Ease of entry
The E200 opens up Benz’s executive sedan range to new buyers
next A3 will transcend its essential Golfness? Or maybe Volkswagen won’t be so uppity as to intrude on the terrain of one of the two least ‘‘ Audi’’ Audis.
Now it’s reached the point where the German trio’s big cars, the ones that convey to the impressionable that the he or she at the wheel has made it, can be spoken of in the same sentence as ‘‘ value’’.
Hence Mercedes’s new E-class entree.
Previously you’d have struggled to find a new E-class at $79,990 even at run-out. Yet that’s the sticker price for the E200, the handy part of $5K under the least expensive diesel E.
It’s no stripper. Standard are that uber-smooth seven-speed auto, Comand multiple media system with satnav and Bluetooth, proximity sensors and faux leather upholstery. When you’ve forked out the admittedly brazen $2100 for decent paint, the E200 looks and feels like a proper E-class and— unlike previous models at this end of the range— it goes like a proper E-class.
At this price, it’s also a feasible choice for the punter who’s leasing an optioned-up C-class. It’s appreciably bigger, a bit more limo-like and— more of this in a moment— easier on the juice.
Some of the C-class’s remarkable dominance of the mid-size import segment (a range starting near $60K easily outsells the likes of Honda’s
Higher tone: It may be priced at the lower end of the scale but the E200 is still a prestige buy