Large Sedan Drive: Holden Calais and MercedesBenz E 200…

2 Апр 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz A 200 TURBO

Large Sedan Drive: Calais and Mercedes-Benz E 200

Holden and Mercedes-Benz E 200

Large Sedan

Holden Calais

What we

Improved ride and handling


Gutsy performance

Not so

Inconsistent cabin illumination

$79,900 (MRLP)

Engine: four-cylinder turbo-petrol

Output: / 300Nm

Transmission: Seven-speed

Wheels / Tyres: 18 x 8.5-inch / (Pirelli P Zero)

Fuel / 6.4L/100km / 148g/km

Safety: airbags / Five-star (ANCAP)


The Holden Commodore and the E-Class might both be sedans, but they aren’t what you’d call rivals. From a price alone, the figures show you could buy two Calais models (as for the price of just one E 200 (again, as

But does that mean our home-grown luxury sedan is the car? Or, visa vie, is the offering doubly as good as the Holden? Alas, in short, a moot point. Almost no one a Calais would consider an E or vice versa.

So why then are we these models head-to-head the Nation’s capital to our home in Melbourne? Well, that’s a easier to explain.

According to the new VF-series Commodore has closed the gap on its rivals where technology, and handling, and build quality are The good news is, for once, the is not simply lip service.

Along obvious architectural consistencies both three-box, five-seat, rear-wheel drive sedans) the and the E 200 offer similar levels of and amenity, comparable cargo (496 vs 540 litres) and analogous levels.

Relative to their price, the chasm between real-world and fuel economy is far from — something that quickly evident when a cross-country journey such as one.

On-road rivalry

Calais ($39,990 plus costs) and E 200 ($79,900 plus costs) on test are the newest of kind. Yet, despite the changes, both share drivelines to their immediate We say ‘near-identical’ because although the and fast mechanicals are unchanged, differences in tuning and calibration are and well publicised.

Weighing in at the VF-series Calais is powered by a direct-injected petrol V6. The median option in Holden’s Commodore (sitting above the 3.0L V6 but the 6.0L V8), the 3.6 develops at 6700rpm and 350Nm at 2800rpm. It the rear wheels via a six-speed transmission, and is claimed to return on the combined cycle, while 216g/km of CO2.

The lighter W213-series E 200 offers the lowest figure of any petrol-powered E-Class in the portfolio. Its turbocharged and direct-injected DOHC four-cylinder engine 135kW at 5250rpm and 270Nm 1800 and 4600rpm. It drives the wheels via a seven-speed automatic and is said to return 6.4L/100km on the cycle, while emitting of CO2.

Even before you at the performance figures, the specifications that the V6-powered Calais has an advantage, though perhaps unfair — we are comparing and oranges here. But when you that an E-Class with power levels costs of $96,000, you’ll understand why we the E 200.

Not surprisingly, the Calais’ performance has the E 200 (and its driver) scared.

Summonsing the oomph required to up a log truck on damp, winding is a considered effort in the Mercedes. turbo lag and transmission shift (in Economy mode) play a role in perceived ‘reaction’

In reality our figures show the between the pair’s performance is not as as our subjective impressions may indicate though as we all know, where is concerned, precious moments

From standstill to 60km/h the took just 3.7 seconds, and to only 6.8 seconds. During the all-important 50-70km/h sprint only 1.4 seconds. The lighter, but capacity E 200 managed to reach in 4.1 seconds and 100km/h in 8.8 seconds. It 1.8 seconds to canter between 50 and

But it’s not all about acceleration, of Any long-distance road trip requires a level of comfort to you relaxed, and a degree of handling to you safe. Fortunately, both our candidates did not disappoint on this

The ride quality of both is commendable; the Commodore at a level only a few years ago would been unheard of in a locally-built

Each soaked up the patchwork with aplomb while coping with our unanticipated detour with commendable The E 200’s lower profile did, however, send strong vibrations through the over larger divots, these too, at first, of little consequence to ride

On the handling side of the equation, it was to note that neither fell short to any significant The Calais’ neutral reaction saw it towards oversteer when the E 200 to understeer. Convention says the is preferable from a control though we might add that at no did the level of deflection feel with both vehicles entirely predictable.

Steering reaction for the Calais better-suited to poorly maintained roads. The new electric system not only a decent level of at all road speeds, but is also inclined to change course sharp bumps, something the E 200 susceptible too, if only

Neither vehicle tired the after long stints at the though personally I felt a preference for the ergonomics of the Merc’s column position.

In town, we the difference between the turning-circle of the two to be (11.40m vs. 11.28m), and both surprisingly easy to park the aid of a rear-view camera and acoustic sensors.

