With its elongated bonnet, coupé-like roof and a broad-shouldered tail end, the E 250 Avantgarde line is certainly a feast for the eyes. Sporting a sensual yet unmistakably powerful silhouette, it is distinguishable from the Exclusive model by its classic radiator grille and a star on the bonnet.
Under the hood of the muscular front end is a M274 DE20 AL 2 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that promises a 0-to-100kph acceleration in 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 250kph. When put to the test, the E 250 more than delivers.
The sleek elegance of the exterior continuous into the Nappa-leather-clad, spacious interior. In the trunk, there is ample space for groceries or bags for a road trip. The 9G Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission that enables fast gear changes also translates into low engine revs for a more silent drive. But if you are one to be excited by the loud roar of an engine, fret not as there is so much more to this beauty.
In terms of craftsmanship, it is apparent that the E 250 is designed to please. With a multitude of intelligent features, it aims to make the driving experience as comfortable and safe as possible. In terms of the parking assistance features, I found that the Parking Pilot had its fair share of hits and misses in finding an available parking spot. I did, however, appreciate the Active Parking Assist Parktronic that alerted me of obstacles on all four sides of the car.
I had ample time to get acquainted with this new member of the luxurious E class family, driving it in multiple conditions. The verdict? The E 250 Avantgarde assimilated with much ease into various facets of my daily life — be it driving from one appointment to another or running day-to-day errands.
Curious to gauge its performance on a longer drive, I found myself en route to Sekinchan late one Sunday afternoon. When the weather was good, the panoramic sliding sunroof let in some sunlight during my drive through padi-field country to the sleepy town in Selangor. As an iPhone user, I enjoyed the convenience of Apple CarPlay (and for Android users, Android Auto), which automatically connects to the car’s multimedia systems after using it once.
That said, it was the safety features of the car that impressed me the most. In order to achieve a high level of crash safety, the engineers at Mercedes-Benz opted for a robust yet lightweight body shell with a far higher proportion of aluminium and ultra-high-strength steel components than its predecessor.
When the Auto Brake Assist is switched on, the car reserves the right to brake on the driver’s behalf, hence lessening the risk of accidents. This was truly put to the test when manoeuvring the winding roads to Sekinchan. Once, the car was able to detect a driver suddenly braking two cars ahead and thanks to its intelligent system, it halted safely.
Other interesting safety features include the Pre-Safe Sound, which, based on a human reflex in the inner ear called the stapedius reflex, emits a short interference signal through the vehicle’s sound system if a risk of a collision is detected. This signal trigger the occupants’ natural reflexes and prepares them for the sound of the accident.
Night had fallen when I made my way back to KL and the ambient indoor lighting was more visible. Setting the car to a comfortable cruising speed, I relaxed on a straight stretch of highway.
It occurred to me that the designers had given much thought to every single detail, down to the 64 colour options for the indoor ambient lighting and the fresh, stylish and dynamic interpretation of the feature line. Above all, the E 250 Avantgarde’s impressive line-up of safety and comfort features is sure to be appreciated by anyone who spends a considerable amount of time on the road.
The Mercedes-Benz E250 Avantgarde is priced at RM378,888. For more information, visit www.mercedes-benz.com.my.