Henry W. on driving the Mercedes-Benz E 300
At this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show, German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz will be hoping that its new E-Class midsized saloon will be able to attract a large number of orders. Although the new E-Class was first launched in Thailand late last year, only imported models were available. But now the locally-assembled version is available, starting with the E 300 Avantgarde priced at Bt4.999 million.
This is the top E-Class model to be assembled at the Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant in Samut Prakarn, and comes with the largest engine and equipment level for Thai-made E-Class car. Last year, Mercedes-Benz sold almost 4,000 cars in Thailand, and the most popular model was the E-Class with 1,761 units sold.
The E 300 Avantgarde is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine capable of producing 219 horsepower and 300Nm.
The 24-valve V6 motor revs up smoothly and has plenty of reserve power when pushed. Mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifts, the engine is capable of propelling the car from 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds, and top speed is claimed at 247km/h. Meanwhile, the average fuel economy is claimed at 9.1-9.3 liters per 100km (compared to the E 250 CGI’s 7.3 litres/100km average).
In terms of driving enjoyment, the new E-Class goes a step further than its predecessor. The steering precision has been improved along with roadholding while maintaining excellent ride comfort, Road vibrations are ironed out effectively, and the car never feels sloppy, thank to the three-link front suspension and rear multi-link, plus 17-inch alloy wheels with low-profile 245/45 tires.
Stopping power comes from massive disc brakes all round, with all sorts of electronic assistance. Apart from the ride comfort, another highlight of the new E-Class is the quiet interior. Even at high speeds, the cabin still offers a high level of serenity, allowing the occupants to hear each other clearly. The interior is luxurious with high-quality leather and aluminum trim, along with high-grade materials.
The E 300 Avantgarde also comes with a long list of safety features, ranging from drowsiness detection to high beam assist and cornering light functions. There is also a navigation system, entertainment system with DVD, automatic climate control, etc
Mercedes-Benz has certainly raised the bar in the midsized luxury car market up a notch with the new E-Class.
My final words on the E 300 Avantgarde, Mercedes-Benz? Fans looking for an executive car that offers high luxury level, safety, ride comfort as well as sporty performance need not look any further.
This is a drowsiness detection system that helps warn the driver of fatigue, which is very helpful during long-distance driving. The system uses highly sensitive sensors that continuously monitor more than 70 different parameters, including the driver’s steering behavior, which has proven to be a particularly strong indicator, and warns the driver though both audio and visual signals.
Adaptive High Beam Assist
This system helps maximize visibility during night time driving. The new E-Class is the first automobile in the world whose headlamps adapt to the traffic situation and respond automatically to avoid dazzling other drivers.
The standard-fitted amplitude-dependent damping system is one of the major factors behind the high degree of long-distance comfort provided by the E-Class. The shock absorbers adapt to the current driving situation, reducing the damping forces automatically when driving normally with low shock-absorber impulses and increasing the forces up to the maximum as required when cornering at speed or performing evasive manoeuvers.
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