DD Motoring: Flying without wings – The new Mercedes-Benz E220 Diesel

first_imgI felt a bit like Louis Hamilton as the beautiful lady gave me a Mercedes baseball cap at the end of my drive! Was I at the F1 track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, or the Circuit de Monaco- Monte Carlo? No, I was at the Circuit of Collooney in Sligo this week as I visited one of the newest and most impressive Mercedes Benz car show rooms in Ireland, Connolly’s of Sligo. Advertisement Someone told me when we put this motoring column back on line last year, don’t be going away and writing about yoks we can’t afford! So why did I follow the three pointed star to Sligo this week?If I said you can own a new Mercedes from as little as €270 per month and with 10% off the price for a limited time, that saying “One time is now” must come in to play, this is a great time to buy a Merc.My MercFor me it doesn’t seem like ten years ago but that’s when I finally decided to buy my second hand Mercedes. It was a three year old E200 kompressor Avantgarde. I was always mad about cars and I dreamed of owning a Mercedes for years and after missing out on a few good Mercs, this car, an 05 E Class sitting on the forecourt at Tony Kelly Cars in Letterkenny whispered, “the time is now Sir.” Advertisement That Mercedes was everything I thought it would be and more. I made a lot of trips from Donegal to Dublin in this car as it just soaked up the miles in style.So on my journey to Sligo it was the E class that I was going to test drive again a decade on.Mercedes is the Spanish for a girl’s name Grace but it was Stacey who was chatting Mercedes to me at Connolly’s in Collooney. She was the sales executive. And she knew her stuff about Mercs.Sales Executive with Mercedes Benz in Sligo, Stacey who had a wealth of knowledge on the Mercedes range old and new, It great to see Connollys showrooms approach for customers looking at and considering buying a new MercedesThe E220 diesel was the car that I wanted to drive that day. My old Mercedes was a E class petrol , which I loved, automatic which is Mercedes at its best.It had 170 bhp back in the day which just made it a great combination for a car if that size. The diesel was easier on fuel but only had 150 BHP on tap back then.Stacey was saying that the New E Class is their biggest seller followed closely by its little sister the C class.I was treated with some fine coffee and individually wrapped biscuits as my sales executive went off to see if she could get an E Class we could test drive. De ja vuAs I was sitting enjoying the coffee, the view of all the fine Mercedes Benz in the showroom and the chapel spire of the nearby town of Collooney. My mind brought me back to a place I was before.Photo Brian McDaidWhen as a young fellow working for the late Andy Hegarty in the late 1970’s in his Ford Garage in Letterkenny, It was the Sligo Rally we headed off to watch one weekend.We also ended up in Collooney with a man named Noel Gordon ( I think ) where Andy looked at two cars he had for sale. One was a Rolls Royce or possibly a Bentley, which we went for a spin in through Collooney as you do.Great memories of Cooloney from years ago and running around the village is a big Rolls Royce of Bentley similar to this, Those were the days.When I think about that now the people of Collooney were probably well used with Noel Gordon in his Rolls in that town. But for me the through of it was class just gliding though the small town in the Silver classic. Back in the present Stacey has pulled up in beautiful Silver E class Mercedes 220 diesel to the front door and comes back into the showroom to give me a run down on features of this fabulous new car.As we head off out and into to the busy roundabout I asked if we could go up through the town of Collooney a spin. I know Stacey was looking at the open road of the dual carriage way as a great place to show off the elegance and the power of this 194 bhp diesel, but she said, “ah grand sure, we will head up through the town then.”The centre conceal of the Mercedes E220 which we drove this week, 195 bhp on tap just makes this car a joy to drive on the road. Photo Brian McDaidI was telling her that I was up here years ago at a garage that I thought was called Riverside Motors, I had no sooner said it when Stacy spotted it from the comfort of her passengers seat.It didn’t look anything like the way I remembered it but I was glad I had got the name correct at least. Much like the day I traveled in style in the back of a Rolls Royce the people of Collooney weren’t putting much pass on this class Silver Merc gliding through the town. I suppose they are well used to it by now, the site of this iconic brand from the nearby showrooms as the sales staff pop up to the Spar shop for a lotto or a paper.The Mercedes is just class to drive, if you could call it driving. No gear stick just the lever on the steering column to put the car into park drive or reverse, not unlike where the gear-lever was on that Automatic Rolls Royce all them years ago. The Avantgarde was the top of the range when I once owned a Merc, now its the entry model , then comes the “Executive” and then on to the AMG.Our car was the base model but what a impression the Avantgarde gave. The two old clocks in front of the driver gave a class retro feel to the Mercedes and where the gearstick once lived now had an F1 look to it.The old type Retro looks clocks on dash of the new Mercedes which we tested this week at Connolly’s of Sligo. Photo