2017 Mercedes E200 Review

Your uncle’s next car is here – but it’s left him very confused

By Shahzad Sheikh

For 2017 Mercedes E200 Review on video, click below.

Meet the car your uncle desires the most – the all-new Mercedes E-Class. This is the staple of the Merc range, the middle car leaves the C for young upwardly mobiles and the S for industry tycoons. This is the bread and butter saloon from the 3-pointed star.

It looks like a Merc no longer a teenager (that would be the C-class) and not yet a man (the S-Class). Honestly it’s a bit hard to tell from the C on the outside.

Is it any good? Well I reckon your uncle would absolutely love this car, that’s if he could figure it out. What do I mean by that? I’ll tell you in a minute, but first let’s look at the practicalities, because the E-Class has always been eminently usable, rugged and dependable whether you find it on German Autobahn, or the Sub-Saharan dirt roads.

Practical & comfortable

Unsurprisingly it has a massive boot with lots of clever touches like levers to drop the split-folding rear seats, a bag hook and a pretty cavernous under-floor compartment that also houses the spare wheel, tool kit and, rather thoughtfully, a cloth to wipe your hands!

The rear compartment is spacious enough to easily accommodate my tall frame behind a driver’s seat set for myself. It’s airy (particularly thanks to front and rear sunroof in the test car), superbly finished and of course very comfortable. Again practical too with b-pillar and central vents with rear A/C controls and a power supply. No rear USB, but a cable can easily be run back from the central cubby box which features two USBs.

2017 Mercedes E200 review

Unbelievable technology

There is strip lighting that runs all the way around the elegant cabin, the colour of which can be fined tuned to anything you desire from within the full spectrum. And all of that can be done through the main screen.

Ah – the main screen. A feature that dominates the dashboard, runs pretty two-thirds the width of the car and incorporates the instrument panel and a massive infotainment panel all in one. Now, please note that base-spec cars are still available with traditional instruments and not this elongated panel.

2017 Mercedes E200 review

Having said that, I suspect those are for taxis and fleets and most private buyers will opt for this very unusual design and technology feature. It does work surprisingly well – I was worried about glare and reflections off the screen, but never found that to be an issue.

With all this digital info in front of you, you still gets heads-up display. Plus of course this car – depending on what spec you get – is packed with tech some of which verges on autonomous or is actually autonomous.

There’s so much clever stuff on this car, that it would fill pages right here. Suffice to say it’s one of the most advanced cars you can buy right now. For a full look at all the gadgets and gizmos, watch this full briefing video below which includes demos by clicking below.

Additionally we tried the fully autonomous parking too, which is amongst the very first to not all only handle all the steering, but also operate the accelerator and brake, leaving you to be just a slightly anxious passenger. It’s really spooky in how it parks and then decides it didn’t like its own efforts and reparks – how very human!

You can watch that video by clicking below.

What’s it like to drive?

We only get the E200 at present, which is an old 2.0 four-cylinder turbo from the previous gen putting out 184bhp and 221lb ft of torque. It’ll labour away from zero reaching 100kph in suitable 7.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 140kph.

It drives the rear wheels to an admittedly new and rather sophisticated and sublime 9-speed auto with rather pointless paddleshifts on this model. Because really performance is not a feature of this car, and sportiness is a distant concept. It’s simply not what this is about.

The whole car is geared for comfort and ease of driving with feel-less and slow steering and a lolloping gait, with it doing that old E-Class thing of heaving itself into and then eventually settling into a corner.

2017 Mercedes E200 review

Sure the grip and ability are there, it’s faithful for sure, but it’s not a car that wants to play. It will be very interesting to see how they set up the 400bhp V6 AMG E43 and 600bhp 4.0 V8 E63 when we eventually inevitably get them.

For now, all you can get is this. The E200 starts at AED193,000 ($52,800), which you might think is not bad. Except that the same money in the States gets you into an E300, which still only has a 2.0 four, but give a more generous 241bhp.

From what I can see Europe also gets more interesting hybrids and of course diesels. So why do we get lumbered with this old motor then Mercedes? Having said that I believe the E300 will be made available very shortly.

2017 Mercedes E200 review

Verdict

Mercedes has to get every new E-Class right, because it’s their core saloon. It defines them perhaps even more than the Mercedes S-Class. And it would be churlish to say they haven’t delivered. They simply have. This is a fantastic car.

Okay we’re a bit short-changed here in the Middle East with this motor for now, but the refinement, comfort, quality, kit and feel-good remain intact.

And if you’re just after one of the most prestigious badges in the business, if you’ve done well and you want to reward yourself with a MerSaDees, and all you wanna do is cruise in comfort, then absolutely go for it.

2017 Mercedes E200 review

However for uncles out there, it’s all got a bit too gadgety, techy and confusing. I suspect that customer base is of the type that wants something comfortingly familiar. Something that doesn’t need them rushing to the owner’s manual every time they want to change the radio channel.

It can all be bit intimidating and off-putting.

However there are better, cleaner, simpler ways of delivering technology in a package that is as comfortable, dependable and safe as this. One that is actually more powerful, satisfying to drive and relatively better value. Yep, I’d go with the equally new high-tech Volvo S90 – read the review here.

2017 Mercedes E200 review

2017 Mercedes E200 – The Specs

Price: AED193,000 ($53k)
Engine: 2.0-litre Four Cylinder, 184bhp @ 5500rpm, 221lb ft @ 1200-4000rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 7.7secs, 240kph, 7.0L/100km
Transmission:  9-speed auto, Rear-wheel drive
Weight:  1815kg

Let us know what you think of the new 2017 Mercedes E200 review below

One response to “2017 Mercedes E200 Review”

  1. Mohamed says:

    I drove the car earlier, awesome! Feels like these Bond cars we used to see in movies, full of gadgets! The scary feature is that it’s pulls you back to the road if you hit a yellow line, what’s that Merc?
    Loved the car and loved the review, especially the auto parking thingy, hilarious!

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