanciful, regular charging of the battery and careful use of the car’s driving modes returns around 51mpg across a mix of town and motorway driving. When running on pure-electric power, we were able to eke out around 15-20 miles, which is somewhat short of the 32-34 miles claimed by Mercedes. Once the battery was depleted, fuel economy fell to around 43mpg.

Every E-Class hybrid offers different driving modes to either hold onto battery charge (until you reach a town for instance), stay in electric mode, or use a mixture of engine and electric power. All aim to help the driver to maximise fuel economy.

The official CO2 emission figures of both cars are cast in stone regardless of your driving habits, with the E 300 e emitting 37g/km and the E 300 de just 33g/km. This means that company-car users can enjoy a low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rating, which is far lower than any pure petrol or diesel version of the E-Class; the likes of the E 200 and E 220 d sit close to the top of the BiK ratings.

The 13.5kWh battery can be charged via 7.2kWh wallbox in 1.5 hours. Opt for a three-pin plug socket and you can expect to wait around five hours for charging to complete. Unlike fully electric cars, there’s no fast-charging option.

Other running costs are unlikely to differ from the Mercedes E-Class norm, which is to say expensive servicing but reasonable parts prices and tyres that are a fairly common, sensibly priced size. You can take out a service contract to help manage the cost of routine servicing, and there's a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, which can be extended at extra cost.

The E-Class hybrid costs more than £40,000 to buy, incurring an additional tax surcharge of £325 a year. After this period, tax falls to the typical reduced rate for hybrids.

Engines, drive & performance
Plug-in hybrid power serves up strong performance, but doesn't bring excitement

The Mercedes E 300 e plug-in hybrid is very similar in concept to its BMW 530e hybrid rival. Both cars use a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a battery pack and an electric motor. The Mercedes is faster, though.

With 208bhp from the petrol engine alone, 121bhp available from the electric motor and a total of 316bhp to call upon when you need it, the E 300 e can sprint from 0-62mph in 5.7 – and sprint is the operative word, with the electric motor capable of delivering all its power instantly. This makes it feel surprisingly urgent when you nudge the throttle, despite its size and weight.

However, the four-cylinder petrol engine can sound somewhat strained if you floor the throttle, with a noise that isn't as smooth or pleasing to the ear as the V6 in the Mercedes-AMG E 53; it just emits a nondescript wall of sound under full acceleration. This fades away when you take it easy, though, and is quieter than the E 220 d's diesel engine when cruising on the motorway. It's a shame, though, that such exciting acceleration doesn't come with an equally appealing soundtrack, and that the petrol engine has to work that much harder once the battery is depleted.

The E 300 e doesn't offer the last word in driving pleasure on a twisty road, either. Instead, the E-Class focuses on comfort and refinement over outright handling prowess. It feels planted and secure in corners but falls short for driver involvement when compared to a BMW 5 Series or Audi A6, even if its steering has a nicer feel.

In terms of overall refinement, the E-Class excels against its rivals and the E 300 e is no exception. It absorbs bumps and potholes with ease, especially if you add the optional air suspension. There's barely any wind noise at motorway speeds, and engine noise only becomes noticeable when overtaking or joining fast-flowing traffic.

During normal driving, the switch between petrol and electric power is barely noticeable, but is perhaps not as smooth as it could be. Once in all-electric mode at lower speeds, there's barely any noise at all, aside from a faint hint of tyre roar and the whirr of the electric motor.

With a combined 302bhp and 700Nm of torque, the diesel powered E 300 de feels as quick as its petrol power sibling, with the benchmark 0-62mph time taking 5.9 seconds. In real-world driving, it offers more shove than the E300 e thanks to the increased pulling power from the 2.0-litre diesel engine.

Switching between electric and diesel power is fairly unobtrusive, with a distant thrum letting you know the engine has started. On occasions in electric mode, the car did hesitate slightly under hard acceleration as it decided whether to fire up the diesel engine.

Much like the petrol-powered version, the E 300 de is smooth and refined on the move, with only the occasional hint of diesel clatter making its way inside the car. The additional pulling power of the diesel engine means there’s always enough power in reserve for getting up to speed or overtaking.

Again, the E 300 de cannot match the dynamics of a diesel 5 Series, but offers a greater level of refinement. It feels planted though, with plenty of grip and accurate turn in. In sharper corners, the additional weight of the diesel engine is noticeable, but the handling is good enough for most drivers.

Interior & comfort
The Mercedes E 300 e has a hi-tech look inside, without feeling cold or unwelcoming

The ability to cruise so quietly on the motorway makes it easier to enjoy the E-Class hybrid’s comfortable and well-designed interior. Both the petrol E 300 e and diesel E 300 de are identical inside, and while the Audi A6 may offer a more futuristic look and improved material quality, many will prefer the more traditional, comfortable feel of the Mercedes.

In terms of overall refinement, the E-Class excels against its rivals and the E 300 e is no exception. It absorbs bumps and potholes with ease, especially if you add the optional air suspension. There's barely any wind noise at motorway speeds, and engine noise only becomes noticeable when overtaking or joining fast-flowing traffic.

The specification of the E-Class plug-in hybrid range is the same as the standard car, with every version getting a pair of 12.3-inch displays mounted in parallel to create the illusion of a seamless display that flows from in front of the driver to the centre console. It incorporates a fully configurable digital instrument cluster that can display a rev counter or an 'efficiency' gauge that can help you eke the most range from the car’s battery.

The left-hand panel hosts the touchscreen infotainment display, which incorporates sat nav with 3D mapping, Bluetooth smartphone connection, DAB radio, and access to Mercedes' online services. These include a concierge service that can provide real-time information about parking spaces and local petrol prices.

