Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 front cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 front cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 rear cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior rear seats
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 front left cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 right tracking
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 rear left cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior front seats
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior detail
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior detail
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 boot open
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 front cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 rear cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior dashboard
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior rear seats
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior infotainment
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 front left cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 right tracking
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 rear left cornering
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior front seats
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior detail
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior detail
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 boot open
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What Car? says...

For more than half a century now, Mercedes has been skilfully blending luxury and space in a large estate that proudly wears that prestigious, three-pointed star. In fact, there have been five generations of its big, family wagon so far, of which four have been dubbed, in one way or another, the Mercedes E-Class Estate.

The first wasn’t called that because the E-Class name didn’t exist back then. It was the model that set the trend for something spacious and classy, though, and in the process, it left the other premium producers floundering.

It took years for Audi to finally even up the score with its raft of estates, including the E-Class’s nearest rival, the Audi A6 Avant. BMW was just as tardy, with the late arrival of its BMW 5 Series Touring.

The premium estate market isn't exclusively the domain of Mercedes and the other Germans manufacturers, though. The Swedish Volvo V90 is another formidable rival, as is the very British Jaguar XF Sportsbrake.

The E-Class Estate is available with an impressive line-up of engines – ranging from frugal diesels and tax-busting plug-in hybrids, all the way up to the fire-breathing, hardcore Mercedes E63 S AMG. We’ve reviewed that separately.

As always, it promises plenty of space for passengers and their luggage, a luxurious, tech-laden interior and, if you pick the right engine, reasonable running costs. So is the Mercedes E-Class Estate the best luxury wagon you can buy, and which engine and trim make the most sense? This review will tell you all you need to know.

If you do plan to buy an estate car (or any make and model of vehicle), we could help you save a fortune quickly and easily. All you have to do is search for the best price using our free What Car? New Car Buying service. It's a good place to find the cheapest new estate car deals


It's not cheap, but the Mercedes E-Class Estate is classy and impressively refined. It's also generally comfortable, easy to drive, well equipped and a compelling option in the luxury estate car sector. Crucially, its boot beats the BMW 5 Series Touring's and Volvo V90's for luggage room, although the V90 does have more spacious rear seats. The E300de plug-in hybrid has the best fuel economy of any equivalent PHEV once the battery is depleted.

  • Massive boot
  • Well equipped
  • E300de plug-in hybrid fuel economy
  • Not as fun to drive as some rivals
  • Expensive to buy
  • Unsettled low-speed ride

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

Our pick of the Mercedes E-Class Estate engines is the 191bhp 2.0-litre E220d diesel. It blends good fuel economy with enough grunt that you don't need to rev like billy-o to hit motorway speeds. When you do give it some beans, it’ll sprint from 0-62mph in 7.8sec, which is about as quick as a BMW 520d Touring. If you want a diesel with more poke, there’s the 261bhp E300d 4Matic or the 326bhp 2.9-litre six-cylinder E400d 4Matic: a stonking bit of kit that pulls hard and hits 62mph from rest in 5.3sec.

For the cheapest company car tax, though, you need the E300de plug-in hybrid. It uses the 2.0-litre diesel engine (from the E220d) with an electric motor added to deliver a combined 302bhp and 0-62mph in 6.0sec. That combined performance feels effortless on the road, and it'll still hit 70mph in electric-only mode, just in a more leisurely fashion. Its official 32-mile electric range is up to scratch, too.

If you want a petrol engine without the plug-in option, there's the 194bhp 2.0-litre E200, which has similar outright performance to the E220d. Then there's a massive jump up to the 429bhp AMG E53, which will do 0-62mph in 4.5sec. If that's still not enough, read our AMG E63 S review.

Suspension and ride comfort

The E-Class Estate doesn’t ride perfectly but, to be frank, nor do any of its rivals, unless you pay more money to get them fitted with adaptive suspension. The E-Class has an adaptive set-up as standard and it's softer than the standard-spec BMW 5 Series Touring M Sport. It's not as well controlled, though.

What does that mean? Well, it doesn't settle quickly after bumps so you feel jostle around over lumpier roads, but it's pretty calm on motorways. It's generally more forgiving than the 5 Series M Sport when you hit a pothole or speed bump. It still thumps, though, and bigger alloy wheels make this worse.

The E300de differs in having softer, non-adjustable ‘Comfort’ suspension. Again, this is pretty good on the motorway, but body control is noticeably poorer, feeling very floaty on country roads, and it still thumps over bigger potholes. The AMG E53 has its own bespoke air suspension, which is firm but not uncomfortable.

Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 rear cornering


Most E-Class Estates are tidy enough to drive, combining good grip and stability with light but accurate steering. However, the 5 Series Touring and Jaguar XF Sportbrake lean less in bends, while the XF's steering also provides a greater sense of connection with the front wheels. As a result, both those rivals are more agile and enjoyable to hustle down a country road.

