(Portland, Oregon) It is on the winding roads that dart through Oregon’s beautiful landscape that we met with the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec 4Matic. Not only is it the E-Class sedan range's most fuel-efficient model, it is also the most affordable. On paper, the E250 Bluetec has it all, all that remained was to evaluate how it behaved on the road.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec 4Matic is available from $ 57,800 before taxes and other fees, which is $ 1,000 less than the E300 4Matic and its V6 engine. However, as is the norm with the majority of German luxury vehicles, the bottom line can add up quickly if you are too liberal when selecting your options. In all, there are six optional packages worth $ 9,500 ont the E250 Bluetec 4Matic.
Standard equipment includes heated seats, automatic dual zone climate control, a sunroof, heated steering wheel, dark ash wood trim inside, a navigation system and push-button start. Buyers will have to pay extra for seats made of real leather, park assist, SiriusXM satellite radio, and the AMG sport package. It is also only on the E250 Bluetec 4Matic and E300 4Matic that these items are not available as standard.
In our test model, most options were selected including the Intelligent Drive package that includes several active safety systems, including the new Distronic Plus system with direction assist. When driving on the highway, the system detects the markings on the road and automatically corrects the trajectory of the vehicle if the driver is about to cross into the other lane.
The feel of the steering wheel moving underneath our hands is very strange, but it remains that the system is effective and corrections are natural and linear. The BAS (Break Assist System), also available in the Intelligent Drive group, is designed to prevent collisions with pedestrians and cross-traffic.
If the system detects an imminent collision, it will beep to warn the driver. If he or she does not intervene, the system automatically applies the brakes to prevent or at least mitigate the impact. PRE-SAFE technology, which detects possible accidents and takes the necessary measures to protect the occupants, and the Attention Assist system, which warns the driver when he or she shows signs of drowsiness, are also part of the Intelligent Drive package.
More comfort than performance
As indicated in its nomenclature, the E250 Bluetec comes standard with 4Matic all-wheel drive. This is the case for all E Class sedans and wagons in 2014. It's a nice surprise that will allow the E-Class diesel to reach a larger number of buyers since the car can now be driven with confidence all year long.
Those who have already visited Oregon know how the air is humid. This moisture caused the winding roads that we borrowed to be quite slippery in some places. On several occasions, we had the opportunity to see the effectiveness of the 4Matic system that works in conjunction with the stability and traction control systems to prevent loss of grip. These systems operate efficiently and quietly, and their response is almost instantaneous.
There is no question that the E-Class, including the E250 Bluetec, will be an enjoyable and safe car in the winter.
However, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec 4Matic’s handling is not very athletic and certainly not conducive to having fun behind the wheel. Understeer is quickly noticeable while we would have liked a firmer and more incisive steering wheel which sometimes feels disconnected from the front axle.
The 2014 E-Class sedans love to pamper their passengers. The 2014 E250 Bluetec is comfortable and quiet, and does a great job in absorbing road irregularities. The front seats are firm, which is typical of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, but they remain comfortable even after hours on the road.
If we were to indulge in the game of comparisons, we would say that the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is between the Lexus GS and Audi A6 in terms of its handling. It is less dynamic but more comfortable than the A6; more powerful, but a tad less silky than the GS.
Under the hood of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E250 Bluetec 4Matic we find a turbocharged four-cylinder which develops 195 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque available at 1,600 RPM. The abundant torque helps the E250 Bluetec get off the line quickly, but we found that the car lacked some gusto as the revs increased. Indeed, when driving along some winding mountain roads, the E250 Bluetec struggled to pull away once you have negotiated a turn. Even in sport mode, accelerations leaves something to be desired.
That being said, the main purpose of this car is not to be a beast on the track, but rather to allow the owner to get to their destination comfortably and economically.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the average consumption of the E250 Bluetec diesel stands at 6.1 liters per 100 kilometers. During our test, it was difficult to get a good idea of fuel economy since our time behind the wheel of the car was limited and the roads that we have borrowed required heavy braking and continuous use of the right pedal.
However, our average fuel consumption was 8.1 l/100km, not bad at all! Moreover, the E250 Bluetec is equipped with a stop-start system that cuts the engine when the car is stationary. Our only comment about this system is that it could be more discreet.
Mercedes-Benz has not changed his philosophy with the 2014 E250 Bluetec 4Matic. The car is very comfortable and charms its driver with its quietness. It is powerful enough for most buyers while being fuel efficient. The big news is that 4Matic all-wheel-drive now comes standard. With this small addition, Mercedes- Benz should sell many more Bluetec models within its E-Class range.
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