Mercedes E-Class Estate Review
Space, luxury, cutting edge tech and a smooth ride: the Mercedes E-Class does it all - but it comes at a price
Strengths & weaknesses
- Stunning new interior tech
- Efficient diesel engines
- Understated styling
- It’s expensive
- Not as engaging to drive as rivals
- Options list is tempting
Mercedes E-Class Estate prices from £14,200 Finance from £270.62 per month
The Mercedes E-Class Estate has always been the least flashy amongst its premium rivals, but a recent update has done away with the awkward, boxy design and introduced much curvier, sleeker styling. It’s also packed with tech, making it one of the most accomplished and luxurious ways to transport the entire family.
With a lavish interior, enormous boot and more computing power than the Space Shuttle (probably), there’s barely a challenge that the E-Class Estate can’t handle.
That’s particularly true if you opt for the four-wheel drive All-Terrain version, which is raised higher off the ground so that it’s more capable on rugged dirt tracks and muddy fields.
For families who can afford the hefty price (the latest model sports a heady £40,550 RRP for the entry level E220d SE cars) it offers as much practicality as most will ever need without buying a bulky, tall sport utility vehicle (SUV). Even so, it’s not the most spacious car in its class. Anyone upgrading from the previous-generation E-Class Estate might be surprised to learn that the car’s boot, with the rear seats down, is 130 litres smaller than its predecessor, thanks to its curvier exterior.
The current car’s 1,820-litre load space, with seats folded, is still cavernous and you can fit a two-metre-long box along the flat floor, or an optional third row of rear-facing seats for mini passengers under 115cm tall. But the Skoda Superb provides 1,950l of space.
What you don’t get in the Skoda is the E-Class’ decadent dashboard, which combines glossy high-definition displays with high-quality leather, metal and wood materials. The latest Mercedes MBUX media system really is stunning.
Standard equipment includes sat-nav, reversing camera, leather seats, mood lighting and bright LED headlights, while Mercedes has deliberately done away with the more basic trim levels to ensure entry level cars come equipped with the widescreen 12.3 inch displays.
These are controlled with touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel or a rotary dial by the driver’s knee, they are simple to operate while keeping your yes on the road, once you’ve learned the menu system.
Also optional on all but the top-specification cars, is Mercedes’ air suspension, which delivers a pillowy ride, gliding over broken roads and minimising leaning in corners. Those opting for the All Terrain variants get this thrown in to the cost.
It’s limousine quality smooth, whether you’re carrying a car-full of passengers or just taking your rubbish to the tip. If you can’t stretch to this, then there’s nothing wrong with the standard suspension, which will iron out undulations in the road almost as well - with just the odd jolt to remind you that you’re driving on British roads.
Best Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate for...
Best for Economy – Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate E 300 de
It might be more expensive to buy, but this plug-in hybrid boasts an impressive fuel economy figure of 188mpg due to the fact that it can juggle between electric motors and the diesel engine.
Best for Families – Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate E 300 d AMG Line
A more powerful engine makes for better everyday performance, while this AMG Line specification adds plenty of tech to keep everyone onboard entertained.
Best for Performance – Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate
This car really is in a league of its own when it comes to performance, which will trouble most supercars in a straight-line sprint. Expect to part with huge sums to own one, though.
One to Avoid – Mercedes-Benz E-Class AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus
Apart from being a mouthful to say, this expensive edition adds a few dark stylistic flourishes and a swanky sound system that only a discerning audiophile will appreciate.
Understanding Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate names
Body style Estate
This is the Estate model, but the E-Class also comes in a saloon for those who want a much sleeker silhouette.
Diesel is well-served here, with four offerings, while petrol is limited to just one (unless you opt for the fire-breathing AMG cars). A diesel hybrid is also offered.
There are plenty of trim lines to choose from, with the range starting at SE and escalating to AMG Line Premium and Premium Plus.
Gearbox 9G Tronic Plus
All car receive Mercedes’ excellent new nine-speed automatic gearbox, which is both excellent on fuel at motorway speeds and smooth shifting around town.
Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate Engines
Diesel: E220d, E300d, E300de, E350d, E400d 4Matic Petrol: E200
The range of diesel engines on offer here looks pretty exhaustive, but it is far simpler than it first appears. The E220d, E300d and hybrid E300de all use the same 2.0-litre turbocharged unit, just with differing horsepower outputs.
The E350d and E400d 4Matic use a much larger 3.0-litre turbo diesel unit, with the latter mated to Mercedes’ all-wheel-drive system for improved grip on slippery surfaces. In short, there is an engine for everyone, but for those looking to eke the most out of every mile, there is simply no competition to the hybrid E300de.
Thanks to the use of electric motors and the ability to plug-in and charge the on-board battery packs, it returns a staggering 188mpg on the combined cycle. It also packs an accelerative punch, due to the extra torque provided by the electric motors.
All engines are quiet and refined but this big estate really is a car better suited to diesel power plants. The petrol E200 has to be worked hard to get the most out of it and can prove a little noisy under hard acceleration.
It is a similar story with the lower powered diesel units, as there is simply no replacement for displacement when it comes to the effortless acceleration and quiet cruising abilities of the E 350 d and the E 400 d 4Matic. Of course, customers will have to pay a premium for this, but it is worth it in our eyes.
Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate Trims
SE, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Edition, AMG Line Edition Premium
Browsing the Mercedes-Benz catalogue can be a tempting and sometimes baffling experience, but the marque has attempted to simplify things by adding more trim lines, rather than bamboozling with options lists.
As a result, you’ll find the likes AMG Line Edition Premium feature plenty of bells and whistles that would previously have been bolted on for additional cash. Things like a wireless charging tray for smartphones, a 360-degree parking camera and memory function seats for front occupants.
This is clearly in addition to lots of other niceties found in lower trim level cars, such as leather interiors and sporty exterior touches, but arguably the most important factor - the lovely COMAND 12.3-inch online infotainment system - is only found on those AMG Line cars and above.
The most basic SE models still receive the 12.3-inch cockpit display as standard, but it is limited to an SD card navigation and is incapable of performing some of the neat remote features that having a constantly connected system allow for.
That said, these SE models are still very well appointed, with heated front seats, ambient lighting inside, high performance LED headlights and DAB radio all part of the package. A good thing, considering prices start at over £40,000 for even the simplest E-Class Estate.
Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate Reliability and warranty
Mercedes-Benz has historically been a bit patchy when it comes to reliability reputation, with previous generation E-Class models sometimes falling short of the premium price tag. This is also compounded by relatively expensive servicing and maintenance charges.
However, more recent models have improved greatly and the latest line of engines and components is one of the best yet but those who have undertaken the Auto Express Driver Power Survey still give middling reviews of their Mercedes, citing high running costs as a factor.
Used Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is a popular choice of wheels and as a result, the used market has plenty of options to suit most budgets. As little as £16,000 buys the previous generation, 2015 model with around 40,000 miles on the clock, but this won’t be as technologically accomplished as today’s cars.
However, opt for a 2019 variant with little more than delivery miles on the clock and you could save yourself in the region of £10,000 on some of the most luxurious AMG Line Premium models by searching the Buy a Car database.
The Mercedes E-Class is a large saloon car that's comfortable, luxurious and spacious
Still the leading luxury family car, the Mercedes E-Class also offers the latest tech - at a price