Brian McDaidAs we go through the lanes of Sligo we end up back onto the main Sligo to Galway road. Thinking about the many active settings that Merc offer in their cars now before I take off from the junction. I test Stacey on her knowledge of her product, and ask, “are we in sport mode? ”A flick of a switch on the centre console and Stacey replies, “we are now, captain”.On the led display on dash a image of the engine and drive train appear, what looks like the green economy mode turns to red.Suspensions are changed, steering settings change and just before we head off my seat belt just tightens on me ever so little which is part of the setting for sport mode as we let out some of the power of this classy quiet diesel on the open road.ClassAnyone will tell you who ever owned a Mercedes even if you have the option of a tip tronic which lets you change the gears yourself. The joy of driving a Mercedes is letting the car’s technology do the work and just sit in at the wheel and take all the credit for its seamless journey.All too soon we were back at the big three pointed star of Connolly’s showroom. Even if the test drive was over, Stacey wasn’t finished,“It can park its self, you know” she said, “yeh” I said, trying to sound as if I knew all about it. “We’ll try it over here!”, “We’ll try what” I said, “it will fit in there?”I am looking and thinking I wouldn’t get my Fiat Doblo van in there and I could drive it through the eye of a needle. “Just you drive as close as you can to them other parked cars to this car picks up her bearings”, she says.It was bumpers I thought I was more likely to pick up!“Go closer” she said. Think I could feel a domestic coming on here.This car is very well priced at €47,000 but here is me behind the wheel and my passenger Stacey has me worried, I am thinking please Mercedes do not pick up your bearings.Then Stacey says, “that’s it now Brian you can let go of the steering wheel and take your foot of the brake.”The car had picked out a parking space and as I pressed in the button to activate the parking action, and let go of the steering wheel and released that big strong brake paddle.The car starts to cut hard as it reverses into the spot it’s decided to park in. It’s trying to reverse in between a drop dead gorgeous white Mercedes jeep and a Mercedes Coupe both brand new. Both are shining, not a mark or scratch on either of them, yet.It doesn’t look to me that this car has a hope in hell of making it in there, and I tell Stacy that I am going to brake here, (or words of that effect).Stacey is watching the telly which has the reversing camera fitted, she confidently say don’t intervene Brian.The car stops and then heads out of the space. “Where are we going now?” I ask, it will take 9 attempts at it she says then it will give up.On reflection if I had listened to what I thought of the Mercedes ability to making driving the car so effortless, I should have known that this parking system was far more in control than I was ready to believe it was as the car parked itself perfectly.I was amazed, Stacey explained how Mercedes Sales Team all had extensive training on this parking system, which shows with her confidence in it.Professionalism I have to say from the moment I arrived in Connolly’s to I left it I found this approach to looking at and the selling of cars just amazing.Years ago I used to go up the north and had not a notion of buying a car and would land in to a showroom just loving the experience of seeing great cars for real. Maybe it was me but I always found an element of snobbery in them show rooms.I suggested this as a problem for top of the range brands to Stacey on my visit. If anything she said it is now the complete opposite. Buying cars has changed so much. So many different types of would-be car buyers have arrived at our showrooms in Sligo since it opened.PCP makes it possible for motorist to follow their dreams now. I was in Connolly’s Mercedes on Monday the 16th of January which is considered to be the bluest Monday of the year, the only thing blue about that Monday after this brilliant experience was the ever changing interior dash lighting in the classy interior of the E220 Mercedes.And finally…On the day so many years ago when I last visited Collooney looking at cars in a lockup near to the railway line, all them years along the Rolls Royce that we looked at and toured about the town in was one classic, we also looked at another car.Andy Hegarty at the time who changed from an Opel and Renault Dealer to a Ford agency. He was building the Ford brand with his customer base and looked at a rare vintage Ford Model T which he ended up buying that day.A memory to treasure in mooting for me, the day I went to Sligo with the Late Andy Hegarty to the village of Colloney where he bought a Old Rare Ford Model T similar to this. Great times.Later that week that collectors Ford arrived into to the Ford Showroom in Letterkenny which drew great attention all them years ago, I had completely forgotten about that day until I was sitting in the showroom in Sligo this week.What a privilege it seems now to think back of great great memories and to be present the day Andy bought one of the oldest cars built in Ireland, A iconic Ford Model T.Happy Motoring Folks.DD Motoring: Flying without wings – The new Mercedes-Benz E220 Diesel was last modified: January 26th, 2017 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:collooneyconnollys of sligodd motoringMercedesmercedes-benz e220sligolast_img read more