From £28,360
Sheer quality, fine cabin design, massive internal space and impressive detailing mean it has few really direct rivals

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The E-class more than lives up to traditional Mercedes values

The E-Class is a refined and relaxing return to old Mercedes qualities

What is it?

It hasn’t been on the market long, but the new E-Class has gone a long way to restore Mercedes’ reputation in this hard-fought segment. However the W212-series has already been given a overhaul and mechanical tweaking for the 2011 model-year, with more efficient petrol and diesel engines at the forefront of the changes.

Although the power outputs vary between 134bhp (in the 200 CDI) and 201bhp (in the 250 CDI), all three of the four-cylinder diesel Mercedes use the same basic engine unit with the same 2143cc capacity. This new generation engine, smoothed by twin balancer shafts and has been fitted with a ‘fourth-generation’ direct injection fuel system (now operating at an incredible 2000 bar), but 220 and 250 CDI engines also get a new, lighter, crankshaft fitted with four counterweights instead of eight.

The four-cylinder diesel E-class gets a super-quick stop-start system (which is activated and de-activated via the driver’s pressure on the brake pedal).

The new 7G-Tronic Plus autobox has finally been purged of its predecessor’s terrible hesitation from a standing start and the comprehensive engineering overhaul includes a new torque convertor and lock-up clutch, low friction bearings and seals and low-viscosity transmission fluid.

What’s it like?

On the road, the beautifully-built E-Class has refreshing honesty about its purpose. It is steady and undramatic, effortlessly reeling in long stretches of unrestricted autobahn. It does not posses super-sharp responses and nor should it.

At low speeds and wide throttle openings, it is obviously a four-pot diesel, but the engine is almost totally heard, rather than felt. At speed it is smooth and perfectly adequate in mid-range acceleration, with three adults in board. The 250 CDI’s extra 74lb ft of torque is, however, very noticeable and might be worth the extra money.

Should I buy one?

It does not pretend to be a driver’s car, but the sheer quality, fine cabin design, massive internal space and impressive detailing mean it has few really direct rivals. It feels like the sort of car that will go the distance. The 2011 updates add further polish for the already accomplished E-Class wagon and potentially impressive fuel economy returns with the right kind of light-footed driving style.

Mercedes-Benz E 220 CDI BlueEfficiency

Price: £33,750; Top speed: 142mph; 0-62mph: 8.7sec; Economy: 53mpg; CO2: 130g/km; Kerb weight: 1735kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 2143cc, twin-turbo, diesel; Power: 167bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 295lb ft at 1600-1800rpm; Gearbox: 7-spd automatic

Join the debate


6 May 2011

This is how, I feel, Mercedes should be. Easy going, well built and have an air of quality that other manufacturers lack. That in itself makes it a desirable car even if it isn't the sharpest drivers tool in the box.



It's all about the twisties........

6 May 2011

As far as I'm concerned no other executive estate comes close. Plus I also think the E-Class estate looks better than the saloon it's based on. Very desirable.

9 May 2011

It certainly looks the part and HH's report is a glowing one. There are no rivals to this car, excellent.

9 May 2011

The E-Class is definately my favourite of the three Germans. However, I have a dislike for the black and silver interior that seems to be fitted to practically every one I see. I would much prefer some different Interior colours.

9 May 2011

If I had the money this would be the perfect car for me . Large practical comfortable and reasonably cheap to run as it will have low depreciation .

The sort of car you have and own for 5-10 years .

9 May 2011

I'm not sure if you can call a £33k Mercedes honest, but that's the feeling I get from this car. It has a simple brief to be a spacious and comfortable executive car and fulfills that superbly. Plus those emissions figures ought to have BMW looking over their shoulders.

9 May 2011

I am impressed with this. The current E class is not for me as it is far too big for me to get into any of the places I need to park, but it sounds as if Mercedes is finally back on track. If the next C class is built to the same standards it could get me away from BMW.

9 May 2011

[quote Old Toad]

If I had the money this would be the perfect car for me . Large practical comfortable and reasonably cheap to run as it will have low depreciation .

The sort of car you have and own for 5-10 years .



Exactly what I was going to type. A 250 CDI might give you the opportunity to grin more often than a 220 but I'd wouldn't complain either way!


9 May 2011

The previous engine was a bit of a rattler so looks like they fixed this.

11 May 2011

Does this mean they have sorted the fuel injector issues that afflicted a lot of the 4 cylinder diesels when this generation of E-class was launched?


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