The New Mercedes Benz E-Class Estate | Part Two (2003)

Mercedes Benz E-Class Estate

Mercedes Benz E-Class Estate (2003)

Like the Saloon before it, the new E-Class Estate represents technological exclusivity at the highest level. The standard specification for the Estate reads like a list of major milestones in automotive technology: Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC™) – the electrohydraulic brake system which now incorporates convenience functions such as Tailback Assist and Anti-stall Assist – as well as load-adaptive self-levelling rear suspension, adaptive front airbags, two-stage belt force limiters and large windowbags, to name just a handful of the 20-plus innovations that form part of the standard package.

Optional equipment available for the new Estate includes further high-tech systems such as AIRMATIC DC air suspension, COMAND APS control and display system with DVD player, THERMOTRONIC four-zone climate control and the dynamic multicontour seat which automatically adapts to the current driving situation.

Among the highlights making their debut in the new E-Class Estate are the bi-xenon headlamps with Active Light System – which follow the movements of the steering wheel and thus substantially enhance the driver's range of vision when cornering – as well as the new EASY-PACK tailgate, complete with hydraulic drive system for easy opening and closing at the touch of a button.

A new level of practicality and variability

The EASY-PACK system is the Mercedes Benz answer to the need for intelligent load compartment management, comprising a whole host of detail solutions which substantially enhance variability, practicality and safety in the new Estate. Highlights of the EASY-PACK system include a newly developed, split-folding rear bench seat which can be folded forwards in its entirety in just a few simple steps, thus creating a large, flat loading surface in the rear. The load compartment capacity is between 650 and 1910 litres (VDA measuring method), depending on how the rear seats are arranged. When the stowage compartment in the spare wheel well is used, the new E-Class is capable of transporting up to 90 litres (15 per cent) more than its predecessor.

Another new innovation for estate cars, the hydraulically operated EASY-PACK load compartment floor (optional) can be moved backwards by 400 mm at the push of a button, thus making it easier to load and unload heavy objects. Mercedes Benz has also developed a special EASY-PACK load securing kit (Fixkit) which allows separation of the load compartment according to requirements as well as safe securing of the load. The kit includes a telescopic bar, retractable belt, four load securing rings and sliding fixing elements that lock into two aluminium rails.

Offering a generous amount of space that can be used in a variety of ways, as well as intelligent practicality, the new Estate can easily cope with a wide range of transport tasks, making it the ideal partner for work, travel, recreation, sport and shopping. It has a payload capacity of 575 kg. At 4850 mm in length, the E-Class Estate is 32 mm longer than the Saloon version, due to the increased rear overhang. The wheelbase length remains unchanged at 2854 mm. Compared to its predecessor, the new Estate is 11 mm longer and 23 mm wider whilst the wheelbase has been extended by 21 mm.

continues... | Part Three
Published 10 January 2003 Melanie Carter

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