Mercedes-Benz E350d AMG Line Estate review
19 December 2016
Author: Debbie Wood
Now in its sixth generation, the new Mercedes-Benz E-class Estate arrived in the UK this autumn and brought with it greater comfort, show-stopping advanced kit and more space than ever before.
Based on the superb E-class saloon, the estate version manages to retain much of its counterpart's elegant looks, while offering a boot that measures 100 litres more then its key rivals the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5-series Touring.
Diesel dominates engine availability here, and this 3.0-litre V6 is likely to be a niche company car choice. The E220d is the efficiency champion in the range yet still manages a respectable 7.7-second 0-62mph time with its 194hp 2.0-litre engine.
For those who want a little extra power, though, the V6 has some impressive headline figures with 258hp and a huge 620Nm of torque, enabling the car to sprint from 0-62mph in just 6.2 seconds.
The extra performance comes at the expense of running costs, though, with our car emitting 151g/km and achieving 48.7mpg combined fuel economy versus the 220d's 109g/km and 67mpg.
Out on the road the E-class is sublimely comfortable when cruising and is an excellent motorway car. Mated to the engine is the firm's nine-speed automatic gearbox that, apart from a little hesitation when pushed hard, is well matched to the engine.
Majoring on comfort, it's fair to say that the BMW 5-series Touring trumps the E-class in the handling stakes. That said, the car still tackles corners with poise and the steering is well weighted.
There's a variety of different driving modes on offer. Selecting Sport or Sport+ helps to firm up the suspension and tighten up steering and throttle response, so if you do find yourself on a deserted country road, a more engaging drive is possible.
As premium estates go, the E-class leads the pack when it comes to interior quality. Fit and finish overall is excellent, and the large centre console screen is one of the best in the segment for resolution. Features like the analogue clock, stylish air vents and dark ash wood trim detailing helps to give the cabin an elegant look, and there are plenty of practical compartments on offer including a large central cubby and cupholders.
There's plenty of space on offer too, with ample head and legroom throughout, plus a large 640-litre boot, which eclipses the car's premium rivals.
You can choose the E-class Estate in two trims: SE and AMG Line. Here, we're testing the latter, which comes with a whole host of luxuries as standard including LED lights, heated front seats, DAB radio, satnav, leather upholstery, electric tailgate, reversing camera, and adaptive cruise control.
The centre console is a little cluttered with buttons, but the touchpad system helps to make navigating around the numerous controls a lot easier.
Do the sums stack up?
When we pit the comparable Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5-series Touring against our version of the new E-class Estate, it stacks up very well indeed, in particular its residual value of 36.5%, which is significantly better than both rivals. The Merc is the more expensive of the three, though, and carries the biggest penalty on CO2 and fuel economy, which is a big reason for it costing the most per-mile of the three.
Although the extra performance means this E-class Estate delivers almost hot-hatch performance in outright pace, we're not convinced it's worth the compromise in cost when the E220d is the better and more versatile car overall.
Mercedes-Benz E350d AMG Line Estate
|Model price range: £36,735 - £62,185
|Residual value: 36.5%
|Service, maintenance and repair: £3,901
|Vehicle Excise Duty: £555
|National insurance: £6,562
|Cost per mile: 102.1p
|Fuel consumption: 48.7mpg
|CO2 (BIK band): 151g/km (30%)
|BIK 20/40% per month: £248/£495
|Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles
|Boot space: 640 litres
|Engine size/power: 1987cc/258hp