Home / Reviews / First Drive / Mercedes-Benz E 350 e First Drive Review – Electrifying Luxury


The all-new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is quite the advanced automobile when it comes to taking steps towards autonomous driving. However, when it comes to powering mobility, there is one particular avatar that cleans up its act a little better.

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Mercedes-Benz


Admit it. Electronics are taking over everything from ticketing to music. Why should cars be spared, then? True, they’re on their way there. However, many consider the journey to be an important part of the destination and, as such, the path from combustion engine to full electric is not going to be a paradigm shift. There would have to be a mix and match scenario — which began long ago with the Prius — which involves combustion engine supporting the electric motor, both combustion engine and electric motor working together, as well as engine and e-motor doubling up as a dual powertrain for a — selectable — choice of maximum efficiency or maximum power. Then, along the way, there would be smarter systems.

Smarter systems would involve an advanced set of control units and an array of sensors that detect everything from wheel speed to how much the accelerator pedal moves when you sneeze. That phase is upon us already. The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class introduced several aspects of autonomous driving together — from the adaptive cruise control with a ‘swarm’ function to detecting lanes and speed limits; all of which contribute no end to the car being able to manage itself. Which is the ultimate goal for quite a few manufacturers today. That’s not the point here. The E 350 e is about combining several possible realities once thought about as the near future and blending them together in the present.

The Mercedes E 350 e, then, is a plug-in hybrid luxury saloon, which means it can be powered by electricity and petrol, or both. Yet, it doesn’t feel any different from any other W213; the E 200 or even an E 400, for that matter. It’s just as stylish on the outside and luxurious inside as its combustion-engine siblings are. Save for a few additional green elements in the information dials to tell you about battery charge level and the state of recuperation, everything else is familiar.

Mercedes-Benz E 350 e 2 web

What’s new is the complete silence when it’s ready to go. Apart from a few lights in the dash, there isn’t much else telling you, ‘Okay, time to push that pedal’. When you do, it takes off in silence — subject to charge level, of course, this one was almost full — and doesn’t involve the petrol engine until more thrust is needed from a heavier foot. We were in the German countryside, so the hills would soon necessitate that, as would Bosch’s oval test track where the new E would soon be unleashed.

Mercedes-Benz E 350 e 4 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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