The Mercedes E-Class is perhaps the perfect executive car. It offers cruising comfort in a high quality interior, wrapped in a stylish shell that's powered by a refined and efficient four cylinder diesel.
Even existing fans of the E-Class will be astonished by that diesel engine. Dubbed 'OM654', this turbodiesel engine is brand new and is set to become a Mercedes flagship, not least because the marque has spent over £2 billion developing it. That's right, £2 billion. Alongside the incredible engine is the top of the range safety and entertainment technology that we've come to expect from Mercedes-Benz, making it a great choice for almost any kind of car hire journey.
Let's talk about that engine. £2 billion of German engineering cash gets you the E220d, a 2.0-litre turbodiesel four cylinder that replaces the 2.1 litre engine that's been at the heart of so many previous models. This new, efficient, engine has an aluminium block, nanoslide cylinder liners providing lower friction and faster crankshaft spin up, and a highly advanced 'AdBlue' system for exhaust cleaning.
One major innovation is the complex pipework that ensures 80% of nitrogen oxides produced by the engine are eliminated before gas exits the exhaust. It's also much quieter than previous models, and produces a smoother and more consistent drive all round. Delivering a standard 192bhp and 400Nm of torque, it will enable you to do the 0-62mph sprint in 7.3 seconds and push on to a top speed of 149mph. Although it's quick the car never feels as if it's in a hurry, instead delivering a smooth pulling performance that makes you feel as if you have all the time in the world.
Paired with the engine is a nine-speed automatic gearbox, delivering low cruising revs and a swift, intuitive driving experience. The overall efficiency and refinement of the ride have also been enhanced in this latest E-Class, with steel springs and adaptive damper offering good body control and maximum comfort. The car has also been put on a diet, now boasting features such as aluminium body panels which have helped it shed around 100kg and deliver a better ride. The car also comes with different driving modes to sharpen various factors such as steering, including Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
The Mercedes E Class is a brilliant rental vehicle for executive transport as it combines style, practicality and safety in one beautiful package. Up to five adults can be transported in utter comfort, no matter how long the journey, while necessary items can be stowed in the exceptionally large boot. The car's brand new look ensures it can compete with any other in the range on the style stakes, and is bound to make a good impression wherever you go. The name Mercedes Benz conjures up certain images, and this brand new E-Class will not disappoint. Beautifully proportioned and made from high quality materials, it's guaranteed to make passengers feel as valuable as the £2 billion engine hidden under its chic bonnet.
The car's styling borrows a lot from the new Mercedes S-Class, which is no bad thing. Sophisticated, confidently stylish and sporty, the car has a six and a half centimetre longer wheelbase, cementing its classic Mercedes Benz saloon proportions.
The powerfully extended, gleaming black vehicle body is characterised by short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large wheels and taut well-defined flanks displaying a fresh, stylish and dynamic interpretation of the feature line. The front end is powerfully designed, its elongated bonnet and coupé-esque roof flowing into a sensual, broad-shouldered tail end to create an exciting, business-class silhouette.
At the rear end, broad shoulders above the rear wheel arches lend the E-Class its purposeful character, while two-bar taillights framed by the vehicle body clearly place the E-Class in the Mercedes style family. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but the car's body shape also means that there's virtually no wind noise when you're on the road.
Inside is as luxurious as you'd expect from a Mercedes-Benz, not least because the enlarged body has created a surprising amount of extra room inside. The legroom, unsurprisingly, is excellent, as is the roof height which means that even tall adults won't feel squished in the back of this five seat Mercedes.
The extra space also means you'll benefit from a multitude of storage options, including a deep central cubby between the front seats, generous door bins, a large glovebox and a sizeable trinket tray in front of the multimedia controller. Furthermore, the boot is 540 litres, making it joint-largest in this range of cars, alongside the Jaguar XF. A large luggage aperture ensures that you can fit all your suitcases inside, no matter how big they are!
The styling is very classic, almost yachting-esque, defined by high quality open-pore woods, leather covered doors and flowing lines. Again many design cues are taken from the S-Class, including the minimalist approach to the dashboard layout. This contains just a few toggle switches and vital buttons, as the rest of your kit is controlled from the rotary wheel on the transmission tunnel.