Review

Mercedes E-Class estate

Price  £36,660 - £46,960

Mercedes E-Class estate

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Efficient engines
  • Good specification
  • Generous load space
Cons
  • BMW 5 Series is more fun to drive
  • Expensive to buy
  • Cabin design lacks flair

At a glance

The greenest
E300 BlueTEC Hybrid SE 5dr £42,270
The cheapest
E220 BlueTEC SE 5dr £36,660
The fastest
E350 BlueTEC AMG Night Edition 5dr £43,815
Top of the range
E300 BTEC Hybrid AMG Night Edit Premium 5dr £46,960

“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.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.8 / 5

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

Engines, drive & performance

3.8 / 5

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

Interior & comfort

4.4 / 5

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

Practicality & boot space

5 / 5

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

Reliability & safety

3.5 / 5

Mercedes E-Class estate owners are a generally satisfied bunch

What the others say

3.8 / 5
based on 3 reviews
"Now I could tell you that our E350 CDI's 1,950-litre boot is the biggest in its class. I could even explain how the cutting-edge PRE-SAFE auto brake function helps cut the severity of accidents, and that with a drowsiness detection system and nine airbags fitted as standard, the Merc is one of the safest new cars on the road."
4 / 5
"This version, launched in 2009, carries on these virtues and Mercedes-Benz has also tackled some of the issues that made the previous model less appealing to some buyers. This E-Class should be a far more reliable car than its predecessor and it also has a more robust feel to the interior along with improved handling. It looks competitive on price compared with premium alternatives plus there are versions that will be more attractive to company car drivers."
13 / 20
"A cetacean-sized wagon with a very broad range of engines, from a sluggish two-litre to a ludicrous 474bhp 6.2-litre V8. It has a beautiful ride too."
4 / 5
"Mercedes at its best. The E-Class Estate is a hugely practical executive wagon that's also classy, comfortable and refined. We'd avoid the Sport model, though."
What owners say 
4.2781818181818
4.3 /5 based on 55 reviews
76%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
5 Jan 2015
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