First drive MercedesBenz EClass Estate Car Reviews by Car Enthusiast

12 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи First drive MercedesBenz EClass Estate Car Reviews by Car Enthusiast отключены

| First Drive | Wiesbaden, Germany | Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate |

Mercedes is back on its throne as the builder of the best executive estate with its new E-Class, which offers massive amounts of room with impressive refinement and quality

In the Metal

It doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to work out what the E-Class Estate looks like: it’s an E-Class saloon with a large box — albeit a finely crafted large box — grafted on to the rear quarters. The front end is identical to the saloon’s, while the rear doors are reshaped to blend in with the raised and extended roofline. At the back, large side windows help with excellent visibility, while the tailgate swings open electrically in all models to reveal a wide, deep opening. Inside is a massive load bay of 695 litres with the rear seats in use, or they can be dropped at the pull of a lever set into the rear pillar to free up 1,950 litres.

The rear seats are 60/40 split and there’s no need to remove headrests or tip seat bases to drop down the rear seat backs, with the only minor niggle being the seats don’t fold to leave a completely flat load floor.

For all occupants, space is every bit as commodious as in the E-Class saloon and the dash is the same return to Merc’s familiar simple, classy and functional design and layout.

What you get for your Money

Aside from enough space to rent the boot out as a desirable one bedroom apartment, the E-Class Estate comes with the same revised trim levels as the saloon. This means SE, Avantgarde and Sport models, with Mercedes keen to push manual gearboxes in all models more than it has in the past. The reason for this is that Merc misses out on a lot of sales that BMW and Audi scoop up. More importantly, Mercedes tells us that the new E-Class Estate represents a Ј1,400 saving over the previous model courtesy of increased levels of equipment.

This includes the Easy-Pack electric tailgate and easy release rear seat levers, self-levelling rear air suspension, alloy wheels, heated front seats, parking sensors and Bluetooth connection. The Avantgarde adds larger alloys, LED daytime running lights, leather seats and 15mm lowered suspension. Go for the Sport model and it comes with an AMG body kit and alloys and sports suspension.

Driving it

Just about the biggest compliment we can pay the Mercedes E-Class Estate is that it drives just like the saloon. Refinement levels are very impressive and the addition of a large open space behind the rear seats has done nothing to undermine how quiet the cabin is at any speed. There’s barely a whisper from road, wind or tyres and the E-Class is the ideal car for any family to travel in for a far-flung holiday destination.

The flip side of this is that the Estate is, like the saloon, not quite as crisp to drive as a BMW 5 Series Touring.

However, we like the delineation between the BMW and Merc as it offers buyers a clearer choice and the E-Class has regained its previously held ground as the hushed partner for anyone who values peace and quiet over cut and thrust. That said, the E-Class Estate handles with measured aplomb, grips well in corners and remains stable at high speeds on the motorway. The steering has decent weight to its action, if not much feel, and the E-Class is easy to slot into parking spaces thanks to a surprisingly tight turning circle for such a large car.

There’s also a the same lengthy list of standard safety equipment fitted to the E-Class Estate as the saloon, including the Pre-Safe system that braces the car and its occupants if it senses an impending accident.


Mercedes is hoping more buyers will choose manual gearboxes for the new E-Class Estate, but we only tried autos during our time with the car. We’d be tempted by the auto as it’s marvellously slick and blurs from one ratio to the next with imperceptible changes. From the Estate’s launch in January, it comes with 170- and 204bhp versions of the 2.2-litre turbodiesel with six-speed manual or five-speed auto ‘boxes, or the turbocharged 1.8-litre in the E 250 CGI with a five-speed automatic. There’s also a 3.5-litre V6 petrol with 292bhp and Merc’s sonorous 5.4-litre V8 that pounds out 387bhp.

Both of these larger petrol units use a seven-speed auto as standard. A 184bhp 1.8-litre turbo petrol arrives in February 2010 with five-speed self-shifter and a 211bhp 3.0 V6 turbodiesel coupled to a seven-speed auto follows in June — with Merc’s BlueTec low-emissions technology. All of the new E-Class Estate’s engines from launch are ‘BlueEfficiency’ motors, producing less emissions and better economy than the models they replace from the previous generation E-Class wagon.

Worth Noting

For such a large estate car, carbon dioxide emissions of 150g/km for the E 220 CDI model fitted with a manual gearbox are highly commendable. Coupled to 49.6mpg combined economy, this makes the new E-Class Estate a very attractive proposition for company car drivers looking to trade out of their existing executive saloon or wagon — or reduce their tax burden from an SUV. The rest of the E-Class Estate engine line-up is also very competitive when it comes to emissions and economy, so Audi and BMW have a real fight on their hands.


Mercedes is back to doing big, executive estates the way it’s always done best: granite build quality, imperious comfort and the sort of boot space you can loose the family dog in. With the new E-Class Estate’s clever touches and additions — such as the Easy-Pack rear seat folding and electrically operated tailgate — practicality is second to none. Admittedly, the E-Class wagon will not set your pulse pounding with the way it handles, but it’s superbly comfortable, refined and just what many buyers are looking for in an upscale load mover.

With excellent emissions and economy, the new E-Class Estate is now the first choice in its sector.

Alisdair Suttie — 16 Oct 2009


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