New Mercedes-Benz E Class Saloon

From £36,005

Gearbox

Automatic

Seats

5

Doors

4

Boot size

400 - 540 litres

Best car for families

What our consumers said:
"Because the car is just simply wonderful, fantastic, brilliant... the customer service is excellent, so everything is just... amazing"
"I bought this car and to be honest this is my best purchase ever very satisfied and recommend to everyone"
"It is a very beautiful car. It handles very well. It is a joy to drive and a very comfortable ride. A great asset is its ability to parallel park itself!"

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The Auto Trader verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
3.9
The new E-Class is really impressive, combining comfort, quality, luxury and practicality. However, to get the very best out of the car, you need to specify some vital performance-enhancing optional equipment, and they don’t come cheap.

Pros

  • Strong on performance and refinement
  • Pleasant-feeling interior
  • Good mix of ride comfort and handling ability

Cons

  • You want optional air suspension, but it’s expensive
  • Rest of the car isn’t cheap, either
  • Some ergonomic issues

Full review

By Ivan Aistrop   Tuesday 05 December 2017
2016 Mercedes E-Class

How good does it look?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

To look at, you’ll find the E very hard to distinguish from Merc’s other saloons – the C-Class and the S-Class – other than on size. The styling is virtually identical to that of its sister cars, but that’s no bad thing as they’re all pretty handsome-looking beasts. LED lighting at both ends comes as standard, as do alloy wheels. Die-hard Merc fans might be disappointed to hear that you won’t be able to have the gunsight-style three-pointed star on your E-Class; the company emblem is mounted on the grille rather than the bonnet on all versions of the car.

Mercedes E-Class saloon exterior

What's the interior like?
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

Interior quality is an area in which most of Merc’s recent offerings have impressed, and the E-Class doesn't disappoint, with impressive materials on show and build quality to match. Ergonomically, the interior is standard Mercedes fare, albeit with one or two quirks in how some of the switches and controls work, and an infotainment system that’s reasonably easy to work out, if not as intuitive as equivalent systems from Audi and BMW. That’s provided you use the wheel controller on the centre console, mind you. You can also control the system via a couple of touchpads on the steering wheel that respond to the horizontal and vertical swiping movements of your thumbs. It’s pretty much unique, but it’s not the most precise way of doing things.

Mercedes E-Class saloon interior

How practical is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Inside the E-Class, you get lots of space for tall passengers, as much as you get in any of the car’s best rivals. There’s also an impressively sized boot that’s nice and square in shape, but like with most cars in this class, you’ll have to pay extra if you want split-folding rear seats. And if you do, the E’s practicality is less-than ideal. You have to load items over a fair-sized lip, you don’t get a flat floor, and the aperture between the luggage compartment and the passenger compartment is an awkward shape.

What's it like to drive?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Most of the cars we’ve tried so far have been fitted with air suspension. This is standard on the more expensive AMG models, but on the more humble models the vast majority of people will buy, it’s a very expensive optional extra. That said, if you want your E-Class to be as polished as it can be on the road, the air suspension is well worth the extra cash. It delivers a ride that’s wonderfully smooth and cosseting, yet it keeps things tightly controlled in the bends, making the car feel stable, assured and responsive.

Stick with the car’s standard steel suspension, and things aren’t quite so cultured. The body moves around more in bends and you feel more of the surface beneath you. That said, it’s still a very capable car, delivering a good mix of comfort and agility, and you certainly won’t feel short-changed if you go for this car rather than its equivalent from Audi or BMW. Some versions, including the AMGs, are also available with four-wheel drive for enhanced on-road traction.

Mercedes E-Class saloon ride Mercedes E-Class saloon handling

How powerful is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The E-Class is available with three diesel engines. We’ve yet to try the entry-level 200d, which has a 2.0-litre unit with 150 horsepower, but we have tried the most popular engine, the 220d, which has a 194 horsepower version of the same engine. To be honest, it’s all most buyers will ever need. There’s loads of pull delivered from low down in the rev range, meaning your progress is always easy, and a fair turn of pace is available when you need it. Importantly, the new engine also stays impressively quiet and smooth most of the time, an area in which Merc’s four-cylinder diesels have really struggled in recent years. The engine also works really well with the nine-speed automatic gearbox you get as standard. The smoothness of the shifts really contributes to the car’s easy-going nature, and when you put your foot down, it always kicks down to the right gear at the first time of asking. It could react a fraction faster, but that’s really splitting hairs.

