Currently reading: Nearly new buying guide: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
This luxurious estate is an SUV for motorists of refined taste
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3 mins read
11 February 2021

Before you splash your cash on that luxury SUV, pause, I pray you, to consider the worth of a good old-fashioned estate car based on a premium luxury saloon.

Of these, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is one of the longest-lived and most impressive. As with all the previous incarnations, this 2016-onwards pantechnicon blends a capacious and high-quality interior and a boot the size of Belgium with elegant styling and a comfortable ride. It’s great value when used, too.

There were initially three diesel options: two different versions of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine (the short-lived E200d and impressive E220d) and a V6 in the E350d.

Post-2018 cars added the diesel-electric plug-in hybrid E300de for terrific potential fuel economy and the punchy E400d straight-six diesel.

The petrols included the four-pot E200 and the very lively E43 and E63 models from AMG, which both had four-wheel drive and were powered by dynamite and spitting shrapnel. The E43 was later superseded by the mild-hybrid E53.

The ordinary, everyday E-Class Estate rides well, even better on its optional air suspension, and its handling is tidy. There is a little shake and shimmy from the standard steel-sprung cars over rougher roads at lower speeds, but it’s not enough to distract from the general comfort of the car.

Where the E-Class Estate really scores highly is in its high-speed refinement. Having nine ratios in the automatic gearbox means the engine ticks away quietly at 70mph, while wind noise is well suppressed. Only a bit of rumble from the tyres stops it beating the peace and quiet served up by the rival BMW 5 Series Touring at cruising speeds.

The spacious interior is one of rare class, with a distinctive dashboard. There’s a neat rotary controller for the comprehensive infotainment system, too, so no touchscreen trouble, and all of the materials and plastics look and feel of a good quality. The raison d’être of this car is the boot, though, which has masses of room with the rear seats up and a phenomenal amount with them folded down. There was even the option of pull-up seats in the boot, turning the E-Class Estate into a seven-seater.

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Last year, the E-Class family was treated to a substantial facelift, gaining increased equipment levels and radically updated styling that further boosted the Estate’s appeal.

Around £17,000 is a starting point for an E-Class Estate of this generation. Considering the amount of car you get for your money, and its obvious quality, this seems like a very good deal indeed. Budget between £20,000 and £25,000 for a 2018 or 2019 model, or £25,000 and £35,000 on higher-trim 2019 cars or lower-trim, pre-facelift 2020 cars.

Need to know

Due to a software issue, cars from 2016 could suddenly lose power. A separate recall for 2016 cars affects the electrical wiring for the fuel pump that lives under the back seats. This means that the fuel supply to the engine can be cut, causing it to stall.

This E-Class didn’t perform as well in What Car?’s most recent Reliability Survey as its forebear. It still managed fourth place out of 10 in the luxury car class, though. Mercedes finished a lowly 26th out of 31 brands in the same survey.

On the WLTP fuel economy test, the current E220d gets 50.4mpg, the E200 37.2mpg, the E300de a whopping 217.3mpg, the E400d 40.9mpg, the AMG E53 29.7mpg and the AMG E63 S 22.8mpg.

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Our pick

E220D SE: For most buyers, the 192bhp diesel E220d will be the default choice. Why? Well, it’s pretty punchy and an effortless cruiser, and its fuel economy is equally impressive. It’s also the best-seller in the range so there are plenty to choose from.

Wild card

AMG E63 S: An estate supercar? You bet. It’s one way of scaring the dog witless. This thing kicks out 603bhp from its bonkers twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8. Four-wheel drive helps to put it all down. Well, most of it, anyway.

Ones we found

2017 E220d Estate AMG Line Premium, 30,000 miles, £17,495

2019 E350d Estate AMG Line, 28,000 miles, £34,995

2020 AMG E53 Estate Premium Plus, 4000 miles, £61,950

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Comments
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St3ve 13 February 2021

Guys, do not forget to check VIN before buying any car. It is really worth of money. If I can recommend, use CV instead of CarFax. Case study here -> VINcheckfree()net

macaroni 11 February 2021

I have 2 of these, a 2016 facelift and a 2018.

Firstly, the 2016 is far better built than the later model. I've done over 180,000 miles in it and nothing, literally nothing, has gone wrong. I've only spent money on consumables lke brakes and tyres.

The 2018 has had replacement NOx sensors, bottom arms, GPS anntenna and tailgate close button, all under warranty I might add. 

Secondly, I disagree with the comment that it is not as refined as the equivalent BMW. I tried both before buying the 2018 and the 5 series, while more fun to drive, wasn't anything like as refined as the Merc. This was especially noticeable on that horrid part of the M25 around the A3 where the BMW was intolerable.

I reckon a well-specced late model 2016 is a perfect used family car. That means insisting on one with the Intelligent LED headlights which are absolutely astonishing.

macaroni 11 February 2021

Note, I tried to use the internal Merc model numbers to reference these cars;

2016 = W 2 1 2

2018 = W 2 1 3

But the archaic and insane Autocar forum software recognised them as embedded links, so I couldn't!

scrap 11 February 2021

In the UK at least, the 7 seat option is a myth. You will never, ever find a used one.

Mr Leslie Brook 11 February 2021

I immediately jumped onto Auto-trader to prove you wrong. You're right...