Mercedes-Benz’s new E-Class saloon was launched earlier this year to great acclaim, so it’s no surprise that its estate version is similarly impressive.
Offering the same quality, refinement and luxury as its four-door sibling, the estate provides significantly enhanced practicality. Its boot is the largest in the sector at 640 litres with the rear seats in place, rising to 1,820 litres with them folded.
This practicality is further improved through the flat floor, wide powered tailgate and no loading lip, making it easy to get items in and out of the boot.
Initially, it will be available only in E220d four-cylinder, 2.0-litre form, with six-cylinder E350d and AMG E43 models joining the range later this year.
This is unlikely to trouble most fleet customers, as the E220d SE’s CO2 emissions of 109g/km and official combined fuel economy of 63.7mpg mean it will be the engine and equipment grade of choice.
The SE is well equipped, featuring a Garmin Map Pilot navigation system, agility control suspension, automatic powered tailgate, parking pilot including parktronic and reversing camera, chrome roof rails, 64-colour LED interior lighting, Keyless-Go starting function, heated front seats, digital radio and 17-inch alloy wheels.
For a £2,495 premium, the E220d is also available in sportier AMG Line trim. This adds AMG exterior styling with 19-inch alloy wheels, upgraded interior materials, brushed stainless steel sports pedals and a three-spoke AMG steering wheel.
However, the larger wheels mean CO2 emissions rise to 120g/km, pushing it into the 24% benefit-in-kind tax band compared to the SE’s 21%.
The options list contains a number of impressive safety technologies, such as blind spot assist and pre-safe impulse side, which can move the driver or front passenger towards the centre of the car if it detects an imminent side impact.
However, even without these advanced technologies, the car still feels special.
Its spacious cabin exudes luxury, both in terms of design and quality, and this feeling extends to its on-road performance.
The engine in the E220d produces 194hp and 295lb-ft of torque and, through its smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox, is delivered in a way which ensures few will feel the need to opt for the more powerful models when they arrive.
The car is good to drive as well, but its light steering and comfort biased set-up means the BMW 520d Touring still sets the class standard for a ‘sporty’ driving experience.
However, the E220d is a superlative cruiser. Our test car was fitted with the optional air suspension (£1,495), which gave the car a supple, unflappable ride.
Although we wouldn’t expect the UK standard suspension to be able to achieve that exceptional quality of ride, the E-Class still sets a new standard in the executive estate sector.
Specifications shown for Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate E220d SE.