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How much? £30,413
Engine: 2143cc 4-cyl 16V turbo diesel, 201bhp @ 4200rpm, 368lb ft @ 1600-1800rpm
Transmission: Five-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 7.4sec 0-62mph, 123mph, 49.6mpg, 151g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 1735kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4868/1854/1470
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 4 out of 54


Rated 4 out of 54


Rated 4 out of 54


Rated 5 out of 55

Feelgood factor

Rated 4 out of 54

Readers' rating

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Mercedes E250 CDI (2009) CAR review

By Chris Chilton

First Drives

16 March 2009 09:23

Mercedes' all-new E-class has a tough job on its hands. Throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s Mercedes dominated the medium-sized executive saloon market with cars like the W123 and W124. Cars so tough that you regularly still see them working hard for a living around the world. But then build quality disappeared, the styling became bland and the magic faded. This car aims to redress that balance.

So what’s on offer with the new 2009 E-class?

As you’d expect, there are petrols and diesels, 4cyl, 6cyl and V8 configurations, but – rather surprisingly – several opportunities to have a six-speed manual transmission instead of the more likely automatics.

Propping up the range are two petrols, both using the same direct injection 1.8-litre turbo four but in a different state of tune. There’s an E320 CDI with the big six-cylinder diesel, an E350 with a petrol V6 and an E500 with a big petrol V8. We’ll deal with them in another article, but for now let's concentrate on the three four-cylinder diesels that most cars sold in the UK will come with. The E200 CDI has 136bhp, the E220 CDI gets 170bhp/295lb ft and the E250 CDI gets 204bhp/368lb ft. All three deliver 53mpg and 139g/km – really very impressive figures for such a big car.

What about trim? I was always a bit confused between Avantgarde and Elegance...

Luckily for you Merc UK has decided not to take the Elegance model and the base car is no longer called Classic but SE, to make middling reps feel better about themselves. It gets standard 16in rims, heated leather-look (yes plastic) seats and climate control. Pay an additional £2495 to step up to Avantgarde and you get bigger wheels, real leather, LED tail lights and Merc’s clever adaptive headlights that always ensure as much of the road is illuminated as possible. And another £1500 on top of that buys the Sport model: sports seats, AMG bodykit, 18in rims and steering wheel.

>> Click 'Next' to read more of CAR's first drive review of the Mercedes E250 CDI

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Average rating: Rated 2.5 out of 52.5 (177 votes)

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Mercedes E250 CDI (2009) CAR review


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G8YTZ says

RE: Mercedes E250 CDI (2009) CAR review

Robbie, I would also like to concur with many of your comments. I’ve owbed an E220CDI for six years now and I have covered 220,000 miles in it. It has been a fantastic car, reliable and very economical.... Brake pads/disks last 60/120K miles, Tyres about 30K miles (Continental SP3’s on 245/45/17). Fuel consumption often betters 60MPG on my regular motorway driving, but I don’t thrash it, I am happy with an average 60MPH on our congested motorways.
Now I have just ordered anew E220CDI, I cannot for the life of me see why £1600 extra is worth it for a E250CDI... what do you get? Slightly larger brakes (more running cost) and a different EPROM chip in the ECU.... and a more stressed engine that’s expensive!
Ordering a new E-Class is not sweetness and light, I really wanted the Panorama Roof again, this is a great extra, but Mercedes cannot confirm a delivery date on these and I want the car before the Jan price increase and VAT increase. So I’ve ordered a silver/chestnut leather car with the ordinary sunroof, COMMAND, Avantgarde, Auto, DAB, Folding Seats. Memory pack, telephone wiring , Thermotronic climate and an extended range fuel tank.
Interestingly Mercedes have deleted and moved backwards on a couple of things from the previous car:
• Gone is the Residual Heat function on the A/C, you have to order the Thermotronic to get this feature back, so I have.
• The Instrument cluster reverts to analogue fuel and temperature gauges, why? The LCD bar gauge on the W211 was perfect... litres per segment, really accurate.
• NAV screen is up high, nearly at eye level, why? I don’t like things that dazzle in my field of vision; the car already has NAV directions in the speedometer display which is perfect!
• Mirrors are not as big and introduce a blind-spot that was not there before, why?
• It is a shame the interior design is not as sleek as the W211, bit of a step back in the design world here
• Window height has been raised... less glass area. Why? The interior is more claustrophobic and kids cannot see out, meaning more car sickness
Now will I be able to get 70MPG from the new one on the motorway? Time will tell.
Having said all that it is still a great and I am sure will be a very economical car to run over a high mileage, but would I buy one if I had £42k+ and wanted a 6-cyl engine? No Way! I would be straight round to BMW to get a 5-Series GT, now that’s an inspirational car... and the panorama roof is standard!
Moral of the story, don’t buy an E350 Sport until you take a look at the BMW 5-Series GT!

17 October 2009 18:51



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Blain says

RE: Mercedes E250 CDI (2009) CAR review

I totally concur with everything you say Robby. I have been saying much the same thing in my comments on the E350cdi article on the Car Website (despite some rather inane responses from others). Mercedes needed to get the hewnfromsolid feel back and I think they are moving in the right direction.

Tell your dad to get himself a W124 I bought a '95 E300 multivalve diesel 7 seater estate 2 years ago (for almost ther same reasons you state - sinlge wiper, oil pressure gauge, over size steering wheel, build quality etc.... all the traditional Merc cues, It has proved to be the best car I have ever owned. It's just clocked up 200,000 miles and still feels rock solid.

I remember a readers letter to Car many years ago just after the original A class elk test debacle. The reader responded saying something like " Why swerve to avoid an elk? In my old S class I would have just run the bugger over". That's what Mercedes stands for, an almost teutonic arrogance the makes you feel like you are in a car that is almost indestructible and better engineered than anyting else.


18 March 2009 15:08



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comment8 says

RE: Mercedes E250 CDI (2009) CAR review

Another nail in the coffin for official consumption figures. If you are going to quote an official figure based on the tenuous basis that cars can be compared (do you know how rigged the official test is?), please quote the urban figure which is much much closer to the figure you acheive on your long term tests than the completely unobtainable combined figure. Even this would be generous as most of your fleet does not get driven in urban conditions. Another set of figures to bin with the 30 mpg 911. Please treat us with a modicum of intelligence.

18 March 2009 02:26



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Yellowdog says

RE: Mercedes E250 CDI (2009) first drive

See? I told you everybody would go on and on about the styling!! The fact is, the new E-Class' styling is on a par with current industry trends, which are, unfortunately, not particularly pleasing. (Blame Bangle if you like.) However, if Kacher and Chilton say that the traditional MB solidity and build quality are back, I see little reason to doubt it, and those are the things that really count.   

17 March 2009 12:00



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Robby1977 says

RE: Mercedes E250 CDI (2009) first drive

Andrew - I did think the same, but it does look like half the buttons on the centre console are for the stereo alone. The steering wheel has far to many buttons on it though; buttons on the steering wheel should be a safety feature, a few select features like stereo volume, that are straight to hand, not something you have to learn the positions of!

17 March 2009 09:06

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