What is it?

The E-Class has been a longstanding member of the Mercedes family. Large, executive saloons have always been this German brand’s bread and butter, but in more recent times the soaring popularity of SUVs and crossovers has seen it expand its range of high-riding models with more traditional saloons – like the E-Class – sometimes left feeling like something of a relic.

But Mercedes remains committed to this layout – at least for the time being – which means that we’ve got a new generation of E-Class to check out. But is it worth considering over one of this company’s SUVs? Let’s take a look.

What’s new?

From the outside at least, we’ve got a tried-and-tested format. There’s a long wheelbase for a roomy interior, understated yet classy looks and a svelte appearance on the road that’ll ensure that the E-Class looks just as good sauntering around town as it will hammering up the motorway.

Inside, Mercedes has thrown all of its bells and whistles at the E-Class to ensure that it can fend off competition from the screen-heavy crowd that it goes up against.

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What’s under the bonnet?

Diesel isn’t dead – not for Mercedes just yet, anyway – so underneath the bonnet of this E-Class we’ve got an engine fuelled by the black pump. It’s a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit with 194bhp and 440Nm of torque and while the 0-60mph time of 7.4 seconds is respectable, the real focus here is on efficiency and the ability to stretch out every last litre of fuel in the tank.

So the E220d is equipped with mild-hybrid technology which can take some of the strain away from the diesel engine and, combined, Mercedes says that you should get up to 58.9mpg – though we saw over 60mpg during long motorway stints. Emissions are also impressively low for a car of this type at 136g/km.

What’s it like to drive?

You want a large saloon car to be comfortable, refined and easy to drive – and the E-Class definitely ticks this trio of boxes. At a cruise, it’s impressively hushed with low levels of wind and road noise which, in turn, make those longer journeys far more comfortable. The 2.0-litre engine might be small in capacity but it doesn’t make a big deal sound-wise, though heavy bouts of acceleration can cause it to become a touch vocal.

Around town, the good visibility that you get in the E-Class means that you’ve always got a good view around you. However, at lower speeds, the ride can feel a bit jagged, though our test car’s 20-inch AMG alloys might have a hand in this. The biggest plus-point of the E-Class, however, is its efficiency – despite a relatively average-sized 73-litre fuel tank, it was showing a range of near-900 miles from a complete fill-up and it struggled to go down during our time with the car.

How does it look?

It’s definitely recognisable as a Mercedes, this new E-Class. The front grille – which is illuminated, as is the current trend – has an impactful design while the three-pronged star appears more purposeful than ever. Sure, in silver, our test car looked a little more under-the-radar, but it’s a more cohesive look overall than something like the electric EQE, which can feel a little understyled at times.

At the rear, there’s a classy full-width chrome strip – just like the full-size S-Class – while the LED lights with their triangular design look both futuristic yet well incorporated into the car’s overall look.

What’s it like inside?

As the middle point in the Mercedes saloon car line-up – sitting between the smaller C-Class and the larger S-Class – the E-Class has always had to deliver a combination of the two. Think upmarket touches blended with more robust materials that ensured it could be used day-to-day without looking tired. Well, for this latest car, it seems Mercedes has leant far more into the ‘upmarket’ end of the segment.

It’s practically like a mini-S-Class in here, with large comfortable chairs and loads of LED lighting allowing you to colour the interior any way you see fit. There’s plenty of adjustability in the driver’s seat, too, while the steering wheel is nicely shaped – though the haptic-style buttons continue to annoy and lack the precision you’d get from physical ‘clicker’ controls which are far easier to use on the move.

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What’s the spec like?

In entry form, the E-CLass has more than enough bells and whistles for most. Our test car came in AMG Line Premium Plus, which adds larger wheels and, most noticeable of all, the new Mercedes Superscreen which brings a 12.3-inch display in front of the passenger. Is it technology for technology’s sake? A little bit. And we’d argue that most passengers will be spending their time using their smartphones instead.


The new E-Class shows that there’s plenty of life left in the saloon car. It’s also a fine example of why, for high-mileage drivers, diesel still makes perfect sense as with some help from a little bit of electrification, the 2.0-litre engine in this E220d is a masterstroke of efficiency.

It’s also quieter and more comfortable than many SUVs that struggle to maintain refinement as their centre of gravity is so high. The E-Class feels as traditional as ever in that respect, but sometimes traditional isn’t a bad thing at all.


Model as tested: Mercedes E220d AMG Line Premium Plus

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel with mild-hybrid assistance

Power: 194bhp

Torque: 440Nm

Max speed: 148mph

0-60mph: 7.4 seconds

MPG: 54.3-58.9mpg

Emissions: 136g/km