Product Type: Mercedes-Benz cars
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E by gum!
Mercedes-Benz E 240 Avantgarde
Member Name: angusreid
Mercedes-Benz E 240 Avantgarde
Date: 31/08/03, updated on 31/08/03 (873 review reads)
Advantages: classy, subliminal, ozzes drive appeal
Disadvantages: big, petrol economy, insurance
Simple, thanks to one word, Ergonomically!
Ergonomically was, to be honest, a word I was unfamiliar with, until the launch brochures were thrust upon my desk and I had a chance to update myself with the specifications of the new E Class and her many, many gadgets.
Ergonomically is a hard word to describe in a simple way, but to coin it all into a nutshell, I guess science of the person may well sum it up. The car has been designed around the human shortfalls to enable minimum effort to achieve maximum results.
Hopefully it will become clearer as I go on, and I do go on!
The E240 has an appearance that is both powerful yet sublime. Without sacrificing the traditions of the solid appearance MB has become renowned for, she manages to upgrade her appearance to that of a modern classis car. Previously, two round headlights per side gave a graceful, sporty look, but this design was soon copied by her wannabe rivals and became commonplace through out the top marquee range. Rather than lose her predominant face, designers decided to elongate the lights into a more oval shape and offset them almost 45 degrees, giving a more 22nd century appearance without sacrificing her bold appearance. A slight rising of the bonnet allows for a feeling of domination, similar to the appearance you have of a Rolls Royce, solid, ambitious and anything but mediocre.
The Avantgarde, of which I mainly drive, has a chrome finish to enhance the colour coded
front grill and bumper trim. Also to be found hugging the bodies streamline and rear bumper. Tinted glass has a blue hue rather than the darkened shade allowed by the black tints, and this I feel helps endure a more surreal vision when long distance driving.
Alloy wheels are now standard throughout the range allowing a more elegant view of which I felt the wheel trims cheapened in previous models. How could I fail to mention the predominant three-pronged Mercedes Star, which proudly takes her place, perched highly upon the mid bonnet, like the Angel of the North, guarding her occupancy!
This is where the main difference can be found, a change so drastic one has to look twice before entering. The seats have been redesigned into and almost armchair feel but with some Ergonomically features to be found. The lumber support helps my back no end, and the partial electric adjustment makes finding that elusive just right feel more easy and less of a hassle. Headrests are both adjustable for height and angle. Very comfortable and very plush. The Avantgarde has half leather seats as standard, but the cloth seats are as comfortable as the leather.
The dashboard layout again has been designed in that ergonomically way to enable you to operate all you functioning programmes with the flick of your thumb.
Interactive steering wheel, hands free mobile phone kit, (Optional, with Nokia 6310i phone software), Optional 6 stack CD built into the dashboard and hidden by a wooden compartment, fuel efficiency, the works!
A traditional clock replaces the now dowdy digital display, and speedometer in the centre gives an easy glance at speed check. LCD bar checks give accurate fuel and temperature readings, and a twist of the tripometer reset changes the illumination strength to allow your eyes a little less strain at night.
An all round vision is as expected, however the stanchion running down the windscreen/door
divide has me ducking and diving frequently to get a better view at junctions and corners. Reversing can be a task as the raised boot can deceive and until use to the vehicle, I found myself 4 ft away from where I should have been. This can be rectified by the addition of Parktronic, a £590 option, but a bargain when considering the cost of a replacement bumper.
Storage space has been a major improvement here, with under seat storage, 4 different push button storage spaces, including a sunglasses storage space. The handbook for the car fits into the rear armrest, allowing a magnitude of uses for the glove box, which traditionally housed the Encyclopaedia size reference book.
Legroom in the back is more than ample for us 6 footers, headroom again the same. With two adults in the back, the armrest can be lowered and a much more comfortable journey can be had. Three passengers make it bearable but as with any car, you would prefer to be sitting in the front.
Automatic lights and rain sensing wipers take the guesswork out of both decisions, yet a simple push of a lever or twist of a knob regains the control back to your manual needs. And finally, the one-touch indicators make a welcome alternative to pushing wipers off after you have turned a small gradient.
This is where I feel the largest improvement has taken place.
The V6 engine in the 240 allows you the kick to pull away from any situation that may endanger you. Petrol consumption is not the major issue here, as an average consumption of 30 is something to be proud of. Having the tiptronic 5 speed auto gearbox with built in sports mode is also an advantage, as full acceleration is given when your foot merely pushes the accelerator to the floor. When driven at slower speeds, she does not cry out for more power, but purrs in contentment and waits for those open roads to reappear.
Cornering in the Avantgarde is quick and agile, the hardene
d suspension dealing with any unwanted bump or groove with her traditional clump style cushioning. If necessary, the safety features take over and control any miss timed manoeuvre or emergency situation. ESP, (Electronic Stability Programme) aids the car to steer out of a spin in a way similar to traction control. Brake Assist recognises an emergency stop and uses electronic braking to stop you near enough on the spot. Having used this on an occasion or two, I will guarantee you I have never felt safer than in this cab.
Luggage space in the rear is more than ample and can hold two sets of golf clubs with ease. Although the gap between the boot top and lip restricts access for larger boxes.
An option of through loading and split rear seats allows you to carry longer items such as skis and wooden planks.
Standard equipment includes
Air conditioning (Climate)
Remote central locking
Partial electric seats
Electrically collapsing head rests
One touch interior central locking
Child locks (Doors and windows)
And I could go on.
Options, there are lots, but here?s a few.
Metallic paint £600
Auto gearbox (Standard on 240) £1450
Multi 6 CD £350
There is an approximate increase of 2% in October
Servicing is counted down by a clock on the computerised dash, but is usually 12,000 miles.
This can run onto two years.
Approx £200 for A service and £300 for B
Parts are as priced individually, but expect little change from £200 for brakes to be changed.
The E240 drives, handles, looks fantastic and makes you feel lucky to be able to drive her. She has her faults, such as fuel consumption, vision, and sturdy feel, but also has a feel that can only be d
escribed by those who have driven her, and that is sheer driving pleasure.
At a cost of £30,000 plus options, I find this car has to belong to those who not only enjoy their driving, but also have the kind of budgets that can afford a £12,000 depreciation (estimated) in 3 years.
Would I buy one?
Yes, yes I would!