Mercedes Benz E-Class 220D - Quick comparison with our RR Velar

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Arianne
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:39 pm
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Mercedes Benz E-Class 220D - Quick comparison with our RR Velar

Post by Arianne » Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:30 pm

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The lad's MB SLC 200 sports coupe in in for its annual service and so the dealer has given him an E-Class 220D on a 69 plate as a courtesy car. Nice! So we've been whizzing around in it over the weekend and it has reminded me of how wonderful a car our RR Velar is. Even nicer!

So I thought I would say a few words as this post contains a big dollop of 'feel good factor' for us Velar owners (Warning: this is a somewhat unfair head2head for reasons that will shortly become apparent). It's a pleasant experience to sit in the conservatory on a warm but rainy Sunday afternoon for a few minutes typing away, so here goes...

Sitting side by side on our drive and the Velar wins outright. The design is still completely fresh whereas the E-Class, at least on this model, is far from leading edge. RR Velar 1 - 0 Merc E Class

Interior build and design and it's still a win for the Velar, but this one is a closer run between them. The Mercedes feels more solid and the design is nice. However, the Velar's build quality is good too (the weak spot being those lower plastics hidden out of direct sight) but the Velar interior design just blows the E-Class away. In truth, it blows almost everything away for interior ambience right now, especially if the right options are selected such as the extended leather and interior inlay panels etc. I do like the fake black ash wood trim in the Mercedes which doesn't show all the fingerprints of the piano black high-gloss Velar inlay though. RR Velar 2 - 0 Mer E Class

Technology and driver interface is very close albeit that they both take quite a different approach to the User Interface Experience (UIE). The Velar, as we know, is almost all touchscreen. The E-Class has no touchscreen and relies upon a mix of buttons and mouse / scrolling haptic feedback sensors. The Mercedes responds faster although the Velar is no slouch once it's loaded up. The Velar has the three screens, including the overengineered but neat upper screen that emerges on start-up and tilts to your preferred angle. The E-Class has a slab of 2D flat screen extending 66% across the front dashboard - it makes for efficient use of screen inches and the definition is good too (the rear camera makes the Velar rear imaging look like a 480 pixel effort compared to HD 1080p). On the other hand, why do Mercedes persist with their italic font that reminds me of WordArt from MS Word 97? The Velar also has an array of greater connectivity but I am going to call this one a draw. RR Velar 3 - 1 Merc E Class

Sound system is an outright win for the Velar, our particular Velar that is! This is very unfair because we have the Meridian 825w Tri-field system whereas the E-Class limps along with the standard audio system, whatever that might be. The Merc system is fine for background music, inviting occupants to converse over it. The playback quality is poor and nobody would want to properly listen to their favourite music in this particular car. We fed it uncompressed FLAC format studio quality music downloaded from the Hi-Res company 7Digital on a USB drive. Music tracks that completely shine in our Velar are totally bland and vanilla in the E-Class, even with the graphic equaliser adjusted etc. In all truth, if we owned this particular E-Class, I wouldn't bother paying the premium for the 7Digital FLAC files since they sound no better than standard iTunes AAC or Amazon MP3 digital music. Even these inferior music files have more sound definition within them than the Mercedes can handle. For an E-Class, the sound system is unremarkable. But then I guess expensive upgrades are available although this particular car didn't boast such options. Unfair maybe but I can only test what's supplied so.... RR Velar 4 - Merc E Class 1

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Engine, handling and performance is another win for the Velar but by a margin not so huge as one might at first imagine. Here we have Land Rover's (or should I say Ford's) wonderful 3.0d V6 with 300bhp and 700Nm of torque versus the Mercedes' 220d - six cylinders will almost always beat the 4pot diesel. And so it proves to be here. But I have to say that, whatever a 220d MB engine is these days, it's very refined. Under load it is quiet and unlike the sound I recall from the 4pot Ingenium units from JLR in my Velar courtesy cars (180 and 240 versions) and equivalent F-Pace. In Sport+ mode, the E-Class can shift. If I were testing a 4pot Velar then this might be very close with a possible win for the E-Class. But I am in possession of the V6 Velar and I'll not apologise for being biased. The handling of the E-Class, on standard springs and what appear to be smallish wheels and correspondingly quite high profile tyre sidewalls is...... comfortable, as you might expect (this being my son's verdict as he is the guy insured for this dealer courtesy car and not me). Road surface imperfections are soaked up and the E-Class just rolls along. Handling is fine, although far from exciting. It doesn't wallow and strikes a good balance between the need for comfort and stability. Our Velar rides on 21" rims and air suspension. The rims look fabulous and bigger wheels are, in my opinion, a must to accentuate the design of the Velar. But the trade off is lower profile tyres which means less forgiveness on the ride comfort. Air suspension is the answer, I wouldn't want standard springs on 21" rims, let alone 22" monsters. Our Velar is very comfy too but less placid on rutted roads or potholes. Like the E-Class, it too can be hustled and actually performs better despite the SUV height. But a Velar asks you why you are pushing so hard when it prefers to get you to your destination unflustered. It's no F-Pace or Porsche Macan but a Velar can push on across twisting country roads without causing driver anxiety when entering a bend slightly too fast. Velar wins. RR Velar 5 - Merc E Class 1

