2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Introduction
The current generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class model range was introduced in 2010. The marketing team at Mercedes-Benz is calling this new 2014 model a redesign, however, given the mechanical changes are relatively minor, and the styling is largely updated rather than wholly revised, we’re a bit reluctant to go quite that far. We typically reserve the term “redesign” for an all-new model.
But that’s our preference.
Either way, whether you think of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class as a mid-cycle refresh or a redesign, the fact is for 2014, Mercedes-Benz is offering the E-Class with a broad array of new safety features, revised styling (for the sedans and wagons), new interior design cues, and new engines.
Encompassing sedans, coupes and cabriolets—as well as SUVs and roadsters, Mercedes-Benz offers a selection of some 13 different model ranges in the United States. Within those 13 model ranges, the E-Class accounts for 25 percent of the company’s sales. To say the E-Class is the mainstay of the brand would be quite the understatement. The most ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz model, as goes the E-Class, so goes Mercedes-Benz.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Models & Prices
Within the E-Class family there are Sedans, a Wagon, a Coupe and a Cabriolet (AKA a convertible). The engines fitted determine the nomenclature of each model. Within the convertible range, there are the V6-powered E350 and V8-powered E550 Cabriolets. E-Class Cabriolet models start at $60,200. The other two-door E-Class variants are the E350, the all-wheel drive E350 4MATIC, and E550 coupes. These start at $52,500. BTW, Mercedes E-Class cabriolets are rear-drive only propositions.
The E-Class sedan is offered with a choice of eight powertrains; these include the turbocharged, inline four-cylinder diesel powered E250 BluTEC, the E350, the E250 BluTEC 4MATIC, the E350 4MATIC, the E400 HYBRID, the E550 4MATIC, the E63 AMG 4Matic, and the E63 AMG S-Model 4-MATIC. Offered in both “Luxury” and “Sport” trim, sedans start at $51,400. With that said, it should be noted E400 Hybrid and E500 4MATIC are offered only in Sport trim.
The E-Class Wagon is offered in two guises; E35 4MATIC and E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC. Wagon pricing starts at $58,600.
Destination and delivery charges of $925 should be added to all pricing quoted above.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Design
One of the most distinctive visual changes for the 2014 model year is the styling of the E-Class sedans and wagons. Up front, the face of the car has been reworked to incorporate single piece headlight units (though they still maintain the traditional four-eyed look of the E-Class). Also, the sport model E-Class sedans use the star-in-grille treatment, rather than the star-on-the-hood treatment the luxury models get.
Further the nose of the car, while protruding more than on the 2013 model, has been rendered with a more streamlined—yet sculptural—treatment. The hood now opens some 90 degrees (it stands straight up!) and features a clamshell design with cutlines overlapping the front fenders.
Along the sides of the sedan and the wagon, the “pontoon” rear fender treatment of the 2010 model introduced in homage to the E-Class’ spiritual predecessor, the 1958 Mercedes-Benz 190, have been smoothed out so the design flows more gracefully from front to rear now. The trim line on the side of the car has been lowered and a more dynamic line has been added to the profile to give the car a slightly elongated look—though dimensionally it is the same as the outgoing 2013 E-Class sedan.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Comfort & Cargo
Without question, the long suit of any Mercedes-Benz model is comfort.
The cars are designed to coddle their occupants for hundreds of miles of high-speed travel. In the case of the E-Class, this is highly evident. Legroom in the front seats is more abundant than anyone under approximately 6’5” will ever need. The rear seats accommodate most human beings in comparable fashion. Head and shoulder room are similarly abundant.
The firm seats seem a bit hard when you initially encounter them, however, after several miles their true comfort becomes apparent.
Cargo capacity of the sedan is 15.9 cubic feet, while the E-Class wagon offers up a total of some 57.4 cubic feet with the seats folded. Further, the wagons will seat seven in a pinch, thanks to the rear facing third row seat. We say in a pinch, because that’s pretty much what you’ll have to do to fit back there—unless you have the stature of a pretty young child. The E-Class Coupe delivers 13.3 cubic feet, but the convertible top reduces trunk capacity to 11.5 when the top is deployed, 8.8 cubic feet when it is retracted.
Here’s an interesting bit of trivia, unlike most other hybrid models the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E400 Hybrid offers the same trunk space as its conventional siblings because the hybrid system’s battery pack lives in the engine compartment.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Features & Controls
The interior redesign for the 2014 model year brought more aluminum trim to the interior, as well as an analog clock. The instrument panel now mimics that of the CLS, as the treatment from that model has been applied to the 2014 E-Class as well.
Another change is the location of the gear selector. Residing on the steering column now, the transmission controller is also paired with paddle shifters to accommodate manual operation. This frees up space on the center console for more storage, as well as cupholders and the placement of the dial for the COMAND system telematics interface.
As we mentioned previously, the sedans are offered in both Luxury and Sport trims. In addition to the hood-mounted star, Luxury models get 17-inch wheels and the more traditional version of the Mercedes-Benz grille treatment. Sport models go with 18-inch wheels and a Sport-oriented suspension configuration. Inside, Sport models use white-faced gauges and a three-spoke steering wheel. Luxury models get a four-spoke wheel.
