Mercedes E-Class Review

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On the face of things, you may question the exterior of the E-Class. Not an awful lot has changed about the look. New lights and bumpers are about as far as this Merc goes from being different to its predecessors. However, there’s no denying the appeal of the huge three-legged star Mercedes badge on the front grille. It immediately gives the E-Class premium worth.

What doesn’t give it premium worth is when you take a walk around to the rear of the car. Again, you’re faced with the dreaded fake twin exhausts at the back, which lead to nowhere! This isn’t a deal breaker for most, as they do look the part. But it’s something you wouldn’t expect from a manufacturing giant.

“It’s one of the comfiest executive saloons available, but it has aggressive sport styling which conceals its true nature.”

Cameron Hale, Moneyshake Car Reviewer

Interior

Inside the E-Class is a delightful place to be, both as a driver or a passenger. All-leather upholstery and heated electric front seats can be set considerably far back to suit taller drivers or front passengers.

Ambient lighting is one of the other cool features to come to the latest E-Class models. As standard, you have 64 different colour settings to choose from. This will keep your other passengers busy, but hopefully not annoy you too much. Speaking of other passengers, we can finally say that fitting three in the back is a comfortable experience. Not often can we say as much about saloon cars. The middle seat is not set as high as in other similar cars, and the hump in the floor is relatively small too. Combined with the naturally reclining angle of the rear seats, longer journeys are much more comfortable for everyone in the car.

A new steering wheel with touch-sensitive buttons has been added to all E-Class models. In top-spec AMG Line models the design is extra sporty, with slimmer spokes and a flat bottom design which is great for grip and makes steering this five-metre-long mammoth uncharacteristically easy.

What’s also uncharacteristic is the new seating function in the front. They constantly adjust while you’re on the move so that you’re not sat in the same position for too long and even have a massage feature and ‘power nap’ relexation mode for when you need to take a break.

Infotainment and tech

As standard is an impressive digital driver instruction display. This will leave your E-Class looking just as technologically advanced as an S-Class. The MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system is still one of the best on the market and can be engaged with by simply saying ‘Hey, Mercedes’. The voice recognition is advanced in such a way that it becomes even more familiar with your speech as you make requests of it.

If you want to change the tech to reflect something which is more in-tune with your media use, then Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring is available too. Because of its wireless compatibility, you won’t need to mess around with USB cables either. Simply switch on Bluetooth connectivity on your device and follow the instructions on the screen to pair it almost instantly.

Twin 10″ glass displays seamlessly integrate to make up your infotainment system. Despite its size, it’s positioning is such that it nestles underneath a dash ‘hood’ and is set back in its own alcove, meaning your eyes can easily stay focused on the road ahead.

If you were looking forward to an automated boot feature on your E-Class, you’d also have to fork out extra for this. These are minor features, which you would expect as standard on a car worth £37,500.

Practicality

Very little is compromised when it comes to the E-Class. Practicality is no different, either. It starts with a handy cubby space in the front, below the infotainment controls. You have the option to pay extra for a wireless charging function here for your smartphone, which is no coincidence given it’s the right size for a handheld device. A huge glovebox and underneath armrest storage complete the practicality powerhouse up top.

The E-Class’ boot has a 540-litre capacity (400 litres for plug-in hybrid versions) that is complemented by a wide opening. Its shape compensates for the load slight load lip at the back – so loading items isn’t an unpleasant process at all. What’s more is 60:40 split folding rear seats, which you can upgrade to the more flexible 40:20:40. It will cost you a few hundred quid, though! Either way, you’ll be dropping the seats to create a whopping 1,820-litre space.

Thanks to a longer wheelbase than older models, the new E-Class has class-leading space for passengers, so even adult passengers can stretch out in comfort on journeys thanks to lounging legroom and plenty of shoulder space too. This is mostly due to its incredible width (almost two metres wide) which, coupled with the wide-opening side doors, makes it very easy to get in and out of.

On the road

The E-Class enhances its reputation as a comfy car when it meets tarmac.

The entry-level SE model comes with a comfortable suspension, smoothing out bumps in the road. This helps with sound-proofing the car, which in itself is impressively quiet, regardless of engine choice.

Speaking of engines, the 2.0 litre diesel is a good choice if you want to retain the smoothness along with good performance on the road. A more expensive V6 diesel is also an option, along with a plug-in hybrid, too.

Even if you’re on a budget, the entry-level 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol with mild hybrid technology produces a whopping 292bhp. A 48V electric motor boost can be felt when you hit the throttle and it can even switch off completely and save you fuel at motorway cruising speeds.

If performance is more of a priority, there’s a bigger 3.0-litre straight-six diesel unit which is a lot keener. It has 387bhp and is a good choice if you’re going to be driving a lot of miles for business.

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