It’s the dawn of a new era for the executive sector. As good as W212 Mercedes-Benz E-Class v F10 BMW 5 Series was to watch, the battle has drawn on for long enough. Both of these heavyweights are now six years old – well past their sell-by date and in dire need to be dragged out of the ring.
Not a minute too soon, Mercedes has done just that, replacing its tired-out grappler with the all-new, very impressive W213. Sindelfingen’s latest brawler packs a mean punch, with swoopy new looks, a luxurious cabin, lithe new underpinnings and plenty of fancy, world-first gizmos. We’ve already sampled it in Lisbon earlier this year, and found plenty to like about the suave way it goes about its business.
But this is only the beginning of what will surely be a long, hard-fought two-way tussle. The Munich corner has just responded by bringing out the G30 5 Series, which looks to be a promising contender; its handsome, if evolutionary skin hides its own bag of tricks. Throw in wildcards like the Audi A6 – surely due for a replacement soon, in light of these two – and it looks as if the W213 won’t have everything its own way.
Time, then, for a more thorough assessment of the new E-Class – in volume-selling E 200 trim, no less – on local roads to see if it has what it takes to slug it out in what is set to be one of the toughest fights in the lineage’s history. Will it be a knockout, or will it fall flat on its face? Read on to find out.