1 Sep 2006
ALTHOUGH hard to pick, Mercedes-Benz claims there are 2000 new or redeveloped parts in its mid-life makeover of the E-class range.
Many of the changes, like the steering wheel feedback and slightly firmer suspension settings designed to enhance cornering and offer a more neutral stance, were in response to customer feedback.
The 10 model line-up has been expanded to include a turbo-diesel wagon, the E280 CDI while the E500 gains a new 5.5-litre V8 from the S-class.
Apart from the E280 CDI and E500, the line-up includes the four-cylinder E200K, E280 V6, E350 V6 and range-topping E63 6.2-litre V8 AMG sedan and wagon.
The E200K is more powerful, producing 135kW (+15kW) and 250Nm (+10Nm), while E500 power and torque is up 285kW (+60kW) and 530Nm (+70Nm) than the previous models.
The range-topping E63 AMG gets an extra 28kW, now 378kW but loses 70Nm, now down to a still-not-insignificant 630Nm.
Apart from the E200K, which gets a five-speed auto, all E-class engines are mated to Mercedes’ 7G-tronic seven-speed auto.
Visually both the sedan and wagon get refreshed styling, with new bumpers, foglights, deeper V-shaped grille, new alloy designs, revised exterior mirrors, new tail lights, larger high-level brake light on the wagon and a wider chrome strip on the sedan’s boot.
Inside, the cars gain the CLS steering wheel, climate control digital display, revised auto-dimming interior mirror, new upholstery and "designer" ignition key.
All models now gain the adaptive brake system from the S-class, which provides electronic control of the dual-circuit brakes, wet-brake and hill-holder functions.