Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class range has just been expanded to include an all-new entry-level model, the E 200 Kompressor, mainly for those yearning to take the step up from the C-Class.

Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class range has just been expanded to include an all-new entry-level model, the E 200 Kompressor, mainly for those yearning to take the step up from the C-Class.

Launched in the picturesque Free State this weekend, it slots into the gap between the C-Class and the lower-level E’s. Mercedes-Benz has slapped a supercharged 1,8-litre four-cylinder engine into the shell of the E-Class.

This powerplant produces 120kW and a maximum torque of 240Nm between 3 000 and 4 000 r/min.

The car comes equipped with all the bells and whistles that you would expect on an E-Class. Advanced safety and comfort features ensure a smooth, comfortable ride that indicate that this is a luxury car.

Travelling at energy-sapping altitude, the E 200 Kompressor’s performance was somewhat lacklustre. Notwithstanding all the coaxing (especially while overtaking) once it gets going, it moves with the grace and elegance you would expect, and all is forgiven.

On the windy roads, its handing is competent and sure-footed while the cabin itself provides endless entertainment that borders on distraction.

The standard pack includes a tuner with six-CD changer, Thermotronik 4-zone air-conditioning (where each occupant can independently control his/her zone’s temperature), cruise control with Speedtronic variable speed limiter; a multi-function steering wheel, front seats with electrical height and backrest adjustment and mechanical lumbar support adjustment.

The safety features on the E 200 Kompressor are highly sophisticated, with full side curtain windowbags, Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) and Brake Assist as standard features along with the expected crumple zones, ABS and ESP.

The host of optional extras include Distronic, the very capable Linguatronic and Keyless Go to complete this very attractive package.

Mercedes-Benz concedes this is not a performance car and has decided to market it at young, female drivers rather than the ‘boy racers’.

The launch of the E 200 Kompressor will accompany a revised marketing strategy where prospective buyers will be able to call at a dealership and interactively view all the car’s features via a specially-erected kiosk on the showroom floor or a disc that can be taken home or to the office.

The E 200 Kompressor is covered by a two year/unlimited kilometres warranty with a six year/120 000 km maintenance plan.

The E200 Kompressor will cost R355 000.

Original article from Car