Mercedes E-Class saloon
Price £34,870 - £46,670
- 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
"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 long-established name in the executive saloon class and a firm favourite with company-car and business users. Its key rivals are equally well-known: the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF, along with the Lexus GS and soon-to-be-replaced Volvo S80.
Early 2015 saw the E-Class get a ‘nip and tuck’ visual facelift, some more standard equipment and improved engines to keep it on terms with the competition. It's still not quite as involving to drive as the 5 Series, but perhaps strikes a better balance in terms of everyday comfort and smoothness.
Ride quality is very good on the standard suspension, but some of the sportier, higher-spec models stiffen things up a bit in a bid to become more BMW-like. There are just two main trim levels to choose from: SE and AMG Night Edition. Settling for SE doesn’t mean skimping on kit, though: DAB digital radio, sat nav and climate control are all standard. AMG Sport makes mainly visual changes, giving the car a sportier, more aggressive profile.
Diesel will be the engine of choice for most E-Class buyers, with impressive economy figures claimed by the less powerful options. Those who want something different from a four-door saloon should be aware that the car is also available as the Mercedes E-Class estate, Mercedes E-Class coupe and Mercedes E-Class cabriolet – all of which we’ve reviewed seperately. There's also the hugely powerful Mercedes-AMG E 63 and Mercedes-AMG E 63 S high-performance versions.
Whatever bodystyle you go for, there's no denying the E-Class is an expensive bit of kit, but you can be confident you’re getting what you pay for – the big Mercedes is reliable and holds its value on the used market pretty well. The entry-level E220 BlueTEC SE gives you all you could realistically need for a shade over £34,000, while upgrading to AMG Night Edition costs roughly another £3,000.
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