Review: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2016)
Stylish and well-equipped. Impressive official fuel economy. Has one of the biggest boots in its class.
More expensive to buy than any of its premium rivals. Initially only the AMG versions get a petrol engine.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2016): At A Glance
- New prices start from £37,020, brokers can source from £28,837
- Contract hire deals from £311.89 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 28–47
- On average it achieves 89% of the official MPG figure
If you’ve already read our review on the excellent new Mercedes E-Class saloon, then you could be forgiven for thinking the estate variant is more of the same only with a bit more space. And you’d be right – although there’s much more to this premium German estate than its capacity to devour your Louis Vuitton luggage.
But we’ll get to that later. First of all, we do need to talk about the load space – all 1820 litres of it (or 640 litres with the seats up). That’s impressive. It will take a pallet. Or your golf bag(s). And it's better than its main rivals, the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant. In fact, we reckon only the Skoda Superb Estate is able to offer more space.
The E-Class Estate also looks fantastic. Gone are the days when creating an estate variant just meant randomly tacking on some more metal from the rear pillars backwards. For the E-Class wagon, the designers kept the saloon’s front end with its long snout, but from the centre pillar it’s all estate. Like the Audi A6, it uses steeply raked windows and a short rear overhang to create an impression of sportiness.
So is the Mercedes-Benz load lugger all show and no go? Not at all. Even though the UK only gets diesel power, both (there are only two) engines are excellent. The 220 d is powered by a brand new 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit that’s good for 194PS while returning an official 67mpg. The 350d uses a 3.0-litre V6 that produces 258PS and returns a claimed 52mpg.
If you want a petrol, then you’ll have to opt for the AMG version. The E43 AMG engine has already appeared in the C-Class and here is coupled to a full-time four-wheel drive system to help cope with the 401PS from the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6. An E63 AMG will follow and although no figures are available, you can expect it to put out some serious grunt.
Prices for the AMG start at well over £50,000 while it will cost close to £37,000 for an entry-level version of the E-Class estate. That’s more than its premium rivals, but standard kit includes navigation, LED headlights, automatic tailgate, keyless entry, DAB radio, heated seats and 17-inch alloys.
There are only two trim levels available, so take a step up to AMG Line and you’ll pay around £40,000 for 19-inch wheels, three-spoke steering wheel and some leathery bits and bobs. No matter how you look at it, the E-Class Estate costs more than its rivals. But for a premium estate car that sets a new benchmark for luxury, practicality and is on par with its rivals when it comes to handling, it might just be worth it.
What does a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2016) cost?
Buy a used Mercedes-Benz E-Class from £17,990
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2016): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is all about space – and there’s plenty of it. A whopping 1820 litres in total and it’s all perfectly usable. In fact, the boot is wide enough to take a pallet (if you’re that way inclined) and there’s no lip to hump your luggage over either. A word of advice, though – if you are putting your panzerwagon to work, you probably don’t want the cream interior (unless you’re best mates with Barry Scott).
With the seats up, you get 640 litres of space to play with – still more than the top-end competition. In fact, we reckon one of the only cars to beat the Merc’s carrying capacity is the Skoda Superb Estate, which also has more rear legroom and is cheaper.
Don’t think back seat drivers will suffer, though. These pictures are deceptive because there’s actually plenty of space in the back, including prime real estate like headroom and elbow space. Your friends and family certainly won’t be cramped on long journeys, that’s for sure. Unlike, say, the Audi A6 Avant which has a transmission tunnel running down the centre of the car that ruins rear seat legroom.
With only two trim levels available in the UK, whichever E-Class Estate you buy will come neatly kitted out. You’ll also feel like you’ve won the lottery when you’re behind the wheel. Seriously, the inside of this car is nicer than most people’s houses – full of upmarket materials and top craftsmanship.
We do have one criticism, though. The E-Class interior’s ‘wow’ moment can only be found on the options list. The panoramic twin-screen display features two high definition 12.3-inch screens and replaces the more traditional dials.
