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Mercedes E 220 d in the taxi test: How is the new E-Class doing?

Achim Hartmann
Mercedes E 220 d (W213) (2016) in the taxi test
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N of course we will You and us, dear readers, will deal with the numerous assistance systems of the new Mercedes E-Class in the coming issues. And the new infotainment system anyway. But a very important target group for the manufacturer lets this huge wave of high technology slosh over them quite unimpressed: the taxi drivers. It takes less than two minutes for them to attack in droves over the E 220 d, which is provocatively parked at the taxi distribution point at Stuttgart Airport.

Around it: pretty much all previous generations up to a lonely almadin red one W124. Other brands? Yes, also, occasionally. 'We're in the Daimler city here, you can't really drive anything else,' says Hassan. He repeatedly has technical problems with his E-Class, which is just 18 months old. 'Must be a Monday car. But I would buy a Mercedes again' - a loyalty that the manufacturer is putting to the test with its own smartphone app Mytaxi and the associated cheap tariffs. But that's a different story.

Achim Hartmann
To provoke a crowd in Stuttgart, you don't need a desolate building project . The new E-Class is enough.

Mercedes E-Class in the space check


Much more important: How is the space available? How big and usable the trunk? How comfortable is the driver's seat? Fatih doesn't have to think twice: 'The new model certainly works well as a taxi. But the trunk looks smaller than mine.' Yes, he is right, but this is due to the subwoofer of the Burmester audio system that this guild has madeis unlikely to indulge.

Luxury, however, is not alien to her, as the two S-Class sedans of the latest generation reveal. Rajesh drives one of them and is amazed at the new cockpit of the E-Class: 'The monitors almost seem a little bigger to me than in the S-Class!' When he learns that the so-called widescreen cockpit costs 1,011.50 euros extra, he waves it off: 'Then the standard displays will definitely do the same.' Some of his colleagues around him share this view and would also not order assistance systems. Lane keeping, steering and lane change assistant? No, the taxi driver does it himself.

Taxi driver with practical questions

The lane change assistant works quite reliably on the nearby four-lane main road. In addition, when the steering assistant is active, the E-Class moans much later when the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel - the supposedly brave new world. The here and now, however, wants to know: 'Is there a real spare wheel?' Hm, well, at least with the civilian variants, only the tire pressure control system warns of an impending flat tire, Tirefit and tires with emergency running properties are in the surcharge list.

Gülven would like to know where the filler neck for the AdBlue additive is is located. Besides that for the fuel? Very well. He also praises the brand: 'The 211 generation in particular was very reliable, they ran 700,000 kilometers without any problems.' In the successor, the OM 651 was used, which made it dubious. Immediately, words like 'injectors', 'workshop', 'multiple' flicker through the air, especially in the initial phase.

Mercedes E 220 d with new generation of engines

Now a new one is starting Generation of engines, initially in the 220 version popular with private customers and taxi drivers in Germany. Although it has less displacement and only one turbocharger (from BorgWarner, with a maximum of 2.05 bar overpressure), it does more and should consume considerably less. The two-liter engine transmits its power to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which improves performance thanks to the ratio that has been changed compared to the seven-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes promises that the E 220 d will sprint from 0 to 100 km /h in 7.3 seconds (previously: 8.7 s).

Not bad, although all target groups appreciate the noticeably more pleasant running smoothness should. The diesel engine, which injects directly at 2,050 bar, hums very discreetly, only allowing minimal vibrations to penetrate the doormat - even when accelerating vigorously. When he pushes you into the comfortably contoured and tightly padded seat with the power of his 400 Nm, the driving experience approaches the highest level of sovereignty, which at best could be surpassed by the ship's diesel-powered acoustic fireplace of the V6 engine in the E 350 d .

Achim Hartmann
Now the' d 'is stuck again in the E-Class at the stern. Somehow sounds clearer than Bluetec, doesn't it?

Weaker diesels will follow in the course of the year

The same applies to the experience in the back right place, there, where the lush panoramic sliding roof hardly interferes with the feeling of space due to the slightly lower interior height. Only the center armrest stands up a bit strangely. The chic saddle brown nappa leather of the test car could even harmonize very well with the classic taxi light ivory, but this industry favors hard-wearing synthetic leather - in black. And then maybe the smaller E 200 d with 150 hp, which will be submitted later this year? 'I don't think so, until now the 200 was simply too weak for the heavy E-Class - and not necessarily more economical,' reports Gülven.

In fact, the smaller OM 654 with 3.9 l /100 will probably also be available km homologated, so it is more interesting for markets in which the service is taxed. The strongest expression will follow in 2017. By then, a few taxi drivers can certainly eat the 220 d kilometers, check consumption data and gain experience of the quality. Before doing this, the most important question needs to be answered: What does it cost? The answer: 111,205.50 euros. I beg your pardon? Well, fully equipped. So with really every assistance, comfort and optical junk. The base price is 47,124 euros. And Mercedes has always come up with an attractive offer for taxi drivers - at least so far.

Conclusion: Could work

Of course, taxi drivers report various negative experiences with their E-Classes, but that Surprisingly, positives predominate. The expectations of the new model are correspondingly high, namely in terms of its basic properties such as efficiency, comfort and reliability - equally important for taxi drivers and private customers. Whether the Mercedes drives a good distance on its own and changes lanes or the ambient light has 64 colors is secondary.

Achim Hartmann
With the E-Class, a new generation of engines starts, first in the 220 version popular with private customers and taxi drivers in Germany.

Technology in detail: what the OM 654 should be able to

Mercedes proudly pats itself on the shoulder. Lighter, more compact, more economical, more powerful: in theory, the engine looks very promising. The new OM 654 diesel engine generation, the successor to the OM 651, which hit the headlines due to massive injector problems, is also starting with the 213 series.

The first variant is the 220 d, 195 hp, which develops a maximum torque of 400 Nm at 1,600 rpm. Compared to its predecessor, the manufacturer states that the weight has been reduced by 17 percent to 168.4 kg; the displacement is now 1,950 instead of 2,142 cm3. The cylinder distance is reduced from 94 to 90 mm, the ratio of bore to stroke changes from 83.0 x 99.0 to 82.0 x 92.3 mm.

A special feature: The essential components for Exhaust aftertreatment such as SCR and oxidation catalytic converters and the soot particle filter are attached directly to the engine and not in the exhaust system, which is why these components reach their optimal operating temperature more quickly. This should result in consumption advantages, especially for short journeys. According to the NEDC, Mercedes promises a consumption of 3.9 l /100 km and CO2 emissions of 102 g /km for the E 220 d. The predecessor achieved 4.5 l /100 km and 119 g /km - with the same torque and 25 hp less power. The combination of aluminum housing and steel piston is another special feature. The latter are now flatter, so the connecting rod could be lengthened, which in turn reduces undesirable lateral piston forces. In conjunction with the 12 mm offset of the drive, this should result in significantly better running smoothness compared to the OM 651, which is known as rustic.

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