7 reasons to buy a Mercedes E-Class
The BMW 5 Series is a tough act to follow, but that doesn’t mean its closest rival, the Mercedes E-Class, is far off the mark...
The Mercedes E-Class is the most recently introduced model in the Mercedes-Benz line-up, sitting between the larger, more luxurious S-Class and the successful C-Class, which is one of the 10 best-selling cars of this year. The three models’ similar styling makes them harder to differentiate than rivals, which is good news because the E-Class looks like a smaller version of the much more expensive S-Class.
The E-Class has the Volvo S90, Audi A6 and Lexus GS among its competitors, but its closest rivalry is with the BMW 5 Series. The 5 Series is a five-star car, and edged the Mercedes in several areas of our review, but by no means is the E-Class pale in comparison.
Here are the seven reasons we think you won’t regret buying a Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
7 reasons to buy a Mercedes-Benz E-Class
7. Front space
The executive car market values a roomy front cabin very highly, and the E-Class doesn’t disappoint; you sit high in the car, but there’s no shortage of head room, even in models fitted with the panoramic glass roof. There’s lots of travel in the sliding front seats, too, so even leggier drivers and passengers won’t have to fold themselves into the car.
6. Quiet cruising
Both engines currently offered in the E-Class – a diesel four-cylinder as well as a diesel V6 – are smooth and unintrusive, and under urgent acceleration the V6 is even quieter than the smaller engine. There’s little wind noise and minimal road noise – but only on models without the larger-than-standard alloys. Big, blingy alloys bring road roar into the cabin.
5. Punchy performance
Both engines are also impressively strong. Obviously the V6 E 350 d is the stronger of the two, but the entry–level E 220 d couples well with the nine-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a shame that the E-Class doesn’t have the handling prowess to match its performance, but the E-Class is more of a comfortable cruiser than a super-saloon.
4. Tons of tech
Splash out a little on the giant display stretching across the driver’s half of the dashboard – it makes the car feel like a small S-Class and puts information closer to your line of sight if you’re of average height. There’s electric adjustment on the driver’s seat too, and Garmin sat-nav on the 8.4in touch screen as standard, among the highlights.
3. A supple ride
There’s no denying that Mercedes aims for comfort with the E-Class; even the entry-level car on standard suspension has a smooth, comfortable ride with only a little turbulence on more scarred urban roads, but on the motorway it’s pleasantly and consistently smooth. The optional Air Body Control suspension isn’t worth the extra money on the E 220 d.
2. A luxurious cabin
The E-Class pulls ahead of the 5 Series and draws level with the Audi A6 for quality around the cabin but trounces both on the presentation of the interior. It’s as flamboyant as it is plush, and most of the switches and buttons are precise and satisfying.
1. Generous equipment
In addition to the technology on the interior, there’s abundant safety kit to provide peace of mind, including automatic emergency braking, seven air bags and a pedestrian-friendly active bonnet. Connectivity is taken care of with USB and Bluetooth. Careful of the options list, however, because Mercedes’ high-end extras can add up to a substantial premium.
What about buying used?
It’s unlikely that there’ll be many – if any – current-generation E-Class models on the used market because it’s not long been around, but there are plenty of previous-generation E-Class cars around. The new generation’s release should have driven down prices on these, too.
You’ll pay around £20,000 for a two to three-year-old E 220 CDI SE with 20,000 miles on the clock, while AMG Sport cars will be slightly more. It’s worth bearing in mind that Mercedes’ services are more expensive than those of rivals, though.