2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 Bluetec Diesel
2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 Bluetec Diesel
2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 Bluetec Diesel. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Lesley Wimbush

Portland, Oregon – The road is slick with dew and vivid green moss, as we wind our way through the dense forest a thousand feet above the Pacific Ocean. The filtered light, wreathes of mist and dank, earthy smell create a sense of timelessness, the stillness broken only by the occasional screeching hawk overhead.  Despite the fact that we’re driving a diesel-powered sedan, not a single telltale note of engine clatter makes its way into the luxurious cabin.

The unspoiled wilderness around us is a poignant reminder of the importance of reducing our environmental impact.  But despite the daily barrage of dire warnings, we’re largely unwilling to give up our luxuries and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever voluntarily forgo driving, no matter how urgent the message.

Hence the ever-advancing march of technologies that, while not exactly solving the problem, go a long way towards lessening the effect our destructive tendencies have upon the planet.

Case in point: the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 luxury sedan we’re piloting makes no concessions when it comes to pampering its occupants – yet boasts a combined fuel rating of only 6.1 L/100 km, with an 80 percent reduction in harmful emissions thanks to Bluetec clean diesel technology.

The venerable E-Class is one of the most important in Mercedes-Benz’s portfolio, having sold more than 30 million globally in the past 60 years. Its image is that of respectable success, a ubiquitous presence in financial districts and upscale neighbourhoods the world over.

It returns for a mid-cycle refresh with simplified lines, a bolder face and a new turbocharged four-cylinder diesel to replace the outgoing six-cylinder.

The new look is cleaner, with a more refined rear quarter – losing the “pontoon” haunches and gaining LED fibre-optic taillights and bolder, less fussy dual-element headlamps.  While U.S. E-Class sedans come with a choice of front end treatments (Sport or Luxury), Canadian models, like the rest of the Benz lineup, come standard with AMG-inspired Sport grille and body cladding.  The new face features the familiar oversized three-pointed star centred in a chiseled grille – with three horizontal bars for the sedan vs one for the coupe and cabriolet.

Luxury trim, featuring the traditional chrome-trimmed front end treatment with hood ornament – is available here by special order only, and looks almost frumpy by comparison.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 Bluetec Diesel2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 Bluetec Diesel
2014 Mercedes-Benz E 250 Bluetec Diesel. Click image to enlarge

While it may not boast the “ooh” and “aaahhhh” factor of the range-topping S-Class, the E-Class’s cabin is a study in refinement.  Everything has been reworked in top-quality, soft-touch materials that join tightly in evident craftsmanship. The two-tone charcoal dash is tastefully trimmed in satin-finish wood and chrome. There’s no ultra-modern swoopiness to the centre stack, it features clean straight lines and is embellished with a small but tasteful analog clock.

The steering wheel is leather wrapped – of course – and there were seemingly acres of perforated creamy leather upholstery.

There’s plenty of leg and headroom, both fore and aft, and 450 L of trunk space.

The recently updated Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been touted as the “car that drives itself” thanks to a host of new safety systems.

Now you can get all that technology in the E-Class too.

Intelligent Drive is the umbrella phrase encompassing a suite of safety systems that uses radar and stereo cameras to relay information to the car, which can then activate a variety of accident-preventing technologies.

Many are already available as standard features, but the new Advanced Driving Package that debuted with the S-Class is optional on all E-class models.

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