Regardless of your selection of Luxury or Sport, the standard feature-set includes automatic LED headlights, LED taillight accents, an adaptive suspension system, a sunroof, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, the aforementioned analog clock, and your choice from among a selection of three wood trims. You’ll also find a set of 14-way power front seats with position memory, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming rear-view mirrors, and the COMAND system electronics interface we mentioned earlier. Rounding out the package is Bluetooth hands-free streaming for telephony and audio; as well as an eight-speaker sound system with a six-disc CD changer, and an iPod/USB audio input interface.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Engines/Fuel Economy
One of the most significant changes for the 2014 model year is the replacement of last year’s E350 BluTEC diesel sedan with the E250 BluTEC diesel sedan. Our E250 BluTEC 4MATIC test car was fitted with a 2.1-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine. The powerplant produces 195 horsepower and 369 ft-lbs of torque starting at 1600 RPM.
A seven-speed automatic transmission routes its power to either the rear wheels (for rear-drive models) or all four wheels, as in the case of our all-wheel drive 4MATIC test car. Auto start and stop is applied as well, shutting the engine down at traffic signals, railroad crossings, or any other situation in which the engine is left idling for an extended period.
As of this writing (August 2013), the EPA has yet to announce the fuel economy ratings for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTEC cars. However, we averaged some 38 miles per gallon during our testing. This was recorded after driving over a variety of highways, country two-lanes, and some moderate city driving.
BTW, the 2014 E250 BluTEC 4MATIC also marks the first ever application of a diesel engine to an all-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz E-Class automobile.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Driving Impressions
Having enjoyed the 2013 E350 BluTEC, we were anxious to see if there would be any significant difference in terms of the driving experience with the four-cylinder engine. After all, this is the first time Mercedes-Benz has fitted a four-cylinder engine to the E-Class for North America. Knowing our predilection for strong acceleration, well—we wondered if the 250 would measure up.
Those 369 ft-lbs of torque are readily apparent when pulling away from a traffic signal. The 2014 E250 BluTEC accelerates smoothly, quietly, and steadily. Yes, it’s saddled with some 4,409 pounds of curb weight, but the engine seemed barely phased by the load.
Further, the transmission shifted seamlessly—we were barely aware of gear changes. All in all, it’s a nice solution, delivering both good power and exceptional fuel economy. We have no qualms about recommending it to anyone. That said, once you’ve driven the E550’s V8, you will miss the power. But if you never set foot in the fire-breathing V8 550 E-Class variant, you’ll be quite satisfied with the Diesel-fueled four.
Handling, if you’ve any familiarity with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class model, competently straddles the line between comfortable ride and competent cornering. In other words, the Benz will let you go quickly on pretty much any road, while still providing enough suspension compliance to keep your passengers comfortably settled.
Further, the steering is accurate, and the brakes are well up to task.
In sum, the E250 BluTEC, while not exactly a theme park thrill ride, will nonetheless comport itself confidently in whatever driving situation its driver should encounter.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Safety Equipment
The really big news for 2014 is the incorporation of the latest suite of Mercedes-Benz’s safety technologies. The Mercedes-Benz intelligent drive system incorporates a new stereoscopic camera system, enabling the car to “see” in three dimensions. A $2,800 option, the system can stop the car if it spots an imminent collision. Further, it can help keep the car centered in its lane of travel, anticipate traffic flow, recognize pedestrians and mitigate injuries to them in potential collisions if it senses the driver is inattentive.
Other sensors mounted on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will prevent a lane change if a vehicle is in the driver’s blind spot, prep the car to protect occupants if it senses they are about to be subjected to a rear-end collision, and can stop the car completely at speeds of less than 31 miles per hour if the driver is about hit a stationary object.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Final Thoughts
Some things, you just know they’re going to be good when you’re going in. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has done so many things right for so long, it’s more like we’re scared they’re going to screw the car up when we encounter a new one for the first time now.
Happily, the adjustments made for the mid-cycle refresh (or redesign, if you prefer to say it that way) are all solid improvements to what was already one of the mot competent cars in the class. Further, the new diesel engine provides exceptional fuel economy for a car of this size and stature. Additionally, the new safety gear makes it even less likely you’ll ever fork over cash to a body shop (for anything you did anyway), and the safety of others around you is enhanced as well. It’s almost like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class takes responsibility for the protection of everyone and everything that comes within its sphere of influence.
The styling changes have made what was arguably one of the best looking cars in the class even better looking, and the new front-end treatment gives the car even more gravitas.
If you’re drawing the conclusion we’re smitten by this new(ish) model you’re quite right.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 BluTec 4Matic Road Test & Review: Pros & Cons
• Attractive new styling cues
• Handsome and comfortable interior
• Quiet and exceptionally comfortable
• Competent engine with strong fuel economy
• Outstanding safety features
• Pricey—but hey, it’s also a Mercedes