Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate Review logo

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2016
      Body type
      Estate
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“The gold standard for estates”

Best bits

  • Cabin is well-built, luxurious and comfortable
  • Packed with useful technology
  • High level of refinement

Not so great

  • Ride quality is patchy on bigger wheels
  • Expensive whichever version you choose
  • Not as thrilling to drive as it could be

Read by

Mercedes E-Class Estate frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes E-Class Estate front interior

On the inside

Mercedes E-Class Estate front exterior

Driving

Mercedes E-Class Estate left exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes E-Class Estate leftside exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The E-Class Estate is a car that perfectly encapsulates what Mercedes-Benz is all about. It feels luxurious and has presence but isn’t ostentatious. It’s comfortable and spacious inside but is practical, and is loaded with modern technology without bombarding the driver with complication. It’s not the most satisfying car in the class to drive and isn’t cheap, but if you take the plunge you’re unlikely to be disappointed."

Mercedes E-Class Estate frontleft exterior

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is as much a German institution as Oktoberfest and a strong economy. Few cars simultaneously flood the taxi ranks of German airports, batter down the outside lane of the autobahn and are also seen as a desirable thing to have on your driveway.


The estate version of the E-Class is also held in similar affection. Not only does it offer the same levels of luxury and comfort as the saloon version, it has typically been the best estate car in terms of sheer space and practicality too. For buyers who want to cram in as much as they possibly can, whilst also being in absolute comfort it is the default choice. 


First introduced in 2014, the E-Class Estate builds on the qualities of the saloon version, with a strong exterior and interior design, an exceptionally broad range of engines and a commitment to offering the latest technology and safety systems.


You’re unlikely to mistake the E-Class Estate for anything else, not least because the nose carries a large version of the famous three-pointed star on top of a large grille. Compared to some of the more radical-looking cars in the Mercedes range the CLA is quite conservative in its appearance but that’s the way most buyers like it.


Inside, the E-Class is arguably a bit more radical than on the outside. Taking inspiration from the bigger S-Class executive saloon, it offers a combination of the latest technology and a strong design theme, with a graceful and attractive curved dashboard that stands apart from the more formal designs offered by much of the competition. It also offers lots of space - there’s ample room for adults front and rear, while the boot space is one of the largest in the class.


The engine range is one of the most comprehensive you could wish for, with one petrol, four diesel and a PHEV, not including the two petrol-engined AMG models - the saloon E-Class has even more to choose from. What that means is that there is a version to suit the needs of virtually anyone, with an emphasis on torque and load-carrying given that it is an estate. As long as your budget is up to it, you can have as much performance and fuel economy as you want.


The engine you choose has a significant effect on the driving experience. The sole petrol engine is adequate rather than impressive. You have to work it relatively hard, especially if you have a load on board. The diesel engines offer the best compromise, with the E220 d and E300 d offering a good compromise between performance and economy.


The E-Class is still the most complete estate car in the class. It may not be as exciting to drive as some rivals, but it is comfortable, spacious, has an engine for everyone and is groaning with technology. It requires a substantial financial commitment to get one, but it’ll pay you back in how well it looks after you.

Is the E-Class Estate right for you?

There’s no point in choosing the E-Class Estate over the saloon version if you don’t need the extra space, apart from anything it’s more expensive on a model for model basis. As a luxurious tourer the E-Class is ideal, as it is impressively comfortable on longer journeys even for families and larger groups of adults. It can certainly perform regular family duties too, although it is quite a big car which you may not want to be shunting around city streets all the time.


If you need a big estate for hauling large loads up and down the motorway, the E-Class is certainty capable, but Volvo’s V90 is a little bit larger and less expensive to buy in the first place. Also, if you want your estate to be fun to drive as well as practical then the BMW 5 Series Touring is your best option.


Mercedes also offers a more rugged version, the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain - a rival for the Audi A6 Allroad and Volvo V90 Cross Country.

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

Of the engine options, the diesel PHEV in the E300 de is hugely impressive, offering very strong performance, low CO2 emissions and impressive economy - the only downside is that it is very expensive to buy. For a more real-world solution it has to be either the E220 d diesel or the E200 petrol. The diesel hits a sweet spot of decent economy and useful performance, and although the E200 petrol can’t match either of those, it is the best choice if diesel is ruled out.


Of the available trim levels, the SE is the most popular choice, and with good reason. The standard specification is strong, but unlike the AMG models it does without the larger alloy wheels and sport suspension that upset the ride in some conditions. The Premium pack adds a number of useful features but can’t be added to the SE, so you need to look at an AMG Line model to include this, but if you include air suspension then you can mitigate the stiff ride. We would recommend comparing two versions on the road to see if they suit your needs.

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

If you’re looking for an alternative to the E-Class Estate, look no further than the usual German rivals. BMW offers a Touring version of its BMW 5 Series, which is big, comfortable, well-equipped and crucially is also good to drive - one of the best in the class in fact. 


Audi has its own big estate in the shape of the Audi A6 Avant, which ticks all the usual boxes of being comfortable, beautifully built and practical too. Non-German alternatives include the Volvo V90, which is stylishly understated but very spacious, and the Jaguar XF Sportbrake which is excellent to drive.

Learn more

Mercedes E-Class Estate front interior

On the inside

Mercedes E-Class Estate front exterior

Driving

Mercedes E-Class Estate left exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes E-Class Estate leftside exterior

Prices, versions and specification