2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 is part of a full range of
E-Class body styles, including a coupe, cabriolet,
sedan and wagon with all-wheel drive.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec 4matic luxury sedan is a
peculiar exercise in putting old wine in a new bottle.
It has a fine new diesel engine and Mercedes’ latest
semi-autonomous driving technologies, but trails
competitors’ luxury, lacks some common features, and
soldiers on with a design theme Benz’ other models
powerful and thrifty engine and the platform’s
underlying goodness battle the car’s age to a draw,
but the 2014 E-class is clearly a freshening to keep
Mercedes’ midsize model relevant versus newer
competitors until an all-new model arrives.
for the 2014 E-series start at $51,400 for a
rear-wheel-drive E250 Bluetec sedan with a capable
little 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. The base
price rises to $53,900 for an all-wheel drive 4Matic
E-class. Gasoline models start with a rear-drive E350
sedan that uses a 3.5-liter V-6 and base price of
$51,900. A hybrid starts at $56,700. All versions use
Mercedes’ quick and efficient seven-speed automatic
builds a plethora of E-class models, including a coupe,
convertible, station wagon and high-performance sedan.
Prices for those can top $100,000.
tested a nicely equipped E250 4Matic all-wheel-drive
diesel equipped with advanced driver assistance systems,
Harman/Kardon audio, navigation and more. It stickered
at $63,370. These prices exclude destination charges.
E-class competes with midsize luxury sedans such as the
Acura RLX, BMW 5-series, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti M,
Jaguar XF and Lexus GS. The diesel E250 Bluetec 4Matic’s
direct competitors are the all-wheel-drive Audi A6 TDI
Quattro and BMW 525d xDrive, front-drive Lincoln MKZ
hybrid and rear-drive Infiniti M35h, Lexus GS 400h and
hybrids. The AWD Acura RLX hybrid will join that group
when it goes on sale later this year.
sedan I tested had a comfortable and accommodating
interior, but was a study in contrasts. The low-gloss
ashwood trim and satin-finish chrome had an elegant,
modern appeal, but the trim and upholstery don’t look
or feel as good as in many lesser cars.
exterior styling got attractive new LED lights for 2014,
but the overall shape looks out of step with Mercedes’
E-class offers plenty of new features. Automated driving
systems can steer the car back into its lane, brake and
accelerate in traffic and halt completely to avoid a
as comprehensive a set of safety and driver assistance
systems as anything on the road. They all function
reliably and unobtrusively. With that level of
sophistication available, I was surprised that
relatively basic systems like blind-spot and
cross-traffic alert were options, not standard.
voice recognition manages phone calls and other
functions well. The controls are reasonably easy to use,
but Mercedes continues to avoid touch screens. A lack of
push-button start or doors that sense the keys
approaching and unlock without the driver pressing the
fob betray the E-class as older than its competitors.
engine is a little marvel. At just 2.1 liters, it’s
smaller than the four-cylinder gasoline engine in a
Honda Accord, but the turbodiesel and quick-shifting
transmission team up to provide the E250 with confident
acceleration on the highway and around town. That’s
largely thanks to 369 pound-feet of torque, more power
than the base 5.3-liter V-8 in a Chevrolet Silverado
noise and vibration are noticeable when the E250
accelerates hard from a stop, but the turbodiesel
provides plenty of power at highway speeds.
E250 Bluetec’s EPA fuel economy ratings are
impressive. Rear-drive models score 28 mpg in the city,
45 on the highway and 34 combined. The all-wheel-drive
model I tested handily exceeded its rating of 27/42/32,
averaging nearly 39 mpg in a couple of hundred miles of
mixed city, highway and country driving.
E-class is also fun, with a capable chassis and
responsive steering that reward enthusiastic driving.
wine may be old, but it hasn’t soured yet.
MERCEDES-BENZ E250 BLUETEC 4MATIC SEDAN:
of vehicle: Rear-wheel drive, five-passenger luxury
Three out of four stars
to buy: Fuel economy, advanced features, handling,
Dated styling, lack of some common features,
inconsistent interior materials
2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel
195 horsepower at 3,800 rpm; 369 pound-feet of torque at
fuel economy rating: 27 mpg city/42 highway/32 combined.
weight: 4,354 pounds
as tested: $63,370
exclude destination charges.