Mercedes E-Class saloon
Price £35,935 - £51,320
- Lots of engine choices
- High-quality interior
- Very safe and quiet
- Interior is quite reserved
- AMG models expensive to run
- Not as much fun as a BMW 5 Series
At a glance
“While it’s due for imminent replacement, the Mercedes E-Class is comfortable, well built saloon that sells in vast numbers with good reason.”
The Mercedes E-Class has long been a standard-bearer in the executive saloon market, selling in huge numbers and offering luxury, comfort and lots of in-car technology. The default decision company-car drivers usually have to make is between a C-Class, a BMW 5 Series or an Audi A6, but the Lexus GS and Jaguar XF offer something slightly different, while order books for the forthcoming Volvo S90 are now open, broadening executives’ options further.
There's a new E-Class looming large on the horizon, but the current car received a facelift in 2015 that brought more standard equipment and an improved range of engines. While the E-Class has always played second fiddle to the 5 Series in terms of outright driver involvement, it's arguably a more comfortable car on the road. The E-Class has, by default, smooth suspension for those who want their journeys to be cosseting, while some of the higher-spec models have sports suspension, which makes the E-Class feel a bit more agile in corners.
As the new model is already being built in Mercedes’ factories, the outgoing E-Class is only available in two core trim levels. We recommend the ‘entry-level’ SE, which comes with faux-leather seats, DAB radio, sat nav and climate control as standard. The AMG Night Edition adds a host of styling touches as well as sports suspension – although at almost £3,000 more than the standard car, it's hard to recommend.
Mercedes makes an E-Class Estate, E-Class Coupe and E-Class Cabriolet as well, and we’ve reviewed these cars separately. There's also the Mercedes-AMG E63 performance saloon, which has a spectacular turn of speed – but at over twice the price of a standard E-Class, this is best thought of as a separate model entirely.
The majority of E-Class drivers choose a diesel engine for their car. The E220d strikes a good balance between performance and economy: its 0-62mph time of 8.4 seconds is paired to 64.2mpg fuel economy, while CO2 emissions of 114g/km mean road tax is only £30 a year, and Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company car tax is 22%. Do note that the new E220d will be better for company car drivers, with lower CO2 emissions incurring just 20% BiK tax. It's also worth mentioning that while the E-Class diesels are economical, they’re also slightly noisy – something that's been addressed with the new model.
Despite its status as an outgoing model, it's good to see that the E-Class remains a reliable car with satisfied owners. While a 61st-place finish (out of 200 cars) in our 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey may seem good rather than outstanding, the E-Class’ 67th-place finish for reliability was far better than the BMW 5 Series’ 119th-place result in this area – although that car is also due for replacement soon. The E-Class also scored the full five stars in its Euro NCAP safety tests, adding further reassurance.
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 Mercedes 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