The long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz E-Class, initially developed exclusively for China, as made its way to India – the first right-hand drive market in which the car is marketed.
Compared to the regular W213 E-Class, the long wheelbase model puts an extra 140mm of metal between the wheels, pushing its wheelbase past three metres to measure 3,079mm and its overall length past five metres to 5,063mm.
All that extra cabin volume is dedicated to the rear-seated passengers, who get 134mm of additional leg room. The rear legally accommodates three passengers, although the outer two seats are designated as ‘luxury seats’ that can be tilted up to 37 degrees.
Two engine variants are offered for the Indian market. The 184hp 2.0-litre petrol of the E200 requires no further introduction for our audiences. It lines up alongside the E350d which gets a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel pushing out 258hp and 620Nm.
Both engine variants are paired with Mercedes-Benz’s current generation 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic transmission. Reports from various Indian automotive media are also speculating on the possible arrival of the E220d which gets Merc’s latest-generation 2.0-litre OM654 turbodiesel with outputs of 194hp and 400Nm.
Multi-chamber air suspension is standard on the E350d. Besides being able to vary damper rates, the system has self-leveling function and able to raise its ride height by as much as 25mm for added ground clearance.
In appearance, the E200 is decked in Avantgarde trim whilst the E350d carries the more conservative-looking Exclusive trim. Omitted, however, is the wide cockpit virtual instrument cluster that we get as standard here in Malaysia. Instead, Indian customers will have to make do with conventional instruments placed adjacent to a single 12.3-inch central display.
According to Indian media reports, prices of the E-Class LWB in India start from INR 5,615,000 for the E200 to INR 6,947,000 for the E350d, both prices ex-showroom from Mumbai. At the present exchange rate of INR14.75 to RM1, these convert to about RM380k to RM471k.
For the Indian market, the E-Class is assembled locally at Mercedes-Benz’s Pune plant in Maharashtra, India.
The E-Class LWB was first introduced at last year's Beijing Auto Show and began rolling out of Daimler's JV plant with BAIC in Beijing from June 2016.