Mercedes E250 CDI

Can this super efficient diesel clean up in the executive class?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Efficiency doesn’t have to come at the expense of a decent driving experience. Mercedes has made a good fist of making a more economical version of its luxurious E-Class. The firm has got a lot of the new package spot-on. Our only criticism is the powerplant, which suffers in comparison with more refined units from rivals such as BMW. And with the next 5-Series set to bring more advances, this three-pointed star could be left in the shade. For now, though, it’s a winner.

This is the greenest Mercedes E-Class ever – and not only could it help the planet, it could also prevent owners from going into the red! The E250 CDI will be the least polluting and most efficient car in the range until an even more eco-friendly E220 CDI goes on sale in September. However, buyers should still be happy with this 2.1-litre, four-cylinder oil-burner. It puts out 154g/km of CO2 and promises 47.1mpg economy – that’s an improvement of 20g/km and 4.4mpg over the previous-generation E220 CDI. What this means for owners is road tax of £150 a year – not bad for a luxury model. And make no mistake, even though Mercedes is trying hard to offer environmental and financial benefits, it hasn’t compromised on the comfort and quality that lie at the heart of the E-Class. The E250 CDI still provides a cosseting experience on the road, soaking up bumps and patchy surfaces. A stronger chassis and new dampers that adapt to the driving conditions make this a highly comfortable cruiser – especially because it’s so quiet inside. Part of the reason for this is that Mercedes has used coconut husks as sound insulation: it sounds nutty, but it works! All that deadening is also necessary because the diesel unit isn’t as quiet and refined as some of those offered by rival manufacturers. It’s still a little on the agricultural side when you press on, and even if you’re accelerating only gently there’s a faint clattering sound. However, this is pretty much the only criticism you can level against this car – which says a great deal about the package. The engine’s performance is more than adequate, and with peak torque of 500Nm on tap from 1,600rpm, there’s plenty of in-gear pull. What’s more, bearing in mind that it tips the scales at 1,735kg, this E-Class is also surprisingly agile and engaging to drive.

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