Inside the New 2017 Mercedes E-Class at Benzel-Busch in Englewood
Last week, Benzel-Busch Mercedes in Englewood held a test-drive event for their latest showstopper—the all new E-Class. With the beginning of a new Mercedes production cycle, Benzel-Busch gave me an in depth/first perspective look at the vehicle’s newest upgrades, gadgets, and safety features. Known for being on the forefront of both design and tech, Mercedes makes a strong case as to why that’s never been more true than it is today in the new E-Class.
As a dealer, Benzel-Busch is the type of place that makes you feel comfortable when buying or leasing a new car (or in my case, test driving). Every dealership claims to value their customers, but Benzel-Busch is one of the few that actually put those ideals into practice with a personable and involved staff. After a few introductions, I met with Joseph Simsek, a Benzel-Busch Account Rep. A wealth of knowledge on the E-Class (and Mercedes Benz in general), Simsek was my go-to for my list of curiosities regarding the new model.
The new and improved E-Class features two models, Luxury and Sport. There aren’t many glaring differences between the two, but the Luxury model sits an inch higher off the ground (allowing for a smoother ride) and features a classic Mercedes grill as opposed to the large star emblem on the Sport. For both, the engine was upgraded from it’s previous 6-cylinder engine to a turbocharged 4-cylinder, yielding 0-60 speed that’s 0.2 faster than its predecessor. This is also due in part to Mercedes’ use of aluminum in the model, making the car lighter than ever before. Together, these factors result in better fuel economy than that of the previous generation models.
The new E-Class also has an array of new safety features, many of which come standard. One being it’s self-braking feature which will brake for you if you’re getting too close to another vehicle (in addition to alerting you). “If you become distracted and take your eyes off of the road, the E-Class’ safety feature will use 60 percent of the vehicle’s braking power to help you slow down if you’re nearing another car,” said Simsek.
In addition, if an impact is imminent, the car will issue a “ping” sound milliseconds before a crash to protect your ears from the sound of the airbag. The effect of airbag deployment can be detrimental to our hearing. Studies have shown that the pressure from the noise of an airbag can exceed our pain threshold, possibly resulting in permanent hearing loss. Safety features such as this come standard, but of course, you can choose an upgrade package that will add others such as automatic lane keeping assistance (which essentially feels as though the car is driving itself).
Before driving the new E-Class, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about the 241 hp/ 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. But after merging onto the highway I immediately forgot about all that. Turbo goes a long way. Driving the 8-speed E-Class Sport is effortless, smooth and comfortable. The vehicle itself learns how you drive after about 10-20 minutes, ensuring you are operating the car normally and to your liking. In terms of handling and agility, the surefooted E-Class is superb, especially on the open road. As a driver, you can use Mercedes’ Dynamic Select, which allows you to switch between economy, comfort, sport, and sport plus, changing the way the vehicle adjusts itself with a mere push of a button. I spent most of my time in sport plus as I mainly stuck to the highways.
Inside, the E-Class’ quiet cabin the first thing you’ll notice is the flowing shapes of the dash and wide screen. In addition, Mercedes drivers who’ve been calling for a touchscreen finally got their wish (sort of). The new E-Class is equipped with a center console touchpad controller that allows you to control everything from address select to minimizing/maximizing the navigation map. There are also touchpad sensors on the steering wheel as well. These options offer the best alternative to being able to play iPad with the car’s screen while driving, something that I can only imagine would distract a good bunch of us from the road. Inside extra include a dynamic seat adjustment system which utilizes a leg extension, ambient lighting, and massaging chairs.
Smooth, good on fuel, safe, and more powerful, the new E-Class is one of the best midsize sedans on the luxury market. Read more at Benzel-Busch Mercedes.