The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is difficult to beat for comfort, refinement and timeless elegance.

“The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is difficult to beat for comfort, refinement and timeless elegance.”

  • Timeless good looks

  • Generously equipped

  • Top quality interior


Overall Rating

  • Premium price tag

  • Need to spec that dual screen for real wow factor

  • Not the most exciting drive

Overall Rating


The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the German car giant’s bestselling model. Around since 1993 and now into its fifth generation, it’s been ferrying the lucky few who can afford it around for decades.

The design has evolved quite dramatically over the years to become what is now (in our humble opinions of course) one of the best-looking options in the fiercely competitive luxury saloon market.

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Interior Gallery

Space & Practicality

That evolution has extended to the inside too. In fact the cabin of the E-Class is among the most comfortable, luxurious and high-tech driving spaces you can sit in to. Not to mention it’s pretty easy on the eye too, with a sumptuous mix of soft touch materials in various elegant colours and textures to remind you exactly what marque car you’re in. The driving position is great and the seats soft, supple and supportive, with electric adjustment to fine tune them even further.

Sizewise – it’s enormous, and very practical too. There are plenty of elegant storage solutions in the front and as is crucial in this class – the back seats are almost as comfortable as the front. There’s plenty of room to stretch out, even for taller adults. Head room is generous, and they’re positioned at a slight incline – a nice relaxing touch on a long journey.

The boot measures in at an impressive 540 litres – which is 10 litres larger than the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6,  though the awkward saloon shape means it will be difficult to ever get the full value of that capacity. There’s also quite a bit of a lip to load things over and scandalously, if you want to fold the back seats down, it’s an optional extra.

Equipment and Safety

Standard features across the E-class range include that electric adjustment, Keyless Go, automatic climate control and 64 different colours of ambient lighting.

If you want the ultimate E-Class experience, you can upgrade to the AMG line model which will add sportier styling, full leather, heated seats, SatNav, a reversing camera and a 12.3 inch multimedia system.

The infotainment can be configured in a variety of different ways, and the wow factor will be determined by how much you want to spend. One particularly impressive combination is a twin panoramic screen that stretches across the dashboard to include the instrument cluster. The standard set up consists of a  single screen which integrates into a semi-digital instrument cluster.

The multimedia system is simple and intuitive to use, though the graphics are still a little shy of its rivals in BMW and Audi. It’s not a touchscreen either, instead it’s controlled by a rotary dial and touchpad on the centre console – a little fiddly at first but fine once you get the hang of it.

The E-Class has a full five star Euro NCAP rating.

Performance & Running Costs

Our tst car was the 220D, as the majority of E-Classes  sold here will be. It’s not exactly surprising when you look at the engine stats because they really are quite remarkable. The 2.0l four cylinder unit pushes out 194bhp and can do 0-100kmph time of 7.3 seconds – pretty impressive given the size. Yet it still has a claimed fuel economy of over 70 miles to the gallon (3.9 l/100km) and low carbon emissions mean it will cost just €200 a year to tax. It’s one of the better examples of an argument for diesel.

The nine-speed automatic gearbox does an excellent job of making the whole thing feel completely effortless. The power uptake is instant, there’s plenty of it available and it is quite simply, a pleasant car to drive. Pleasant doesn’t necessarily mean boring either, because of the size it was never going to be laugh a minute, but the rear wheel drive does mean it still feels quite engaging.

Dynamic select allows you to switch between different driving modes depending on your mood or current driving situation, ranging from comfort to eco, to sport plus and you can apply them to change the feel of the steering, chassis and engine.

It’s impressively quiet, especially for a diesel and the quiet and cosseted cabin means very little road or wind noise get in either. It all adds up to an incredibly refined and wonderfully relaxing experience behind the wheel.

Reliability & Residuals

The E-Class starts at €48,200 for the entry level petrol, though the more realistic E220d with the very tempting AMG line kit puts that closer to €54,000, and still not outrageous for the class. In fact, it starts to look like quite good value when you spec its rivals up similarly.

Verdict: A level of class and comfort that’s hard to beat.

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