W212 E200 CGI - My experiences

mercboiuk

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Just now (finally) getting round to uploading some photos, I came across a couple of a W212 E200 CGI I had the pleasure of driving back in September. Back then I intended to share with you my opinions of this car, but it totally slipped my mind. So I thought I'd share them with you now, albeit months later! :eek:

I was in Frankfurt, driving the car on a variety of roads for up to an hour and a half.
It was an AVIS hire car. We had booked a W204 C-Class, however they didn't have any left, so gave us a free upgrade to an E-Class.
Only when I got to their garage I found it was a W212 with a little over 4,000km on the clock. One thing I couldn't believe though is the amount of scraps, dents and scratches - they were on almost every panel! The life of a rental car, I suppose :rolleyes:

First impressions included my surprise of just how massive the current E-Class is. Much bigger than my old W124 saloon was, or indeed the W210. Noticeably bigger than the W211 German taxis I rode in during the visit, too!
Despite its size however, the car quickly shinks around you.

I find the styling of the W212 very appealling. Strong lines, and a rather aggressive front and rear end. I'd never previously noticed the pointed boot end. I like it alot.

This particular car was in Avantgarde spec. It had partial electric, heated, half leather seats, Bird's Eye Maple wood, leather gear knob and steering wheel, climate control and the full, wide screen sat nav, which was a doddle to use!

The parents were my passengers and greatly appreciated the ride comfort and space.
The interior is cavenous. At one point, I had 5 adults in the vehicle, everyone having plenty of leg and seat-width room.
All of us were comfortable on the longer parts of our journey, with no back ache, arriving fresh at our hotel.
The huge boot swallowed 3 suit cases and 3 hand luggage items, with no problems whatsoever.
The quality of this interior was simply stunning. Mercedes truely are back on form. All the plastics have a quality feel; the leather and cloth is of a fine grade. The many buttons are laid out in a logical, functional way, being within easy reach and the electronic toys are easy to use.

The suspension was very comfortable with little roll, for such a soft setup.
And the Avantgarde alloy wheel and tyre combination gives lovely grip. The steering has alot of power assistance, so offers little feel, but you soon get used to this, getting to know where the wheels are pointing.

The brakes are good, however I noticed the ABS kicks in far too early when braking hard from high speeds. Due to hurried braking ahead, I had to brake sharply from around 200km/h to around 40km/h. The ABS kicked in, causing rather messy straight-line braking. However, under more normal braking conditions, the brakes are absolutely fine.

The engine was a real suprise. I thought the entry level 1.8 turbo 4-pot petrol engine would be underpowered for such a large vehicle. But no! It pulls extremely well. Granted it's no massive power house, but more than adequate is an understated compliment.
I was surprised to see 235km/h on the speed on the Autobahns - that's on par with my E320 Coupe's top speed!
There's not a hint of turbo lag, and a pleasent surge of torque in the mid-range. It's not diesel, but it feels to be a torquey petrol engine, for sure.

The automatic gearbox is simply wonderful. As usual, Mercedes really know what they are doing in this area. The shifts are extremely smooth, no matter what load they are under. Kickdown was swift and the torque converter not too intrusive.

The car performed economically, too. Despite the mixed road driving, we acheived low-to mid-30s over the 125 mile trip. That doesn't sound great, but as mentioned, that includes a bit of high-speed driving.
Mind you, the economy is diesel-like in comparsion with my Audi :doh: :D

Overall, I'm a hugely impressed with the W212 series, and indeed the E200 CGI. If it's an economical petrol mid-size saloon you are after, I would definately recommend the E-Class and this model.

Now on to some photos of the car :)







And a final thought: NEVER park under a dove cote! :crazy:


Darren
 
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st4

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Hi Darren

I was leant one through Mobilo. It was a sport model so had some nice design touches.

My over all impression was a good one, and I actually miss the car, but not the engine (was a 220cdi I had).

A few niggles.

1. The seat, was set too high, don't know if you felt this. It also lacked under thigh support as the sqaub was too short.
2. The steering wheel rim was too thick and it blocked the view of the insturments a bit too much.
3. Steering was good, but as you say too light

It felt a very solid car and areo dynamically was brilliant, no windnoise at speeds similar to yours. It was a more precise steering car.

I think it needed more power than the one I got.

I loved the interior and lay out. But it needs a 6 or an 8 pot engine to be really good.



 
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mercboiuk

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Thanks for sharing your experiences, too, *** :)

As for the seats, I must admit I didn't find anything wrong during my time with the car.
Also the both my Audi and Mercedes have quite thick steering wheels, so I actually found the car's one unusually slim. I did have a problem with the instrument cluster view. The wheel slightly obsecured the indicator lights, but the rest of my view was OK.

As much as like the E200's engine, I'm certainly a sucker for larger engines - so I'm with you on that point ;)

Darren
 

Michael G

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Nice to see people warming to the W212.
I've only sat in one and you're right with the interior, very logical and well built.
Try the new 350 CDi Steve, that will solve that issue. :D
 

st4

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Its a strange thing, I started it appreciate it now its gone.

I really liked it, I could not love it as the engine was too rough and was merely adequate, had nothing left to make you grin. A 500 or a 350cdi would.

I think the sports have a chunkier wheel than the AG's, with grips etc at 10to2 and all that + flat bottomed.

It did block the view of the indicators in my hands.

Its a lovely car, steering wise too light but very accurate and a real speed hider. I guess that is exactly the way MB want it.
 

Pappilo

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Very good review Mercboi. I always see comments about the smaller 4 pot engines being underpowered but not in my opinion. Maybe it is because I have never driven bigger engined cars but my 200 CGI has more power than I would ever need.

I once got 38MPG doing 65MPH over about 10 miles on the A13 but in real world everyday driving conditions I average between 25 and 28MPG.
 

st4

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Very good review Mercboi. I always see comments about the smaller 4 pot engines being underpowered but not in my opinion. Maybe it is because I have never driven bigger engined cars but my 200 CGI has more power than I would ever need.

I once got 38MPG doing 65MPH over about 10 miles on the A13 but in real world everyday driving conditions I average between 25 and 28MPG.
Its 180bhp and has a turbo so I wager although it is not a ball of fire, its always sufficient if not a thrilling car.

Its what you get accustomed too.

I had a 211 220cdi and with 150bhp everyone said was a tad gutless, it was I came from a 4.4i V8 X5. However I got used to it and found it fine. Then I got the E320cdi whoch to be fair goes like a scalded cat, and I find that mega fast, until I was leant a CLS350cdi with yet more power and torque.

I am now fine again with the E320 but the CLS did make it feel rather slow.

Don't try the E500, as you will find the same.
 
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mercboiuk

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That's a very good point ***.

After driving the Audi day to day, I go out for a spin in the E320, but still don't find it underpowered :thumb:

Darren
 

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