Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Superb build quality, high-end design
  • High-tech dash is easy to use
  • Super-comfortable for all occupants

Even a few years on from launch one can’t help but be impressed by the E-Class Estate’s interior. It’s remarkably like the S-Class luxury limousine in here, from the dual-widescreen dashboard to the high-quality organ stops for the air vents.

It’s the twin screens that really dominate the dashboard. While earlier E-Classes could be specified with a traditional instrument binnacle, from 2020 all models come with a pair of 10.25-inch screens instead.

The good news is that they major on clarity. While their contents can be a little tricky to configure on the move, once you’ve got the dials set up how you like them you’ll be able to see every bit of information you want at a glance.

They’re also very bright and very clear, though reflective enough that you may struggle to see them in direct sunlight.

Stepping up to higher-end models brings an upgrade to a pair of 12.3-inch displays, which are truly cinematic and look really ace, though functionally they’re no different to the smaller units.

The central display deals with infotainment – mainly navigation and media consumption. It’s operated either via touchscreen or a centrally-mounted touchpad; we recommend using the latter if you don’t want to get grubby, greasy marks all over the screen. It works well, certainly it’s easier to use than the touchpad system Lexus fits to its ES model.

Functions within this system can also be activated via voice control – just say ‘Hey Mercedes’ to activate it. It’s not quite as fully-featured as the voice assistants you might be used to at home, but it’s on a par with any other we’ve found fitted to a car so far.

The instrument panel display is controlled via the steering wheel, which has a mixture of physical buttons and touch-sensitive scroll pads. This isn’t quite as easy to use as the central screen, and the steering wheel itself feels rather busy – a consequence of having media controls, instrument displays, safety kit AND cruise control to deal with.

Comfort

  • Superbly comfortable in all standard guises
  • Seats are large and supportive
  • Sporting models can be rather jarring

Even on standard steel springs the E-Class is more comfort-oriented than its rivals, and all the better for it. It deals effortlessly with lumps and bumps in the road and gives a pillowy ride throughout – ideal for long journeys.

It’s not so soft and wallowy as to make passengers car sick, though, a trait helped by large windows and good visibility from all seats.

The comfort levels only improve with more sophisticated suspension setups on higher trim levels, peaking with the adjustable air suspension available on select models which gives the E-Class Estate a real luxury limo ride.

Driver and front passenger aren’t forgotten about either, with multi-way electrically adjustable seats which can be heated and cooled depending on spec.

Leather upholstery is of course standard, with grippier Alcantara available on performance models.

AMG models rather firm

Both E 53 and E 63 models come with air suspension but it’s a special performance-oriented set up – don’t expect the same pillowy waftiness as you get in the standard E-Class Estate. They’re firm on most roads, even in Comfort mode.

Step up to Sport or Sport+ mode and the air springs become rock hard to improve handling, but this obviously has quite an effect on the ride. Figure-hugging sports seats also won’t be to everybody’s tastes.