HERE are my impressions on the all-new Mercedes Benz E200 AMG.
When you get in the car you will immediately know it is a Mercedes Benz. The inside is modern but you feel the tradition. The DNA is there. It is hard for me to explain, but that Mercedes feel is there from the wiper switch to the console mounted volume control. My daily driver is a 1989 260E where everything is analog but a lot of controls are still in the same familiar places with today’s modern digital E Class.
What intimidated me was the dash display as it looked like two iPads side by side. It seemed complicated. There are a multitude of options for you to customize the dash display to your personal preference, a feature which I got to like after fiddling with the settings for around half an hour. It is like setting up a brand new smartphone.
I am not sure on how I feel about the iPad-type dash display of the car. My first impression was that it seemed to be too modern for a luxury car, but after fiddling with it I got to love it. So I consulted my friends and they were split down the middle: half of them loved it, and the other half did not like it. It is good that Mercedes Benz has a variant that has an analog-looking dash display.
I picked up my daughter in school with this car and in less than a minute after she got in, the music in her iPhone was playing on the car stereo wirelessly. This meant that the entertainment system is easy to use. And, yes, the entertainment system sounds awesome. With respect to the cabin of this car, nothing could be more perfect.
The E200 is powered by a 2.0 direct injection turbo engine. Yup, just two liters. Since this is a big and heavy car, one would think that it will be slower than a Vios. Surprisingly, it is powerful and fast. There is just so much torque, and turbo lag does not exist in this engine. It is much faster than my 1989 260E that is powered by a six cylinder 2.6 liter engine. It actually feels like a V8 is under the hood. Overtaking is easy. I know this is hard to believe as I also never thought that the small engine in the E200 can accelerate that well. Apart from the amazing horsepower this engine can put out, it is also very fuel efficient, a natural consequence of direct injection technology.
The automatic transmision of this car is also something to rave about. It shifts quick and it shifts smooth, a combination which is difficult to do. It also has a paddle shift option, a feature which I found useless because when it’s in auto mode, it does a better job than me at shifting the gears.
The car has four driving settings: economy, comfort, sport and sport+. My favorite setting is the fastest setting, sport+.
For some time now, it has been a trend of most of the car manufacturers to make the suspesion of the car stiffer in order to improve handling. The drawback is that ride comfort is affected. With the E200, the comfort remains intact. I could go through the speed bumps in my village without reducing speed. On cornering, the suspension immediattely stiffens up, thereby minimizing body roll resulting in great handling.
There are no compromises from a very comfortable car that handles well.
To sum it up, the Mercedes Benz E200 AMG is a fuel efficient, powerful luxury car. It is as close to perfection as anyone can get.