Standard equipment from launch (September 2010)
SE comes with Garmin Map Pilot navigation system, LED headlights; Agility Control suspension, Easy-Pack automatic tailgate, Parking Pilot including Parktronic and reversing camera, chrome roof rails, 64-colour selectable LED interior lighting, Keyless-Go starting function, heated front seats, DAB radio and 17-inch alloys with a five-spoke design. E 350 d models also come with Air Body Control and Comand Online as standard.
AMG Line adds AMG exterior styling with 19-inch alloy wheels in titanium grey, upper dashboard finished in Artico leather, black ash wood trim, brushed stainless steel AMG sports pedals with black rubber studs, and a three-spoke AMG steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather.
Key options are the Premium and Premium Plus packages. The Premium pack (£2795) includes Keyless-Go Comfort package, Memory package and a panoramic glass sunroof. For an additional £1100, Premium Plus adds the Burmester surround sound system with 13 speakers and a Multibeam LED Intelligent Light System.
Child seats that fit a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (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 (2016) like to drive?
- Engines range from E 200 d Automatic to E 63 AMG S 4Matic
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 35–62 mpg
Whether you’re covering ground on the motorway or taking on twisting B-roads, the E-Class Estate is perfectly at home.
The suspension works hard to create a smooth ride on poorly surfaced roads. But it still feels crisp enough should you find yourself in command of a clear line of sight and some curves. Mercedes-Benz might have decided not to go head-to-head with BMW in the dynamics department, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a thoroughly capable car.
You will notice that the steering feels slightly lazier than its other German rivals, while the raised bonnet line creates more of a ‘sunken’ feel. For some drivers, this will give them a feeling of safety and security – for others, it will only serve to exaggerate the car’s size and make it feel like taking the QE2 to Waitrose in town.
Despite its size, the E-Class Estate stops neatly enough. There’s very little travel on the brake pedal and plenty of bite – but it’s smooth enough. Much like the nine-speed automatic gearbox, which zips through the changes almost unnoticed. You’ll never find yourself in the wrong gear for more than a second.
When it comes to engines, Mercedes-Benz has followed Volkswagen’s lead by ditching the everyday petrols for the estate in the UK. As such, most will only be able to order an E-Class Estate with diesel power. But that’s no bad thing.
The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine in the 220 d has plenty of power and torque. Hitting 62mph from standstill takes just 7.7 seconds and with 400nm of torque available between 1600 and 2800rpm, the car will cope easily with acceleration – no matter how much stuff you’ve got in the boot. Official fuel economy figures are impressive, too, with the car returning 67.3mpg.
If you’re desperate for a bit more power, then the 350 d has a 3.0-litre with a whopping 620Nm of torque available between 1600 and 2400rpm. And it will hit 62mph in 6.2 seconds. It won't hurt you too badly at the pumps, either - Mercedes-Benz says it should be good for 51.4mpg. But don’t get too excited – this is an old unit and will be replaced by a straight-six in the near future.
Those looking for a sportier drive can opt for the E43 AMG with 401PS or wait for the even higher performance E63 AMG.
|AMG E 43||33 mpg||-||197 g/km|
|AMG E 44||33 mpg||-||197 g/km|
|AMG E 45||33 mpg||-||197 g/km|
|AMG E 53||32 mpg||4.5 s||203 g/km|
|E 200 Automatic||38–40 mpg||8.1 s||161–172 g/km|
|E 200 d Automatic||61–67 mpg||8.7 s||109–120 g/km|
|E 220 d 4Matic Automatic||52–53 mpg||7.8 s||126–142 g/km|
|E 220 d Automatic||55–58 mpg||7.7 s||109–135 g/km|
|E 300 de||-||6.0 s||44 g/km|
|E 350 d Automatic||46–51 mpg||6.0 s||143–151 g/km|
|E 400 d 4Matic Automatic||44–46 mpg||5.1–5.4 s||161–168 g/km|
|E 43 AMG 4Matic||33 mpg||4.7 s||197 g/km|
|E 63 AMG 4Matic||26–30 mpg||3.6 s||214 g/km|
|E 63 AMG S 4Matic||26–30 mpg||3.5 s||214 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (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.
What have we been asked about the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (2016)?
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My Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate was an ex-hire car - will this affect the resale value be affected when I return it at the end of the PCP deal?
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