What's the used Mercedes-Benz E Class like?
There are those who will argue that the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the best car in the world, and with good reason. Also known by its development code of W212, this fourth-generation car served as a rival to the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF, and can count ride comfort and build quality among its strongest features.
There is easily enough space for four to travel together, although a fifth will have to straddle the sizeable transmission tunnel that runs down the centre of the car.
Inside the E-Class has a real sense of solidity about it. That said, some of the dashboard plastics feel a little tinny, and aren’t up to the standard of the high-quality Audi A6. Meanwhile, the central infotainment system lags behind BMW’s iDrive, and the combined indicator and windscreen wiper stalk, along with the column-mounted selector for the automatic gearbox take some getting used to.
You need to be careful that you avoid sportier models fitted with stiffer suspension and larger wheels, as the ride quality in these can be jarring. However, choose a more laid-back E-Class – SE and Avantgarde versions fit the bill – and you’ll enjoy a smooth, comfortable ride that’s exactly as a Mercedes should be.
The boot is the same size as that of the Audi A6 and Jaguar XF, which is to say slightly larger than you’ll find in a BMW 5-series, but not all models came with split-folding rear seats, so if you need this feature be sure to check it is included. The engine range consists of an underpowered 1.8-litre petrol, a rattly 2.1-litre diesel, smooth petrol and diesel V6s, a diesel-electric hybrid and a couple of V8 petrol units, not least the high-performance E63 AMG model.
A facelift in 2013 resulted in a noticeable step up in interior finish, the standard inclusion of automatic emergency braking, and improved engine options, including a 2.0-litre petrol to replace the old 1.8. These cars are easy to spot because the headlights were changed from a two-piece design to a single, combined unit.