Mercedes-Benz E-class review – executive tour-de-force still one to be reckoned with

The E-class is more diverse, multi-talented and capable than ever, but still retains those key Mercedes attributes

The Mercedes E-class is a cornerstone of the executive class, one that not only embodies the class’s core attributes, but which has also informed them over a period of decades. It comes as little surprise to see the E-cass always at or near the top of the class for executive shoppers, and in its current generation, it’s easy to see why.

> Click here for our review of the BMW 5-series

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The current W213 Mercedes E-class has a vast range, from airport minicab-spec four-pot diesels and company car-friendly plug-in hybrids to boulevard-cruising cabrios, brawny diesel estates and six-figure AMG hot rods. It’s difficult to generalise the E-class in one verdict, but burrow through the range and you’ll find plenty of highlights, all the time maintaining the key attributes of engineering excellence, solidity and class.

Mercedes E-class: in detail

Performance and 0-62mph time > Performance varies widely. Four-pots are forgettable, new in-line six and V8s are hugely rapid

Advertisement - Article continues below

Engine and gearbox > The powertrain line-up continues to develop, new in-line six engines are particularly impressive

Ride and handling > Feels big because it is big. Not as interactive as some rivals, but formidable in its capability

MPG and running costs > MPG for the economy-focused models is deeply impressive, but V8 AMGs require shares in BP to fund them

Interior and tech > Initially impressive, the interior is well built, but can be a bit befuddling to use on the move

Design > Subtlety is key here. AMG models are wonderfully aggressive though

Prices, specs and rivals:

The Mercedes E-class range is hugely varied, starting at £36,895 for the entry-level E200 SE and rising to a whopping £94,250 for an E63 S 4Matic+ estate. Model for model, prices are competitive with equivalent rivals from BMW and Audi, but neither offers quite the same spread of options or powertrains.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Diesel models kick off at £37,145 for an E220d SE and are topped by the wonderful E400d at £53,140. As of 2019, new plug-in hybrid models with the E300e and E300de nomenclatures are priced at £46,735 and £46,985 respectively. These two new models, as you may have guessed, are powered by either petrol or diesel four-cylinder engines paired to an electric motor and battery pack.

The E43 AMG has gone the way of the dodo, making way for the new AMG E53, which combines the rapid new turbocharged in-line six petrol engine with a mild hybrid system. This tech leader of the range starts from £68,285, nearly £30k less than the full-fat E63 S. Four-cylinder versions are all specified in SE trim as standard, while the optional AMG Line models generally have a premium of around £2500. Swap out the saloon body for the commodious estate and it’ll set you back an extra £2000. Coupe and Cabriolet models are also available with selected engines and AMG Line-only body trim. Coupes are £500 more than the equivalent saloons, while the Cabrio has a steeper £5000 premium.

For an E-class with a more rugged appeal, the E400d estate is also available in an Audi Allroad-like All-Terrain specification, with cladded wheelarches, unique body styling, and oddly oversized 20-inch wheels. Perfect for light off-roading.

Specification is generally high throughout the range, although if you want the widescreen cockpit you’ll need to plump for the Premium Pack on four-cylinder models. A higher-specification Premium Plus Pack is also available for most models, bundling the most desirable options into one, such as the panoramic sunroof, Burmester hi-fi and Multibeam LED headlights, among others.

Using a popular variant like the four-cylinder AMG Line E220d saloon as a reference point at £39,640, the equivalent competition from Audi (A6 40TDi S-Line) and BMW (520d M Sport) both come in at over £41,000, although they do have more standard equipment. 


More on E-Class

Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes-Benz E-class review – executive tour-de-force still one to be reckoned with - Performance and 0-60mph time

The E-class is more diverse, multi-talented and capable than ever, but still retains those key Mercedes attributes
22 Mar 2019
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Updated 2019 Mercedes E-class spied – to rival new A6 and 5-series

Merc’s E-class executive saloon and estate are coming up to their mid-life refresh
31 Jan 2019
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic Cabriolet review – the epitome of luxury and class?

Merc’s latest E-class Cabriolet isn’t the fastest or sportiest car, but it’s still capable of impressing
27 Jun 2017
Mercedes E-Class saloon

New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet expands the E-Class family

New soft-top four-seater E-Class Cabriolet offers luxury touches plus the advanced tech of the saloon model
8 Mar 2017
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes-AMG E43 first performance model for new E-class range

Biturbo V6 luxury saloon launches to 62mph in 4.6sec; makes its debut at the New York auto show
10 Mar 2016
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Listen - Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S estate exhaust

A little taste of what the big Mercedes estate sounds like
29 Jan 2015
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Brabus 850 takes Mercedes E63 AMG to 217mph

The Brabus 850 is a biturbo Mercedes E63 AMG with 837bhp and a McLaren P1 matching top speed
15 May 2014
Mercedes E-Class saloon

2013 Mercedes-Benz E63 S 4MATIC AMG

The new range-topping, 577bhp Mercedes E63 AMG S Model comes with a revelatory four-wheel drive version
4 Feb 2013
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes E350 CDI estate review

The best estate car in the world. Has the new Mercedes E350 CDI done enough to earn the title?
26 Apr 2010
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Harris drives Merc E63

evo's Chris Harris drives the new Mercedes E63 AMG sports saloon. Sideways, mostly
22 Jan 2010
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes E-Class Cabrio

Spy video footage of Mercedes E-Class cabriolet testing at the Nurburgring
20 Aug 2009
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes E-Class Coupe 250 CDi

Four-cylinder diesel powered model is the pick of Merc's new coupe range
9 Jul 2009
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Brabus E-class Coupe

Mercedes tuner Brabus gets its hands on the new E-class Coupe; 456bhp, 196mph
20 May 2009
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes-Benz E500

New Mercedes-Benz E-class is a return to form, but driving thrills are in short ration
14 May 2009
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes E63 AMG and ML450

Two new cars unveiled at New York show - E63 AMG sports saloon and ML450 hybrid
8 Apr 2009
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes E-class Coupe

Change of name and change of style for the Mercedes-Benz CLK replacement
16 Feb 2009
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes E-Class Cabrio

Here’s proof that Mercedes is hard working on the next generation CLK Cabrio
26 Jan 2009
Mercedes E-Class saloon

Mercedes E-Class Estate

Still over a year away, our spies have garnered details on the next all-new Mercedes E-Class by taking spy-shots of a less-disguised estate model test…
17 Sep 2008