A few weeks ago, my grandparents visited, and out of nowhere (not really, but I´ll explain later) they pulled up in Mercedes´ most elegant of vehicles. A five-year-old E-class which, aesthetically, blows away anything else in the street.
If you know my grandfather, which I´ll assume you don´t, you would be familiar that what he drove in the past is a mix of upper echelon picks, as well as some extremely mediocre, even below average, cars. From mid-70´s Chevrolets Camaro – he owned two – to, I kid you not, multiple Ssangyongs. Other random picks from the list see him being the owner of a mid-2000 Toyota Land Cruiser, as well as one of the first Alfa Romeo´s MiTo. The case of the MiTo is a where things get more interesting, because during the time of his ownership of this car, especially in the most recent months, he spoke to me about wanting the Mercedes he would eventually end up buying, making the ratio of ´great´ vs. ´not so great´ cars was about 80:20.
The highlight of his more ´questionable´ choice of cars became apparent in the past ten years or so, but with his choice of go-to vehicle this time, I can do nothing else but salute him. He completely got ahold of himself again, and it could not have been at a better time, since I now have had my driver´s license for quite some time.
The first thing that pops into your head when gazing at the car is of course its luxury, which knows no set of boundaries. Everything about it screams luxury, starting with what you see first: the exterior.
The design is done overwhelmingly well, so much that I was at a loss for words when they came up to our house the first time. I responded by running outside and taking pictures; this was the result.
Unlike other types of Mercedes cars that I sometimes find a bit too over-the-top, or examples that don´t have that wow-factor, or dislike for any other reason, the E-class is one of the few types of cars they produce that rarely fails to please. While others may be a hit or a miss, the E-class, in my eyes, never gets in that gray area where it´s still in a dubious state.
The same goes for the interior. When it comes to cars, my first impression is always related to a certain emotion, which, in this instance was my state of calmness. The beautiful insides, mostly consisting of leather, metals, and other fine materials, left a great impression on me. Might this be, because in our family, we rarely have these types of cars? Sure, the best, or most interesting cars we drove in recent years were two Volvo´s from my Dad´s work, a Polestar-tuned V60 and a lowered, great looking XC90, which we had for about one and a half years in total.
How much I may adore Volvo is out of the question though, because however much you would like to disagree with me, Mercedes, or German cars in general, tend to be on a whole different level. And while Volvo may come close – both the XC90 and the V60 were very luxurious and drove extremely pleasant – they are not yet close enough.
Before I stepped inside of the 250 I told my grandfather I wanted to drive it, if he was okay with it. He quickly brushed and laughed my suggestion off, only to change his decision once he heard – my mother told him – that I am actually a decent driver. Later that night, I would get to drive it, but before that, there were some more impressions to leave on me.
When I finally sat in the car – they drove off without me the first time – I was again reminded by the luxury I spoke off. I was fully emerged by the calmness, because of the way the car looked on the inside, and the way the chair gave me absolute comfort and support. The darkish tints on the interior are satisfyingly complimented by steel and a range of buttons, and certainly no lack of sight. Even though it was a rainy day (which withheld me from recording any footage while driving) the amount of light that entered our small room was enough to make everything stand out in its own admirable way.
After he took us for a drive, we returned and had dinner, which was the moment of him breaking the news to me that I, in fact, was allowed to drive his ´brand new´ car. Of course, my head was in the low-hanging, rainy clouds.
At first I almost messed up when I hit the brakes a little too hard, which was due to the fact that I am not at all used to these cars. The only cars I drive on a regular basis are the Volkswagen T5 that was used on the road trip, and a Fiat Panda. These both have fairly insensitive brake pedals, in contrast to what my grandpa now owns. I was lucky not to give him another heart attack by putting my foot on the brake that abruptly.
This is the final point that I want to make about this terrific piece of engineering by these godforsaken Germans: everything about this car speaks tranquility.
I might have said it before in this article, but now I want to actually state it. It does not matter whether you´re outside or inside of it, everything is done with ease. If you want to accelerate, all you need to do is touch the gas pedal with a feather´s touch. A similar case comes up if you wish to slow down again. The things is, it is so damn powerful in every possible aspect that you do not need to put in the extra effort. It is as if it has done all the hard work for you, just so you don´t have to.
On a side note: I wouldn´t be surprised if the first self-driving car Mercedes made was one from their E-segment.
All of this tranquility, but with one exception: if you want to go fast, believe me, you can.
Have a good one,