The German automaker will be offering the long wheelbase version, called the ‘E-Class L’ in India. This does look like a smart move, especially since it allows them to bridge the gap between the E and the S-Class, whilst offering a properly unique proposition. It also helps them position a product in a place occupied by the CLS-Class, which hasn’t found too many takers in India.
India is the only country to feature a right-hand drive E-Class L, and it will be produced at Mercedes-Benz’ manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune. While we expect pricing to be at a slight premium compared to the outgoing version, it will continue to go up against its age old rivals - the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6. How does the new version stack up against them? And, just to make things a tad more interesting, we’ve thrown in the new kids on the block - the Volvo S90 and the Jaguar XF. Let the spec-sheet battle unfold!
This is a no-brainer since Mercedes-Benz has brought a gun to a knife fight. The E-Class L is the longest of the lot by a substantial margin. For the math geeks, it’s a full 102mm longer than the longest in the segment - the Volvo S90. This also gives it the largest wheelbase in the category, that at 3079mm is nearly as long as a whole Tata Nano! It’s also 111mm greater than the 5, and a whopping 167mm more than the A6! Goes without saying, the chauffuer-driven seth will have the most legroom in the rear seat of the Mercedes.
The E is also the tallest in its class which should translate into better headroom. The BMW is nearly as tall, while the S90 has the lowest roofline on the block, resulting in a 1443mm height. In spite of being long and tall, the E is the second narrowest car on the list. The 5 Series is the widest at 2102mm, followed closely by the Jaguar XF that’s 2091mm wide.
Who’s got the power?
Good question. A quick glance at the diesels will tell you most manufacturers have found a sweet spot. That sweet spot happens to be 190PS and 400Nm (oddly specific, we know) — the 2.0-litre diesel engines on the Audi A6, the BMW 520d and the Volvo S90 make exactly as much. Jaguar’s Ingenium diesel hovers around the same mark with 180PS and 430Nm.
Mercedes-Benz has no ‘entry-level’ diesel engine for the E-Class L. Diesel duties are carried out by the 3.0-litre ‘350d’ engine that makes a healthy 258PS and 620Nm. The BMW 530d makes a wee bit more power, but is down by 60Nm on torque. The Volvo is the only one to not feature a petrol motor. All others feature a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine each. The XF is the most powerful by a long shot, with 240PS and 340Nm on tap, followed by the A6 that gets 190PS and 320Nm. Both the BMW and the Mercedes make 184PS, but the latter is torquier by 30Nm.
What’s the best bet?
To be entirely sure, we will have to wait for the prices of the E-Class L. Here’s a quick look at how its rivals are priced (all prices are ex-showroom, Delhi) -
BMW 5 Series - Rs 50.5 lakh - Rs 62 lakh
Audi A6 - Rs 45.90 lakh - Rs 53.70 lakh
Jaguar XF - Rs 52.40 lakh - 66.30 lakh
Volvo S90 - Rs 53.5 lakh
The outgoing generation of the E-Class starts at Rs 50.98 lakh for the E200 petrol, and goes all the way up to Rs 63.57 lakh for the E350d. With the E-Class L, prices will go substantially higher, possibly ranging between Rs 60 lakh to Rs 75 lakh ex-showroom. While we wait patiently for the big announcement on February 28, here’s what we think of its peers -