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First look: Estate is newest E from Mercedes

Space craft: The Mercedes-Benz E-class Estate is expected to arrive in Australia in early 2010.

New E-class Estate emerges as sedan and Coupe arrive in a bevy of new Benzes

6 Aug 2009

MERCEDES-BENZ has revealed its redesigned E-class Estate in Europe, just as first deliveries of the new E-class sedan and coupe take place in Australia.

The fifth-generation family wagon is expected on sale here in the first quarter of 2010, but it won’t be the final member of the new E-class model range to appear, with the CLK soft-top-replacing E-Class Cabriolet likely to debut alongside it at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The open-top E-class should complete the model line-up in Australia towards the middle of next year – around the same time the Australia receives the same new CGI four-cylinder petrol engines from the E-class in the upgraded C-class range already on sale in Europe.

In the meantime, the E-class sedan and coupe rollout continues with four-cylinder variants in late September, before the facelifted S-class arrives with a carryover model range in October, the special-edition C63 AMG ‘Edition 63’ lands in November and the upgraded GL-class SUV hits Australia in December.

Presenting the same angular quad-headlight front-end as the two-door and four-door models, the new E-class Estate adds a similarly contemporary five-door body that displaces up to 1950 litres of cargo space, easily beating its direct rivals in the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant.

4 center imageGlossy black trim covering the B and C-pillar also make the all-new E-class Estate appear to have a single large expanse of side glass, while new two-piece LED tail-lights complete the new look.

Slightly longer (4895mm) and wider (1854mm) overall than the S211-series it replaces (maintaining its station as the largest car in its class), the newest Mercedes Estate is also 35mm lower at 1471mm, despite offering more claimed rear head room than before.

Benz says rear elbow room increases by 50mm to 1505mm, while rear headroom also improves by 50mm to 1010mm when a sunroof is fitted – just 2mm less than the standard vehicle.

Overseas models will continue to be available with a foldaway third-row seats that transform the E-class wagon into a seven-seater and stow in the boot floor when not in use, as well as the Mercedes-Benz EasyPack system, which opens the luggage cover when the tailgate is opened and includes a compartment below the folding boot floor.

New technology, which will also be added to the E-class sedan, includes ‘self-adaptive belt force limiters’ for the rear seatbelts, which are said to apply the correct level of restraint by adjusting to the size and weight of rear occupants.

Nine airbags including a driver’s knee airbag will be standard, along with four seatbelt pretensioners and belt force limiters, plus crash-responsive ‘Neck-Pro’ front head restraints, while adaptive damping and self-levelling rear suspension will also be fitted.

No fewer than 10 Euro 5 emissions-compliant engines will be available in Europe, largely mirroring the E-class sedan and coupe line-up, but Mercedes-Benz Australia is yet to finalise pricing or specifications for its local range.

The current E-class Estate is available in five guises – more than any other large luxury wagon – including the 3.0-litre petrol V6-powered E280 ($110,468), the 3.0-litre diesel V6 E280 CDI ($112,587), 3.5-litre petrol V6 E350 ($138,539), 5.5-litre petrol V8 E500 ($174,024) and range-topping E63 AMG ($245,312), which will be replaced later in 2010.

However, the all-new E Estate is likely to follow the E-class sedan’s lead by offering more equipment for less money, with the entry-level E220 CDI diesel ($80,900) priced more than 10 per cent below the base model it replaces, the supercharged 1.8-litre petrol E200K.

Similarly, the E250 CDI costs about nine per cent less than the outgoing E280 CDI and, although the E500 sedan is almost $9000 pricier than before, the E350 is almost $3000 cheaper.

In terms of the C-class-based E-class Coupe, however, the entry-level E250 CGI ($94,500) is almost $6000 dearer than the CLK200K it succeeds, while the E350 Coupe is more than $2000 pricier than the CLK350 Coupe, and the E500 Coupe is a whopping $18,695 less affordable than the superseded CLK500.

The entry-level version of the new E-class Estate, the E200 CDI BlueEfficiency, will be powered by a 100kW version of the E220 CDI sedan’s 2.1-litre four-cylinder two-stage turbo-diesel, which with a six-speed manual returns claimed (NEDC) average fuel consumption of 5.7 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 150 grams per kilometre – short of Europe’s equivalent BMW 520d Estate (140g/km).

The E220 CDI BlueEfficiency gets a 125kW version of the same engine, while E250CDI BlueEfficiency scores a 150kW variation, both of which batch the 100kW engine’s economy and emissions. The E350 CDI Estate’s 170kW 3.0-litre turbo-diesel returns 7.0L/100km and 185g/km with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The new E-class Estate’s petrol engine line-up includes the base E220 CGI BlueEfficiency, powered by a 135kW turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder that returns 7.7L/100km and 179g/km in six-speed manual form, and the E250 CGI BlueEfficiency, which offers 150kW and returns 8.0L/100km and 185g/km with a five-speed auto.

Topping the new E-class Estate range is the E350 CGI BlueEfficiency, whose 215kW 3.5-litre V6 benefits from spray-guided direct-injection to return 8.6L/100km and 200g/km as a seven-speed auto, and the 285kW 5.5-litre V8-powered E500, which returns 11.1L/100km and 258g/km with the same transmission.

Mercedes-Benz has sold more than one million examples of the E-class Estate globally since the first version was launched in 1977.

What’s coming from Benz:
E350 and E500 sedan August
E350 and E500 coupe August
E220 CDI, E250 CDI, E350 CDI and E250 CGI sedan September
E250 CDI coupe October
S-class facelift October
E250 CGI coupe November
GL-class facelift December
E-class Estate first quarter 2010
E-class cabriolet mid-2010
C-class upgrade mid-2010

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