Order Book for New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate Opens
The latest generation of the E-Class Estate has just gone on sale in the UK with a starting price of just under £38,000 and the promise that those who order it will be behind the wheel in October this year at the earliest.
The cheapest E-Class Estate comes with a 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine that develops 192bhp and works hand in hand with the impressive automatic transmission that has a total of nine gears within its high-tech housing.
While this car may provide an impressive amount of power, it is also surprisingly frugal in terms of fuel economy, achieving up to 67.3 miles to the gallon.
In terms of practicality, the boot offers 1820 litres of space for luggage and other items, which gives it a significant edge over premium-brand rivals like the Audi A6. However, for those who are less interested in the prestige of the badge and more worried about how much room is available on board an estate, the Skoda Superb remains a class leader, outdoing the E-Class with its 1950 litre load volume, according to Auto Express.
At lower levels of the price spectrum, picking an entry-level model might mean having to make some sacrifices in terms of specification. But the E-Class certainly lives up to expectations in terms of technology, as it comes with keyless entry, pneumatic suspension and hands-free access to the boot via a clever sensor at the rear.
That is not to say that those with a bit more to spend will not have the ability to add extras on top of this healthy level of equipment. At the upper end of the price range, the E-Class estate can come equipped with a fully digital dashboard, replacing physical dials with graphically represented equivalents.
This flagship interior can also be kitted out with a 12.3 inch touchscreen infotainment system, which to put it in context is bigger than the display of a full-size iPad.
The safety features of the E-Class Estate show that Mercedes-Benz is very much pushing to be at the forefront of self-driving technology. Automatic braking and even a full autopilot mode are included on all models, enabling the car to keep pace with other vehicles on the road and adjust the speed on the fly without relying on the driver to be paying attention at all times.
Unfortunately, those who were hoping to have a car that can park itself will need to pay for the privilege, as this is not a standard feature.
The standard E220d model will be joined later in the year by the more powerful E350d, before the eventual arrival of the AMG E43 in 2017. This performance-oriented estate will feature a petrol power plant rather than a diesel engine, but it will still stick with the same gearbox.
The E350d will be less economical than its counterpart, achieving around 52.3 miles to the gallon. But this is the price that many are willing to pay in order to gain access to a car which responds more immediately to their every dab on the accelerator.
The E43 will be faster still but significantly thirstier. A figure of just 33.6 miles to the gallon will make it the choice of buyers who do not care about the cost at the pump, or indeed the environmental impact of their motoring.
Indeed, it might be argued that the E43 is looking more and more redundant in the age of electric cars. And since the standard E220d should be able to hit 62mph from a standing start in just 7.7 seconds, it is a victory for efficiency and performance alike.
There is no question that Mercedes-Benz is still the king of building luxurious, prestigious saloons and estates like the E-Class. But whether or not it will remain relevant in a world where its domestic rivals are becoming more powerful and the international competition is gaining traction is another matter altogether.