BMW 520d Efficient Dynamics vs Jaguar XF 2 2 Diesel Sport vs…

12 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz E 300 AT Special Series

BMW 520d Efficient Dynamics vs XF 2.2 Diesel Sport vs Mercedes-Benz Bluetec Hybrid vs Audi A6 3.0 TDI S-line Multitronic

Here we go promises, promises. The E300 Hybrid – Mercedes’ new four-cylinder E-class – accelerates like a and can close in on 70 to the gallon. So says If they’re right, this car be about to hit the UK fleet market a lightning bolt at 3am.

But abounds in this parish. in February, along came diesel hybrid for which incredible feats were That was the Peugeot 3008 – a car proving that, when a engine and an electric motor outstanding performance and economy necessarily follow. Our road of it recorded worse acceleration and economy than a like-for-like 2.0 HDi. And in our Prius twin the Toyota duly thumped it for efficiency.

Mercedes-Benz E300 Hybrid

But that was then. time around it’s the aristocratic German car maker mixing compression ignition and current. The car that Mercedes has isn’t cheap – especially for buyers. But for the fleet market, its tax rating has an effect akin to five grand off the list by offsetting a high contract rate against a benefit-in-kind that saves about Ł50 a in company car tax.

Audi A6 3.0 TDI S-line Multitronic

We’ve up three mid-size company to test the Merc’s mettle. to match it for performance and equipment is mid-range diesel A6, the 201bhp 3.0 TDI in S-line trim with Multitronic continuously variable Setting the bar on economy is the BMW 520d Dynamics, which needs mild hybrid enhancements to better than 60mpg on the New ‘Combined’ Driving Cycle. And somewhere in between – the perfect equal of the Mercedes on running as it happens – is Jaguar’s 2013-model-year XF in four-cylinder diesel form.

The stage is set, the trip have been zeroed, and now all the claims and CO2 emissions ratings in the count for nought. Before too we’ll know who makes the mid-size executive saloon in the world.

The inside story

as it is by three pillars of Bavarian substance, you can’t help but for the underdog Brit in this shootout. But the XF gets off to a shaky because before an engine or a wheel turns comes the of assessing in which of our middleweight we’d rather spend With grown children to and adult colleagues to whisk off to a good business car has to be practical. And with its German opposition – all of seem very accommodating – the Jaguar is decidedly short on

Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Interior

Poor packaging the XF of the kind of knee and shoulder that adults might stretch out in. There is simply no way to explain why the longest car here offer its occupants the least of space. The difference isn’t but it’s noticeable. Take a measure to the interior, as we do during the of our weekly road test, and find a maximum 850mm of in the back of the XF. The E-class bests by a not insignificant 80mm and the A6 by a whopping

Audi A6 3.0 TDI quattro S-line Interior

It’s not just in the where the XF seems a little The Jag’s cabin ambience is warmer and less formal any of the Germans’, but it’s a cabin of materials that aren’t as tactile or expensive as those of the and built to a standard that quite as exacting. In places, the is also showing its age. change quickly in this of the market, and if you’re not offering a cinema-sized control display the one you’ll find in the 5-series or A6, now well off the pace. But the XF’s age is most in a driving position feels high, exposed and a confined, sandwiching you between the tunnel and the door much snugly than the expanded average and putting the header a little too close to your for comfort.

Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel Sport

If all you’re going to do is sit and admire, chose to do that in the Audi. As as being huge, the A6’s is beautifully constructed and feels bit as good as it looks. There is little between the 5-series and the that separating them is a of taste. The Mercedes has the greater luxury-car charm, the BMW a more cool, corporate flavour.

The though, is left in a slightly place – at least as far as Gaydon is But only for the time being.

BMW Efficient Dynamics Interior


Mechanically, this represents the diversity at the heart of the saloon market. Choice is a problem to have, of course, and this lot you can choose between diesel, six-cylinder diesel and hybrid, between two driven and four, and between manual continuously variable ones and automatics (with or without converters).

There’s commonality as well, of course. If you’re to sign up to a monthly outgoing of Ł750 (split between cost and company car tax – see sidebar, whichever car you plump for you’ll end up something that’ll hit 60mph in eight seconds, top 140mph enough room and should 55mpg or better – based on claims. Nowhere in the modern car is the incredible progress of the past two more visible than in the co-existence of simple statistics as those.

Still, it’ll surprise no one to that, after several miles on motorway, A-road, and ring road, not one of our quartet better than 50mpg. And – surprise – the most economical car on wasn’t the technologically sophisticated, E-class. The 520d Efficient ruled the roost on efficiency, 47.1mpg, followed by the E300 (44.0mpg), the XF 2.2 (41.7mpg) and the A6 3.0 TDI (40.4mpg).

