The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is now in its ninth generation and sees Mercedes-Benz return to its core qualities of cossetting comfort, safety and high luxury. But most importantly, Mercedes says it signals a return to engineering integrity. After the issues and reliability problems that dogged the previous Mercedes E-Class, especially in the early days, this is an important area for the firm if it wants to regain its reputation for strong build quality and reliability.
First impressions are very favourable and the E-Class certainly feels well built when you get behind the wheel. From the heavy ‘thud’ of the doors, to the solid feel of the dash and buttons, it’s clear this is a far superior car to its predecessor. There’s also a welcome return to the more angular interior styling of older Mercedes models, giving a functional and sturdy feel – although it’s perhaps not as inviting as other premium cars such as the Jaguar XF.
The bold and sharp exterior styling is certainly a big departure from the previous model, but it retains that disctinctive Mercedes-Benz look. And there are big changes under the bonnet too with new petrol and diesel engines that offer significantly improved fue consumption and better performance too.
On the road the E-Class is everything you’d expect from a Mercedes saloon with a smooth ride, a cossetting cabin and superb refinement. It’s not quite as good in corners as a BMW 5 Series, but is still reassuring and composed nonetheless. It’s also available with some sophisticated and genuinely useful technology such as a blind spot warning system and adaptive high beam which automatically dips the headlights if a car is coming in the opposite direction.