Well, after all the searching and wondering the deed is done. The final fling performed after 190, ML270 CDI, VW Toureg V8, MB R_Class and finally the MB B-Class we are now the proud users of a Mercedes Benz E320 CDI, the safest car in the world – according to Honest John – I didn’t say owners as that will take a while. The previous rant has borne fruit and this vehicle is the last of this model diesel MB imported to Japan and was registered in April 2009. Newer diesels are now called BlueTEC. This is the S211 station wagon (W211 is the sedan) and because of a last minute MB update has all the latest electronic gizmos like Bluetooth that come in so handy. I’ve blown enough steam about diesel engines in a previous post, so suffice it to say that this is the ultimate beast with the good manners to creep along quietly and smoothly when traffic is heavy, though with enough torque to move mountains and gobble up any highway laid out in front of it rapidly with ease and great panache while allowing the passengers to have a quiet conversation.
This E320 CDI is the Avantgarde version and so has all the extras like power everything including leather heated seats, wood and leather steering wheel, HDD Navi system, sun roof, electric tail-gate, etc. The rear seat row is cleverly designed and easy to fold flat which also takes the optionally raisable net barrier with it making the procedure painless and resulting in an enormous loading area long enough to sleep on and with this net barrier then raised to the roof behind the driver’s and front passenger’s seats. There’s also a box the width of the car behind the second seat row that seems to disappear when the seat row is in its normal position. Despite all this cleverness there are strangely no cup holders for those seated in front! There is a cup holder insert available for the centre console that I got, but it’s designed for left-hand drive cars and gets in the way of the left elbow a bit.
Under the trunk floor there are two spaces, one of which houses the spare tire with lots of space over for stuff and another forward of it in which there is more loading space and a tray with a folded plastic box for shopping.
The drive is definitely executive class and the steering a little heavy needing slight centring help after a corner (compared to the B-Class which because of its FWD and light weight self-centres) but it does go straight when allowed to. The whole experience rolls by quietly & comfortably with loads of smooth 6 cylinder diesel power whenever needed.
So now I can be quiet about cars in general and diesel engines in particular as I have the ultimate machine at my disposal and shall endeavour to enjoy it to the max. while using less of that oh so precious imported natural resource at a lower price than that high octane stuff.