2: Mercedes-Benz E-Class – Still the best premium car on Irish forecourts

Top cars for 2018: Competitive pricing policy is luring more newcomers to the Mercedes line-up


Mercedes-Benz is on a remarkable sales surge in Ireland, thanks in no small part to a mammoth product offensive and some very enticing prices, that suddenly make a three-pointed star keyring affordable to more of the masses.

What was once a brand regarded as a little musty and old-fashioned, overtaken by the young bucks in BMWs and Audis, it has reinvented itself for a new generation. Suddenly - well over the last three years or so - a Mercedes-Benz has become cool again.

In spite of the E-Class range still being diesel-centric, this Merc is still the best premium car on forecourts these days.

The purchase of an E-Class requires a few caveats, though. First off, you really need to spend the extra change to get the all-digital instruments, otherwise the analogue dials just look a bit too old-hat and cheap.

Second, don’t be too focused on the default-choice diesel – even though the 192hp 2.0-litre oil-burning engine is actually a bit of a cracker – as there are excellent hybrid, and shortly plugin hybrid options, and the temptations of the glorious 401hp E43 AMG.

Third, you really, really have to buy the estate as, somehow, the E-Class just looks so at home with the extra bodywork out the back, and the massive boot and load-carrying ability are pretty hard to beat.

Mercedes is trimming its prices for 2018, so a basic model now starts from €48,200, and comes with some extra equipment too. Off-road-ish All-Terrain model may be useful for well-heeled farmers.

Best model: E43 AMG, to be honest, but an E250d Estate will do just as nicely

Prices start from: €48,200

Finance package from: POA

CO2 emissions: 80-191g/km

Sum-up: Still the best premium buy