“An E200d? That’s a taxi right?” No people.
Christmas is one hell of a stressful time and who ever claims differently needs to see a doctor. People are rushed, are putting down way too many miles for capitalistic reasons and worst of all is that I was one of them! Good thing Mercedes-Benz planned the new E200d for me to test that week, at least something that ought to bring stress relief.
“I found myself staring at it through the kitchen window.”
Mercedes-Benz has been building mid-sized sedans for decades, it all started with the Ponton back in 1953 but the brand didn’t slap the E Class name onto their cars until 1993. That first E Class was styled in the same way as the CLK was. It was just styling however, as the cars differed greatly technically. Those looks are still a thing shared across the Benz lineup and the current E Class wears a so called ‘family face.’ That means it looks a lot like its siblings and that’s no bad thing at all. Not equipped with a fancy AMG-line, the E200d I drove looked nice and clean. It even grew on me during those days, as I found myself staring at it through the kitchen window.
While were on the staring bit: I can’t get over how Mercedes-Benz has changed their interiors for the better. Only for a few years has the brand used this new interior style and it’s hard to believe they’ve only been doing it for this short of a period. From the shapes to the fancy alternating lights, even the heated seats felt innovative (mostly because I didn’t feel like I was peeing in my pants). Nothing is really innovative in the interior but they make you feel like it is, and that’s all that counts. The feeling this car gives, it felt like a 100k luxury sedan inside. A damn spacious one, the booth is big enough for at least 5 bodies.
All added up, the E200d was around 60k in euros. No fancy rims, no fancy logos, but they did add the agility-chassis with optional drive-modes, and that’s seriously impressive stuff. It made the nearly 1800 kilogram car feel clam and composed when driving casually, only to turn into an addictively-well-handeling car when pushed to its limits. Those limits weren’t something I was chasing after, nor did I feel the need to in this car. Powered by a 195 PS 2-liter diesel, the E200d felt like it wanted me to be as smooth as possible. Casually strolling through its 9 gears, the car made me wonder when it was ever going to use fuel. I drove nearly 800 kilometers that week and had barely used more than half a tank.
The week with the E200d was ending and I felt sad giving it back. It’s been a while since I was surprised by a car, especially a diesel that people wrongly label as a taxi. For some reason a BMW 520d is the most normal car around and a Mercedes-Benz E200d is something associated with drunk-people-trafficers. So I went to Rotterdam’s biggest taxi hotspot and asked the taxi drivers about the car. Surprisingly they didn’t like it anymore, it was “not taxi-ish enough.” I’m not kidding.
“My advice when you’re looking for something in the 60k euro area that uses less fuel than your average hatchback?:
So what didn’t I like about this car? Well the 8.1 seconds to a hundred was a bit too slow for my personal liking, good thing the Mercedes-AMG E63 is around though (Video here). And, don’t shoot me on this one, this car would have been a damn fine automobile if it had an electrical drivetrain. Those diesel noises were more present than in my 20k Alfa MiTo, weird considering how quiet it was overall. An electrical drivetrain would be a perfect match with all the tech Mercedes can slap into the E Class, hell it even comes with semi autonomous driving when opted for.
My advice when you’re looking for something in the 60k-euro area that uses less fuel than your average hatchback? Definitely take a look at the Mercedes-Benz E200d, you don’t need to go full-option for it to be a damn fine car.