The interior layout, fit and finish
The driver’s seat is part electrically operated with adjustable lumbar support on lower trims, and fully electric with a memory feature on AMG Line Premium Plus. The driver’s seat has plenty of adjustment, as does the steering column, for height as well as reach. It’s not all tickety-boo, though: the driver’s footrest isn’t large enough to rest your left foot comfortably if you have big feet; and tall drivers may find the top of the dials obscured by the steering wheel.
The E Class Estate is relatively easy to see out of, though, and any concerns that it's difficult to judge its extremities are addressed by standard front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera. There's also a parking assist function that’ll select a suitable space and steer you into it while LED headlights are standard on all models, too. AMG Line trim adds upgraded headlights that allow you to use main beam more of the time, and a 360 degree camera comes on AMG Line Premium trim and above.
The dashboard buttons are instinctive to locate, and everything inside looks thoroughly swish and modern. The ambience is lifted by chrome highlights, classy wood or carbon fibre veneers and ambient lighting, and AMG Line models add a faux leather-trimmed dashboard. Things aren't quite put together as solidly as is the case with the A6 or 5 Series, though; Mercedes’ signature centre console design makes just as much of a visual impression here as it does in the smaller C Class, but while it doesn't exhibit as much give when prodded firmly, it would be better if there was none at all.
All trims get a pair of 12.3in digital displays, one in front of the driver to act as the instrument panel and another next to it in the centre of the dashboard for the infotainment. Both displays have sharp, attractive graphics and logical menus, while the instruments can show a wide range of information that’s accessed via a touchpad on the right-hand spoke of the steering wheel.
You can operate the central display like a conventional touchscreen, using a touch pad between the front seats or via a tiny pad on the left steering wheel spoke. It quite isn’t as intuitive as BMW’s rotary dial-controlled iDrive system. Easy to follow sat nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless smartphone charging are all standard.
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