Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (99 - 03) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

The most uncomfortable car I have ever driven. Seats and seat backs hard. Suspension hard. Accelerator offset at 45 degrees so right leg/hip twisted round to right with torso arms facing forwards. At the same time ridges of hard padding on the sides of the seats dig into thighs particularly on right thigh as this is at 45 degrees to reach accelerator and ridge of padding is lined up straight ahead. Ridge of padding on seat back impinges onto arms which have to be held up and out otherwise some steering is not possible. The foot rest for the left leg is lower than depressed position of accelerator pedal so while hips are twisted to the right to reach off set accelerator pedal the right leg/hip is also higher than the left OR the left foot has to support itself on tiptoe. I hired this car for the weekend prior to purchasing one which I will now not be doing. Am writing this review in the early hours after being woken by hip pain caused by the driving position in this car. Despite all the adjustments of seat position possible it is not possible to find one that is comfortable. It is very distracting to be so uncomfortable. Detracts from all the work they've done on safety.

julia szajdzicka, WEST YORKSHIRE, July 29th 2014

0 CDI AMG Line 5dr 7G-Tronic

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

The most uncomfortable car I have ever driven. Seats and seat backs hard. Suspension hard. Accelerator offset at 45 degrees so right leg/hip twisted round to right with torso arms facing forwards. At the same time ridges of hard padding on the sides of the seats dig into thighs particularly on right thigh as this is at 45 degrees to reach accelerator and ridge of padding is lined up straight ahead. Ridge of padding on seat back impinges onto arms which have to be held up and out otherwise some steering is not possible. The foot rest for the left leg is lower than depressed position of accelerator pedal so while hips are twisted to the right to reach off set accelerator pedal the right leg/hip is also higher than the left OR the left foot has to support itself on tiptoe. I hired this car for the weekend prior to purchasing one which I will now not be doing. Am writing this review in the early hours after being woken by hip pain caused by the driving position in this car. Despite all the adjustments of seat position possible it is not possible to find one that is comfortable. It is very distracting to be so uncomfortable. Detracts from all the work they've done on safety.

julia szajdzicka, WEST YORKSHIRE, July 29th 2014

0 CDI AMG Sport 5dr 7G-Tronic

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

I bought a new E350 Estate in January 2014. The front passenger and driver's seat are by far the most uncomfortable in any car I have ever experienced. The infinite variations in the electronic seats make it impossible to adjust comfortably. The seats are too hard, and Mercedes has skimped on the padding The side bolsters to the seat pad have no flexibility and the back rest sent me to the consultant with a false alarm about kidney cancer. The dealer's (and Mercedes Benz customer service's) response is to say = can't make seats to fit everyone but we can sell you a new C class. My advice unless you are prepared to have the seats reupholstered (thereby avoiding the warranty) don't buy one.

Robert Bourne, London, March 10th 2014

0 BlueTEC AMG Sport 5dr 7G-Tronic

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG30 mpg

I have now owned this particular 2013 (63) model for 6 months covering 5500 miles. My average fuel consumption since delivery is 37mpg with a mix of local driving but mainly motorway use. My best run measured 48mpg over 100 miles. I opted for the AMG model for its looks. The aggressive front spoiler really sets the car off and being aged 38 the SE I felt was for the older gentlemen. The air suspension really helps with the ride of which is very comfortable. I also particularly like Alcantara seats rather than full leather but it is a shame the Alcantara is synthetic and not as hard wearing as the real material. I have 3 dogs of which are swallowed up by the huge boot on this load lugger. The electric boot lid is very handy indeed. I have always had an Audi with my last model being the Q7. This car is every bit as good as the Q7 but with much better economy. I also opted for the service pack which helps with the running costs of the vehicle over 3 years before I change my car again. If ownership continues like it is now I will certainly stick with Mercedes. I have had the privacy glass added to the vehicle as I carry dogs but I also think it improves the looks considerably. I had mine carried out independently as it is twice the price on the Mercedes options list. Other than that, the standard vehicle has such a high specification there really is little need to visit the options list. If I had a spare Β£1800 I would opt for the upgraded headlights but is not necessary.

