The Mercedes E-Class Estate is an excellent estate, whether you need to carry people or luggage, and just about the only criticism is that it’s rather expensive
Even entry-level SE models come with plenty of adjustment for the seats and steering wheel to help you get comfy and there’s absolutely loads of head and leg room up front. Unfortunately, electrically adjustable lumbar support (to help prevent back ache on long journeys) is only standard on sporty AMG-Line models.
The E-Class Estate’s back seats are very nearly as spacious as those in the front and its large rear doors and raised roofline (over the standard saloon) make climbing in dead easy. The seats themselves aren’t quite as supportive as those in a BMW 5 Series and there’s a touch less head and legroom but only your very tallest passengers will have anything to complain about.
The Mercedes will be more suitable than the BMW if you regularly carry five passengers, however. Its cabin is wider than the 5 Series Touring’s and its central rear seat is slightly softer, too
The E-Class Estate’s back seats feel a touch airier than the saloon’s thanks to its larger back windows but to make it feel as light as possible you’ll want the optional panoramic glass roof (available as part of the £2,795 Premium Pack). It does cut slightly into rear headroom, but only your tallest friends will notice the difference.
Fitting a bulky rear-facing child seat’s a breeze thanks to the large rear door openings and clearly marked Isofix anchor points but you’ll have to be careful not to lose their removable plastic covers.
The E-Class Estate comes with even more handy cubby holes than the 5 Series Touring. The front door bins are big enough to hold a 1.5-litre bottle each and the glovebox is absolutely huge. The front armrest splits in two to reveal a large storage tray and there’s a pair of cupholders under a folding panel in the centre console.
The door bins in the back are almost as large as those in front and all models come with a folding rear armrest with two cupholders and a built-in storage tray as standard. There’s even a pair of aeroplane-style seatback pockets for tucking thin items safely out of the way.
It's just possible this is the car that Tina Turner was referring to when she sang 'Simply the Best'
The E-Class Estate’s standout feature is its absolutely massive 640-litre boot. With all five seats in places there’s enough space for as many as four golf bags or just as many suitcases. There’s no annoying boot lip to heave things over and you get a handy storage net and elasticated strap to secure smaller items. There’s even a 12V socket in the boot – ideal for keeping a few gadgets charged on the move.
Need to carry a little more luggage? You can tilt the rear seats forward slightly to free up an extra 30 litres of space in the boot and there’s plenty of space under the boot floor for hiding some valuables safely out of sight. Unfortunately, there isn’t quite enough room to store the luggage cover if you need to remove it.
The back seats flip down in a three-way (40:20:40) split as standard so you can carry as many as three passengers and some very long luggage in the boot at once. Fold all three seats down (using the levers in the boot) and the Mercedes’ boot grows to a cavernous 1,820 litres. That’s 120 litres more than you get in the BMW 5 Series Touring, a massive 294 litres more than in the Volvo V90 and easily big enough to carry a bike with its wheels attached.
Its completely flat floor makes it easy to slide heavy boxes right up behind the front seats and the Mercedes’ 745kg payload is more than any other estate on sale.