Mercedes E-Class estate
Price £36,660 - £46,910
- Efficient engines
- Good specification
- Generous load space
- BMW 5 Series is more fun to drive
- Expensive to buy
- Cabin design lacks flair
At a glance
“This latest Mercedes E-Class estate is the most stylish-looking in the model’s history, so rivals have an even tougher battle on their hands.”
For any car claiming to combine luxury and practicality in equal measure, the Mercedes E-Class estate has, for the past two decades, been the model to beat. This latest facelifted version is also the most stylish looking in the car's history, so rivals have an even tougher battle on their hands.
However, the E-Class estate is not the most fun car of its type to drive. That honour rests with its main rival, the BMW 5 Series Touring. However, the BMW isn’t nearly as roomy as the Mercedes, nor does its badge have quite the same prestige. The other competitor vying for the E-Class’ crown is the Audi A6 Avant, but both its driving experience and interior space are inferior to the E-Class. A wild-card rival to the Mercedes is the Skoda Superb estate. Not only is it much cheaper to buy, its load space is larger than some versions of the E-Class.
The Mercedes comes with a choice of five engines: one petrol, three diesels and a diesel-electric hybrid called the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid. It returns 64.2mpg and costs just £30 a year in road tax, which makes it an ideal option for business users on a generous car allowance. For private buyers, the far cheaper but only slightly less efficient E220 BlueTEC diesel is the more affordable choice.
On the road, the E-class estate is a comfortable and relaxing car to drive, with accurate, well weighted steering plus supple and absorbent suspension. On this last point, all models have self-levelling rear suspension, so heavy loads can’t upset the car's composure.
There are just two trim levels. SE is more comfort-oriented but still well equipped, while top-spec AMG Line has a sportier look and feel. All models have automatic transmission (there's no longer a manual option). Standard equipment is excellent, with even the cheaper SE version featuring partial LED headlights, DAB digital radio, automatic climate control and heated leather front seats. The standard safety technology is equally impressive.
Mercedes resale values aren’t what they once were, so stick to more economical versions and be careful not to over-spec your Mercedes E-Class estate
The Mercedes E-Class estate diesel engines come with either four or six cylinders – the latter being far smoother and better suited to the car
The Mercedes E-Class estate is more stylish than ever on the outside, but inside it’s not as modern as the BMW 5 Series Touring or Audi A6 Avant
Just as there are variations in the model’s boot space, so some versions of the Mercedes E-Class estate can tow a lot more than others
Mercedes E-Class estate owners are a generally satisfied bunch