Cargiant reviews the Mercedes E-class
The highly popular Mercedes E-class was launched in 2003 but since than has undergone some fairly major changes, particularly in its recent facelift in 2013.
The Mercedes E-class is available in a variety of models, including a saloon, an estate, a 3-door coupe and a convertible, which emphasises just how versatile Mercedes is. There’s a good range of engines as well, which have all been improved on their fuel efficiency with the most efficient E300 BlueTEC diesel hybrid reaching 67.3mpg and emitting just 109g/km of CO2.
Sleek on the outside and classy on the inside, the Mercedes E-class comes equipped with bespoke standard technology and plenty of space for the driver and their passengers. While cars like the Jaguar XF are arguably more fun because of their slightly more accurate steering and sharpness going round corners, the Mercedes E-class still offers a safe, enjoyable and reliable drive.
Driving and Performance:
Whilst the Mercedes E-class may not be quite as fun and exhilarating to drive as some of its rivals like the BMW 5-series and the Jaguar XF, it is still enjoyable.
As the most popular model, the E220 CDI is the cheapest but still offers good performance. As the only car without an automatic gearbox, you may find it slightly more jumpy, however it’s soft suspension absorbs any bumps and potholes much better than the Jaguar. Sportier models such as the upmarket AMG enhance this further, providing more agility and the option to upgrade to Airmatic, which allows the driver to customise the rigidity of their suspension.
The Mercedes E-class also delivers excellent acceleration even in its slowest estate model, which can achieve 0-60mph in just 8.7 seconds. The E220 may not be as accurate at steering as the BMW 5-series but its rear wheel driving means it handles reasonably well and is very comfortable on the road. It also comes with bespoke standard equipment such as anti-skid control and Mercedes attention assist, which counteract negative features such as external engine noise.
MPG, Running costs & emissions:
The Mercedes E-class runs on predominantly diesel engines with the most basic starting at 2.1L, which returns 58.9mpg and 125g/km of CO2 keeping its road tax low.
More impressively, the E300 BlueTEC reaches 68.9mpg and emits only 109g/km emissions, decreasing tax even more without being hugely more expensive to buy. It beats its competitors hands down for being the most fuel-efficient saloon around. Unsurprisingly the petrol engines in the Mercedes E-class are less economical but they can still reach 47.9mpg.
One downfall of the Mercedes E-class is that it doesn’t maintain its original value over time as well as its rivals. That said however, they come with a competitive three-year warranty paired with 4 years roadside assistance, and is far better equipped in all models than that of BMW and Audi, even without any upgrading.
In 2013, the Mercedes E-class underwent quite a major revamp, which left the newer versions with improved engines, more gadgets and a classier finish both inside and out. Although the exterior may not match competitors in style, it now comes with smoother curves, single LED lights and a sharper bumper.
Again, the inside of the Mercedes E-class may not be quite up to the standards of the Audi A6 equivalent for example, but it sports high quality, faux leather upholstery that can be upgraded to cover the dashboard and doors. Although the Mercedes E-class has a range of impressive models, the entry level SE alone is equipped with plenty of bespoke standard tools like Bluetooth, USB connectivity, DAB radio, heated and adjustable seats, automatic lights and automatic wipers.
Safety wise, the Mercedes E-class SE is also boasts anti skid control, MRA and Mercedes attention assist but can be upgraded in the sportier models to include lane control, blindspot monitoring and cruise control.
The Mercedes E-class is not only pretty on the inside but it is also practical, providing a roomy boot and enough leg and headspace to accommodate occupants of all sizes. The only slight downfall is the large transmissions tunnel that intrudes on the leg space of the rear, centre passenger although this is similar in rival models. Suspension varies according to your model but even in the cheaper models it absorbs bumps easily, making the Mercedes E-class a very comfortable line of cars.
There is no doubt that the Mercedes E-class is a very safe car. Equipped with 9 airbags (including one for the driver’s knees), a drowsiness detector, automatic parking system and electronic stability, as well as an optional city braking system, night vision full beam headlights that don’t dazzle others, and lane control.
It was rated 13th out of 116 cars in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey (ahead of both Audi and BMW) and 10th in the Auto Express Driver Power customer survey. Although the Audi A6 and BMW 5-series scored higher overall for both adult and child occupant protection in the Euro NCAP crash tests, the Mercedes E-class was still given the maximum 5 star rating, making it an extremely versatile but consistently safe line of cars.