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 £58,540
  • Refined and efficient four cylinder diesel
  • Upmarket interior
  • Cruising comfort
  • Rivals are sharper to drive
  • Pricier than competition
  • Slightly derivative styling

The fifth generation Mercedes E-Class arrived in 2016 and, as the styling suggests, it feels a lot like a smaller S-Class. That's a good thing, as it set new standards in the class for comfort and has an impressively sumptuous cabin.

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. 

While it's more expensive than its rivals, even the entry-level E 220d SE packs more standard kit than the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF. Overall, it’s a comprehensively equipped, efficient and stylish package that's well worth considering if you're in the market for a new executive saloon.

The Mercedes E-Class is about as traditional as you can get in the executive saloon market. 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.

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.

• Best executive cars to buy right now

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.

There are three basic trims, SE, AMG Line and AMG Line Edition, while Mercedes offers Premium packages for the latter two trims that add plenty of additional kit. More luxurious equipment levels include the AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus, followed by the Mercedes-AMG Premium and Premium Plus versions.

Even in standard guise the SE model 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 350 d and E 400 d straight-six units 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 30 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 around £39,000 for the E 220d model, while all other models sit above the £40,000 road tax threshold. The most expensive E 63 S saloon is almost £100,000.

For an alternative review of the latest Mercedes E-Class Saloon visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk

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 Premium 4dr 9G-Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £54,940

More on E-Class

New Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 2020 review
Mercedes E-Class E63 AMG Saloon
25 Sep 2020

New Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 2020 review

The updated Mercedes-AMG E 63 S super-saloon gets interior tweaks, but keeps the same blistering 604bhp engine
New Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet 2020 review
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
25 Sep 2020

New Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet 2020 review

The new Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet has been updated for 2020, but do the improvements make it better than ever?
New Mercedes E 400 d Coupe 2020 review
Mercedes E-Class Coupe
14 Aug 2020

New Mercedes E 400 d Coupe 2020 review

Is it worth paying extra for the six-cylinder engine in the 400 d version of the revised Mercedes E-Class Coupe? We find out…
New Mercedes E 300 e 2020 review
Mercedes E-Class Saloon
10 Aug 2020

New Mercedes E 300 e 2020 review

The Mercedes E-Class executive saloon has a mid-life update – we try the plug-in 300 e petrol version
2020 Mercedes E-Class facelift: prices confirmed
Mercedes E-Class
30 Jul 2020

2020 Mercedes E-Class facelift: prices confirmed

Newly facelifted Mercedes E-Class launched in the UK – and it’s priced from £39,130 for the base-model E 200 saloon
Facelifted Mercedes-AMG E 63 S blasts in with 604bhp
Mercedes E-Class E63 AMG Estate
30 Jul 2020

Facelifted Mercedes-AMG E 63 S blasts in with 604bhp

Updated Mercedes-AMG E 63 is on sale now, sporting the same barnstorming twin-turbocharged V8 as the old model
Facelifted 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 53 launched with 423bhp
News
30 Jul 2020

Facelifted 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 53 launched with 423bhp

The Mercedes-AMG E 53 performance saloon has been updated as part of the E-Class facelift
Mercedes E 300 de: long-term test review
Mercedes E-Class Saloon
27 Jul 2020

Mercedes E 300 de: long-term test review

Final report: We say a fond farewell to our fuel-sipping Mercedes E 300 de
New Mercedes E-Class Coupe arrives with prices starting from £46k
Mercedes E-Class Coupe
26 May 2020

New Mercedes E-Class Coupe arrives with prices starting from £46k

The Mercedes E-Class Coupe gets a new look, new tech and 48-volt mild hybrid assistance
New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet blows in for autumn 2020 
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
26 May 2020

New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet blows in for autumn 2020 

Mercedes has officially unveiled the facelifted E-Class convertible, which features fresh styling, additional technology and extra trim options
Mercedes E 300 e vs BMW 530e
Mercedes E-Class
19 Mar 2020

Mercedes E 300 e vs BMW 530e

Plug-in hybrids will be more popular under new tax rules, so we test the new Mercedes E 300 e against the BMW 530e to see which is on target
New Mercedes E-Class facelift ride review
2020 Mercedes E-Class - Las Vegas
Mercedes E-Class Saloon
24 Jan 2020

New Mercedes E-Class facelift ride review

The facelifted Mercedes E-Class saloon is due and we’ve been for a passenger ride to find out what’s new
Mercedes E 300 e - best plug-in hybrid cars
Mercedes E 300 e - front
Mercedes E-Class
15 Aug 2019

Mercedes E 300 e - best plug-in hybrid cars

The plug-in hybrid Mercedes E 300 e emphasises all the great hallmarks of the regular E-Class with little drawbacks.
Mercedes E 300 de - best plug-in hybrid cars
Mercedes E 300 de- front tracking
Mercedes E-Class
15 Aug 2019

Mercedes E 300 de - best plug-in hybrid cars

The Mercedes E 300 de offers a familiar yet cost-effective alternative to mainstream company cars.
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet - best convertibles
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet - front
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet
10 Jul 2019

Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet - best convertibles

The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is every inch a baby S-Class, offering quality and comfort, albeit at a premium
New Mercedes E 300 de 2019 review
Mercedes E 300 de- front tracking
Mercedes E-Class Saloon
16 Apr 2019

New Mercedes E 300 de 2019 review

We drive the new Mercedes 300 de to see if the diesel-electric hybrid works just as well as its petrol-electric sibling...
Audi A6 Avant vs Mercedes E-Class Estate
Audi A6 Avant vs Mercedes E-Class Estate - header
Audi A6 Avant
11 Dec 2018

Audi A6 Avant vs Mercedes E-Class Estate

Is the new Audi A6 Avant master of all it surveys in the posh estate market? We find out as it goes up against the Mercedes E-Class Estate
Mercedes E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet range expands with new E350 variants
Mercedes E-Class Coupe
Mercedes E-Class Coupe
4 Dec 2018

Mercedes E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet range expands with new E350 variants

Mercedes adds new E 350 powertrain to the E-Class 2-door range, with prices starting from around £50,000
New Mercedes-AMG E 53 2018 review
Mercedes-AMG E 53 - front
Mercedes E-Class Saloon
12 Nov 2018

New Mercedes-AMG E 53 2018 review

The results are good as we try the new Mercedes-AMG E 53 saloon for the first time
New Mercedes E 400 d Estate 2018 review
Mercedes E 400 d Estate - front
Mercedes E-Class Estate
9 Nov 2018

New Mercedes E 400 d Estate 2018 review

The big Mercedes E 400 d Estate offers great pace and efficiency, but it comes at a cost
New Mercedes E 300 de plug-in hybrid now on sale in the UK
Mercedes E 300 de charging
Mercedes E-Class
6 Nov 2018

New Mercedes E 300 de plug-in hybrid now on sale in the UK

New Mercedes E 300 de diesel powered plug-in claims 166.2mpg, with prices start from £47,700 for the saloon
New Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe 2018 review
mercedes amg e53 coupe tracking front
Mercedes E-Class Coupe
25 Oct 2018

New Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe 2018 review

The new Mercedes-AMG E 53 Coupe is one of the first 53-badged models to arrive in the UK, but what's it like on the road?
Mercedes E-Class Coupe review
Mercedes E-Class 220d Coupe
Mercedes E-Class Coupe
18 Oct 2018

Mercedes E-Class Coupe review

Mercedes’ latest E-Class Coupe is luxurious, but not as sporty as it looks