Mark Rees, Berkshire, February 24th 2014

0 CDI AMG Sport 5dr 7G-Tronic

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

I have now owned this particular 2013 (63) model for 6 months covering 5500 miles. My average fuel consumption since delivery is 37mpg with a mix of local driving but mainly motorway use. My best run measured 48mpg over 100 miles. I opted for the AMG model for its looks. The aggressive front spoiler really sets the car off and being aged 38 the SE I felt was for the older gentlemen. The air suspension really helps with the ride of which is very comfortable. I also particularly like Alcantara seats rather than full leather but it is a shame the Alcantara is synthetic and not as hard wearing as the real material. I have 3 dogs of which are swallowed up by the huge boot on this load lugger. The electric boot lid is very handy indeed. I have always had an Audi with my last model being the Q7. This car is every bit as good as the Q7 but with much better economy. I also opted for the service pack which helps with the running costs of the vehicle over 3 years before I change my car again. If ownership continues like it is now I will certainly stick with Mercedes. I have had the privacy glass added to the vehicle as I carry dogs but I also think it improves the looks considerably. I had mine carried out independently as it is twice the price on the Mercedes options list. Other than that, the standard vehicle has such a high specification there really is little need to visit the options list. If I had a spare Β£1800 I would opt for the upgraded headlights but is not necessary.

Mark Rees, Berkshire, February 24th 2014

0 CDI AMG Line 5dr 7G-Tronic

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

My vehicle is 2012 model with performance pack giving 555 BHP. Having owned an E320 CDI and then a E350 CDI this car is superb to drive. Difficult to get anywhere near quoted fuel consumption figures but have managed 28 mpg on a 65mph 50 mile journey. (Car not bought for fuel economy!). Equipment level superb as is all round finish.

Philip Cross, Angus, January 7th 2014

5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG22 mpg

The other reviews posted here (below) all seem to be for the old model E-Class estate. I bought mine new in May 2013 and it is the current model. I've now covered 8,000 miles and it has been a real pleasure to drive. In fact I would say it is one of the best cars that I've ever owned. It's quiet and smooth and it is surprisingly quick for a large diesel estate that weighs almost two tons. The level of standard equipment is impressive. About the only thing that it doesn't have is a sunroof. I've averaged 38.7 MPG over the past eight months on a mixture of short runs and motorway driving. On a long run I've achieved 48 MPG. I recommend the SE model mainly because the suspension is far more comfortable for day-to-day driving and it comes with a real leather interior. Unlike the AMG Sport which has much harder suspension and Mercedes man-made Artico "leather". I don't agree with the comments about the four cylinder engines being harsh. I had an Audi A6 before and that was not as good as the Mercedes engine in any respect. My only slight criticism of the E-Class is that you tend to get some rear wheel spin on quick standing starts, but again my Audi was far worse. If you are looking for a large, comfortable, executive cruiser with a cavernous boot this has to be on the list of cars to test drive.

Steve Marston, Hampshire, January 2nd 2014

0 CDI SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG38.7 mpg

I bought this car in Ayr during October 2012 and the personal leasing deal was second to none. Here lies the issue. I admit that I bought on price and yes you know what I am about to say now - I then repenting at my leisure. I have owned 9 Mercedes previously and apart from the notorious rear wheel drive/automatic issue during Scottish winters (you put the car in the garage and drive your daughters VW Polo if you want to go anywhere) I have been happy. The issue - the seats. In my opinion and I can see a few comments buried in the text from other reviewers, you cannot adjust them easily and if you get the car serviced please ask the dealer NOT to move them. The main gripe is the firmness of the lower bolsters, the back rest bolsters are also a little firm to say the least, I felt like I was placing my right thigh on a very firm piece of foam with a metal bar running up the length of my leg. We experience changes physically as we get older and I guess my body (in my 50's) is not a supple as it once was, but I just could not get comfortable. The dealer did work with me to solve the issue, they fitted a new seat base, tried a cushion or we can sell you a new car, more Β£ per month and a C Class! The discomfort continued. So what did I do to rectify the issue? I lost Β£4,000 and traded the Mercedes for a very nice Audi A6 2.0L TDI S Line Avant and I am comfortable again. My experience says that I will never buy Mercedes again so make sure you test out the seat comfort thoroughly.

