The Mercedes E-Class Estate is a luxurious car that’s also very practical – just don’t expect it to be fun to drive
The Mercedes E-Class Estate is a large, luxurious family car that’s spacious, stylish and has an absolutely huge boot. If you don’t need the massive boot, you can also get the E-Class as an understated saloon, elegant two-door coupe or as a stunning drop-top cabriolet.
The E-Class Estate’s interior is arguably more eye-catching than what you’ll find in a BMW 5 Series Touring or Volvo V90. You get a sweeping dashboard with a smart row of cold-to-the-touch aluminium switches and even entry-level SE models get leather seats as standard.
Unfortunately, the SE’s rather small 8.4-inch infotainment display doesn’t look particularly at home in a plush estate’s interior. You’ll be much better off with the 12.3-inch Comand Online system that’s easier to use, sharper to look at and comes with an upgraded satellite navigation system. It’s standard on E350d models and a £1,495 option on E200d and E220d versions.
Another slight annoyance is that lumbar support to help reduce back ache on long journeys doesn’t come as standard – for that you’ll have to fork out for a sporty AMG-Line version. Thankfully, the standard seats have plenty of adjustment to help you get comfy and there’s absolutely loads of head and leg room in the front.
It’s impressively roomy in the back, too – two six-foot-tall passengers will have no trouble stretching out and the estate’s larger rear windows make it feel even airier inside than the saloon. A BMW 5 Series Touring’s back seats have a little more support, but the E-Class Estate’s wider cabin and softer central seat mean it’s much better for carrying three passengers side-by-side.
The E-Class Estate’s boot is a touch roomier, too. The Mercedes can comfortably carry 640 litres of luggage to the BMW’s 570 litres and you can even flip the back seats down in a three-way (40:20:40) split to carry as many as three passengers and some long items at once.
With all three seats folded down, the E-Class Estate’s completely flat 1,820-litre load bay is easily big enough to carry a bike with its wheels attached and significantly bigger than the 5 Series Touring’s 1,700-litre maximum capacity.
If you love the S-Class but can’t live without a boxy boot, the E-Class Estate is ideal. It comes with almost as many luxuries, but they’re wrapped up in a vastly more practical package
You can get the Mercedes with three diesel engines or as a high-performance AMG E43 twin-turbo petrol. The E220d is the best all-rounder and will return around 55mpg in real-world conditions compared to Mercedes’ claimed 67.3mpg. Treat yourself to the pricier E350d V6 diesel if you want a little extra pace to help blast past slow-moving traffic. It’s both smoother and faster than the E220d and returns around 40mpg in normal driving conditions.
All models come with rear air suspension and a nine-speed automatic gearbox to help take the stress out of long journeys but even more relaxing is the optional Driver Assistance Plus package. It’ll set you back £1,695 but means the E-Class Estate can accelerate, brake and steer for you on motorways or in traffic jams (providing you keep your hands on the wheel).
The E-Class Estate’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a luxurious, safe and supremely practical family car that’s comfortable and easy to drive, if not quite as fun as a BMW 5 Series Touring.