Mercedes E-Class saloon
Price £34,270 - £46,270
- Very safe and quiet
- High-quality interior
- Lots of engine choices
- Not as much fun to drive as BMW 5 Series
- AMG models are expensive to run
- Interior is quite reserved
At a glance
"Impressive comfort and quality help make the Mercedes E-Class one of the world's best-selling executive cars."
The Mercedes E-Class is a classy and comfortable executive saloon that has long proven a hit with business buyers. It competes with other large executive saloons such as the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF. Other rivals to consider are the Lexus GS and Volvo S80, but neither of those comes up to the high standards of the E-Class.
The E-Class has recently been given an extensive facelift, which has brought extra equipment, tweaked engines and more stylish looks.
The Mercedes is good to drive, although unlike the 5 Series, it's slanted towards comfort rather than driving fun. Its suspension is smooth and cosseting on basic and mid-range models, getting stiffer on the more performance-orientated trim levels further up the range.
Since the facelift, there are two trim levels, SE and AMG Sport. Even the entry-level SE model is well equipped, coming with goodies such as a DAB digital radio, sat nav and climate control. Top-of-the-range models cost a lot more, but get all the latest equipment and eye-catching sporty styling.
Engines offer everything from impressive fuel economy to supercar-worrying performance, with the more powerful diesels giving you a decent blend of the two. The car is also available as a sporty Mercedes E-Class coupe, a practical Mercedes E-Class estate that offers class-leading luggage space and a stylish Mercedes E-Class convertible with a traditional fabric roof. All of these – even the convertible with its roof down – are very comfortable, and we’ve reviewed each one separately.
The Mercedes E-Class is expensive to buy, but it should be reliable and offer excellent resale values compared to cars from more mainstream brands such as Ford and Volkswagen. The entry-level E220 BlueTEC engine in SE trim costs just over £34,000, while upgrading to AMG Line trim will add around £2,500 to the price. The most expensive E-Class saloon, before you consider the supercar-beating E63 version, costs over £40,000.
Entry-level Mercedes E-Class engines offer tax-friendly CO2 emissions
The driving experience in the Mercedes E-Class can be anything from mild to wild depending on which model you choose
All seats are comfortable in the E-Class – the driver’s seat is highly adjustable, and the rear seats are slightly reclined
Rear-seat passengers in the Mercedes E-Class saloon have loads of head and legroom, while storage inside is decent
The Mercedes E-Class offers a vast and impressive list of safety equipment