As part of the 2020 facelift, the infotainment system has been improved and is easier to navigate. The addition of a responsive touchscreen makes it easier to operate with Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system, which is on par with the best in the class. Top versions even feature augmented reality sat nav, which overlays directions on a live video view of the road ahead. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included, and are far more straightforward to use via the touch interface. The addition of the full-screen digital dials is a nice touch as well, adding a luxury element from the S-Class.

The facelifted E-Class boasts an all-new steering wheel, which features a number of physical buttons. This layout is slightly confusing at first but is easy to get used to.

Every version of the E-Class plug-in hybrid is well-equipped, with the entry-level AMG Line Edition (an exclusive trim for the PHEV models) getting 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, heated seats, leather-trimmed upholstery, three-zone climate control and an array of standard safety kit.

Plusher AMG Line cars get multibeam LED lights and different interior trim. Stepping up to the AMG Line Premium trim adds to the kit list further still, with a 360-degree camera, augmented reality sat nav and keyless go.

The range-topping AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus is fitted with a panoramic sunroof and gloss black detailing. Inside you get a premium Burmester stereo system and ash wood interior trim but the additional outlay means we think the standard AMG Line car is better value.

Practicality & boot space
The Mercedes E 300 e boasts lots of space for passengers, but batteries reduce boot space
On top of its elegant, high-quality interior and generous list of standard equipment, the Mercedes E-Class has lots of space for passengers to stretch out. It's not short of luggage room, either but does feature a smaller boot than the conventional models.

The latest E-Class was designed with a longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) than its predecessor, and that extra length has gone towards increasing interior space, particularly legroom. The front seats have lots of adjustment as standard, with fully electric memory seats available if you do find the perfect driving position elusive.

In the back, the E-Class nips at the heels of the more expensive Mercedes S-Class when it comes to space. The curvaceous roofline means rear headroom is the one area that could be more generous, but most will find legroom to spare, and only when there's a fifth person in the centre rear seat do passengers rub shoulders.

Interior storage is generous, too, with a large glovebox, storage area beneath the centre armrest and a wireless phone charging pad at the base of the dashboard.

The car’s battery has been fitted under the boot floor, which affects boot space. At 370 litres, the hybrid E-Class loses over 100 litres when compared to a standard petrol or diesel model.

Reliability & safety
The E-Class has strong safety credentials, but Mercedes' reputation for quality varies between owners

The Mercedes E-Class has yet to feature in our annual Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. However, taking into account all the Mercedes models that did feature, the brand finished in 28th place out of 30 manufacturers in 2020. Ending up towards the bottom of the table was an uninspiring result for a premium brand, but BMW actually finished just one place ahead of Mercedes. Both were beaten by 21st-place Audi, while Jaguar finished in a far more respectable 12th position.

Mercedes owners seemed particularly disappointed by servicing and running costs. Interior styling and build quality received more praise than handling and ride comfort, and reliability was regarded as below average, with 24% of owners reporting a fault within the first year of ownership.

The brand is often regarded as something of a pioneer when it comes to on-board safety equipment. The E-Class offers sophisticated features such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assistance, auto-dipping headlights and traffic-sign recognition, as well as active cruise control.

The plug-in hybrid E-Class shares its five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating with other models in the range – the independent organisation awarded the Mercedes a 95% score for adult protection in a crash and rated it at 90% for how children are protected.


Published in Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz is going all-in on their EQ line of vehicles, with six new cars confirmed to launch over the coming months and years. We’ve already seen spy shots of the EQS Sedan, which will be unveiled later this year. This time it’s the turn of the smaller EQE Sedan.

The EQE Sedan will be the second car to use Mercedes‘ new Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA). Like the EQS Sedan, it’ll follow the hierarchy set by their legacy models, meaning that the EQE will play in the same segment as the E-Class.

However, the EQE won’t just be a simple rework of the E-Class body shell. It will be based on the new Modular Electric Architecture (MEA) and feature a swoopy cab-forward design, as we’ve seen with the EQS, inspired by the Mercedes Vision EQS concept car.

Like the EQS Sedan, the EQE Sedan (codenamed V295) will spawn an SUV variation. In what could prove to be a confusing naming convention, this soft-roader be called the EQE SUV.

From these images, it’s evident that the EQE is smaller in overall diameter than the EQS Sedan, with our spy photographers noting that it may even be slightly shorter overall than the current E-Class. But, thanks to the EVA platform’s flat-floor design, the interior is likely to be more spacious than the ICE-power car.

The EQE also offers a “proper” boot, unlike the five-door lift-back style featured on the EQS. The side profile’s most striking feature is how the beltline sweeps up in a manner not often seen in a Mercedes-Benz design. That said, the heavy camouflage and body panel disguise would indicate that the outlines of the rear quarter panels and the hood are not to be believed just yet.

The interior is expected to feature a version of the forthcoming MBUX Hyperscreen. The boundary-breaking dashboard features three screens sitting under one massive expanse of glass. The glass stretches from door to door and allows the front-seat passenger to have their own dedicated display.

Powertrains are yet to be confirmed, as the car itself looks set to be a 2022 model. What we expect, though, are twin motor setups with all-wheel drive. The German carmaker aims to offer the bigger EQS Sedan with a driving range of up to 435 miles (700 km), so expect to see similarly impressive figures from the EQE as well.
There’s also a strong likelihood that we’ll see AMG models of the EQE Sedan as well, set to take on the likes of the Taycan, e-tron GT, and Tesla Model S. Read more > https://mercedes-world.com/eq/mercedes-benz-eqe-e-class


Published in Mercedes
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