The Holden’s auto system was abandoned after too long to initialise.

Brake feel in both vehicles was comparable, with the Calais and the E 200 pedals with excellent The resultant ‘soft stop’ was achieved in either vehicle, for stopping power, the perforated of the Mercedes have it over the

We ran both vehicles on premium petrol for this test. recommends 91 RON ULP or higher, but quotes its and economy figures based on 95 RON We drove, predominantly at highway over a distance of 1000km largely to an unexpected detour the Shoalhaven Shire). We took the and more scenic, coastal from Canberra top Melbourne, Batemans Bay and Orbost.

Mercedes-Benz A 200 TURBO

The real fuel consumption results close to those listed for car’s ADR combined figure. neither vehicle managing near its listed extra figures of 7.0L/100km (Calais) and (E 200). On test, the averaged were 9.03L/100km and 8.26L/100km

Teutonic tech, Aussie

Holden’s new MyLink infotainment offers full iPod embedded music apps and Stitcher), Siri Eyes-Free for Apple iOS users, voice and Bluetooth connectivity. Satellite is optional at $750 (and was not to our tester).

The Calais also offers start, an electrically-adjustable driver’s push-button ignition and auto and wipers.

Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND multimedia system is perhaps traditional in its technological offerings, but boasts a 10GB hard and CD and DVD playback. The E 200 tested added connectivity, voice control, browsing and, of course, navigation. The E 200 also offers stop-start technology, brake-hold an electric tilt and slide electrically-adjustable front seats three memory presets and an steering column.

Safety is now comparable with the pair offering blind-spot assistance, and traction control, anti-lock daytime running lights, and child-seat preparation. It’s noting, however, the E 200 has nearly the number of airbags as the Calais (11 vs

For succinctness’ sake, we won’t go the finer points of each system (there’s plenty of in our individual Road Tests), we will say that both an acceptable degree of connectivity for the

Briefly, we should note the E 200 offers superior audio clarity though loses out user-friendliness is concerned. Conversely, the is easily comprehensible, but lacks of the attention to detail of the Mercedes, where night-time illumination is

The Calais’ steering wheel were brighter on the right-hand (audio) than the left control). And while the centre could be switched off, and the panel dimmed, the screen the road and engine speed was vivid, interfering with vision.

That’s not to say the night crown goes to Mercedes-Benz, Low beam vision saw the E 200’s lights draw a distinct end to reach, requiring far greater use of beam. This was an issue we notice in the Calais.

Unfortunately for the new Holden, the HVAC was seemingly unhappy about us warm, and at any temperature below saw cool air delivered to the cabin operating under its own direction in AUTO mode).

(Not so) vibrations

After piling on a few kays, it became apparent our forced dirt road (due to extensive road on the King’s Highway between and Batemans Bay) highlighted a of annoying rattles in the E 200’s We managed to shutter a couple of with folded paper, but a little perturbed by the situation, when the tactility and aesthetics of the decor appeared to be of a better than that of the Calais.

the E 200’s noise attenuation was of its Aussie rival (75dBA vs at 100km/h), as was downhill adhesion to the limit when using the control. The speedometer accuracy of vehicles was within 2km/h of the velocity (98km/h actual at indicated when measured via

Accommodation levels saw the Calais back a modest advantage, the offering more legroom vs. 1049mm front and 1009mm vs. rear), more shoulder (1502mm vs. 1467mm front and vs. 1449mm rear), and more seat headroom (985mm vs.

The E 200 did pip the Calais for rear seat however, if only by 7mm (965mm vs.

The driver’s footwell of the E 200 was impacted slightly by Mercedes’ outdated parkbrake.

Initially, the Calais’ seats more comfortable, though the cushion did result in a mild of ‘numb bum’ after hours at the wheel. This is we did not observe in the E 200. Lumbar the degree of adjustment and bolstering too close to call.

And that was a that was consistent throughout our Despite their pros and the two sedans are actually very — even if those one might never consider the And more fool them, I

Progress made?

In driving the and E 200 back-to-back one thing’s for certain they don’t make like they used to. In its (some say last) Aussie-built and iteration, Holden’s large car on the promise made from the top of the GM outpost.

Holden’s boss Devereux has stated on record that the company set out to build a car with the VF-series. To a significant it’s mission accomplished.

the Calais proves that can produce a world-class car. One of giving Europe’s finest a run for its money (pun intended). there are differences evident, but with an unbiased eye and they’re not as as the two cars’ price tags suggest.

Mercedes-Benz A 200 TURBO
Mercedes-Benz A 200 TURBO
Mercedes-Benz A 200 TURBO

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