The Mercedes E-Class is the German firm's answer to the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF. It’s what we class as a large executive saloon, which means it’s longer than compact executives such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes’ own C-Class.
The E-Class is certainly one of the best cars of its type. It has a smarter interior than any of its rivals and delivers a comfortable ride – particularly if you steer clear of the larger-than-standard alloy wheels.
There are only two engines and both are diesels. The majority of buyers will opt for the entry-level 2.0-litre (badged E 220 d) – it’s more efficient than most of its rivals and yet surprisingly punchy. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel is much stronger and smoother but costs a lot more to buy and run.
There are only two trims on offer: SE trim is handsomely equipped and probably has all you need, unless you really want the sporty looks of the more aggressively styled AMG Line versions. These also cost more and don’t add much in the way of useful equipment. Whichever trim you choose we’d recommend adding metallic paint, split-folding rear seats and, if buying the E 220 d, the Comand infotainment system; the E 350 d gets it as standard.
Read on over the next few pages to get our in depth impressions on the E-Class, along with our final recommendations for trim levels and engines.