So then, which car offers me that 'sense of occasion' when you begin every journey and I say this knowing that there's a cheap joke in here for the sceptic, almost Alfa Romeo-esque humour. It's the Velar, for certain. After nearly three years ownership, I look forward to every journey in our Velar - whether it's a short jaunt over the River Tweed to the Mother-in-Law's house or a GT pan-euro expedition to Austria for skiing. The Velar is a very nice place to be inside and JLR's pitch that it represents the 'Third Place' after home and the office is true. Serene, composed with a hint of excitement if required - a Velar looks beautiful inside and out. It is a special car. That special feeling extends to the passengers and driver when you climb inside. The Mercedes Benz E-Class boasts a nice cabin too - okay the Artico leather isn't leather but high-end vinyl, the sound system seems to be missing a series of speakers in the lower doors (just mid-range and tweeters rather than woofers or a sub-woofer). But the Merc oozes build quality and solidity in a way the Velar just can't match - old school German engineering versus some British design flair. For the weekend, the E-Class is an interesting proposition but it's not a thing of beauty to my eye, the badge bestows a halo on what is a fairly boring silhouette. I would find ownership anything but a special occasion with the E-Class within just a few weeks, whereas I am increasingly grateful to my former self on the ongoing joy I experience from my carefully chosen Velar options, even if the depreciation on options is almost 100% in financial terms at the outset.

Happiness can't be measures by just money. Our Velar has character, we love her although we are acutely aware that somewhere, lurking in the design and engineering team that created such beauty, must lie an Alfa Romeo sleeper! Those retractable door handles are an answer to a question nobody in cold climates has ever asked! Whereas for the E-Class, it presents as rock-solid albeit a bit boring - although just how many options in the ambient lighting colour palette does an owner need?

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If you've got this far reading my whimsical cross comparison of a luxury SUV with a luxury executive saloon then you'll acknowledge the truth that this has been a somewhat random assessment, biased in favour of us RR Velar owners. A £45k E-Class (give or take) versus a £70k RR Velar. However, and I really believe this from the bottom of my heart, a carefully configured D240 Velar is a great car, albeit still probably £5k - £10k more expensive that that E-Class.

Oh well, enjoy!

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D300 R-dynamic with lots of optional toys. Corris Grey, sunroof, activity bracelet, configurable lighting, 825w Meridian sound, heated everything, configurable dynamics, full leather pack, summer / winter tyres & the important cup holder cover!

Haybrd
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Re: Mercedes Benz E-Class 220D - Quick comparison with our RR Velar

Post by Haybrd » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:14 pm

I’ve said it before but I love your posts and writing style Arianne!

I discounted Mercedes when I was looking at the Velar and competitors last year. They are lovely cars don’t get me wrong but for me there is no excitement. I had an extended test drive a C-Class a couple of years back and the car was comfy and did everything I wanted but it felt like driving around in my front room. I felt no connection to the road or driving experience and that for me is important.

Today I have driven over 200 miles in my Velar to visit family (OMG to hug my dad today for the first time in 4 months was amazing!!). The Velar soaked up the miles, gave me 43mpg, and got me here feeling refreshed! So much so that the last 15 miles or so on country lanes got the Dynamic Sport setting treatment! I love my Velar! No other car comes close for me.
MY20 D240 R-Dynamic SE, Santorini Black, 14 way heated, memory seats, Heated/power recline rear, 20” 7 spike gloss black wheels, Electrically deployable towbar, Fixed panoramic roof, Rear seat release , Power pack 2

Arianne
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:39 pm
Location: UK

Re: Mercedes Benz E-Class 220D - Quick comparison with our RR Velar

Post by Arianne » Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:29 pm

That’s very kind of you to say that Haybrd. I do it because I enjoy it in the same way that I enjoy reading others’ posts and threads on this owners forum. As I sit here on my bench in the garden listening to the birds in the Scots Pines behind us, It makes for a welcome distraction from the more serious stuff going on in the world right now.

The lad’s E-Class has gone. And I’ve forgotten it already for the reasons you set out in your post. The SLC is back on the drive and, with the top down, his convertible hard-top coupe (the very last of the folding hard-top generation of cabriolets) makes for an entertaining experience. Having said that, the steering is as you say - a very weird, Mercedes Benz disconnected feel that betrays the idea of a two seater sports coupe. All the magazines mention it and we’ve thought that from the beginning.

I spoke about every trip in our Velar being an occasion. And I also mentioned my suspicion that there was an Alfa-Romeo sleeper on the design and engineering team for the Velar....

.... today, Mrs A returned home and declared that she couldn’t switch the Velar’s sound system off, that she couldn’t adjust the volume and that it had suddenly begun thumping out the Doobie Brothers’ Long Train Runnin’ on the way home. So I walked out to the drive and there was our Velar, engine off and locked but with a deep bass resonating from within. I unlocked it, opened the door and it was truly loud. Mrs A was right - the music could not be silenced any which way. I jumped out, shut the door and rang my dealer.