E300 Bluetec Hybrid

So no showing from the Merc. goes down as a serious from a car cracked up to be the most mid-size exec you can buy. But in it’s the label that’s the not the car, which proves respectably, albeit unexceptionally, This, as it turns out, is special, quirky or different. just another E-class.

The drive system in the E300 may in tandem with a diesel but it’s familiar technology; seen something very in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5. Co-developed with the drivetrain effectively replaces the torque converter of a conventional gearbox with an electric and a pair of wet clutches. Moving off a standstill and up to a maximum zero-emissions of 22mph is the work of the 27bhp, ft electric motor. Thereafter, the powertrain operates only in the It delivers short bursts of assistance and also allows the engine to shut down you’re running downhill or down from speeds of up to The ancillaries get all the power they while the trip computer to show some worthwhile improvements.

Credit to Mercedes for such refinement and such familiarity and simplicity into car. When the diesel shuts down and restarts, you don’t feel it. Power can in slightly irregular lumps at while the transmission juggles its But rarely are you made to wait for a response to your right In the main, when you tell the to move, it moves.

Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel Sport

Mercedes-Benz E 300 AT Special Series

And it can get a of steam up all right. On paper, is the second fastest car of our foursome. But on the – like any E-class bar the full-fat really – it makes a much laid-back limousine than sports saloon. The E300 comes on Merc’s Direct coil suspension set-up, through 15mm of ride – but in the pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency, not body control. Its damping is soft enough to make for a low-speed ride, but it also discouraging amounts of body when you stretch the car’s The car is competent enough at medium but never poised or exciting.

The A6 do excitement, either, despite its S-line suspension settings and its V6 engine. In many ways, the is the perfect motorway car. Its is meticulously insulated from the of air and roaring of tyres. Its body resolutely level at all times. And its is so unobtrusive as to ask practically nothing the driver, if all he wants to do is rub along the traffic. The CVT works best on throttle, where it might the engine to spin away at a quiet 2500rpm, feeding a of effortless torque to all four and driving the car onwards with all the momentum of an ocean-going vessel.

A6 3.0 TDI quattro S-line Multitronic

But from the motorway, the Audi big, inert and utterly Body control is businesslike but unsophisticated, while the steering is and accurate but wholly uncommunicative. and efficiency are everything in this any character or involvement must since have been as waste.

So, refined as they are, the Mercedes nor the Audi is a fleet car for who enjoy the ride. They’re for those who simply want to unruffled, unmolested, ready for the day Fine cars, then – for else.

BMW 520d Efficient

The keen driver’s choice

modern mission statement, by contrast, seems to be to make the driver’s car in any premium segment. It has that to great effect the XJ and worked the same trick for with the XK. And having realised the of a four-cylinder engine, it continues to do with the XF: to offer fleet a more athletic and engaging saloon that’s also enough to appear on the company car

The XF’s appeal doesn’t from speed. Its 197bhp a great deal when it has 1.8 tonnes to motivate, and although the car that power through a eight-speed automatic ’box, an initial reluctance to the car’s response at step-off that its otherwise game character. But it’s rolling, the energy and poise of the car come filtering The turbine-like transmission churns the gears, keeping the engine to its healthy torque peak and at a distance from running out of

Meanwhile, every dip and bend in the serves only to unearth depths of balance and control in the chassis, as well as absorbing in the steering. Overall, the XF has the kind of verve and sense of occasion you just don’t expect of a tool. It’s a special

But ‘special’ must be tempered ‘sensible’ in choosing the winner of test; dynamism must with equally generous efficiency, practicality and value.

It just so happens that the Efficient Dynamics is the cheapest car by a very large margin. The is that if it cost Ł40k, the BMW still be our winner. It would have the most impressive of performance and economy, of ride and handling poise, of refinement and and of outward size and inward It’s a balance for which it be worth paying a premium.

as the equivalent 3-series does, the represents the state of the automotive art in so ways. Measured against sophisticated, more powerful and expensive opposition from bitterest rivals, the 5-series a class apart. Although it communicate with the intimacy of the XF, it can entertain at the end of a long motorway there’s still more enough of BMW’s trademark brio to latch on to. And that’s soothing away a couple of miles almost as calmly as the A6 or – and having cost you less either in the process.

So meet the new – same as the old boss. His suit may not be as and his CV not as complete, but trust us: he’s the man for the job. And come hell or more diesel hybrids, we he’s a very long from retirement yet.

Mercedes-Benz E 300 AT Special Series
Mercedes-Benz E 300 AT Special Series
Mercedes-Benz E 300 AT Special Series


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