The 350d has a 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 258 horsepower, and it feels even more muscular, and is even quieter and smoother, too. It’s lovely if you can afford it, but be aware that it costs quite a lot more than the 220d.

The petrol range includes a plug-in hybrid that combines a 2.0-litre engine with an electric motor to give 286 horsepower, but we haven’t tried it yet. The rest of the petrols are the powerful AMG offerings. The E43 has a 3.0-litre V6 with 401 horsepower, and while it’s undoubtedly very fast, the slightly reticent power delivery means it doesn’t feel as frenetic as you might expect. No such problem with the E63, which has a snarling 4.0-litre V8 that delivers a staggering 571 horsepower. It delivers properly explosive pace and an incredible noise, while the 612 horsepower version in the E63 S is even more bonkers.

How much will it cost me?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

This is an area in which executive saloons have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, and the E-Class is clean enough to cut it with any competitor. The cleanest (the E220d SE on standard 17-inch wheels) achieves an official figure upwards of 72mpg. The correspondingly low CO2 output makes this the version of choice for company car drivers thanks to low monthly bills, but whichever you go for, you won’t be getting clobbered financially. Granted, the E-Class isn’t the most affordable car of its type to buy, but its resale values are very competitive, as are the finance deals available.

How reliable is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

This is something of a grey area for the E-Class, because the latest car is too new for there to be any meaningful reliability data available. Look at the scores for the previous version on Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index, and the car gives a decent account of itself. However, Merc’s lowly position in the manufacturer standings might be of concern to some people. The owner reviews on our website report very few horror stories, and the car comes with a reasonably generous three-year/unlimited mileage warranty.

How safe is it?
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

The E-Class scored a full five stars in tests by Euro NCAP, but with the colossal amount of safety kit you get as standard, that's no surprise. It includes seven airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, autonomous city braking, an active pop-up bonnet, self-drying brakes, a self-parking function, and a system that detects driver fatigue and tells you to take a break every once in a while. That really is impressive.

The E-Class’ real party piece, though, comes in the form of an optional system called Drive Pilot, which allows the E-Class to pretty much drive itself for large portions of time. It reads road signs to determine the prevailing speed limit and sets the radar cruise control accordingly. It then follows the car in front, taking care of all your acceleration and braking, and even helps you out with the steering. It’s pretty effective on the motorway, but it’s not a system you’ll want to employ on the open road.

Mercedes E-Class saloon safety

How much equipment do I get?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The E-Class range begins with SE trim, but even in this version, you’ll be wanting for very little in the way of luxury kit. Included in the list of standard equipment are climate and cruise controls, keyless entry and go, heated front seats with part-electric adjustment, leather upholstery, four electric windows, ambient cabin lighting and an infotainment system that brings together Bluetooth, DAB radio, sat-nav and a reversing camera. Stepping up to AMG Line trim isn’t really worth the cash in our opinion; it earns you a raft of aesthetic upgrades inside and out, plus more adjustment for your front seats, but that’s about it. The AMG versions get even more aesthetic upgrades, along with more stuff to enhance the driving experience, stuff like air suspension and performance brakes.

Why buy?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Because you value comfort and refinement over driver involvement in your executive saloon, and because you like your car to provide lots of equipment and cutting-edge technology. The E-Class delivers on all that, and it also provides quality, practicality and desirability besides. An excellent alternative to the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, and well worthy of your consideration.

Mercedes-Benz

E Class

From £36,005

Overview Verdict Full review Recommendations Rivals

Our recommendations

From the range of the new Mercedes-Benz E Class, these are the ones we suggest you look at

Pick of the range
E220d SE
Low CO2 output makes this the pick for company car drivers.
Most economical
E220d SE
Official figures suggest you’ll get upwards of 72mpg.
Blow the budget
E63 4Matic S
Properly loopy performance makes this car absolutely bonkers.
At Auto Trader, we have reviews from people who have owned this car and can inform you on what it's like to live with
Owners verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
4.5
Read owner reviews

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Information regarding the vehicle advertised is obtained from various sources, whilst we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, changes in pricing and the vehicle specification may have occurred since the content was published. Always check with the Dealer before entering into any agreement.