Mercedes E300e AMG Line Premium Plus | The Green Lane
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Mercedes E300e AMG Line Premium Plus | The Green Lane

How much is too much tech?

The jukebox jury is in session – is Mercedes guilty of too much tech in the new E300e? Motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Saunders consider their verdict.

The C&TH Cars Hub

Review: Mercedes E300e AMG Line Premium Plus

 JS – So, here we are then, spinning some discs at a luxurious Herefordshire hideaway!

JT – One reason I chose to drive to a self-catering weekend at Shucknall Court is that gorgeous, retro jukebox in the dining room. It really caught my eye. Vinyl is back in fashion – how cool that guests can listen to some favourite 45s over supper.

Fantastic and also crazy to think that 70 years after the heyday of the jukebox, a tiny smartphone can hold tens of thousands of tracks. Note, this particular jukebox will also Bluetooth music to Shucknall’s sound system too.

Jeremy beside the jukebox

Yes, otherwise Shucknall is a haven of calm in the Herefordshire countryside, not far from Ledbury. I’m not sure March is ideal for a splash in the natural swimming pool, I seemed to spend more time in front of a woodburner eating crumpets, or preparing lunch in the farmhouse kitchen.

It’s an epic property for entertaining, with nine bedrooms, a games room and lots of space to escape. That includes the wood-fired hot-tub! Although, you seemed to be watching the Six Nations rugby on the giant projector TV, while I took an invigorating dip.

It was an epic weekend of sport. Shucknall is only recently renovated and I imagine it will be hugely popular for family gatherings and parties. All the rooms have been curated with great style and comfort, while the gardens will be sensational come the spring.

This area, between Ledbury and Hereford, is awash with great restaurants, pubs and boutiques dotted around the countryside. How did you know about it?

I used to drive by this place when I was a teenager studying in Hereford. It’s a beautifully proportion property, now completely overhauled to create a stylish and elegant home from home. Think open beams, Tetrad leather sofas and fluffy white towels.

The gardens will be spectacular come the spring and, of course, there is an electric car charger just for guests. Which brings us neatly to the latest Mercedes E-Class saloon. Our car is a plug-in hybrid that combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with a decent 25.4kWh battery that can return up to 72 miles on one charge.

Shucknall Court

Shucknall Court

Yes, 72 miles at best but more than enough for most commutes. The mid-range Merc is a proper grown-up car and something of a technological tour-de-force. Now in its sixth generation, the E-Class wafts along quietly in supreme comfort. It is not as driver-focussed as the BMW 5 Series though.

And inside, it’s just packed with tech. Apart from the 12.3-inch screen in front of the steering wheel, a 14.4-inch screen dominates the centre of the dashboard. Need more screens? A 12.3-inch passenger screen can handle your social media posts and, naturally, take photos!

It is good passengers can get involved because those infotainment buttons on the steering wheel are small and fiddly. All that ‘screenage’ is part of the Mercedes MBUX system that offers a virtual, AI assistant and just about everything you never realised that you needed in a car. There’s also a head-up display for the driver, which likely counts as another screen too.

The dashboard in the Mercedes E 300e

Too much tech? I know this is the way the in-car experience is heading but I’m sure many people who still struggle with a TV remote will find the whole set-up daunting.

I agree – but we do like the Burmester 4D surround sound system, ably backed up by acoustic glass! I love the jukebox at Shucknall but the Merc does boast a sensational sound system too.

Our top spec E-Class isn’t cheap at £76,585 but what a place to travel. You will need to buy the estate version to squeeze that jukebox in the boot…

DISCOVER

Discover more about the Mercedes E300e AMG Line Premium Plus at mercedes-benz.co.uk

Rates at Shucknall Court start from £3,394 for a three-night stay boutiqueretreats.co.uk

Jessica Saunders is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.