Martyn Jones, Ayrshire, June 9th 2013

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG30 mpg

Having just bought this car within the last week I thought I would post some early thoughts. Firstly reviews I've read so far make a point of criticising the engine noise of the four cylinder diesel. This has not been an issue for me, in fact I would go so far as to say that it sounds not dissimilar to my last car, a Mercedes ML320 diesel. It certainly an excellent match when paired with the 7g tronic gearbox as on mine. I bought mine as a two month old Mercedes Direct vehicle with 6000 miles on the clock. I was slightly apprehensive about the change from the ML, but I have to add that although its early days, the signs are looking good. Of particular note equipment wise are the intelligent lighting and adaptive main beam assistants. They are quite remarkable in the way they operate and the lighting quality is second to none, seemingly melting the Tarmac with the amount of light when on main beam. The only concern I have and this is not confined to Mercedes alone, is the diesel particulate filter, which as the majority of my journeys are under 7 miles each way, I will need to monitor. As it states in the handbook that a run of twenty minutes will be needed on a regular basis to facilitate the cleaning process that my journeys don't allow. Little bit disappointed with the fuel consumption so far, averaging 47 mpg on the motorway at an average of 75 mph and currently only 25 around town. Hopefully as the miles build up and then engine beds in, this will improv

Matthew Price, Powys, February 21st 2013

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG200 mpg

Mine is E220CDI Executive SE – same spec. as Avantgarde + Navigation 50 APS less Xenon lights. I’ve had it 8 months/10k miles. Great leasing deal, smooth engine/auto gearbox; easy to live with- side windows stay clean & spoiler/alloys don’t easily catch kerbs; Nav is easy to use on the go when plans change & TMC avoids most traffic hold-ups; superb build quality - no visible imperfections/faults; self-levelling great for ramps/speed humps when laden; quiet at speed on most surfaces; economical on main roads (53mpg @ 60mph/48mpg @70mph); good seats; lowered suspension comfortable at speed but I’d get β€˜comfort suspension’ if used mainly in town; media system great with iPod & Bluetooth phone system very clear. Not So Good: Longer than many parking spaces; need COMAND upgrade for voice control; halogen headlights not great & unlike Xenons can’t be easily switched for foreign use; Nav has 5-digit postcode entry so need road/house number; some POIs out of date; engine a bit harsh at high revs but high torque means that’s rarely needed; parking sensor LEDs look 1980’s; Parking Guidance instructs full steering lock standing still which can’t help tyre wear so I don’t use it; iPod album covers can’t be shown & DVDs are audio only without COMAND. Finally, if you want the approved tow bar then order it for factory-fitment at Β£675 as it’s over Β£2,000 with the cooling system upgrade afterwards! All-in-all a superb car that feels like it’s built to last a very long time.

George Everard, July 7th 2012

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Avantgarde 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG42 mpg

Firstly the model I have is not listed here but it's the E220 Executive SE which I have to say is great value for money including things like Audio 50 which is a quality radio and sat nav combination. I upgraded this for Β£600 to the full Ucommand system with Lingatronics voice command and I find the voice control a great safety feature as I can use the sat nav, change the radio or telephone without moving my hands from the wheel. The interior of this car is very comfortable although I do find the bolsters on the seat a little uncomfortable if you have something in your back pocket like change. The drive is great and I have already clocked up 1600 miles in about 3 weeks of owning the vehicle as I just love to drive it. I will say though on rough roads the lowered suspension can be a bit hard so I would seriously recommend the comfort suspension if ride quality is important to you. Of course the lowered suspension does improve the handling of the vehicle as you would suspect. The leg room and comfort in the rear is very good and passengers will enjoy the ride. The boot is very versatile with a crate and floor organiser that can be used for holding items like a laptop bag, umbrella etc very well and stops them roling around. Of course this cars best part is the size of the boot, the only thing to add is if you cant fit it in here you need a van. The running costs are very good and I have averaged 38 MPG but lets just say I do like to drive my cars.

