Home / Home / Mercedes-Benz E 220 d L Road Test Review – Deliver Us From Diesel


Mercedes-Benz E 220 d L 0 web

With the floodgates against diesel well and truly opened wide, the world seems against the devil’s brew, yet sales have not been affected to an extent one might imagine. Mercedes’ new E-Class gets an all-new motor that adds to choice, yet cleans up well. So how is the new E 220 d exactly?

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar


Evil. Pure evil. Black-smoke-belching, NOx-generating evil. Ask any green brigadier about a diesel car today and they would shun you like you carried the plague. Rewind to just a few years ago and the same environment-conscious flag-bearing general of Gaia would be song and praise about diesel and its low CO2. Clearly, NOx wasn’t a factor back then, except in automotive tests. How times change…

There was a time Mercedes gave the world its first diesel car, the 260 D. It had a 2.5-litre OHV four-pot contraption, with Bosch fuel-injection, that made 45 PS and let it touch 95 km/h. That was 80 years ago. Rudolph Diesel would never have imagined that something which attained a specific output of 18 PS/litre would eventually lead to something that could put out 100 PS/litre and more, while being injected at a force 2,500 times more than what our atmosphere could muster. That’s over 1,000 times your average tyre pressure.

Mercedes-Benz E 220 d L 3 web

What diesel was and what diesel is are two concepts from two different times. The new W213 E-Class marked the début of Mercedes’ all-new OM654 four-cylinder turbo-diesel motor, an engine which aimed to rewrite the rulebooks of refinement and efficiency. The E 220 d L we have here packs that very engine, but with the added bonus of it being made right here in India. We’ve already experienced the potency of the V6 in the E 350 d, but what if a wave of torque isn’t what your doctor ordered? More importantly, what if you wanted a diesel long-wheelbase E-Class but didn’t want to plonk down 70 big ones for it? That’s where the E 220 d steps in, and it makes quite an entry, too.

Mercedes-Benz E 220 d L 4 web

There’s not much apart really. They look identical, save for the different wheel-spoke design on similarly sized 17-inch wheels wrapped in 225/55 rubber. The LED headlamps still glow, proudly bearing their stripes. The smart tail-lamp clusters and the swoopy profile still look stunning. Inside, the quality upholstery, reclining rear seats, three-zone automatic climate control, 12.3-inch split dash display, panoramic sunroof, and the choice of ambient lighting colour choices still remain. You’ll be just as spoiled, really. What’s different is the engine, with its two less cylinders, the steel suspension with no raising air springs, and a music system that doesn’t have fancy ‘B’ logos.

Hit the starter button and the new four-cylinder motors to life. It’s more refined, yet it hums a familiar tune. The 9G-Tronic transmission drives the rear wheels and, together with its Dynamic Select shift programmes, makes quick work of mobilising that peak torque to convert it into quick acceleration.

Down 193 cc from its predecessor, the OM654 still puts out 194 PS and a useful 400 Nm of torque ― matching the peak torque of the outgoing motor but bettering the peak power output. The E 220 d L, 1.8-tonne weight and all, gets from standstill to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds. It will go on to a claimed 240 km/h. However, it makes the experience a show of prowess.

Mercedes-Benz E 220 d L 1 web

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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