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heycar review

      Launch year
      2016
      Body type
      Premium
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Wondrously smooth and efficient exec”

Best bits

  • Elegant cabin design
  • Passenger space
  • Hybrid option

Not so great

  • Cost of some options
  • High list prices
  • Some safety kit remains optional

Read by

Mercedes E-Class frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes E-Class interior

On the inside

Mercedes E-Class rear exterior

Driving

Mercedes E-Class frontright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes E-Class computer console

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"This Mercedes-Benz E-Class among the most sophisticated cars the German brand has ever made. It even gives the luxury S-Class something to think about such is the level of comfort, space, quality and technology now included with this executive contender to the likes of the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series."

Mercedes E-Class frontright exterior

The result is a class-leading contender for your attention and cash. It does this by being a car more refined, of higher quality and significantly more luxurious than the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series with which it competes.


It also has to be noted the Mercedes comes with a very broad engine range, covering everything from the company car fleet-pleasing E220 d all the way to the mightily fast E63. There is also a plug-in hybrid model in the range now, so the E-Class has one of the widest, most advanced offerings when it comes to propulsion. You also have a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive depending on the engine you choose, so the E-Class is taking the fight directly to Audi and BMW on this front as well.


One of the superstar choices undoubtedly remains the basic E220 d model, powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel engine that boasts an official 53.3mpg. That would be impressive even if the engine clattered like the generator at a budget campsite, but the fact the E220 d is actually quite pacey and extremely composed make it a remarkable feat of engineering. It’s a board-level car with factory floor running costs.


If more pace is required, the six-cylinder diesel in the E300 d offers huge low-rev pick up or you could go the whole hog with the impressively swift and smooth E400 d.


Then again, more people will be looking to the plug-in hybrid model offered with the E300 de EQ. It produces carbon dioxide emissions as low as 34g/km. It can travel up to 32.9 miles on battery power alone, which is more than enough for most urban commutes to be completed with zero tailpipe emissions.


Generously equipped across its various trim levels, the basics you'd expect like navigation, climate control, Bluetooth, a leather-type interior, a nine-speed automatic gearbox, LED headlamps and radar cruise control are all present and correct. It’s a shame, though, that the stuff that really takes the E-Class into the luxury car stratosphere is left on the options list.


That includes a twin-screen panoramic display, which places two 12.3-inch HD widescreens side by side, and a function that allows the owner to remotely un-park the car from a garage or parking bay using a smartphone app, which also means your phone becomes your car key.


All of this clever stuff is underpinned by the E-Class getting the basics spot on, so it’s still a comfortable, roomy and very classy executive saloon.


Is the Mercedes E-Class right for you?

There is something reassuring about the three-pointed star on the bonnet of an executive class car and the Mercedes E-Class understands this. It’s a symbol of quality, comfort and engineering solidity and all of that is embodied in the E-Class to perfection.


All of this stand-up citizenry is far from skin deep with the E-Class as it really is made as strongly and solidly as its appearance suggests. There are also superb engines, a wonderfully smooth drive and excellent comfort, though you have to fork out extra for the brilliant air suspension on most models.


Other reasons the E-Class should be on your list of contenders? How about loads of cabin space, lots of standard equipment, top drawer refinement and engines that are hushed and economical. Of course, if you like your thrills, there’s always the AMG models with their brutally powerful engines that still manage to come across as gentlemanly than thuggish in their delivery.


What’s the best Mercedes E-Class model/engine to choose?

If you want the outright speed and acceleration of the E53 and A63 models from AMG, nothing else will suffice. However, in the mainstream of the E-Class range, we reckon there are two absolute pearls.


The first is the entry-point E220 d turbodiesel model that is the darling of the company car fleet. It’s easy to see why as the engine is a willing performer and superbly smooth while offering wallet-soothing economy and emissions that mean you don’t get hijacked every time road tax is mentioned.


Alternatively, and we mean this in every sense, there is the E300 de EQ hybrid model. It uses a 2.0-litre turbodiesel the same as the E220 d but with a 122PS electric motor added into the mix. This is able to run for up to 32.9 miles on battery power alone and contributes to combined economy and emissions of 217.3mpg and 34g/km respectively in its most efficient form.


What other cars are similar to the Mercedes E-Class?

You cannot think about the Mercedes E-Class without considering its arch-rivals, the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. The Audi is a very classy bit of kit, with build that speaks of precision and care in its manufacture. Yet, it’s not as refined as the Mercedes.


BMW has the edge when it comes to driving enjoyment with its 5 Series, but comfort and quality are closer calls. Also, the BMW is not as generous as the E-Class when it comes to rear passenger space.

Learn more

Mercedes E-Class interior

On the inside

Mercedes E-Class rear exterior

Driving

Mercedes E-Class frontright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes E-Class computer console

Prices, versions and specification