Tony Kemp, Surrey, June 21st 2012

0 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY SE 5dr Tip Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG37.7 mpg

Best car I ever had, excellent attention to detail in almost everything except for the SatNav. Here I am disapointed as it does not accept the full UK postcodes, only te first 4 digits, gets you to the town but not the street that has to be found and entered manually. Otherwise, the car has been reliable and no issues in 18 months. Does not achieve the combined cycle MPG, average is 36.1 mpg. Overall - very good car, lots of space and comfort

Peter Taylor, N E Lincs, May 2nd 2012

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Avantgarde 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG36.1 mpg

Great car. Mine is 'Executive SE' which is not listed. First car I've owned in 25 years where after 6000 miles I cannot find anything less than perfect in terms of build quality. Handling is better than expected, and performance is good. 7gTronic+ auto can be reluctant to change down but torque is so good it doesn't really matter. Seats are comfortable for me and I'm growing to really love the car. Motorways are it's natural habitat where the ride quality and lack of wind noise are noticeable. Mine has the firmer suspension which helps handling but I'd probably go for the Comfort Suspension next time to make it a little softer in town, though its still comfortable. Nativation 50 APS is standard but has 5 digit postcode entry only. I use it daily and find as long as I have the road and house number then its no problem. The traffic system usually works well routing around blockages too. A TomTom would probably do more for a lot less but it's so convenient and fast to use that I'd definately have it again. Music interface works well with my iPod & USB stick and I find music quality very good. Slight niggles are: central display can't show outside temperature at same time as mpg figures; parktonic LEDs look outdated; visibility from standard headlight system is not great (I would go for adaptive light system next time); whilst economy is great on motorways (48mpg) it drops a lot in town (35mpg). All told this is a spacious, comfortable car which feels like its built to last.

George Everard, April 15th 2012

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG39 mpg

Bought as a tow car. 47k miles.FSH , approved used main dealer. One of the last of the pre face lift.Has that oil burner "aroma" and vinyl seats ( sorry .. man made leather ) but clean and tidy. So had everything crossed. Pleasantly surprised. 3k miles so far and excellent . No unexpected issues . No need for extra cooling. Seven speed box very slightly notchy at low speeds. Feels a bit flat when cold and set to C mode -warms up a treat goes like stink if you need it to- v . responsive . Took pity on neighbours and early morning noise so had the SBC brake pump noise supressor pipe mod done f.o.c. as part of deal. Barely notice the sound now. Wouldn't touch one of these without full history and cat 1 warranty ( which it has) . You need it. Eg rear suspension sensor replaced after two months, ditto parking sensor over exhaust, and I expect a few more of the tech bits to fail so I'll fork out for an extension next year. V nice. Will return over 38mpg on run , 24mpg towing 1.5 tonnes and 34 just mooching around. Still have fingers crossed a bit though. Service due anither 3k and I'm expecting to have to remortgage. Worth it though . Just. Beats the heck out of the Chelsea tractor alternative.

Angus Garland, S Yorkshire, July 23rd 2011

0K Avantgarde 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG36 mpg

I have had the updated (265bhp) version since March, and have covered approximately 5,000 miles. I can only assume the negative reviews relate to the pre update engine, as most of the comments here bear no relation to my own experience. I am easily achieving over 40mpg average, despite the car being amazingly quick if required. Following a much loved Audi Q7, the running costs are excellent. The car is very comfortable, brilliantly thought out (genius seat release) and very spacious - easily as large as the Audi inside. After 15 years of S Line Audis, it's also a pleasure to have a comfortable ride, sport suspension notwithstanding. Niggles include the single stalk control and pretty rubbish parking sensor system, but otherwise I really rate this car. I may change my views when it starts snowing....

