1 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: money well spent

A €2 billion investment in engine development puts this stunner at the top of the class

For a long time the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was the undisputed king of the executive saloon market, but as BMW and Audi fought back it slipped away, can the new E220 return Mercedes to the top? We took it for a test drive. Video: Neil Briscoe


€2 billion. Just for the engine. That’s how much development cash Mercedes sunk into creating a new range of 2.0-litre diesel engines for the E-Class, and which will eventually trickle through to the rest of its model range.

It is indicative of the level of thought, care and attention that has gone in to creating the new E-Class, a car that has to take on the might of BMW and Audi, and see off challengers from Jaguar, Lexus and Volvo too.

That the E-Class does it all with such aplomb is evidence of money well spent. The new diesel engine is excellent – powerful, economical and much more refined than the old 2.1 unit.

The cabin is gorgeous and delectably over-engineered (64 colours to choose from for the ambient lighting? Oh, go on then…) and the handling is surprisingly engaging, without a downside in ride quality.

The only black mark is a slight shortage of space in the back compared to the old E. There’s a plugin hybrid available if you detest diesel, and bombastic AMG models are on the way.

Price range: €51,035 to €99,325

CO2 emissions: 49 to 191g/km

Which one? E220d AMG-Line is all you’ll need.

PCP from €629 per month