The plug-in hybrid E300de leans over far more on its softer suspension than other models, making it feel cumbersome during quick cornering but not unwieldy the rest of the time. Meanwhile, the AMG E53 offers a sportier drive, but still isn't as good to drive as the equivalent 5 Series, the M550i Touring. On the other hand, the AMG E63 is very good indeed.

Noise and vibration

There's not much wind or road noise in the E-Class Estate at 70mph, although cars with larger alloy wheels generate more rumble and specifying a panoramic glass roof causes a bit more wind whistle. It's also worth bearing in mind that the 5 Series Touring is even more impressive when it comes to general peace and quiet, partly because it has a lot less suspension noise – the E-Class clangs noticeably over patchy surfaces.

The six-cylinder E400d sounds sweet and the four-cylinder petrols are fine, too. The E220d and E300de diesels are a bit grumbly at idle and around town but that fades away at motorway speeds. Quieter four-cylinder diesels can be found in the Audi A6 Avant. Of course, the E300de has no engine noise when running in electric mode and flits between its two power sources smoothly.

Everything else about the E-Class encourages relaxed driving, including the progressive brakes. That applies to the regenerative ones fitted to the hybrid versions, although they’re not quite as good as the BMW 530e’s.


The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

The driver's seat of the Mercedes E-Class Estate has part-electric adjustment unless you go for the top-spec trim. That's the AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus (for brevity we’ll call it the 'AMG Line Premium Plus' from now on), which includes a fully electrically operated seat and steering column with memory settings. There's not a lot of shoulder support through corners, but the driver's seat is comfortable on a long drive and every trim comes with adjustable lumbar support.

It's a pity that every E-Class has two big flaws: a steering wheel that's offset to the left and a bulge in the transmission tunnel. The bulge pushes against your left leg and offsets the pedals to the right. The Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5 Series Touring have offset pedals, too, but they're not as skewed.

There’s a 12.3in instrument display behind the steering wheel that provides lots of information. If you’re tall, you might find that the steering wheel covers the top of the display unless you position the wheel higher than is ideal. Most of the buttons are well placed and the climate control buttons are much easier to use while driving than the touchscreen set-up you get in the A6 Avant. Less impressive are the fiddly touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

Over-the-shoulder visibility is as good as it is in the A6 Avant, and the E-Class Estate is easier to see out the back of than the 5 Series Touring. The windscreen pillars are also slimmer than on the 5 Series Touring, so you get a decent forward view, although in this respect the A6 Avant is even better.

As a bonus, all versions come with lots of parking aids, including front and rear sensors, a rear-view camera and park assist, which will park the car semi-autonomously. AMG Line Premium trim, which is one of the higher ones but is well priced, adds a 360-degree camera. 

All E-Classes come with bright LED headlights, which from the mid-spec AMG Line trim are adaptive. You can leave the headlights on main beams and they'll shape their light around any cars in front so they don't dazzle other drivers.

Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

The E-Class's infotainment software is responsive, plus it has menus that are reasonably well laid out. These are displayed on a 12.3in touchscreen, but when you're driving, it's less distracting to use the touchpad between the front seats (there are smaller touchpads on the steering wheel, too, but these are quite fiddly to use). It's not as easy to use as the 5 Series' iDrive rotary controller, but it’s safer than the A6's touchscreen-only system.

Say "Hey Mercedes" and you’ll wake up the natural speech control. It operates various features and gets most things right – although less so if a passenger is talking or the kids are fighting. All versions come with wireless phone-charging and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring. A 13-speaker, 590-watt Burmester stereo is standard on the top-spec AMG Line Premium Plus trim and it sounds good.  

All trims have built-in sat-nav. From AMG Line Premium trim upwards, it’s ‘augmented reality navigation'. This is basically a live camera feed of the road ahead overlaid with sat-nav instructions, including house numbers, road names and direction arrows. It's designed to make the directions easier to follow and works well.


The E-Class Estate looks classy inside and, in general, the materials are plush, with wood, leather and soft-touch plastics the main constituents. All versions come with 64-colour ambient lighting that jazzes up the interior at night, while the upper trims add extra-supple nappa leather.

Sadly, the interior isn't put together quite as solidly as you'd expect. Take the wood panel that stretches across the dashboard – it flexes and creaks if you prod it gently. The E-Class is still smarter inside than the Jaguar XF Sportbrake but the A6 Avant and 5 Series Touring feel better made. 

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

You won't feel cramped in the front of the Mercedes E-Class Estate, no matter how big you are, because the interior is wide and has loads of leg and head room – even if you go for the top-spec AMG Line Premium Plus trim, which has a panoramic sunroof fitted as standard.

You get lots of space for your odds and ends, too, including a roomy glovebox and the generously sized cubby under the front centre armrest. There are also two big cupholders.

