Premium estate cars such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate combine practicality and luxury like few other cars can. With a massive 640 litre boot and an incredibly lavish interior, the E-Class Estate has been one of the leaders in its class since its late 2016 launch, but it has tough new competition to contend with for 2017 including the Jaguar XF Sportbrake and BMW’s updated 5 Series Touring. We put the E-Class Estate to the test on Irish roads to see if it can remain the benchmark in its class.
What is it like?
The E-Class is an elegant-looking Estate and it’s definitely one of the most stylish cars in its class. Although it isn’t as easy on the eye as the E-Class saloon, it has lots of road presence with a swooping roofline and neatly-finished tail gate. Our test car is equipped with an AMG exterior pack so it is suitably sportier than the base specification models, with 20-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights and a striking Polar White metallic paint scheme.
As you’d expect, the interior of the E-Class Estate is highly spacious and high in luxury too. Opening the electric-tailgate reveals 640 litres of storage space, which increases to a massive 1,820 litres when you fold the rear seats down, much more than any of its aforementioned rivals. The driver’s area feels modern with lots of technology on display, including two optional 12.3-inch display screens and a heads up display. Space and comfort is exceptional, and the E-Class Estate’s interior has a clear edge over its rivals. Other highlights include vibrant ambient lighting through the cabin, a panoramic electric sunroof and wireless smartphone charging.
We drove the E 220 d E-Class Estate, which has a 194bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine and a silky smooth nine-speed automatic transmission. It offers brisk performance with 0-100km/h taking 7.7 seconds and an eventual top speed of 235km/h. The E 220 D is powerful and responsive enough for motorway cruising and we managed 6.5-litres per 100 kilometres of driving (circa 43MPG) in fuel economy. There is also the choice of a more powerful 258bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine (E350) but the majority of buyers in Ireland will understandably go for the sensible E 220d. The choice of engines is somewhat limited with no petrol options on offer, bar the high performance E 43 AMG.
Out on the road, the E-Class Estate majors in refinement with soothing ride quality and minimal wind and road noise at speed. It isn’t as agile or as engaging to drive as the BMW 5 Series Touring, which will leave keen drivers wanting more, but it makes up for this with a greater comfort levels. The E-Class Estate is confident and reassuring to drive, especially with the optional Driving Assist Plus Package. Mercedes-Benz offers optional air body control suspension, which allows you to adjust the responsiveness of the suspension with different driving modes, including Comfort, Sport, Sport + and even a customisable setting based on the driver’s own preferences.
Prices for the new Mercedes E-Class Estate in Ireland start from €55,700 for the base specification E 220 D Avantgarde, which is right on par with the BMW 5 Series Touring, but significantly higher than Volvo’s entry level V90. Standard specification is excellent, with sports seats finished in leather upholstery, interior ambient lighting with 64 colours and folding rear seats. Our test car is the highest specification AMG Line model and is hugely desirable with optional 20-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, multibeam LED headlights, a panoramic electric sunroof and a full AMG exterior sports pack, but its priced accordingly at over €69,000!
Carzone verdict: 4.5/5
The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate sets the standard in the premium estate segment, packing more space, technology and luxuriousness than any of its premium rivals. The Mercedes E-Class saloon has been one of the most-searched new cars on Carzone in 2017, and the Estate makes a great option for those who love the style of the saloon with the added practicality of a monstrous rear boot. That said, it isn’t as engaging to drive as some of its rivals (5 Series Touring) and there are a few more spacious Estate cars available on the market, but not in the premium class. Those seeking an Estate car with an extra touch of class should seriously consider the E-Class Estate, and it’s also more affordable to own than before with Mercedes-Benz Ireland currently running price discounts on the range.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate AMG Line