Ample luxury on wheels

2010-04-10 12:02

FAMILY cars of the past were seen as the perfect solution for big families. Although they were not the prettiest of cars, they did serve a purpose with all that extra space.

Mercedes-Benz just launched the E-Class Estate, a modern version of a station wagon that looks similar to the popular C-Class Estate.

This one, however, is wider, longer and therefore more spacious – and more pricey.

There are four engines to choose from, with power figures between 125kW and 285kW. Even though the engines are smaller, they deliver better figures than previous models.

Customers can choose between the Elegant and Avantegarde trim levels.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the fuel consumption and emissions of the Estate have been considerably reduced by new engines and various measures such as aerodynamics, weight, energy management and reduced resistance. A good example is the E200 CGI which kicks out 135kW of power and 270Nm of torque.

Its fuel consumption is 7.7l/100km with CO2 emissions at 179g/100km.

The Estate also includes numerous technical innovations such as drowsiness detection, automatic emergency braking when an accident is recognised as about to happen and adaptive high beam assist.

However, though the drowsiness detection is impressive technology, the pulses coming from the steering wheel need to be a lot more aggressive to be able to wake those falling asleep behind the wheel.

Two definite highlights of the car are its safety and functionality.

The Estate comes standard with nine airbags. These include a pelvisbag – which reduces the load exerted on the driver and front passenger during a side impact – plus sidebags and windowbags.

The other is its various functions such as the ease of operation and the huge load capacity.

The rear seats can fold completely flat with the help of the handy levers from the boot or the ones by the seats.

The boot has a total load capacity of 1?950 litres. That means you can put quite a few large suitcases in there, big musical instruments, plants or anything else you just might need.

Another goodie is the standard-fit easy-pack tailgate which can be automatically opened by using the ignition key or pressing the handle.

The luggage compartment cover is attached at beltline level making it easier to install and remove the cover in various positions.

It also moves up automatically when the boot is opened.

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