Even classier

Fru­gal Benz looks the same but cos­sets with much more

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Pres­tige - PAUL POT­TINGER paul.pot­tinger@cars­guide.com.au

UP TO $23,000 in ex­tra equip­ment is the lure laid by Mercedes-Benz to keep pres­tige buy­ers out of SUVs and in its E-Class. As even pres­tige buy­ers leave big sedans, most for el­e­vated wag­ons, the re­newed E-Class is claimed to in­clude fea­tures val­ued at least at $7000.

As of June there will be seven sedans and three wag­ons, the for­mer in­clud­ing the debu­tant $109,900 E 300 BlueTEC Hy­brid, which com­bines its al­ready con­sid­er­able four-cylin­der diesel with an elec­tric mo­tor to achieve fuel econ­omy su­pe­rior to most small hatches.

‘‘ We have set a new large car bench­mark of 4.3L/100km and 113g/km CO ,’’ Mercedes2 Benz Aus­tralian man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Horst von San­den says, de­scrib­ing these as ‘‘ re­mark­able’’ given the model’s size and level of lux­ury, safety and equip­ment.

‘‘ It’s a big car for a big coun­try but with­out the big-car thirst,’’ he says. ‘‘ Our hy­brid is unique, as the com­bus­tion en­gine is diesel, rather than typ­i­cal petrol (com­bin­ing) the

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