Mercedes E-Class saloon (2009-2016) - Interior & comfort
All seats are comfortable in the Mercedes E-Class – the driver’s seat is highly adjustable, and the rear seats are slightly reclined
The less powerful Mercedes E-Class diesel models can be a bit noisy on start-up and under acceleration, but they quieten down once you get up to speed. The E63 AMG high-performance model has been tuned to sound distinctively sporty, but its engine noise is more likely to please than annoy.
Go for SE trim and you'll get the most comfortable suspension of the lot. The E63 AMG models have stiffer suspension to reduce body lean in the corners, which means they can feel a bit harsher on rough roads.
Mercedes E-Class dashboard
Behind the wheel you won’t notice anything that strikes you as cheap. The plastics are all good quality and there are some pleasing metal finishes, too. All E-Class saloons come with realistic faux leather on the seats, with the option of having it on the dashboard, too. The effective heating vents were much improved in a 2013 facelift by changing them from plastic to stylish metal. All the dials are nice and easy to read and operate, with a neat control wheel on the centre console to access many functions.
There are just two trim levels available on the Mercedes E-Class: SE and AMG Night Edition. The SE is our top choice, because even though it’s the cheaper of the two, it comes with most – if not all – of the kit you’d ever need. The AMG Night Edition trim concentrates mainly on making the driving experience sportier, which means it won’t be quite so comfortable on a long trip.
Equipment highlights include sat nav, climate control and DAB digital radio on all models as standard. Connectivity is good – you get Bluetooth to connect your mobile phone and a USB port to hook up an MP3 player. Other nice stuff includes faux-leather upholstery, electric heated seats and 17-inch alloys. AMG Night Edition models have bigger 18-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension and an attractive sports steering wheel.
Outside of the main range, the Mercedes-AMG E63 gets bright full-LED headlights, an AMG bodykit, AMG suspension and extra leather inside. Choose the AMG E63 S and you also get clever electronics that generate even more grip in corners.
There are two optional equipment packages available on the E-Class, called Premium and Premium Plus. Both adding to the comfort of an already comfortable car, but they’re pricey and don’t really boost residual value.
The Premium Pack adds a panoramic glass sunroof and a reversing camera. It improves the seating by adding four-way lumbar support, fully electric seats in the front and a facility to remember your seating position (as well as the positions of the steering wheel and exterior mirrors) if someone else changes them. The rear seats also get a quick-folding 60:40 split system.
Audiophiles with a bulging wallet will want to go for the Premium Plus Pack, which adds a surround-sound 14-speaker stereo to everything from the Premium Pack. This pack also adds keyless go, which offers automatic powered boot closing, hands-free access, keyless entry and keyless start.