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ESTATE WITH A CAPITAL E (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The most practical full-sized Executive estate you can buy is now even better. Jonathan Crouch checks out the improved version of the tenth generation Mercedes E-Class Estate
Ten Second Reviewword count: 75
The Mercedes E-Class Estate has always been a very classy way to carry rather a lot. These days though, it's cleverer and more efficient than ever. A focus on downsized engines will be a big draw, there's a frugal base diesel, a plug-in hybrid and fire-breathing Mercedes-AMG models add some excitement. Overall, the whole range just feels slicker and more desirable than ever. It's all very impressive, particularly as you can carry up to 1,820-litres.
Backgroundword count: 139
It used to be that if you wanted a large, plush practical estate, you bought a big Volvo. For some years now though, that role has been only fully filled by the Mercedes E-Class Estate. Rivals trade space for a bit of style but this car continues to prioritise practicality, with 670-litres of room on offer even before you start folding seats. This tenth generation E-Class Estate of course enjoys all the advantages developed for its saloon counterpart, a car offering efficient engines, astonishing technology and luxurious comfort. This updated model gets a smarter look and quite a bit of extra technology to keep it current in the face of fresh or updated rivals introduced since the original launch. There are also cutting-edge driver assistance features that even allow owners to take a step closer to fully autonomous driving.
Driving Experienceword count: 317
On the move, you quickly find that Mercedes has achieved an excellent balance between comfort, refinement and agility with this E-Class Estate. It's as happy easing through town as it is covering great highway distances - but then you'd expect that. More surprising is how at home it feels on twistier roads, particularly if you've got a model fitted with the impressive 'AIR BODY CONTROL' pneumatic suspension that can be fine-tuned with the 'DYNAMIC SELECT' driving modes controller. More technology is provided by the optional 'DRIVE PILOT' system that when activated, allows the car to pretty much drive itself, working with the adaptive cruise control and active steering systems to keep the E-Class rolling in its chosen lane at any chosen speed up to 130mph. Electrification is the theme with this revised tenth generation model, with plug-in hybrid technology now available right across the range on the diesel engines as well as the petrol ones, plus as before, there's a choice of rear-driven or 4MATIC AWD drivetrain options. In the mainstream range, the petrol units range in output from 154bhp to 362bhp, while the diesels vary from 158bhp to 326bhp. The volume unit is the 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol powerplant that features on the base E200 variant, an engine which now features an improved 48-volt mild hybrid system now integrated into the casing of the nine-speed automatic gearbox. This lightly electrified set-up can produce up to 20bhp and 180Nm of extra torque to reduce the load on the petrol engine. Completely new to the E-Class line-up is the six cylinder petrol unit (borrowed from the CLS 450). There's also a revised version of the 3.0-litre biturbo mild hybrid six cylinder engine used in the potent Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ variant, which benefits from slightly more electrified assistance, though the total output (429bhp) is the same as before. Beyond that, there's the 4.0-litre V8 E 63 4MATIC+ models.
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Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates
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