Mercedes-Benz E220

BlueTEC AMG Line

Saloon

Mercedes E-Class, action
Mercedes E-Class, side
Mercedes E-Class, rear
Mercedes E-Class, interior
Mercedes E-Class, front
Mercedes E-Class, head-on

I HAVE to confess that economy and fuel efficiency are not attributes that immediately spring to mind when I think about Mercedes cars - after all they are premium vehicles with outstanding handling capabilities and performance stats that are not for the faint-hearted.

But my opinion has changed since driving the beautifully-crafted E220 BlueTEC model complete with sporty AMG styling.

This particular model certainly looks the business with its sleek streamlining, sweeping light clusters, twin tailpipes and distinctive AMG design traits.

And the handling is equally as impressive with a 0-62mph sprint time of 8.4 seconds, but it's the official combined fuel efficiency figure of 64.2mpg that really makes you sit up and listen.

But unlike some ultra-efficient premium saloon models, performance and driving dynamics have not been compromised. The E-Class powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine delivers 177bhp and simply burns up the Tarmac.

The road-holding is exemplary and the steering very precise meaning the car can be thrown into corners on long sweeping country lanes.

That said there is a distinctly refined nature to the car. It's very quiet with next-to-no engine, road surface or wind noise and all occupants are treated to high standards of comfort - as one would expect from a Merc.

The interior is richly equipped with ambient lighting, heated front seats, Bluetooth, sat nav, automatic climate control and all the techno treats you could wish for.

This car featured a Premium Plus Package costing £3,895 extra which added quick-fold rear seats, fully-electric front seats with memory settings, a panoramic glass sunroof, keyless entry with powered boot, a reversing camera and an excellent surround sound audio system with 14 high performance speakers.

Admittedly the E220 is not cheap and with the optional extras the price-tag rose from £36,765 to £44,650, but it is a beautiful vehicle to drive.

The excellent all-round visibility makes city centre driving a breeze and then out on faster-moving motorways, there is a constant supply of power at your disposal as the car moves effortlessly through the seven-speed automatic gearbox.

And to help achieve those impressive economy stats there is an ECO mode which maximises fuel efficiency.

As one would expect, Mercedes has packed a comprehensive array of safety features into the car, including the likes of collision prevention assist, cruise control with variable speed limiter, adaptive brake system, attention assist to monitor driver fatigue, active bonnet which is a pedestrian safety measure which detects an impact and raises the bonnet by 50mm creating additional crumple zone, plus a whole lot more besides.

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz E220 BlueTEC AMG Line Saloon

Price: £36,765

Mechanical: 177bhp, 2,143cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:141mph

0-62mph:8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 64.2

Insurance Group:34

C02 emissions: 128g/km

Bik rating:21%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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