Review: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2010 – 2016)
Huge and useful boot space. Well-built and solid interior. Comfortable long distance cruiser. Excellent diesels. Very refined.
Doesn't deal with corners as well as other premium estates. Disappointing smaller petrol engines. Still has foot-operated parking brake.
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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2010 – 2016): At A Glance
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is a large and luxurious family car that majors on limo-like refinement with van-rivalling carrying capacity. Admittedly, the E-Class is not the most fun estate to drive, but its handling shortcomings are far outweighed by its low running costs, outstanding comfort and day-to-day practicality.
The E-Class Estate is one of the largest cars in its class, surpassing both the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5 Series Touring for boot space. Most models will provide a maximum of 1950 litres with the rear seats down and almost 700 litres with them in place. Access is easy too, thanks to the powered tailgate and load-retaining nets. Both of which are fitted as standard.
All models get leather trim and interior build quality feels reassuringly solid, although the dashboard layout does feel a little dated compared to the Audi and BMW. There is lots of space for four adults though, with plenty of head and leg room. However, as a five-seater, the cabin struggles, with the raised transmission tunnel limiting space for those in the middle rear seat.
There's a good choice of engines, spanning frugal diesels to potent AMG petrols. The E350 BlueTec is the pick of the bunch, with its 3.0-litre V6 covering 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds and returning an official 51.4mpg and 143g/km of CO2. The 2.1-litre E220 BlueTec is cheaper to buy and slightly more cost effective to run over the long-term - with a claimed 60.1mpg - but lacks the refinement and mid-gear acceleration of the V6.
Driving reward is not the highpoint of E-Class Estate ownership, with most models prioritising comfort and refinement over dynamism and fun. As a result the lower-powered models feel a little sluggish and slow compared to their the Audi and BMW rivals. That said, the ride is almost always smooth and comfortable. The rear self-levelling air suspension also ensures heavy loads don't affect the handling.
Owing to its high levels of refinement and comfort, the E-Class feels more like an elongated limo than a family load lugger. It's comfortable, practical, easy to live with and a great long distance cruiser. Some might be put off by the slightly dated interior and mundane drive, but if you prioritise comfort and practicality over cutting infotainment and handling then the E-Class Estate will be the perfect estate for you.
What does a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2010 – 2016) cost?
Buy a used Mercedes-Benz E-Class from £16,450
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2010 – 2016): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 600–1950 litres
All E-Class Estates are huge inside, with a large flat loadspace that will provide up to 695 litres with the seats in place and up to 1950 litres with the rear bench lowered.
Bootspace will depend on which model you choose though, with both the hybrid and some diesels losing 100 litres less due to the proximity of the AdBlue tank or battery pack. That said, neither the Audi A6 Avant or BMW 5 Series Touring can come close to matching the Mercedes for storage. It's that's big.
All get a powered tailgate as standard and the large boot opening and tiny lip makes it easy to load bulky items. The rear seats can be folded down with a simple push - and there's a useful 112 litres of load space under the boot floor.
The cabin is stylish and elegant, but lacks the modern feel of the A6 Avant and 5 Series, with lots of dark plastics and a confusing set of buttons that adorn the centre console. The infotainment can be operated via a central dial - bypassing the buttons - but the system can easily confuse due to the sheer number of option screens. However, everything has a solid and premium feel with a high attention to detail to the fit and finish.
The cabin is extremely comfortable and refined, with deep leather seats that provide good support across the lower back. There's also plenty of head and leg room for four large adults, although the middle seat in the back has limited legroom owing to the transmission tunnel.
Both the front passenger and driver's seat are electronically operated and heated, which makes it easy to find a comfortable fit. The driver also gets a good view of the road, while parking sensors make it easy to park. However, the thick corner pillars can obstruct visibility occasionally and the E-Class Estate still uses a foot-operated parking brake, which is awkward to use.
Child seats that fit a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2010 – 2016)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2010 – 2016) like to drive?
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate majors on comfort and refinement over driving dynamics, which means it can feel a little cumbersome. That said, all models provide a wonderfully smooth and cars fitted with full air suspension are more akin to the S-Class than a family estate.
The engine range is broad with the choice of four or six-cylinder diesels powering the rear-wheels. Quite a lot of E-Class Estates were snapped up by fleets and this means many are fitted with the BlueTec badged 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel.
Offered with 136PS (nadged 200) or 170PS (220), the four-cylinder unit is efficient and will return an official 56-60mpg while emitting 130-124g/km of CO2. However, the seven-speed automatic gearbox isn't the best, with indecisive gear changes. Engine refinement is also disappointing and the 2.1-litre unit can become quite vocal under hard acceleration.
The E-Class works best with the V6 diesels that use the nine-speed auto box. It strikes a brilliant balance between performance and fuel economy. The highlight is the E350 BlueTec which boasts a colossal 620Nm of torque from just 1200rpm.
Acceleration is instant and plentiful, with the 0-62mph sprint taking less than seven seconds. Economy is decent too, with a claimed 51.4mpg and 143g/km of CO2. Both the four and six-cylinder diesels are competent tow vehicles too, with a braked towing capacity of 2100kg.
A diesel hybrid was offered for a limited time too - the E300 - with an electronic motor linked to the 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel. On paper the 230PS E300 is impressive with 107g/km of CO2 and a claimed 67.3mpg, but sales were slow due to its huge price tag. The hybrid also has a miniscule towing capacity.
The petrol options are limited to a 211PS 2.0-litre petrol or the fire breathing 5.5-litre V8 AMG with 557PS. The E250 unit is quick enough but provides disappointing fuel economy with a claimed 44.8mpg. The AMG unit provides breath-taking performance with 0-62mph taking a Porsche 911-rivalling 4.3 seconds. If the AMG is you thing then you probably won't care about official economy, which ranks at 28.3mpg.
|E200 CGI||38 mpg||8.7 s||175–178 g/km|
|E200 CGI Automatic||42 mpg||8.5 s||159–163 g/km|
|E220 CDI||54–55 mpg||8.8 s||133–141 g/km|
|E220 CDI Automatic||52–60 mpg||8.6–8.8 s||124–143 g/km|
|E250 Automatic||45–46 mpg||7.8 s||144–147 g/km|
|E250 CDI||54 mpg||7.8 s||136–141 g/km|
|E250 CDI Automatic||51–53 mpg||7.8 s||139–145 g/km|
|E250 CGI||42 mpg||8.1 s||159–163 g/km|
|E300 BlueTec Hybrid||63–64 mpg||7.4–7.8 s||114–119 g/km|
|E300 Hybrid||63 mpg||7.8 s||119 g/km|
|E350 CDI||39–45 mpg||6.7–8.0 s||166–191 g/km|
|E350 CDI Automatic||46–51 mpg||6.6–6.9 s||143–159 g/km|
|E350 CGI||39 mpg||6.7 s||168–169 g/km|
|E500||25 mpg||5.4 s||258–260 g/km|
|E63 AMG||28–28 mpg||4.3–4.4 s||234 g/km|
|E63 AMG S||28 mpg||4.2 s||234 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2010 – 2016)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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