The Ruling Class?
It promises refinement, luxury and driver appeal – but can the new E-Class deliver? We test saloon and coupé against Jag, Audi rivals
A handful of prestige brands dominates the executive saloon market, so new arrivals are big news.
The latest E-Class has strong green credentials and comes loaded with safety-related kit, but it is outclassed here. The Jaguar XF is more desirable to look at and sit in, plus better equipped and more powerful.
In Sport trim, you can forgive the Mercedes for not riding with the same composure as the Jaguar. Yet it’s not as sharp or fun to drive either.
Lesser models are cheaper, and – without our car’s sports suspension – promise greater comfort. But the uninspiring looks and bland cabin leave the E-Class lagging behind the undisputed class leader.
THE E-Class saloon finished second in its category, but can the Coupé restore some lost pride for Mercedes?
Executive coupé buyers are a demanding bunch, and their cars require a diverse range of talents. They have to look the part, yet also need to soothe, engage and pamper.The two-door Mercedes
gets closer to this brief than its four-door stablemate, with more cohesive looks and punchy performance from its 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.
But the Audi A5 is the finer all-round package. Classy looks, a high-quality interior and secure handling give it the edge in this contest. It is more desirable to own and better to drive than its latest rival.
In this review
- 1Introduction - currently readingIt promises refinement, luxury and driver appeal – but can the new E-Class deliver? We test saloon and coupé against Jag, Audi rivals
- 2Audi A5 3.0 TDIStyle, quality, image come together
- 3Mercedes E350 Coupe CDIDoes sleek two-door shape up?
- 4Jaguar XF Luxury 3.0DAcclaimed all-rounder continues to make strong case for itself
- 5Mercedes E220 CDI SportDoes newcomer offer enough to return to top of exec class?
- 6Facts and figures