Nice S-Class you’ve got there…

Yes, yes, very funny, not original at all…

What?

Oh, you really do think this is the S-Class. It’s the new E-Class. But, I can’t blame you for thinking this was the flagship. Mercedes likes everything to look like that these days; the C-Class is like a shrunken version of it and now this E-Class is like a, er, slightly less shrunken version. Or a bigger C-Class. Think of it however you want, but what you really need to know is that this is a classy ride that is bursting with technology.

I like the S-Class so I like this too. Hmm, did Merc do that on purpose? You know, play it safe in terms of styling?

You could say that. It definitely looks like the bigger (and smaller) siblings albeit this one’s beltline runs a little higher up on the profile than that of the other two and the rear bumper is slightly different. But if you saw it drive past you would definitely not say “oh look, there goes the new generation E-Class”, you’d say “there goes another one percenter with money to burn…” because you know, you’d have thought it was…

Yes, yes, move it on now…

Well you’re the one that was confused by it!

Ahem, you mentioned something about technology…

Yes I most certainly did. This thing is packed to the rafters with all manner of driver assistance systems, a beautiful iPad-like dashboard and a huge 12.3in infotainment display. There’s so much it’s hard to know where to begin!

Take a deep breath and start from the top…

Ok, it has a 360-degree network of cameras, radars, and other sensors that monitor your surroundings which help you avoid an accident, it can park itself when commanded via the smartphone app, it’s connected to the cloud, has automatic braking, the steering wheel has touch sensitive controls and it has 64 different colours of interior ambient lighting. There’s much more than that but I can see you’re dozing off.

A little. What’s it like to drive?

This E 200 only has 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo and it isn’t the punchiest motor. However, the ride is so smooth and relaxing and that makes up for the lack of grunt (184 horses and 300Nm of torque). This isn’t the sort of car you’d want to thrash anyway. Oh, and it has a nine-speed automatic and is the first in the segment to offer so many cogs. That said, it does have four drive modes but I doubt anyone will be putting it in Sport Plus and driving around with their teeth clenched. Jump in and the smart cabin puts you in relaxed frame of mind; it ever so decadent in there what with all sorts of wood and leather trim. They’ve done a really good job with this one and all that’s left to say is over to you 5 Series and A6…