Given how successful Mercedes-Benz has been in selling cars in recent years, and how much of that success has been prescribed to the styling overhaul of recent models, it will perhaps appear strange for me to express surprise at the design of the latest E-Class.

But, for all the designers will walk around the car and highlight clear differences, on first glance the new E-Class strikes me as the middle entrant in a three-strong Russian Doll line up, tailed and topped by the C-Class and S-Class.

Does a hybrid version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class work in the real world, we put the E 350 e on the road to find out

Our European Correspondent Greg Kable describes it thus in his news story on the all-new car, that aims to take on the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF: “It has a clear resemblance to the smaller C-Class and larger S-Class in its exterior design, featuring a swooping roofline and heavily structured surfacing treatment. The visual similarities are part of a broader plan aimed at providing Mercedes’ saloon line-up with a more cohesive appearance than before.”

But is cohesive design what owners really want?

Find out what the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class feels like with a 3.5-litre V6 diesel engine