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big e-asy Why fork out for an S-Class when Mercedes Benz E-Class is all the car you'll ever need

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Mercedes-Benz E-Class is superb

Mercedes-Benz E-Class is superb

Mercedes-Benz E-Class is superb

Mercedes-Benz - E 300 e Plug-In Hybrid

There was hardly an eyebrow raised back in 2017 when the Mercedes Benz E-Class scooped the top prize in the Irish Car of the Year awards.

The German premium brand blew the competition out of the water that year with its fresh executive saloon that sparked a new era for the company.

It seems like only yesterday since I cast my vote for the car that stood head and shoulders above the rest and I couldn't believe it when I got into the mid-life facelift version recently.

As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke don't fix it and Mercedes has thankfully only added a couple of nips and tucks here and there to the exterior and slightly tweaked the cabin - possibly to stay ahead of the Joneses, not keep up with them.

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On the outside, the revised E-Class has been given a few more straight lines that I can tell have come straight from the flagship S-Class. It features a new front end with increased chrome content playing a role in the fresh appearance.

The E-Class features all-LED headlamps as standard. Multi-beam LED headlamps including 'Ultra Range' high beam are available as an option.

The designers have also updated the saloon's rear end with a new bumper, split tail lamps and a new boot lid. But it is on the inside where they real finishing touches have been made.

The first thing I noticed was the new steering wheel, which features a pad with the appropriate sensors in the rim. These register whether the driver is holding the wheel when driving in semi-autonomous mode.

The whole dash/infotainment set-up is changed and the system upgraded. It was a brilliant system in the first place and, with a few little tweaks here and there, possibly even tops the Audi console, which is one of our favourites.

As standard, the E-Class comes with Active Brake Assist, which in many situations is able to use autonomous braking to prevent a collision or mitigate its severity. The system is also able to brake for stationary vehicles and crossing pedestrians at typical city speeds and even to prevent collisions, depending on the situation.

I have to admit I did find this system overreacting a couple of times during my week-long test drive. It actually frightened the sh**e out of me at one stage.

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On the road, my test car was the E 300 e plug-in hybrid.

Unlike most other plug-in hybrids which come in the form of a fairly large petrol block, this model is paired with a 2.0-litre diesel engine.

Mercedes claim that you can get up to 50km on the pure electric range, but I found it was slightly less than that in real-world driving.

However, having said that, what was excellent during my week in the car was that I was averaging around 5l/100km and, once or twice, even below those figures. Brilliant fuel economy for a car of this stature.

Overall, the revised Mercedes Benz E-Class is superb. My test car came in at €60,825 and it is worth every cent.

It actually made me wonder why you would fork out a six-figure sum to upgrade to the flagship S-Class.

Personally, I wouldn't be bothered at all as the new E-Class is all the car you will ever need.

Meanwhile, three decades since its original introduction - as successor to the old 190 model - the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been unveiled this week. The car has proven its success with just under 11 million units sold worldwide.

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class interior looks amazing

Mercedes-Benz C-Class interior looks amazing

Mercedes-Benz C-Class interior looks amazing

In its latest version, set to launch here next September, the C-Class has taken another leap forward in terms of its importance to Mercedes-Benz - evident by the presence in it of features just recently introduced in their flagship S-Class range.

Items falling under that umbrella include the latest generation MBUX infotainment system, optional rear-axle steering and the comprehensive electrification that powers its various elements.

Five petrol and three diesels are available at launch, all with four-cylinder, turbo-charged engines and 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission.

Petrol models are: C 180 (1496cc/Nm 250 torque), C 200 and C 200 4MATIC (1496cc /Nm 300), C 300 and C 300 4MATIC (1999cc/Nm 400).

Diesel models are: C 200 d (1951cc/Nm 380) C 220 d (1992cc/Nm 440) and C 300 d (1992cc/Nm 550). Plug-in hybrid versions with an electric range of around 100km will follow.

In Ireland, the models that are most likely to appeal to owners are C 180 and C 200 d. Prices will be announced closer to its arrival date in September.

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