Mercedes’ E-class estate will continue to offer the largest carrying capacity of any estate on the UK market when the new model goes on sale at the beginning of next year.
The new wagon will be the third model in the E-class range, following the saloon and coupe, with the cabriolet coming later in 2010.
The E-class estate offers up to 1950 litres of boot space with the seats down, putting it comfortably ahead of rivals such as the BMW 5-series Touring and Audi A6 Avant.
It’s slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model, at 4895mm long and 1854mm wide, but is also 35mm lower. Room for the occupants has also increased, with more elbow space and head room than in the old model.
The classic foldaway rear seats remain as an option; they turn the car into a seven-seater and stow into the boot floor when they’re not in use.
The estate comes with Mercedes’ EasyPack system, which opens the load cover when the tailgate is raised, and includes a folding boot floor to give access to a compartment underneath.
Mercedes has also introduced what it calls ‘self-adaptive belt force limiters’ on the rear seatbelts. They adjust to the weight and size of the passenger, applying the correct amount of restraint, and will also be added to the E-class saloon.
The estate will be available with six engines at launch. Two of the four petrol units are 1.8-litre four-pots with 181bhp and 201bhp, badged E200 and E250 and emitting 179g/km and 185g/km of CO2. There is also a 3498cc V6, with 287bhp, and the 5461cc V8 in the E500, with 383bhp. All petrol-engined models come with Mercedes’ BlueEfficiency tech.
The four-cylinder diesels (variants on a 2143cc unit with 168 and 201bhp) emit 150g/km of CO2, although that means the E220 can’t match the BMW’s 520d’s 140g/km. Both four-pot diesels come with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the petrols use a six-speed manual, a five-speed auto and a seven-speed auto.
These engines will be joined by the 3498cc V6 diesel, with 288bhp and 228lb ft. An E63 AMG estate will be added in the spring.
Three specification levels — SE, Avantgarde and Sport — will be available in the UK, mirroring the saloon.