Cape Town - Few things spark a brand the way Mercedes does when you think of elegance and sophistication.
Think elaborate ballgowns with fine lace, or iridescent silk chiffon fabrics used by the best designers in the world. If there was a car to match these haute couture creations, Mercedes-Benz fits the match perfectly.
More so the E-Class, even in 220d guise.
I recently had this model on test and at first I thought, it just won't suit me. I have a very busy toddler who always leaves any car I drive, a complete mess. Be it Flings chips, sand from Malmesbury or whatever else she decides to bring along into the car with her.
But it's as if the serenity of the car itself brings about a tranquility that absorbs its occupants and its surroundings. Leaving you floating into a waft breeze drawing you towards the ocean.
Before I lose myself in calm frenzy, here are 5 reasons the Mercedes-Benz E-Class 220d is fit as a fiddle for any family.
1. All-rounder: It almost made the 2017 SA Car of the Year competition as a finalist, but unfortunately was knocked out in the semi-finalist round. What a pity as its a definite all-rounder, and so comfortable whether you're driving all of the time or a passenger in a baby seat. I promise my child has never fallen asleep easier than during my time in this car.
2. Stunning, magnificent. The flowing lines and luscious curves of the E-Class are almost poetic. Everything is rounded off neatly and in perfect place, inside and out. The ambience inside is delightful, and the subtle interior lighting just adds to the sophistication of the car.
3. Functionality. I'm not a fan of the tail lights on the 220d, as I prefer the previous lights which were more defined - but that's just me as my husband thinks I'm silly as he adores the tail lights and reckons they suit the car perfectly. However, they're not jut a fashion accessory, they're pretty functional.
Mercedes-Benz says its tail lights feature multi-level functionality. The brake lights and indicators are operated with varying light intensity, depending on the driving situation or if its day/night driving. 'If the driver presses the brake pedal while stopped at traffic lights at night, the brightness of the lights will dim automatically to avoid dazzling anyone behind."
4. Easy on the tank: Mileage, mileage mileage. A diesel tank, eco mode and smooth sailing leaves for a happy wallet, and a happy owner. Driving for a full week on one tank gets more than just one tick in my book for economy. The E220d is good for a combined consumption of just 3.9-litres/100km, says Mercedes, and equates to 102g/km CO2 emissions.
Those numbers are real, and I easily achieved that combined figure with my worst rating at 5.0-litres/100km with heavy-foot driving. Now that's impressive. According to Mercedes, the E-Class features all-round self-levelling that automatically lowers the vehicle depending on speed to reduce fuel consumption.
5. Drives like a dream
The 1950cc unit pushes out 143kW/400Nm. Great for cruising on a long drive, and more than suffice for overtaking with that delicious torque. Driving is effortless, dreamy almost.
Mercedes claims the car's ground clearance can also be increased at the push of a button using the ride height adjustment switch. There's Dynamic Select which allows you to select from four driving modes - Comfort, Eco, Sport and Sport+ - while the additional Individual setting allow for custom configuration.
The seamless nine-speed 9G-Tronic auto transmission helps deliver power effortlessly and without any sound.