The start point for the best source of fleet information
BusinessCar first tested the new E-class in February and we've now driven the lowest-emitting conventionally powered diesel model (not counting the pricier E300 Hybrid) - the E220 CDI.
In SE trim, this is the car that's likely to appeal the most to corporate customers, and in its cleanest manual guise emits 125g/km and returns 58.9mpg. Tested here with the 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox it's not quite as clean, recording 128g/km, but the official economy figure remains the same.
Mercedes is billing the car as an all-new model, but it's more of a facelift with a few subtle tweaks here and there. The new nose is the most obvious change, but the cabin, at least, is all but identical.
There are few surprises in terms of the way the E-class drives, too. The E220 is the least powerful of the range, but it's still good for 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds with smooth and refined performance.
The seven-speed auto gearbox doesn't seem quite as seamless as the eight-speed units on offer from BMW, Audi and Jaguar, and it's worth engaging Sport mode, via the button on the centre console, to hang onto the gears for longer and make proper progress.
Merc has some catching up to do emissions-wise, bearing in mind that the BMW 520d Efficient Dynamics, its chief rival, emits only 119g/km; you have to go for a much pricier diesel hybrid E-class if you want to duck below 120g/km.
Even so, the E-class scores well for costs. A like-for-like 5-series (520d SE Professional Media auto) is 70.9ppm, marginally more expensive than the Mercedes' 69.0ppm, while an equivalent Audi A6 2.0 TDI 177 SE auto runs it close at 69.9ppm.
The E220's trump card - and the reason it pips the aforementioned rivals on cost grounds - is its exceptional residual value figure, which at 41.8% comfortably beats the equivalent 5-series' impressive score of 38.1% and the Audi's 35.1%.
Model price range
Service, Maintenance and Repair
Vehicle Excise Duty
Cost per mile
BIK 20/40% per month
Good upmarket executive model with exceptional RVs