Mercedes-Benz E220d

AMG-Line

Mercedes-Benz E220 d, front
Mercedes-Benz E220 d
Mercedes-Benz E220 d, side, left
Mercedes-Benz E220 d, side
Mercedes-Benz E220 d, rear
Mercedes-Benz E220 d, boot
Mercedes-Benz E220 d, interior
Mercedes-Benz E220 d, dashboard
Mercedes-Benz E220 d, rear seats

LOOKING at the latest Mercedes-Benz AMG-Line E-Class saloon the tendency is to think it has to be powered by a large engine.

After all the E-Class - always one of the German luxury car maker's classic models - is a large car by any standards.

But while large engines are available advances in engine technology means the latest 2.0-litre units now offers enough power to suit the most demanding of drivers even in the E-Class.

Previous experience with 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units in both E and C-Class Mercs have left me underwhelmed - but not the latest E220d.

For starters this diesel delivers 194bhp to give refined, silky, smooth power delivery equal to six-cylinder engines of just a couple of years ago. And with acceleration from 0-62mph of just 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 149mph this car offers impressive high performance driving.

The bonus, of course, of opting for a smaller high performance engine is the economy it offers.Over a week with the E220d I managed to average 56 miles per gallon without even really trying.

And because this engine is so clean it only currently attracts £30 per year road tax.

But for a lot of people buying a car is more about looks than performance or economy and cosmetically the AMG Line is a cracker.

It's low, sleek and has curves in all the right places. What's not to like about this one?

Add to that a car with an abundance of interior space and a 540-litre boot and it's easy to see why it's such a good seller.

Sit behind the steering wheel and the first thing you notice is the huge, almost oversized 12.3-inch colour display screen, which is ideal for the 3D satellite navigation system, not to mention the numerous in-car features.

Gadget geeks in the back seats will find the car's Wi Fi hotspot feature a real bonus on long journeys while optional extras to suit the driver are almost limitless.

This car, for example, came with everything from a double glass panel panoramic sunshine roof and automatic boot opening/closing system to a multibeam intelligent lighting system featuring headlamps with 84 individually controlled LEDs capable of lighting the road ahead but leaving cars in front and approaching in shadow so as not to dazzle their drivers.

On the road the nine-speed automatic gearbox with its column change makes for very relaxed motoring.

In fact the box won't go into ninth until you reach 80 miles per hour, and then the car is only registering 1,500 revs so it's barely ticking over.

At the motorway limit of 70mph it's still showing the same revs but this time in eighth gear so fuel consumption stays low.

If you want to get more performance from this car you can change from Comfort to Sport or even Sport-plus so the engine hangs on to each gear for longer to give you that bit extra zip.

But for most of the time the average driver will probably leave it in comfort knowing that it only takes a quick stab of the accelerator to drop a few gears to give you the sharp acceleration which makes this such a peach of a car to drive.

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz E220d AMG-Line

Price: £38,895

Mechanical: 194bhp, 1,950cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 149mph

0-62mph: 7.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 72.4

Insurance Group: 31

C02 emissions: 112g/km

Bik rating: 22%

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