Mercedes-Benz brings back its large V6 diesel to the E-Class and it’s a fine match.
Since launch last year, the facelifted Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been available with the option of a four-cylinder diesel (E250 CDI), a four-cylinder petrol (E200) and a manic V8 petrol (E63 AMG). This E350 CDI, then, marks the return of a ‘big’ diesel to the E’s engine line-up. As on the older E350 CDI, this one features a 3.0-litre, V6, common-rail diesel motor. But, courtesy updates to the engine, power, torque and correspondingly performance figures see a big improvement. In current form, the E350 CDI makes a rather strong 262bhp and 63.2kgm, with Mercedes claiming a quick 0-100kph time of just 6.6 seconds.
Be it acceleration from a standstill or through the gears, the E350 CDI is quick. You’ll be quite surprised by how strongly the Merc pulls even post 140kph. But the remarkable thing about the engine is it doesn’t make a song and dance about delivering smashing performance. Even with the throttle mashed to the floor, the decibel levels in the cabin don’t really go beyond a distant hum. It’s so quiet and relaxed in the cabin that it’s easy to find yourself driving faster than intended – the E350 CDI masks speed brilliantly. For many, this engine’s superb refinement alone is worth the outlay over the E250 CDI, whose twin turbo unit can be intrusive at times.