This is getting exciting. The great Indian luxury car race. If more than three years ago BMW toppled Mercedes-Benz to emerge as the biggest luxury car player in India, Audi overtook BMW this year to become the number one seller. Mercedes, obviously, wouldn’t have sat quiet. If last year the company brought in eight new products, this year saw the launch of the GL-Class, the A-Class and the new E-Class, among other cars. And as far as the recently-released July 2013 sales figures are concerned, the Stuttgart-based company even managed to edge past Audi by selling 810 units. In fact, Mercedes saw a whopping 53% sales jump in July as compared to the same month last year. Anyway, let’s not delve deep into numbers, but into alphabets. Today we choose E. The all-new E-Class that was launched recently.
First, a few facts. The E-Class is the highest sold luxury sedan in India ever, with 23,000 units sold. Globally, the E-Class has been the most successful vehicle for Mercedes, with more than 11 million units sold since it was first introduced. The alphabet E initially stood for Einspritzmotor (German for fuel injection engine). And the new E-Class, for the first time, gets the Mercedes ‘three-pointed star’ integrated into the central grille. So, how good is the new car?
The major changes are carried out at the front end which has now been completely redesigned with new single headlamps. The E-Class, for a long time, has had this ‘four-eyed’ look, and this has been retained by adding flowing day-time running lights within the headlamps. This also gives the car a sporty appearance, which was missing in the previous models. The three-pointed star now moves into the central grille, a welcome change. The bonnet and front bumper have also been completely reworked upon and this now gives the much-needed youthful character to the car. At the rear, the lights and bumper have been slightly revised. The new alloy wheels look catchy.
There are not many changes in the cabin though. Some welcome ones are a new interior trim line called the “open pore ash wood trim” on the dashboard, which is a first in the luxury sedan segment in India, and which gives the new E-Class a classy ambiance. Then you have memory seats with lumbar support that raise the comfort level inside the car. The Mercedes COMAND online multimedia system comes with a 17.8-cm colour