The dealer advised me to deadlock it, wait ten minutes and then try again. After ten minutes she had indeed shut down and performed a reset such that everything was working normally again - except poor Mrs A’s pretty ears as she described her earache for a few hours into the evening.

I mentioned to Mrs A that, if it happens again (perish the thought) that the pause button on the touchscreen was working even though the volume and off buttons had all stopped.

Quite a character is our Velar. I will add that to the universal opening of all windows and sunroof overnight while in Austria last winter for a skiing holiday. That was a weird one too.

Holly (that’s her name - the Velar not Mrs A) is indeed Alfa-esque. Quirky but so, so loveable. My Alfa once tried to kill me when the throttle cable jammed in the fully depressed position while overtaking a convoy of traffic on a country road here in Scotland. By comparison, the Velar’s audio mishap is small beer!

Have a nice evening.

Arianne
D300 R-dynamic with lots of optional toys. Corris Grey, sunroof, activity bracelet, configurable lighting, 825w Meridian sound, heated everything, configurable dynamics, full leather pack, summer / winter tyres & the important cup holder cover!

SpokenHands
Posts: 467
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Location: UK

Re: Mercedes Benz E-Class 220D - Quick comparison with our RR Velar

Post by SpokenHands » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:25 pm

Wait - don't knock all Mercedes! :D

I have a widebody 557bhp AMG GTC convertible - an absolute monster on my driveway - that would disagree with you!
Stunning V8 sound, very very quick 0-60mph in 3.7 secs, excellent road handling, crisp taut feel, and very well equipped inside for a sports car - extended leather, ambient lighting, Burmester surround sound system, heated seats, the works...). Something tells me if your lad was driving this, he may not want to return to a Velar (even!) 8-)

Naturally all very different cars, for different drivers, and different needs.
Mercedes are very sensitive to spec - and many C and E class cars (especially the courtesy cars) are the equivalent of a Velar D180 in S trim - not exactly the exemplar of the brand offer. If you had made the same comparisons in a nicely-equipped CLS or better still, a GLC/GLE or EQC, the game would be very different.

I love my wife's Velar and some days, would very happily pick it to drive.
2018 Mercedes AMG GT-C Roadster
2018 Range Rover Velar First Edition D300 HSE

Mad Max
Posts: 62
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Re: Mercedes Benz E-Class 220D - Quick comparison with our RR Velar

Post by Mad Max » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:42 am

What I like about the Velar is that you don't see many on the road, it is rare and awesome
2018 R dynamic se loaded
22" rims, matte black wrap with black package
Quicksilver exhaust cat back

SpokenHands
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:40 am
Location: UK

Re: Mercedes Benz E-Class 220D - Quick comparison with our RR Velar

Post by SpokenHands » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:58 pm

As it happens, in the UK, there are an awful lot of them about - usually D180/D275, almost never seen a petrol.

Thankfully now in a wider range of colours and not all in Corris Grey with the contrast black roof. Guilty as charged
2018 Mercedes AMG GT-C Roadster
2018 Range Rover Velar First Edition D300 HSE

Arianne
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:39 pm
Location: UK

Re: Mercedes Benz E-Class 220D - Quick comparison with our RR Velar

Post by Arianne » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:33 pm

SpokenHands wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:25 pm
Wait - don't knock all Mercedes! :D

I have a widebody 557bhp AMG GTC convertible - an absolute monster on my driveway - that would disagree with you!
Stunning V8 sound, very very quick 0-60mph in 3.7 secs, excellent road handling, crisp taut feel, and very well equipped inside for a sports car - extended leather, ambient lighting, Burmester surround sound system, heated seats, the works...). Something tells me if your lad was driving this, he may not want to return to a Velar (even!) 8-)

Naturally all very different cars, for different drivers, and different needs.
Mercedes are very sensitive to spec - and many C and E class cars (especially the courtesy cars) are the equivalent of a Velar D180 in S trim - not exactly the exemplar of the brand offer. If you had made the same comparisons in a nicely-equipped CLS or better still, a GLC/GLE or EQC, the game would be very different.

I love my wife's Velar and some days, would very happily pick it to drive.
Two things then....

First, nobody in their right mind can argue with your points about your AMG GTC Convertible. But then that’s no mainstream Mercedes Benz. Four wheel steering, I believe? Premier League.

Regarding the stock E-Class. This is true and, as I said, it was an unfair comparison but contained plenty of feel-good for us folk here on the Velar forum!

And..... mine’s Corris Grey with a contrasting black roof too. Still a thing of beauty though :)

Have a nice sunny evening.

Arianne
D300 R-dynamic with lots of optional toys. Corris Grey, sunroof, activity bracelet, configurable lighting, 825w Meridian sound, heated everything, configurable dynamics, full leather pack, summer / winter tyres & the important cup holder cover!

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