Mercedes-Benz has added a new entry-level diesel model to its E-class range. The new E 220d, priced at Rs.57.14 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune), is positioned far closer to the entry-level E 200 petrol (Rs.56.14 lakh) than the pricey V6-powered E 350d (Rs.69.46 lakh), and that is great news for those buyers who found the diesel too far out of reach. The highlight of this new car is its engine. Mercedes has used the E 220d to introduce its new, modular 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine in India – the unit that replaced the automaker’s 2.1-litre diesel unit internationally last year. The new unit develops 194-hp and 400Nm of torque and is combined with Mercedes’ 9-speed automatic gearbox. Designed to meet Euro-VI emission norms in Europe, the new engine was meant to be delayed until the upcoming, stricter BS-VI emission norms came into effect in India. However, Mercedes Benz has succeeded to re-engineer the unit to run on today’s BS-IV-grade diesel, so it could be launched before.
On the outside, noticeable differences between the E 220d and the E 350d come down to the badging on the boot lid and different design alloy wheels, but that’s it. On the inside too, there are apparently no modifications. The wood grain is a different color, the upholstery design is a bit different, and most of all, you still get the spacious rear cabin with the reclining rear seats. Equipment-wise too, buyers will be happy to note that most of the goodies remain, like the a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, ambient lighting three-zone auto climate control, a reversing camera, seven airbags, ABS and stability control. However, like the E 200 petrol, the E 220d misses out on kit such as air suspension, the Burmester hi-fi audio system, the memory function for the front seats and the 360-degree camera.
Owing primarily to its stretched wheelbase, Mercedes-Benz has positioned the new E-class half a segment higher than the competition, and despite the higher price, the gamble seems to have worked; the car has been a huge success. Plus, the E 220d does not cost much more than its 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel-equipped rivals. More meaningfully though, this version brings a diesel engine option – still arguably the more popular fuel choice in the class – to a much more reasonable level, with the E 350d still commanding a massive Rs.12.32 lakh premium.