In-depth reviews

Mercedes E-Class review

The Mercedes E-Class blends sumptuous comfort, refinement and tech in a stylish executive package

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£37,545 to £58,565
  • Refined and efficient four cylinder diesel
  • Upmarket interior
  • Cruising comfort
  • Rivals are sharper to drive
  • Pricier than competition
  • Slightly derivative styling

The Mercedes E-Class is about as traditional as you can get in the executive saloon market - it feels a lot like a smaller S-Class, which is a good thing, as it sets high standards in the class for comfort and has an impressively sumptuous cabin.

While it's more expensive than its rivals, even the entry-level Sport versions are well equipped and, overall, it’s an efficient and stylish package that's well worth considering if you're in the market for a new executive saloon.

About the Mercedes E-Class

There was a time when Mercedes' line-up was based exclusively on this size of saloon, but today there are so many different models in the range that the E-Class faces the risk of being lost in the line-up. Fortunately, Merc knows that the E-Class is still one of the most important models in its range, so it gets a host of hi-tech gadgets, advanced engines and a plush fit and finish to maintain its appeal.

Refinement is also top notch, while the S-Class-inspired technology makes it safer and easier to live with. It’s not quite as fun to drive as a Jaguar XF or BMW 5 Series, but it’s close enough in a class where cruising ability and composure count. The entry-level diesel is now faster and more efficient than ever, too, which will be important for business users, while there's some scorching AMG-badged performance models for those who need more pace. 

The current E-Class arrived in 2016, but while the W213 model is the fifth-generation to wear the E-Class badge, its saloon roots can be traced all the way back through to the Ponton Mercedes saloons of the 1950s. There are some illustrious models in the Mercedes saloon back catalogue, including the W114 and W124, but with every model, Mercedes has improved its executive saloon to keep it competitive in the sector.

The E-Class name first arrived in 1993, when the facelifted W124 model hit showrooms with the newly added E badge on its name, and almost 30 years later the E-Class is still one of the leading lights in the executive saloon class. Its main rivals are its German counterparts in the shape of the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, while the Jaguar XF is a strong contender, too. In addition, high-end versions can rival the Tesla Model S and Porsche Panamera, while cars like the Lexus ES and Volvo S90 offer something different in the class. At the very top of the tree, the AMG E 63 S is a super saloon that delivers supercar pace in a luxury four-door package.

Like the last model, the current E-Class is offered in four body styles: four-door saloon, estate (including the four-wheel-drive All-Terrain Edition), coupe and convertible. All versions borrow technology from the S-Class limousine, while the styling gains some influence from that model, too. The saloon really does look like a shrunken S-Class, and it could even be difficult to distinguish it from the C-Class from a distance.

Mercedes facelifted the E-Class in 2020, with exterior styling tweaks including reshaped lights, a new radiator grille and a reprofiled bumper. At the rear of the saloon model, the previous rounded taillights have been switched for wider units. The E-Class also comes with the manufacturer's latest MBUX infotainment system as standard, with two 12.3-inch screens.

The entry Sport trim is followed by four variations of the AMG specification: AMG Line Edition, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus. Even in standard guise the Sport version is pretty well equipped, while AMG Line adds a sportier look with bigger wheels, although as well as the two Premium packages, there are a range of options that can be added, too.

There’s a decent range of engines in the E-Class, with diesel, petrol and hybrid powertrains on offer. The E 220 d and E 300 d four-cylinder variants, along with the E 400 d straight-six unit make up the diesel range, while a single four-cylinder 2.0-litre, fitted to the E 200, covers the lower end of the petrol line-up.

Two hybrids are available with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine fueled by either petrol or diesel and mated to an electric motor. The E 300 e is the petrol version and the E 300 de is the diesel. Both offer an all-electric range of around 33-35 miles.

At the top of the standard petrol range is the E 450 4MATIC, followed by the beefy AMG E 53 and AMG E 63 S models. The AMG cars have straight-six or V8 twin-turbo engines respectively, with 4MATIC four-wheel-drive standard on both. All E-Class versions feature a nine-speed auto gearbox.

Prices start from almost £40,000 for the E 200 model, while all other models sit above the £40,000 road tax threshold. The most expensive E 63 S saloon is over £100,000.

If you're looking to buy a Mercedes E-Class, why not visit our sister site buyacar.co.uk for the latest deals...

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    E220d SE 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £37,545

Most Economical

  • Name
    E300e AMG Line Edition 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £45,435

Fastest

  • Name
    E400d 4Matic AMG Line Night Ed Prem+ 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £58,540

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