Rear space

The E-Class Estate compares well with the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5 Series Touring for rear-seat accommodation. Two tall adults in the outer seats will have good head room (even with a panoramic glass roof fitted) and while leg room isn't quite as good as those two key rivals, it's not far off. The main gripe is there's very little space for your feet under the front seats. 

If you add a third rear passenger they’ll fit but feel a bit squeezed by the two outer passengers, and there's a big central floor hump to straddle. The 5 Series has worse head room for the middle passenger, though.

Need even more rear-seat space? Then the Volvo V90 is one of the best options for you to choose. 

Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior rear seats

Seat folding and flexibility

The E-Class Estate matches the A6 Avant and 5 Series Touring in offering 40/20/40 split rear seats as standard (the V90 has a less useful 60/40 split). The rear seatbacks are dead easy to fold down using buttons, which are located just inside the tailgate opening and in the rear door openings. 

The front passenger has four-way electric adjustment and adjustable lumbar support as standard and, like the driver, they get fully electric adjustment with memory settings if you go for the top-end AMG Line Premium Plus trim.

Boot space

Click open the E-Class Estate's powered tailgate and wow: the boot is a massive 640 litres, with an under-floor storage area that adds to its usefulness. It can swallow up to 10 carry-on suitcases – more than the 5 Series Touring and V90, which both take eight.

There are some nice touches, too. In that well under the floor, you’ll find a foldable crate that you can use for your groceries, and around the main boot area, there are fold-out hooks to hang bags from.

Bear in mind that the E300de has much less luggage room (480 litres) because the hybrid battery sits under the boot floor. The same is true of the BMW 530e, though, and if you want a plug-in hybrid estate that's not compromised for boot space, opt for the V90 T6, which retains the same 551-litre load bay as other V90s.

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Our recommended Mercedes E-Class Estate is the E220d in AMG Line Premium trim. It will set cash buyers back a similar amount to the equivalent BMW 5 Series Touring (the 520d M Sport). The Audi A6 Avant 40 TDI S line and Volvo V90 B4(D) R Design are a bit pricier. However, the E-Class Estate has better resale values than the V90, and should lose about the percentage of its list price (over three years) as the A6 Avant and 5 Series Touring. It's not a cheap car to service, though. PCP finance costs are generally competitive with its rivals, but check out our New Car Deals pages to see the best prices available.

The E220d will average 45mpg without too much trouble in the real world. That's pretty competitive, as are its CO2 emissions. It's also RDE2 compliant, which is good for your company car tax bill, but if you're looking for the cheapest benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, you should seriously consider the E300de plug-in hybrid.

The big advantage of the E300de is that, unusually for a plug-in, when the battery is drained you still have a frugal diesel engine. Most rivals, like the 530e Touring, fall back to a juicier petrol engine when the battery is depleted. In the real world, we had the E300de averaging 50mpg-plus running mainly on its diesel engine. Charging the E300de's battery takes about 90 minutes from a 7kW wall box or five hours from a three-pin plug.

Equipment, options and extras

Every E-Class Estate comes brimming with kit. The entry-level Sport trim features cruise control, power-folding door mirrors, two-zone climate control, 17in alloy wheels (these offer the best ride), heated front seats and leather seat trim (plus the safety kit, infotainment features and visibility aids we've already mentioned).

If you can stretch to the upper-mid-spec AMG Line Premium trim, we think that's the pick of the range. It's roughly the same price as a 5 Series Touring M Sport and adds extras including keyless entry, 19in alloys and a gesture-controlled powered boot lid. 

One problem with the E-Class is that you can't add individual options. If you want a specific item, you have to jump up to the trim that has it.

Mercedes E-Class Estate 2021 interior infotainment


Mercedes didn't fare that well in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing joint 22nd out of the 30 manufacturers included. That was below Audi and Volvo, while BMW was much higher up in 13th place. 

The E-Class (saloon) outshone Mercedes as a whole. It was at the sharp end of the luxury car category, although it was just pipped by the 5 Series, which finished top. 

Every new E-Class is sold with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, which is similar to its rivals'.

Safety and security

You get a lot of safety kit with the E-Class Estate. It includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, traffic-sign recognition that displays the speed limit, a driver attention alert to warn you when it’s time to take a break, and a blind-spot warning to let you know when something is sitting next to you on the motorway. That's more than its key rivals come with as standard. 

The safety experts at Euro NCAP awarded the E-Class Estate five stars overall. It all but matches the A6 Avant for adult protection and does a better job than the 5 Series Touring at protecting adults from leg injuries in a crash and keeping children safe. 

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At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £50,835
or from £533pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £38,890
Leasing deals
From £789pm
RRP price range £50,835 - £122,435
Number of trims (see all)5
Number of engines (see all)7
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)diesel/plugin elec hybrid, diesel, petrol
MPG range across all versions 201.8 - 55.4
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,329 / £8,863
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £2,658 / £17,727
Available colours