Mercedes E-Class Estate interior
The E-Class Estate’s cabin looks absolutely gorgeous and so does its infotainment system, although a BMW’s is slightly easier to use.
The Mercedes E-Class Estate matches its saloon brother inside, as it has much the same layout: a sweeping dash, large infotainment screens and luxurious seats. It’s one of the car’s best aspects.
Even entry-level models come with leather seats, and higher-spec cars get a man-made alternative called Artico, which is just as good. The seats themselves are highly adjustable and comfortable. The sporty AMG models use sports seats that have more support to keep you in place while cornering hard.
The materials used inside are good quality, especially the wood section of the dash. It feels great under your fingers as it’s textured, so it feels modern rather than dated like some wood trim can. There are some cheaper-looking plastics here and there, but they’re easily forgiven.
Mercedes did away with many options on the latest version of the E-Class, so even base models get loads of kit as standard and as you move up through the AMG-Line models and beyond, it’s mostly cosmetic upgrades rather than useful, functional items. It makes the lower-end cars look like great value.
The E-Class Estate has a wonderfully luxurious interior and a great infotainment system, although BMW's is easier to use when driving.
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The E-Class Estate comes with two 12.3-inch displays on the dashboard, using Mercedes’ latest ‘MBUX’ operating system. The right-hand screen is used as an instrument cluster, with your speedometer and other data – plus sat-nav mapping and directions.
The MBUX system features a clever augmented-reality sat-nav option, which shows directions overlaid on a live video feed from a camera upfront. This shows you exactly where and when to turn – whether this is useful or a gimmick is up to you to decide, as some love it and others are indifferent.
The second screen deals with all the normal infotainment functions, such as sat-nav maps, radio, media, settings and everything else. You can connect your phone using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which both work well on the large screen. It’s a touchscreen, so you can lean over and touch to navigate the menus, which is good while parked, but not while driving.
There’s no longer a rotary dial – instead, the E-Class now has a touchpad on the centre console. There are also some touch-sensitive pads on the steering wheel, but neither is ideal. They get the job done, but can be a pain.