Cruise in comfort
THE best pair of shoes I’ve ever owned fitted like slippers the moment I put them on – and now I’ve found the motoring equivalent. Push the ignition button in the Mercedes-Benz E220 d 4MATIC AMG Line Estate, engage drive and feel immediately at home.
The exterior is classy, the interior better than my lounge with a plethora of mod cons designed to cater to your every motoring whim.
Cosseted in the sumptuous heated seats – which are electrically-adjustable with memory settings – you cruise along the road in some style with every hump and hollow smoothed out.
Yes, this estate’s 2.0-litre diesel engine – linked to a seamless ninespeed automatic gearbox – can power you from a standing start to 62mph in 7.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 145mph. But I defy you to feel the urge to press the pedal to metal – it’s just not that type of motor. Instead you glide along in a cocoon insulating you from the stresses and strains of modern motoring.
If you do fancy being a bit more energetic then there are paddle shifts behind the steering wheel for manual gear changes and a Dynamic Select option that allows you to choose Sport, Sport+ and Individual driving modes as well as Eco and Comfort modes.
This version of the E-Class Estate features Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive so when winter comes you won’t be stuck slithering around in the ice and snow as the system can concentrate on any wheel that loses traction.
In olden times employing this type of technology used to hit fuel economy, but the 4x4 E-Class – managing an average claimed figure of 57.7mpg – is almost as cheap to run as the model driven by two wheels and emits 137g/ km of carbon dioxide.
Its other benefit is the amount of grip it makes available, as the E 220 d 4MATIC estate feels planted on the road giving the driver confidence to attack corners with gusto. It’s not designed for off-roading though so don’t take it into any ploughed fields. But drive it on-road and you will experience ride and handling that are sublime with a level of refinement not seen since actor David Niven was strutting his stuff in Hollywood.
The 4MATIC AMG Line Estate doesn’t thrust its all-wheel drive capability in your face as there is only a badge on the bootlid to show its pedigree. Instead it relies on making an impression through sleek lines, chrome roof rails, 20-inch alloy wheels, eye-catching AMG bodystyling, natty LED daytime running lights and a neat grille featuring the iconic Mercedes badge.
Once you’ve finished admiring the exterior, the cabin welcomes you with an air of sophistication.
The star of the show is a display screen that rivals my television for width showing various readouts according to what you want to see. Other high tech goodies include sat nav and full smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
You might think that a car measuring almost five metres in length would be a bit of a chore to park – but sensors front and rear, a camera and an excellent turning circle ensure this is not the case. The interior is light and airy thanks to big windows, a panoramic sunroof and dual-zone climate control, while ambient lighting offering 64 different options ensures a relaxing atmosphere.
There is ample head, leg and shoulder room for five adults while the cavernous boot easily caters for their luggage.
The SUV march to world domination has proceeded apace over the past few years – but for those seeking a classy, family-friendly option Mercedes’ E-Class four-wheel drive estate is just the job.
TEST DRIVE MERCEDES-BENZ E 220 D 4MATIC AMG LINE ESTATE
Model: Mercedes-Benz E 220 d 4MATIC AMG Line Estate Price: £42,710 Mechanical: 194bhp, 1,950cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox Max speed: 145mph 0-62mph: 7.8 seconds Combined mpg: 57.7 Insurance G: 31 CO2 emissions: 137g/km BiK rating: 32% Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited mile