New to Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class is the E320 CDI sedan, which combines the gasoline-powered E320’s luxury with the extra torque and impressive fuel mileage of a turbocharged diesel.
The 3.2-litre inline six-cylinder uses an electronically-controlled common-rail direct injection system, which accurately monitors fuel and emissions for premium power with cleaner tailpipe discharge. Mercedes claims it will accelerate from zero to 96 km/h in 6.6 seconds, which is a fraction quicker than the petrol-powered version. It’ll also travel over 1,100 km on a tank of fuel, and while the E320’s price tag isn’t exactly set with budget-conscious buyers in mind, it never hurts to be able to pull up to the pumps as infrequently as possible.
Along with Volkswagen, Mercedes knows how to do diesels right, and this one is quiet and efficient, with only the slightest rumble to let you know there’s an oil-burner under the hood. You simply turn the key and go, without waiting for glow plugs to warm up; acceleration is smooth and the throttle response is superb.
The diesel comes with all the luxury features expected in the E-Class: ten-way power front seats with premium leather upholstery and heat function, leather-trimmed wheel, hand-polished burl walnut wood trim, power-adjustable steering column, four-zone automatic climate control for front and rear, ten-speaker audio system, power sunroof, and heated windshield washer system with rain-sensing wipers.
The diesel has a $1,400 premium over its gasoline E320 sibling; it’ll take a long time to make up the difference with fuel savings alone, but hard-core diesel fans are willing to wait. At this level, there are no competitors; Volkswagen’s diesels don’t appear any higher than in the Passat.
The E320 is built in Bremen, Germany.