KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 ― Here is a piece of good news for Mercedes-Benz fans – after its debut in June 2016 as a CBU, the Mercedes-Benz E Class is now available as a CKD (locally assembled) in Malaysia. Popularly regarded as the ‘businessman’s icon of success’, the E-Class is assembled along with the C Class and S Class sedans at the DRB-Hicom plant in Pekan, Pahang. With this move, the premium D segment sedan is now more ‘affordable’. Three variants are offered, as follows:
E200 Avantgarde Line : RM343,888.00
E250 Avantgarde Line : RM378,888.00
E250 Exclusive Line : RM383,888.00
The above prices are On-the-road without insurance, inclusive of GST, and although not stated, I assume that it applies only to Peninsular Malaysia.
The new E-Class comes packed with a long list of new technologies in addition to a classy interior – Intelligent Drive, and Active Brake Assist with autonomous braking and PRE-SAFE brings the E-Class up another level in the area of safety features. It also features MultiBeam high performance headlamps made up of multiple LED’s that work with sensors, allowing it to turn an LED or a cluster of them off, either in order not to dazzle and oncoming vehicle’s occupants or in order reduce light reflecting back at the driver from a road sign, all done automatically without any input from the driver. Parking is also a cinch, with Parking Pilot and Park Assist with a 360-degree camera.
“The state-of-the-art E-Class sets benchmarks and in the past has repeatedly redefined the standards for the premium segment and the automotive market as a whole. Since its introduction last year, the E-Class has received overwhelming response, making it the best-selling CBU introduction model to date. With the new locally-assembled E-Class, we mark a new era in locally produced cars and firmly cement our position as the leading premium luxury brand in Malaysia, always pursuing our claim to be the best or nothing,” says Mark Raine, Vice President, Sales & Marketing Passenger Cars, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia.
The new E-Class is a masterpiece of sorts, carrying modern luxury hallmarks and exuding an air of exclusivity with its German craftsmanship. The vehicle body of the new E-Class is characterised by short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large wheels and taut well-defined flanks, and is pleasant to the eyes.
The new E-Class shows muscle or elegance, depending on which of the three variants it represents. The EXCLUSIVE line features the classic Mercedes radiator grille with the star on the bonnet while the AVANTGARDE line is has a more active demeanour with a sports radiator grille with a large Mercedes star as its centrepiece.
The interior of the new E-Class does look great, and sets new benchmarks for the competition to follow. It includes two brilliant next-generation high-resolution displays, each with a wide 12.3 inch screen. Beneath a shared glass cover, the two displays visually conflate into a wide-screen cockpit that appears to be hovering in thin air. The instrument cluster is totally virtual, and the driver can choose between three different styles to select their preferred look for the wide-screen instrument cluster: "Classic", "Sport" and "Progressive". The driver is also free to configure the information and views and thus create his or her own personal cockpit.
The multifunction steering wheel receives unique touch control buttons in the control panels on the left and right. With this, the instrument cluster and multimedia system can be intuitively operated with horizontal and vertical swiping movements of the finger like a smart phone interface, allowing the driver to control the entire infotainment system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.
Further controls for the infotainment system are provided in the shape of a Touchpad with Controller in the centre console, which can even recognise handwriting, and the LINGUATRONIC voice control system. There are also direct-access buttons for controlling functions such as the air-conditioning system or – in another first – for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driving assistance systems.
High-quality materials define the interior style. They include open-pore wood as a contemporary interpretation of inlaid wood and a novel metal fabric. The use of authentic materials is continued in the optionally leather-covered doors and the beltline. Leather and nappa leather materials are colour-coded and composed with various shades of brown, including new attractive colour combinations such as nut brown/black and macchiato beige/brown.
The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the enhanced ambient lighting included in the lines. With 64 colours, it offers a host of possibilities for personalisation. It adds touches of light, for example, to the trim parts, central display, front stowage facility on the centre console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, and tweeters (if the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester® surround sound system).
All models available at launch are equipped as standard with the new 9G‑TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission. It enables fast gear changes and allows low engine revs, which has a particularly beneficial effect on efficiency and noise levels.
The suspension on the new E-Class offers agile driving pleasure on twisting roads as well as the highest level of ride comfort in this segment. All variants come with AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system and lowering to ensure a well-balanced ride comfort on any road surface. A DYNAMIC SELECT switch in the cockpit enables the driver to select from four modes: "Comfort", "ECO", "Sport" and "Sport +". An additional "Individual" option allows drivers to configure their vehicle to suit their own preferences.
Mercedes-Benz's new assistance and safety systems enhance safety, comfort and driver assistance to new levels. Active Brake Assist is fitted as standard in all variants. It is able to warn the driver of impending collisions, provide optimum support with emergency braking and if necessary also autonomously apply the brakes. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing the danger zone ahead of the vehicle. Also included as standard is ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness.
An all-new infotainment generation is making its debut in the E-Class equipped with COMAND Online. Its highlights, alongside the double display, include the touch-sensitive Touch Controls on the steering wheel and the new, intelligent graphic design of the Multifunction Telephony. It allows mobile phones to be charged and, at the same time, connected to the vehicle's exterior aerial – with absolutely no need for cables or a telephone holder. It is also possible to use Apple's smartphone-based infotainment system CarPlay® as well as Google's Android Auto™.
A rigid body directly contributes towards good handling – it also promotes low noise and vibration levels, and a high level of crash safety. To achieve this, the engineers opted for a body shell with a far higher proportion of aluminium and ultra-high-strength steel components than its predecessor. The front wings, bonnet, boot lid, and large sections of the front and rear ends are made of sheet or cast aluminium. This lightweight design reduces body weight, reduces fuel consumption, and makes for sporty and agile vehicle handling.