Currently reading: Nearly-new buying guide: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Today’s executive saloon first caught the world’s eye in 2016. Now we eye used ones
John Evans
News
4 mins read
2 January 2020

Who’d have thought the old Stuttgart taxi would have morphed into the sumptuous thing it is today, with its S-Class-aping looks, lashings of tech, a sophisticated drivetrain and soothing road manners? The Mercedes E-Class is not quite as driver focused as a BMW 5 Series but then not every exec wants to show a clean pair of heels.

The current one was launched in 2016, when the cheapest version, the E220d SE auto, cost around £36,000. Today, the first 2016-reg examples with around 100,000 miles go from £15,000. Incidentally, if you’ve ever been ferried from the airport in an E-Class cab, you’ll know that the model is just warming up at 100,000 miles.

Although we’ve named the more powerful 3.0-litre V6 diesel E350d as our pick (it was replaced by the straight-six E400d in 2018), the E220d is no consolation prize. Its 2.0-litre diesel produces 192bhp. Driving the rear wheels through a nine-speed automatic gearbox, it’s good for 0-62mph in a respectable 7.3sec. Expect around 50mpg.

SE trim has most of the kit people expect, including a media system with sat-nav and digital radio, a reversing camera and even leather seats. It’s the great all-rounder (if you need more grip, there’s a four-wheel-drive 4Matic version) that’s ideal for not only airport drivers but families, too. Haggle the best price you can because there are stacks of used ones around, although not as many as there are AMG Line versions. This is the trim that, thanks to its AMG bodykit and larger alloy wheels, elevates the E-Class from elegant taxi to something tastier. It costs around £2000 more than SE.

We’ve mentioned the E350d and E400d – both deliciously smooth and unruffled motorway expresses but with a 40mpg thirst. Next up is the E300de diesel plug-in hybrid. It was launched in 2018 and aimed at those seeking E350d performance with lower tax bills and better economy. It also has a 34-mile electric-only range. New, it cost £47,700 but we found a low-mileage 2019-reg one for just £33,000. It could be a shrewd choice for a private diesel buyer.

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The remaining diesel is the rare and short-lived E200d. The E220d is the better car but, with prices starting at £18,000 for a 2017 E200d SE with 26,000 miles, the lesser-powered model certainly has its appeal.

Petrol versions are represented by the E200, the E350e and its successor, the E300e. With 184bhp on tap, the E200 is reasonably powerful but you’ll miss the E220d’s longer legs and lower thirst. The E350e and E300e plug-in hybrids might suit a low-mileage driver in search of a decent turn of speed and a free pass to London’s low-emissions zone but economy is only in the mid-30s.

Which just leaves the mighty Mercedes-AMG range of E-Class saloons. The E43 and more powerful E63 and E63 S versions, all with 4Matic four-wheel drive, were launched in 2016. The E53 followed in 2018. They’re super-saloons with super-size running costs but a 2016-reg E63 with 35,000 miles for £29,995 could make an entertaining alternative to a new, mid-spec SUV.

Top spec pick

AMG Line: One better than SE, with AMG-branded alloys, bodykit and electrically adjustable front seats. A kind of BMW M Sport equivalent. Without the AMG engine, if you can live with that.

Need to know

Know your e from your de: the e denotes that it’s a petrol plug-in hybrid version and the de a diesel plug-in hybrid. As a used car, the petrols are easier to make a case for. Prices start at just £22,000 for a 2017-reg E350e AMG Line with 55,000 miles – down from £48,000 when new, but expect just 35mpg.

When buying a 2016-reg, be careful you don’t plump for an old model by mistake. They look similar but a big clue is the open lower grille of the newer car and the automatic gearbox has nine speeds rather than seven.

There’s leather and there’s Mercedes’ Artico synthetic equivalent. You’ll find leather on SE models but, strangely, Artico on expensive AMG Line Hybrid and top-spec versions of AMG Line.

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Our pick

Mercedes E350d AMG Line: Not as plentiful as the E200d but worth the hunt for its smooth, lustier, six-cylinder diesel and standard-fit air suspension. Or try its replacement, the E400d.

Wild card

Mercedes E200 SE: No, not the E63; instead, the cooking petrol. It isn’t as economical as the all-conquering E220d but it’s smoother, around £5000 cheaper on a 2018-reg and fast enough.

Ones we found

2016 E220d SE, 102,000 miles, £14,955

2017 E200d SE, 26,000 miles, £18,000

2018 E350d AMG Line, 13,000 miles, £24,000

2019 E63, 4000 miles, £57,000

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Comments
5

2 January 2020

Great interior, great drive but the exterior screams pensioner and that's what puts me off in the end. A white AMG line with night pack is about the only one that looks remotely  good and then you need to find the rare full digital dash - most customers want for the terrible looking analogue dials. At least they are now standard.

2 January 2020
SamVimes1972 wrote:

Great interior, great drive but the exterior screams pensioner and that's what puts me off in the end. A white AMG line with night pack is about the only one that looks remotely  good and then you need to find the rare full digital dash - most customers want for the terrible looking analogue dials. At least they are now standard.

 

Totally agree. The E class is a lovely car but finding a used one in a great spec is hard work. Autocar gets given fully loaded AMG spec versions to test but then recommends SE spec without including a single image of one... I am not a fan of digital dials but the standard dash is truly horrid.

2 January 2020

What is the Artico fake leather like?  Quite acceptable or a throwback to 70s vinyl?

2 January 2020
Tom Chet wrote:

What is the Artico fake leather like?  Quite acceptable or a throwback to 70s vinyl?

My wife has it in her GLA and its totally acceptable. It was a bit crappy looking in the 2008 C Class so the E class may be rubbish as well that said, like all leather interiors hot in summer and freezing in winter. I much prefer my Alcantara interior.

3 January 2020
Tom Chet wrote:

What is the Artico fake leather like?  Quite acceptable or a throwback to 70s vinyl?

Hard wearing, easy to clean. Artico (MB Tex) is one of Mercedes's best options.

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