Test Drive - Mercedes E280 CDI Part 2/3

19/06/2009 - 11:56 | ,  ,  ,   | Shrawan Raja

Mercedes Benz E280 CDI_102

Note- We decided to make this a 3 part review since we can't stop going on and on with this car.

If you have missed the first part, you can catch up with it here

Interiors - If you can't afford a house, this is the next best alternative.

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When we finished admiring the exteriors, we jumped inside only to be greeted by a dispersion of electronic gadgets and controls which filled the dashboard. The transition from the outside to inside was like visiting a monument built by the renaissance architects, and walking in to find a wind tunnel facility installed for readying modern-day aircrafts.

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This is a Mercedes, so obviously attention to detail is immaculate. The dark green color steering wheel which is grain wood finished is one indication. And yes, the steering can be adjusted to your needs; it is powered electrically for both height and reach.

The centre of the dash houses a LCD screen which lets you access the audio (radio, CD), telephone and Aux functions. Right above it, is the control for the A.C, conveniently placed for adjustments whether you are the driver or giving him company.

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The Mercedes Benz E-Class is armed with four temperature zones where in you can set different temperature settings for each of the four passengers.

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The air conditioning works marvelously as expected and there is nothing really more that can describe it. AC vents placed strategically, including the doors, results in instant cabin cooling. Hot Indian summers are unfamiliar to those traveling in the E-Class.

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The Mercedes E-Class has a whole universe of surprises inside

At night, the dash is lit up by small lights and LEDs. From a distance, thanks to the integrated effect of these tiny lights, the view of the universe through a telescope is brought into your cabin.

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The light cluster is amidst the many wonders on the E-Class. Besides the drive and feel of the car, these were things we admired and appreciate and hope to see on the new E-Class as well.

Gear shifting - are the linkages made using butter?

The E-Class processes power through a 7G Tronic gearbox. The gear changer is placed ergonomically in the centre with a tri-star pasted on it. In many luxury cars, gear shifting feels like tasting a delicacy, on the E-Class however, feeling the gear change lever itself provides you with such a sensation.

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Shifting gears manually is also possible by just tapping the changer to the left to up shift, and right to down shift the gears.

Electrically powered front seats take no time in suiting your needs. Every aspect including the head rests are controlled by motors providing you total access to its ample neck, shoulder and thigh support. The seats were cozy, no aches or strains experienced even after hundreds of kilometers that included badly maintained roads.

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To explain how comfortable the seats were, we'll give you this observation-

Anyone who sat in the car didn't want to get out. The seats are so comfortable that no one really wants to leave this car. Among the cars we've driven so far, no car comes close to the comfort offered by the E-Class.

To explain how quiet it is inside, this should help -

Shut the doors and the cabin becomes pin drop silent. Noise levels are surprisingly low that at times it was difficult to determine if the engine was on or off. There isn't a hint of vibration and mind you, this a V6 Diesel engine that rests under its bonnet.

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In the last part, we look at the engine, gearbox and suspension. We describe what we did not like in the E-Class in the last part of this story. So stay tuned!

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