Mercedes E-Class saloon (2009-2016) - Engines, drive & performance

The driving experience in the Mercedes E-Class can be anything from mild to wild depending on which model you choose

Carbuyer Rating

4.8 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.4 out of 5

Whether you're looking for a car that's exhilarating to drive or simply a very comfortable motorway cruiser, there's a Mercedes E-Class that suits your needs. The suspension on the basic models is tuned for comfort, while AMG models get firmer sports suspension. Buyers can also choose Mercedes' AirMATIC air suspension, which lets the driver select soft suspension for a comfortable ride, or a stiffer setting for less body lean in corners.

All models offer plenty of power, but the E-Class’ main competitor, the BMW 5 Series is more rewarding to drive, with best-in-class handling. That car also has a wider range of engines and, unlike the E-Class, comes with a choice of manual or eight-speed automatic gearboxes. If driving pleasure is your priority you should take both for a test drive and see for yourself. But the Mercedes is arguably the more comfortable and luxurious choice. Apart from the E350, which gets Mercedes’ new nine-speed automatic, the entire E-Class range comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Mercedes E-Class petrol engine

The E250 petrol engine makes 208bhp and gets the car from 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds. But as well as being less economical than the diesels, it's also not available with the more modern nine-speed automatic gearbox – making do with a less up-to-date seven-speed transmission instead. Top speed is 151mph.

Diesel engines

Although the diesels offer impressive performance, you’ll also find them a little noisy. This is particularly true when starting up and running at low speed. Happily, the rattles settle down once the car is up to speed.

The basic E220 engine makes 177hp and gets the car from 0-62mph in a reasonable 8.4 seconds. Top speed is 141mph. If you want something a little pricier, the 258hp E350 takes two seconds of the 0-62mph and pushes the top speed to 155mph.

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