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The Good Life

Driving down in style
Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are re-defining comfort and style with their luxury sedans 

Vikram Gour

Built without compromising on comfort, features, performance and style, these executive class sedans mean business.

The all-new long wheel base Mercedes-Benz E-Class made its debut in India recently and was initially introduced in two variants, namely the E200 petrol and the top of the line E 350d diesel. Expanding that line up, it has introduced the new E220d. The list of creature comforts in the Mercedes-Benz E220d include the 64 colour choices for ambient lighting, touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel, reclining rear seats, and electric sun blinds for the rear windows. The E220d also comes with the Dynamic Select functionality that offers the driver a choice of four driving modes to choose from depending on the driving conditions. Other key elements include the 12.3 inch infotainment screen, COMAND online, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and thermotronic climate control.

The Mercedes-Benz E220d gets the all new OM 654 engine which is touted to be a revolutionary unit, that is 17% lighter than its predecessor and consumes 13% less fuel as compared to the older engine. The diesel engine displaces 1950cc and generates 194 hp of power and a peak torque of 400 Nm. Tuned to offer both in terms of performance and efficiency, the E220d also benefits from the 9G-Tronic automatic transmission and can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 7.8 seconds.

Speaking about the new E220d, Roland Folger, CEO, Mercedes-Benz India says, “With the launch of the much awaited new E220d, we are now extending the E-Class product portfolio even further and making it highly versatile. The launch of the new E220d also marks the India debut of Mercedes-Benz’s globally acclaimed, OM 654 diesel engine. The new E220d’s diesel mill promises to be more efficient, powerful, lighter and compact. With an unparalleled luxury quotient, best in class passenger comfort, highly agile driving dynamics and the lowest total cost of ownership; we have launched another winning product with the new E220d. We are very confident that the E220d will continue to remain an important pillar of our product offensive in India.” Incidentally, the Mercedes-Benz E220d is priced at 57.14 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune).

BMW has had a successful run in the executive luxury sedan class with their 5 Series sedan. It is the German automobile manufacturer's highest selling model till date and out of the 66,000 BMWs sold in India till date, 19,000 of those are the 5 Series. Taking this forward and looking at capitalising on the popularity, BMW India recently launched the all-new 5 Series. Elaborating on the company’s latest launch, Vikram Pawah, president, BMW Group India says, “With the all-new BMW 5 Series, expect nothing less. The unique combination of elegant and dynamic design, intelligent BMW technologies and innovative control concepts in the all-new BMW 5 Series — means you can absolutely enjoy your drive. Fuelled by top performers, it combines outstanding output with powerful athletics and reaches all destinations with efficiency and purpose. It is time to discover the ultimate driving pleasure with a true business athlete: the all-new BMW 5 series.”

Powering the new BMW 5 Series, is a choice of three engine options. The two-litre four cylinder diesel engine produces an output of 190 hp and produces a maximum torque of 400 Nm. The two-litre four cylinder petrol engine delivers 252 hp and 350 Nm of torque and the three-litre six cylinder diesel engine delivers 265 hp and generates a maximum torque of 620 Nm. All the engines are mated to the eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission and you also get different driving modes such as Comfort, Sport, Sport, ECO PRO and Adaptive.

To further enhance the driving experience, the new BMW 5 Series gets new features such as BMW Gesture Control, Remote Control Parking with BMW Display Key, Wireless Charging, Parking Assistant with Surround View and the next generation BMW Head up Display. It is a well kitted out car and has been priced reasonably with the range starting at 49.9 lakh and going up to 61.3 lakh.

The Audi A6 Matrix comes fitted with innovative technologies; boasts of a progressive design and is equipped with a wide range of features. It is a sleek sporty looking sedan that is equally at home, on city streets or cruising down a highway. As the name suggests, the A6 gets the Matrix LED headlights that provide better illumination and works as a safety tool as well by automatically dimming the lights, when an oncoming vehicle is detected.

Powering the A6 is a choice of two engine options. The first being the 2.0 litre TDI diesel engine that produces 190 hp and 400 Nm of torque and the second is the 1.8 litre TFSI petrol engine that also generates 190 hp however delivers 320 Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to a slick seven speed S-tronic transmission that seamlessly shifts through the gears and allows the car to surge forward. Through the rather intuitive Drive Select function accessible using the dial for the new MMI system, the Audi A6 Matrix allows its drivers to select how they would like the car to behave. There are four settings to choose from – Comfort, Dynamic, Auto and Individual.

Audi’s new MMI system takes care of all infotainment needs with a host of added features and all of this can also be controlled through a remote control for occupants on the rear bench. These features include the high-end navigation with 3D map representation, a touch sensitive control panel for faster operation, smartphone voice control, Bluetooth interface for hands-free phone usage, a DVD player, 2 SDXC card readers, AUX-IN, USB connectivity and a Bose surround sound system. It is a great package and is priced rather competitively between 49 lakh to 52 lakh depending on the variant.

Commenting on the Audi A6 Matrix, Rahil Ansari, head, Audi India, said, “The Audi A6 is one of the world’s most successful executive sedans and has enjoyed the same success in India as well. It’s the perfect companion for driving in the city conditions and a great performer when it hits the highway. The Audi A6 Matrix sets new standards in innovative technology that makes the sedan even more efficient, more powerful, more intuitive and more sophisticated than ever. It features Audi Matrix LED headlights in addition to a signature single frame grille, new engine and transmission and an advanced infotainment system. The Audi A6 Matrix with its ‘Engineered Intuition’ is a brilliant performer. “

The writer is an editor with MotorScribes and tweets at @VikramGour

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