Richard Haighton, Worcestershire, June 11th 2011

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr Tip Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG41 mpg

I'm delighted with this car. It's just so relaxing to drive - the engine is freakishly powerful and refined and the gearbox is superb. I think the earlier versions with the 231bhp engines were apparently disappointing with regard to fuel consumption, but my 265bhp Merc has managed 37mpg so far and I haven't been light with the throttle. The gearbox has also been upgraded to a "7G-tronic plus" version to give better economy and lower emissions. The only slight disappointment has been the stereo which is a little boomy. Otherwise I would recommend it as being worth every penny.

Gareth Treharne, June 6th 2011

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Avantgarde 5dr Tip Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG37 mpg

What a noisy car!! When on the motorway it sounds as if Niagara Falls are roaring away in the backseat. This is the noisiest estate car that I have ever owned. Mercedes, Stuttgart response was appalling ('....as manufacturers we simply don't know how to make quiet cars...'). So, if you want a large estate car with the acoustics of a delivery van - then this is the car for you. If not, then go elsewhere - anywhere.

John Hunt, Staffordshire, March 15th 2011

0 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY SE 5dr Tip Auto

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG35.8 mpg

Bought in June 2010 from Mercedes of Preston. Extras: Metallic, Panoramic Roof, Airmatic Semi-Active Suspension, Comand, Reverse Camera, Privacy Glass, Memory Pack, Towbar. The Positives in my opinion: Comfortable(good contrast between comfort and sport mode with airmatic); Engine Performance(the 228bhp variant); 7 Speed Gearbox is good(the majority of the time); Spacious; Safety Equipment; Comand; Intelligent Lighting; Towing Performance; Could be better in my opinion: The engine refinement. Noisy under-load in the lower rev ranges. Possibly injector related, awaiting diagnostic at supplying dealer; There is a hesitation from the gearbox when pulling away from standstill in certain situations. Potential software update available, awaiting diagnotic from supplying dealer; The 'plastic' fuel filler flap has distorted and does not fit correctly. Due to be replaced under warranty. The Diesel Particulate Filter purge cycle happens frequently and is a little disconcerting as the engine note changes, revs rise and there is a very high temperature related burning smell. The foot operated handbrake seems a little old fashioned in this electronic age. After 8000 miles the fuel consumption is not meeting my expectation. Mercedes Benz Customer Services, thus far, have not met my expectation. Would I buy another? A little to early to say. Ask me again in a years time.

S Ingram, March 4th 2011

0 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY SE 5dr Tip Auto

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG29 mpg

This is my final review on this car in which I did about 20K miles. Sadly my wife and I are not getting any younger and found it too low when getting in and out. We would probably have kept the car apart from the apparent drop in quality of service received from the local dealer. I took the car in for an update to the awful AP50 Sat Nav which the ess told me I needed. I took the car in and collected it in the evening to be told that the AP50 could not be updated but they had done a wireing re call while it was in so a total waste of time from my point of view. I took the car and next day my wife noticed a large dent in the front bumper with industrial blue paint around it. I called the garage and was asked to bring the car in. There was no dispute as the paint matched the ramps in the workshop I was asked to let them have the car to repair which I did they lent me a very nice C class. The car came back and the quality of work was dreadful so once again it went back and this time I accepted it. I was given a free service to compensate for the inconvenience. When I took the car in I asked that they try not to move the seats as I have a bad back and it takes a long time to get comfortable and Matt agreed to this. When I went to get in the car I could not, both front seats had been moved right forwar and the backs folded until, on the driver's seat they touched the steering wheel, I'm afraid that did it for me the car is now gone lovely as it was the dealers took the tiddle.

Garry Cleaver, October 25th 2010

0 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Sport 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG32 mpg

This is a great car but is badly let down by rust on every body panel. I believe that this car was made in Belgium in 1999 and was one of a bad production run. Mercedes have consistemtly refused to accept that this is a problem for which they should take any responsibility for the repairs ...they consider any goodwill gesture would amount to a lifetim guarantee and have declined to repair it.

robert marcus, February 19th 2009

0 V6 Avantgarde 5dr Tip Auto

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG30 mpg