The station wagon is more of a European phenomenon. Although the automobile asses only play an insignificant secondary role in the big sales markets in China and the USA, he is very much loved on the Old Continent, and especially in Germany. No wonder, that Mercedes half a year after the limousine at the end of October, the T-model of the new E-Class also sent into the race.
The Stuttgart have now recognized that a noble vice not only has to score points with the practical advantages of a large freight compartment, but also the sporting character may not be neglected. The new 213 estate wagon, for example, which, despite its lowered roofline, does not affect the head and elbow room of the rear passengers, is much more dynamic on the wheels. Anyway, at prices starting from 48.665 Euro, he does not aim for a clientele carrying paint buckets or tool boxes anyway.
Granted, who has so far crammed his Mercedes E-Class for the trip into the holiday with sack and pack to the last Dachritze, which will be annoyed about the new edition of the premium station wagon from the star empire. In fact, the trunk volume of the new noble freighter has shrunk. To 55 liters below the load compartment cover, after all, already 120 liter with folded rear seats to the roof.
But honestly, who really stimulates the load capacity up to the last cubic millimeter. And most of all, what is the alternative? A volume of 640 liters up to the lower edge of the window, which accommodates even more 30 liters with steeper rear seat backrests ("cargo position") or can be flexibly extended to up to 40 liters thanks to the 20: 40 foldable backrests. In extreme cases, 1.860 mineral water boxes are the basis for the midsummer garden party or for 19 tennis balls to equip the ball machines for the next group intensive training. Unless the space is of course not needed for the little ones, for the optional again a third rear seat with two devices for Reboundkindersitze the class 12.000 and 2 is offered.
In any case, the T-Model still makes all its competitors look old, even with the slightly more sloping rear window. Even those in the premium class. The Audi A6 Avant (565 to 1.675 liters) and the BMW 5 Series touring (560 to 1.670 liters) as well as the brand new Volvo V90 (560 to 1.526 liters) are still a long way behind. Only the space world champion Skoda Superb Combi (615 to 1.950 liters) trumps the Mercedes truck, at least at the maximum value.
But those who have taken their seats in the nearly five-meter-long star wagon, which has produced more than a million copies in the past five generations since 1996, will immediately notice that this luxury liner plays in a different league. From the ambience lighting, which can be chosen in all rainbow colors, to fine materials, whether nappa leather, fine magnolia wood or piano lacquer, and elaborate massage seats to a cockpit with lush, high-resolution displays, so to speak, in a wide-screen cinemascope - this is really great cinema.
Whether one can speak in general of an "intelligent vehicle", as the still-sales director and future development chief (from January 2017) Ola Källenius and his team like to do once put there. Technologically sees the Swede, who is already traded as successor to the CEO Dieter Zetsche, the e-wagon in any case rightly at the top, overtakes the middle grader in this regard, even the S-Class.
Because like the sedan, the T-model of the E-series now has the "Drive Pilot", which enables semi-autonomous driving and transforms the star truck into a "very attentive vehicle". It keeps the distance to the car in front, the car in the lane and even makes sure the lane changes during the overtaking process, without the driver having to grab the steering wheel himself. He only needs to announce his wish beforehand by setting the turn signal. The Drive Pilot reminds the driver not to keep their hands off the steering wheel for too long. And in confusing traffic conditions such as on construction sites, he gives immediately to the pilot of flesh and blood. In addition, the "Remote Park Pilot" helps with remote control when parking and parking out of the garage or in tight parking bays.
At the market launch are for the E-Class Estate initially two four-cylinder petrol engine as E 200 with 135 kW / 184 PS and as E 250 with 155 kW / 211 PS and the E 220d with the newly developed, 143 kW / 194 PS strong four-cylinder diesel available, which are previously fixed as the only priced with a range of 48.665 to 50.753 Euro. On the first rounds of testing by the Holstein Switzerland, the diesel proved to be a harmonious propulsion partner for the noble truck, which with the focus on comfortable travel thanks to a lush torque of 400 Nm already from 1.600 tours seems to be well prepared for almost all situations. At the tank, he practices with a standard consumption of 4,2 liters on 100 kilometers in the utmost restraint, even if at the end of the real exit just under six liters were booked.
The range of the two diesel units in the 200d with 110 kW / 150 PS and in the 350d with 190 kW / 258 PS as well as the 400 4MATIC with 245 kW / 333PS will be added later this year, with the 3,5-liter -Benziner as the strongest diesel have a six-pack under the hood. All models are equipped with the new nine-speed automatic transmission 9G-TRONIC at the market launch.
Until then, the first performance level of the new luxury estate will be available. The AMG-T model E 43 4MATIC is with the 295 kW / 401 PS strong 3,0-liter V6 biturbo, the nine-speed automatic transmission with reduced shift times, all-wheel drive and independent sports suspension even more driving dynamics and agility and should be just under 80.000 Euro without extras.
And that's the only problem with the E-Class Estate in general. The noble star freighter is undoubtedly a top-level station wagon - but that also applies to the prices, as the entire arsenal of security and assistance systems right up to the "Drive Pilot" is largely at a premium. And the additional costs are not about thousands, but already tens of thousands. (Michael Lennartz)