Prestige, longevity, integrity, low depreciation
Most expensive choice in the class
The old E-Class was the definitive executive Mercedes for the Nineties and it's still a fine choice. It oozes quality thanks to impeccable construction, silky smooth six-cylinder engines and a luxurious ride. Although it's expensive, E-Class does everything so well that it renders the behemoth S-Class redundant for all but the fattest of fat cats. For pace and grace, our choice would be a E280 Elegance or Avantgarde at half their original price.
Later diesels are the best bet for keeping costs down. We recommend the automatic transmission over the manual gearbox.