4.6 out of 5 4.6
Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6

Luxurious, practical executive car brimming with clever tech

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon Review Video
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At a glance

New price £38,880 - £98,410
Lease from new From £345 p/m View lease deals
Used price £14,555 - £63,730
Fuel Economy 22.8 - 201.8 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £475
Insurance group 28 - 49 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Class-leading 2.0 diesel engine
  • Incredible comfort and noise isolation
  • Stunning interior design and finish
  • Genuine five-seat accommodation
  • Futuristic safety and convenience tech

CONS

  • Some rivals are more fun to drive
  • Looks like cheaper C-Class
  • Desirable equipment costs extra

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon rivals

Written by Parkers on

In the world of large executive saloons, nobody beats the Germans – and nobody’s been doing it for longer than Mercedes. Its E-Class moniker only dates back to the 90s, but the model line has been going since before the second world war. With that much development, it’s no wonder that the current E-Class, released in 2016, is one of our favourite executive models – and it’s popular the world over with everyone from managing directors to taxi drivers.

Brimming with luxury tech and the very latest Mercedes engines, the E-Class is a technological tour de force that easily takes the fight to its class rivals. Key competitors include the Lexus ES and Jaguar XF, but in reality the Mercedes E-Class competes with its countrymen – the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.

READ: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon (2009-2016) review

BUY: New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon cars for sale

To compete with such talented and wide-ranging opposition the E-Class can’t be a one-trick pony, but its focus on comfort doesn’t make it too blinkered. In fact, there’s an E-Class to suit nearly everybody, with pragmatic plug-in hybrids making all the right green noises at one end, and fire-breathing AMG-tuned models making a rather louder noise at the other.

All models are united by a level of in-cabin luxury and technology no rival can match, though for many the slightly imperious feeling that comes with the three-pointed star will be enough of a selling point.

There's a facelifted Mercedes E-Class on the way soon - once we're able to drive this car, we'll update our review with our impressions.

Larger than ever and full of tech

Longer but lighter than its predecessor, the E-Class Saloon has a wheelbase stretched by 65mm to deliver additional interior space. But the area where it really outpaces the competition is in interior style and quality. 

An optional 12.3-inch colour screen replaces the traditional speedometer and rev counter with customisable digital displays, and stretches almost to the other side of the dashboard. Though the E-Class' cabin design has now been adopted by the bulk of the Mercedes-Benz range including the A-Class, B-Class, S-Class, GLE and GLS, it still works superbly well in here and is backed up with luxurious material quality and impressive build quality.

A step closer to autonomous driving

Mercedes is investing huge sums in autonomous driving technology and although a fully self-driving car bearing the three-pointed star is still years away, the E-Class takes us one step closer. Using the Remote Parking Pilot, owners can actually get out of their car, which will then park by itself in response to a prompt from their smartphone.

The E-Class also features the latest version of Mercedes’ adaptive cruise control, a system that can maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front, right down to a stop, and even steer between the white lines at motorway speeds, although it requires some level of input at the steering wheel every 30 seconds or so.

Other innovations include seat bolsters that actively push you towards the centre of the car when a side impact is imminent, steering that intervenes to help you steer around obstacles in an emergency, and a ‘smart’ key saved in your phone that replaces a traditional key - although this technology is only suitable for Android, and not Apple phones.

Wide range of engines

Launched in predicted biggest-selling E 220 d guise alongside a more powerful E 350 d, the E-Class Saloon range has grown to accommodate a cheaper diesel, two plug-in hybrids and high-performance petrol versions.

It's the diesels that make up the lion's share of sales, and for good reason - they're excellent. Superbly refined and efficient yet more than powerful enough for a relaxed cruise, they're effortless engines and perfectly suited to the E-Class' character. 

That means plenty of scope for buyers – whether they want economy, performance, or a little of both.

The Mercedes-AMG versions (E 53 and E 63 S) offer serious performance and the ability to deploy it in all conditions, given that both come with 4Matic all-wheel drive as standard.

Choice of two core trim levels

Trim levels are restricted to SE and sporty AMG Line for the majority of the range. SE models come with parking sensors, a reversing camera and the self-parking system, LED headlamps, satellite navigation and autonomous braking.

AMG Line cars add 19-inch wheels and sportier interior and exterior styling tweaks including different bumpers, seats and dash inlays. 

Like its C-Class brother, the E’s handling is reassuringly stable. It’s highly competent but rivals like the Jaguar XF are more engaging to drive. If you’re looking for the most comfortable, refined car in the class, however, look no further.

Click here for our verdict on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, or skip to our thoughts on the interior, running costs, practicality or driving dynamics...

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon rivals

Other Mercedes-Benz E-Class models: