The 2004 Mercedes Benz E240 (Elegance) as its name suggests, is a very attractive offering a great driving experience because it stays smooth in any conditions. For many car enthusiasts, German engineering, with direct reference to the Mercedes series, amaze most as they never fail. Despite the hefty price tag the car comes jam packed with all levels of luxury and class elegantly designed and custom fitted specifically for that extra spec of German world class touch to give a driving experience unlike no other. Many may argue saying Italian but these cars simply speak for themselves. However I’ll leave that to you the reader to decide.
The Mercedes Benz E Class, a mid-size range luxury car is available as either a 4 door sedan or 4 door wagon with engine choices of either diesel or petrol along with either rear-wheel or 4 wheel drive. A Business man’s car many would call it, but as you know it, Mercedes Benz never left out car-seekers who demand top-notch performance, extra-sporty handling and more stylish aesthetics. A high performance spec model version of the E-Class wearing the heavily coveted AMG nomenclature but unfortunately we will not cover it in this review. As with all Mercedes vehicles the E-Class has occupied a respected position in the premium car marketplace since its debut in 1984. It combines upscale interior amenities eager performance and accomplished road handling all of which have been Mercedes Benz selling points. Boasting leading edge engineering and precision assembly the 2004 Mercedes Benz E-Class brings consumer expectations for dependability and reliability to a whole new elevated level where premium pricing and an upscale image frequently dictate consumer sentiments the E-Class has consistently thrived.
However this generation has not failed to receive a fair share of fluctuating ratings for its overall dependability due to its predecessors various reported mechanical issues.
The 2004 E-Class variant however saw significant changes set to redeem the Elegance E240 class from its 2003 predecessor which despite being a Mercedes, it had an extraordinarily high number of reported problems
The car features a custom done interior with a ranging variety of options. The E-Class has a sleek and dignified design. It provides a classy yet powerful presence as well as an airy two-tone cabin alongside its dual air conditioning, where supple seats and coordinating soft-touch surfaces are complemented by elegant wood inlays tasteful mix of leather and wood. The standard burl walnut wood trim and black gauges give way in Sport Package-equipped models to black bird’s-eye maple trim. Its placement of seat controls on the doors make it even more elegant and in my opinion, that is where every manufacturer should put them. Heated seats and heated grips tilt and telescopic steering wheel have ample power adjustments to tailor a good driving stance for the driver, definitely another catch add-on.
With eye-catching dual display of its infotainment system making information intuitively ascertainable, high-grade materials that define its style and first class seats seating its occupants comfortably and concert hall sound from its enhanced Bose automotive sound systems making you hear what you want in the silent serene vehicle cabin. The perks to this car are endless and we could spend all day talking about them but let’s jump into something else.
Talk about the power train of this machine. Mercedes’ engineers came up with a wide range of engine choices which include four different six cylinder engines, four different V8 engines and a Turbo Diesel 6 cylinder giving you a sum total of 9 different options to choose from. Some may say this was a total waste of resources but the E-Class’ engine lineup proved to be some of Mercedes’ most successful engines ever produced and to date providing the base model for most of today’s Mercedes’ top line engines found in their cars.
We however, were able to get a hold of a 2.6 liter Petrol V6 non Turbo, naturally aspirated E240 doing about 15 miles to the gallon (city) from which we reviewed in at the beginning of Season 2.
The transmission too was not left out of the equation with the Elegance E240 boasting both a manual 6 speed manual gearbox as well as 5 speed and 7 speed auto gear boxes retrofitted for the car.
With performance being a constant priority at Mercedes Benz. The E-Class rates very highly this is thanks to the German automaker’s long standing heritage in international motorsport series. Strong acceleration launching it from 0-60MPH/100 KPH in just under 7 seconds, precise steering, however heavy, and confident braking with its all new break by wire system with a hydraulic braking system backing the Mercedes Benz Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) and adaptive cruise control and traction control to say the least.
The car tops its class in matters safety. The E-Class carries an arsenal of safety features spanning from stability control and electronic brake assist which enhance the E-Classes safety attributes along with pre tensioning safety belts and a full complement of passive restraints. Standard safety items on all E-Class cars include four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Brake Assist, side-impact and head-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, automatic slip control, and active head restraints to help reduce whiplash injuries. The PRE-SAFE collision-anticipation system is also standard and prepares the car’s safety systems when an imminent crash is anticipated. With this level of engineering, it’s a performance machine combined with the cars grade of protection it’s a fortress, and with its superior standard of luxury, it is truly an oasis.
by Leone Tsuma (Daimlar Motorsports Kenya)