Mercedes E-Class AMG Line review
The Mercedes E-Class is a stylish executive saloon, but while looking handsome in AMG Line trim, it suffers from an overly firm ride
While some buyers have been tempted away from executive saloons by premium SUVs, there are many who still want a more traditional four-door model. The Mercedes E-Class is pitched against BMW’s 5 Series and the Audi A6, with each version offering a slightly different take on the executive express theme. Those same buyers are eager for ‘sports’ styled models, with both BMW’s M Sport and Audi’s S Line ranges proving popular. Mercedes’ equivalent for the E-Class saloon is the AMG line trim.
The upgrade to AMG Line trim is offered across the standard E-Class range, including petrol, diesel and hybrid models, so there’s an E-Class to more or less suit every executive pocket. All E-Class models are well equipped as standard with a 12.3-inch display screen, heated leather front seats, sat nav, cruise control, front and rear LED lights and various safety features including active brake assist and blind spot warning. The AMG Line trim costs £2,500 extra over the equivalent SE model, adding sportier exterior styling, larger 19-inch alloy wheels and interior trim upgrades.
The interior of an E-Class is a pleasant place to spend long journeys, borrowing much of its technology and design from the larger S-Class. The fit and finish is exemplary, and the seats are both comfortable and supportive, although some of the controls do take a little bit of getting used to. The AMG Line-specific trim features, such as the AMG steering wheel, black headlining and the faux-leather dash with contrast stitching, do raise the interior ambience compared with the SE model.
The best-selling Mercedes E-Class in the UK is the four-cylinder diesel 220 d model. In AMG Line trim this engine offers strong responsiveness for daily driving. It’s been tuned for efficiency but can be noisy at both idle and under hard acceleration. At motorway speeds it’s relatively muted, helped by the nine-speed automatic gearbox that keeps the revs low.
As you’d expect, the larger 19-inch wheels on the AMG Line model have taken the supple edge off the E-Class’s ride comfort. Overall the E-Class still rides quite well, but road imperfections can unsettle it slightly, making the ride seem harsh at times.
This slight lack of comfort would be a small sacrifice to make if the E-Class showed the sort of handling prowess you would normally associate with a BMW 5 Series or a Jaguar XF. But the reality is that it’s a little bit underwhelming to drive. The steering doesn’t have much feel and is overly light, while the ride lacks composure and doesn’t control the car’s changes of direction particularly well. The bottom line is that the E-Class is a comfortable cruiser, lacking the sporting edge suggested by the AMG Line wheels and exterior styling.
Despite some of our criticisms, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a very accomplished car. It fulfils its role as an executive cruiser very well and our main gripes are with the AMG Line trim. Yes, the styling is very attractive, but the larger wheels do tend to spoil the ride. And for the £2,500 additional cost of the AMG Line, we feel you would be better off with an SE model instead, spending the extra money on some of the available optional extras.