Used car of the week: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

If you want to waft around in a luxury saloon that’s comfortable, roomy and laden with high-tech kit, a used E-Class could be for you

Words ByClaire Evans

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When the fourth generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon went on sale in 2009, it was one of the safest and most cosseting luxury saloons you could buy.

Although it doesn’t quite match the BMW 5 Series or Jaguar XF for driving thrills, the E-Class has a superbly appointed, hushed interior that’s bigger than those rivals'.

The Audi A6 outdoes the E-Class for interior ambience, but it doesn’t have the glassy smooth ride of the E-Class (provided you avoid sportier trim levels, which have a harder ride).

Read on to find out how much you should pay for a used E-Class and which model to choose.

What budget do I need?

The earliest E-Class saloons can be had for as little as Β£7000, but we’d advise adding a couple of thousand pounds to your budget to get a newer car without rocketship mileage.

The E-Class received a facelift in 2013 and gained automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard, so if you can stretch to Β£14,000-Β£15,000, we’d recommend buying one of these cars.

If you’re after a sporty E-Class, a decent example of the E 63 AMG could be yours for around Β£25,000.

What version should I go for?

The vast majority of E-Classes sold are diesels, and they make sense because they’re more frugal than the petrols. We’d bypass the four-cylinder 2.1-litre diesel and go for a V6, such as the E 350, instead, because it’s quieter and more refined than the smaller engine.

Sport trim may look great, but it comes with stiffer suspension, so we’d stick with SE or Avantgarde trim. It’s worth noting that Sport was renamed AMG Sport and AMG Line after the 2013 facelift – if you want one of these cars, we’d recommend a good test drive to see if you can live with the harder ride before you buy.

Any problems to be aware of?

The E-Class has a strong reputation for durability, so there aren’t any common issues to report. It’s a complex car, though, so it’s worth checking that all the different electrical systems work properly.

There were reports of fuel injector failures on early cars, so although these should have all been fixed under warranty, it’s worth checking potential purchases, because paying for the work is likely to prove costly.

What next?

Read our full used E-Class saloon review, or our review of the current E-Class saloon.

Want to buy a Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon? Click here to buy a new car with What Car?

Previous used cars of the week

Jaguar XJ

BMW 5 Series Touring

Watch our video review of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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