Mercedes-Benz Philippines has revised the W213 E-Class line-up in the country for the 2020 model year, which includes the launch of a new variant called the E 180 Avantgarde. Priced at 3.89 million Philippine pesos (Php) – or RM322,300 – the entry-level option is meant to counter the G30 BMW 520i Luxury that is being offered in limited units at 3.99 million Php (RM328,500).

Unlike its BMW counterpart that is imported from Malaysia, the E 180 is sourced from Germany instead, with Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) not involved in its supply to the Philippines. However, it should be noted that MBM does export cars to the country, but only with the W205 C-Class in C 180 Avantgarde guise.

Getting back on track, the E 180 is powered by the same M274 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine found in the C 180. The mill serves up 156 PS (154 hp) at 5,300 rpm and 250 Nm of torque from 1,200 to 4,000 rpm, with drive going to the rear wheels via a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission.

In terms of equipment, there’s an Avantgarde styling package, LED High Performance headlamps, 18-inch wheels, an Audio 20 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, paddle shifters, Thermatic dual-zone climate control, powered rear sun blinds, Keyless Go, a fully-digital instrument cluster, and a Nappa leather steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls.

As for safety and driver assist systems, there’s seven airbags, the usual stability systems, Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, Brake Assist, Pre-Safe, passive cruise control with speed limiter function, and Active Parking Assist. Do you think there’s a demand for a more affordable E-Class with a smaller engine in Malaysia?