Ed speak

Evo India - - NEWS -

BMW 5 SE­RIES OR MERCEDES-BENZ E-CLASS – IT’S A ques­tion that’s been reg­u­larly com­ing my way and I’m sure the bar­rage will only in­crease be­cause this is a re­ally, re­ally dif­fi­cult ques­tion. Fact: both these cars have dra­mat­i­cally moved the game on from their pre­de­ces­sors. The E, for in­stance, not only looks like a baby S-Class but feels like one and has made a huge step-up in terms of driver in­volve­ment even though In­dia only gets the long wheel­base ver­sion. As for the 5, it has now made a dra­matic leap to­wards ride com­fort but not at the ex­pense of trade­mark driver in­volve­ment. The old E would not stand a chance against the new 5 on any pa­ram­e­ter, but the new one?

Try­ing to make sense of the co­nun­drum, I spent the last week with the new 530d in the MS­port trim, draw­ing mas­sive crowds ev­ery time I re­motely backed it up into tight spots us­ing the key. Sure most own­ers will have driv­ers to man­age park­ing chores but I can’t be­gin to tell you what a cool fea­ture it is, as is ges­ture con­trol to ad­just au­dio vol­ume and an­swer calls. As a tech-fest the 5 is the shizz. And it still is an ab­so­lute blast to bomb round your favourite set of twisties, now with the added ben­e­fit of near-E-Class lev­els of ride com­fort. I even squinted at the tyres to check if run flats have been ban­ished from the repos­i­tory (they haven’t).

In a day I was sold on the 5 and so to keep things in per­spec­tive I asked for a new E-Class to re­fresh mem­o­ries. And, you know what, the E steam­rolls the 5 on lux­ury; the cabin space is just ridicu­lous!

Our com­par­i­son tests have al­ways had win­ners but, at the ex­pense of killing all sus­pense (and, worse, be­ing la­belled a sell-out), our 5 v E story doesn’t have a win­ner. These two cars have veered so far off on their own unique paths you can­not com­pare them. With the E, Mercedes have dou­bled down on lux­ury, pam­per­ing oc­cu­pants – and even the driver! – to the ex­tent that you won­der if the S-Class is in dan­ger of be­ing can­ni­balised. And the 5 con­tin­ues to be the de­fault choice for the en­thu­si­ast, the keen driver, the young at heart.

Ac­tu­ally E v 5 has be­come an easy ques­tion to an­swer. E for space, 5 for pace. You can’t go wrong with ei­ther. ⌧

‘Our com­par­i­son tests have al­ways had win­ners but our 5 v E story doesn’t have one’

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