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Review: Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI


Here at Inside Lane we seem to spend an awful lot of time reviewing cars that attempt to set your hair on fire, and well that’s mainly because they appeal to the group of six year-olds we have working in the office. But what happens when you’re finished with setting the M25 ablaze and you just want to waft home? In an attempt to quell the current overdose of supercar syndrome I have been sent to review a car that you might actually consider buying.

So you want to cruse home without worrying about the doors falling off or the radiator imploding? Ok, we’re looking for a German car. You want room for five and a good level of luxury? Now it’s narrowed down to a Mercedes-Benz and the only choice left to make is if you want to look like an accountant or a Bond villain? Yeah nobody likes there bank manager so you chose Goldfinger every time, and the concluding result of your choices is the new Mercedes E-Class E350 CDI.

This newly redesigned model has that look of importance about it as wherever the car goes it demands the respect of those aroundit. Mr ASBO is going to think twice before keying this in fear that odd-job emerges and feels the need to remove the teenagers head. Another touch that has been around since the dawn of the E-Class is that suspended badge that acts as the crosshairs to your V6 rifle. Oh you should see how the pensioners in their Fiesta’s cower as you approach at a junction. Overall the cars aesthetic appearance has a clear presence yet maintains a very German composure.

Inside the E350 it’s the usual Mercedes-Benz “everything is just a touch of a button” approach and just as you would expect everything is laid out in a logical configuration, some could describe it as dull but when it’s been a long day at work you will be grateful that it was designed by the Germans and not the Italians. The seats are near faultless giving fantastic lower back support, something that a long distance machine such as this needs to have in order for you not to disintegrate before reaching your destination. In the rear quarters there is ample leg room and a good amount of space for those of us who are abnormally tall. The E-class’ swooping bodyline is also reflected in the rear windows as they sit at a parallel to it, a nice design feature to break up what would normally be a rectangle of blandness. Though the cabin is well furnished, our test car wasn’t the top of the range model and as a result didn’t feel quite as thoroughly peasant proofed as others.

On the road the diesel V6 can get the car from 0-62MPH in 6.8 seconds but let’s not forget that acceleration wasn’t in this cars design brief. Instead of savagely getting up to speed it moves forwards on an invisible bubble of energy that ushers it forwards. Don’t misinterpret what I’m trying to say, throttle response is sharp and it is more than capable of sitting at its 155MPH top speed but it does all of this in a civilised manner. The suspension is also something to be admired as it effortlessly irons our unwanted bumps in the road yet also manages to prevent the car from sloshing from side to side around corners. The safety of this new E-Class is no a worry as it has a five star rating and more airbags than a bubble wrap factory.

This E350 CDI is a wonderfully purposeful machine that ticks all the correct boxes in order to be both functional and pleasant to live with. Dependant on what model you select it’s rather good value as ours cost just over £36,000 and it wasn’t exactly bare minimalist, but as always it’s the options list on a Mercedes-Benz that will be the death of you.

You see Inside Lane can do sensible reviews! Now where did the keys to the Ferrari 458 go?