Mercedes E Class 220d Avantgarde 2008

There’s no doubt that German car makers have a certain air of exclusivity, but Mercedes has managed to be just a little more exclusive than the rest, there’s even a song, “Oh lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz”. This morning I’m staring down the bonnet of a black E-Class 220d, it’s a handsome car there’s a bit of status going on in the looks, the touches of chrome around the spot lights perk up the front of the car, and it has a well rounded and mature look. It keeps that stately look around the back too, the auto open boot lid is a nice touch, but the biggest surprise is the boot. At 540ltrs it’s huge, to be honest it looks a lot bigger inside, the boot opening is massive too so no problem with luggage here.

The interior is bright with some nice details, two nice big air vents for the rear passengers, the ceiling light cluster is very art-deco style. The back seat is very comfy, there’s plenty of leg and head room for 3 adults.
The Drivers’ seat is firm but soft with good support in all directions; the driving position is infinitely adjustable with a mix of manual and electric controls. One thing Mercedes do well is controls, everything is where it should be on the dash and the design is simple, the controls you use the most are big buttons and everything else is small. In the centre of the speedometer there’s an information panel, it’s clear and bright, it tells you what’s going on around the car, unbelted passengers, blown bulbs, low fuel and so on. The dashboard is set a little lower than the competitors so you feel high in the seat, it’s a good view looking down on the three pointed star.
The 2.2d engine is quiet on start up, it has 150bhp and can get to 60 in 9.8 seconds, there’s a top speed of 138mph, and economical too 44.8mpg, yes you’ll get near that if you drive it properly. The power delivery is smooth, and the auto box is gentle in the gear change, there’s no sense of urgency it just gets you to the desired speed then everything calms down. Even on the roughest roads the E-Class is comfortable, for a big car it doesn’t feel that way, it’s soft and pliant but still sharp through the corners. The Avantgarde gets stiffer suspension than the Elegance model which is great in the corners, there’s still body roll but it’s controllable. On the motorway the E-class comes into it’s own, big seats and cruise control mean you can rack up the miles and still feel fresh at the other end. Parking is a doddle with front and rear sensors and light steering.
Mercedes hit the nail on the head with this car, it has all the right ingredients for a comfortable long distance cruiser, but it can handle the twisty stuff too. It’s not the drivers’ car that the 5 series is, but the E-Class is a better all rounder. The build quality is great, the diesel engine will go for years. There’s another trick up it’s executive sleeve too, Mercedes is doing what it calls “Star select” cars. The car new had a 2 year warranty so this 2008 model is just out, but under the Star select programme you get another years warranty when you buy, that’s another good reason to buy a Mercedes.
The car I drove is available from Michael Moore car sales, Garryhinch Cross, Portarlington. You can see it here on Carzone

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