Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review 2019

Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz E Class in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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4
Out of 5

Pros

  • Hi-tech interior
  • Excellent refinement
  • Impressive standard equipment list

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Rivals are better to drive
  • Headroom could be better
  • MPG

    26 - 188

  • CO2

    41 - 246 g/km

Model Review

Mercedes has a long history of making some of the best saloons car in the business. While it’s not always been called the E-Class, Mercedes has made mid-size saloons continuously since 1953, and only in 1993 was the E-Class nameplate rolled out for the first time, when Mercedes switched its naming policy to the one that still exists to this day.

The E-Class has always been seen as a smaller version of the S-Class — Mercedes’ largest saloon which has led the way in the luxury car class for a long time and has often been ground-breaking when it comes to introducing new tech onto cars — and over the years that’s only ben developed further.

The E-Class has always been offered in a broad number of guises, with the current line-up consisting of a saloon, estate, coupe, convertible and also a rugged version based on the wagon, which is known as the All Terrain.

Value for money

E-Classes are not cheap cars, although they’re no more expensive than their rivals and they’re equally well kitted out. Basic SE models get leather seats, climate control, automatic wipers, while AMG Line cars add AMG wheels and flared arches, as well as other styling tweaks and extra kit.

Because of the model’s popularity, second-hand examples are numerous, and you can pick up early, well-equipped cars for a song – even ones with low mileages. Scratch around a bit and you should be able to find a handful of solid cars at competitive prices.

Opting for the previous-generation car may be tempting, as it doesn’t look dissimilar to the current model, but strong residual values mean collecting a one- or two-year-old car isn’t going to save you all that much

Looks and image

Throughout its life, the E-Class has been a subtly stylish car, but early models are beginning to age noticeably. The current-generation car looks great, but it’s in short supply on the used market thanks to its youth, although you might find a handful of pre-registered cars kicking about on dealer forecourts.

That said, there isn’t too much difference between the latest E-Class and its predecessor, so you could probably fool a few neighbours by picking up a used model at a slightly lower price.

Whichever generation you go for, though, you’ll be driving a classy machine. Mercedes may be such a common sight on the roads of Britain that you’ll struggle to turn many heads, but nobody is going to argue with your taste when you roll up in one.

Space and practicality

The E-Class is a big car, and though that makes it a bit awkward to slot into supermarket car parking bays, it’s good news when it comes to interior space.

The latest car offers a commodious 540 litres of boot space in saloon guise, while the estate provides 640 litres. Fold the rear seats down and that expands to a cavernous 1,820 litres.

These numbers are marginally larger than you’ll find in the previous generation of E-Classes, but few of them are exactly pokey. The convertibles will, however, have little in the way of luggage space when the roof is down, and all two-door variants will be a little bit short of rear legroom.

Video Review

Space and practicality

As with comfort, rear seat and boot space are very important in the chauffeur market, and the E-Class excels here as well. Compared to the last model, the latest E-Class has a longer wheelbase, which means that there’s more rear legroom for passengers in the saloon. There’s also lots of interior storage around the cabin, with a particularly big compartment underneath the front central armrest. Those wanting enough space in the back to stretch their legs to their heart’s content should have a look at the larger S-Class, but for family duties, the space on offer is hard to fault.

Boot space is also good, and comparable to other models in the class, with 540 litres of capacity available with the saloon. The split rear seats also fold down as standard; as certain four-door models make you pay for this privilege. However, if you need extra practicality, there’s the hugely versatile Estate version, which offers 100 more litres with the seats up, but fold these down and there’s a huge 1,820 litres, which makes it one of the largest boots of any estate car.

The Mercedes E-Class is also a particularly safe car, with the model being awarded a five-star safety rating when tested by Euro NCAP. It comes with plenty of equipment as standard, including autonomous emergency braking, nine airbags and blind-spot monitoring, while an optional package adds adaptive cruise control with steering assist.

 

Engines

There’s a choice between petrol, diesel and plug-in powertrains in the E-Class, which means there’s plenty of engine options.

The diesel choice is between the 2.0-litre E 220 d and the 3.0-litre E 400 d. The former produces 191bhp and the latter develops an impressive 335bhp, with its fantastic levels of torque allowing for a 0-60mph sprint in just 4.7 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph.

The sole petrol option is the E 200, which produces 181bhp, and allows for a 0-60mph time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 149mph.

There’s two plug-in hybrid options offered – the E 300 de and E 300 e. The ‘de’ is one of very few diesel plug-in models on sale, although it’s a fantastic option with its mix of efficiency and performance, thanks to a total output of 302bhp. The petrol E 300 e is slightly more practical, and produces 316bhp. Both plug-in hybrids are capable of a range of 30 miles.

All engines are paired with a very smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox.

Running costs

The diesel  E 220 d still makes the most sense for most drivers, with Mercedes claiming a fuel economy figure of 51.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 122g/km, although on longer journeys it’s likely to better that economy figure.

The plug-in hybrids are undoubtedly the cleanest, although they’re only the best option for those with regular access to a charging point and who don’t cover a lot of miles each year. The 30-mile electric range is good though, and used effectively can return up to 201.8mpg, with low CO2 emissions of 41g/km.

Insurance groups will be quite expensive for the E-Class, although they are comparable with other rivals. Ratings vary between insurance group 28 and 49, depending on engine and trim level.

The only other thing to note is that all but the E 220 d and E 200 engines in SE trim will cost £310 extra to tax between the model’s second and sixth year of registration because they have a list price of more than £40,000.

Things to look out for

The latest E-Class is still a new model, so there is still not a lot known about its reliability. Owners have reported issues with a vibration when braking and a faulty stop/start system, but these are isolated and one-off instances. However, it has been recalled on several occasions — largely due to issues with the airbags — so it’s important to ensure that this recall work has been sorted before buying a model.

Rivals

The executive car class is dominated by Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and the E-Class’s key rivals are undoubtedly the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. However, there are other options in this class worth considering – such as the Jaguar XF, Volvo S90 and Lexus ES.

Depreciation

For such a premium model, the E-Class hasn’t held its value in the way you might expect, with values dropping quite heavily on nearly-new models. But that just means there’s lots of great offers and discounts to be had, particularly when compared to the new prices.

Which E Class to Pick

Cheapest to Buy When New

E 200 SE 4dr 9G-Tronic

Most MPG

E300de SE 4dr 9G-Tronic Diesel

Fastest Model (0-60)

E63 S 4Matic+ Premium 4dr 9G-Tronic Amg

Summary

  1. Stunning interior design
  2. Fantastic quality
  3. Exterior design could be braver
  4. Comfortable ride
  5. BMW 5 Series is better to drive
  6. Loads of kit for the money
  7. Practical cabin
  8. Surprisingly good value on the used market
  9. Two plug-in hybrid options
  10. A fantastic choice where luxury and comfort are concerned

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