What alternatives should I consider to a used Mercedes E-Class estate?
The most obvious choice would be a BMW 5 Series Touring. It isn’t quite as comfortable or as spacious as the Mercedes but it is more involving to drive, and 2.0-litre diesel versions are just as efficient (and notably quieter then the equivalent E-Class).
You could also go for an Audi A6 Avant, which is cheaper to buy used, meaning you end up with a nicer example for your money. The Ultra versions, available from 2014 onwards, are strikingly efficient, and the interior feels just as classy as the Mercedes’. But the Audi isn’t quite as comfortable as the E-Class, and nor is it as exciting to drive as the 5 Series.
Other options include the Jaguar XF Sportbrake, which loses out to the E-Class on efficiency and quality but is huge fun to drive and looks fantastic, and the Volvo V70, which is cheaper to buy than any car here but doesn’t feel as well-made or as comfortable.