Revealed at the Mercedes Cup tennis tournament in Stuttgart, the sixth-generation model estate version of the new Mercedes E-Class made its première in the shape of the Mercedes-AMG E 43 4MATIC.
50 years on from its initial debut, the E-Class Estate continues to be one of the favourites in its segment, and this new version with more space and classier lines promises much of the same as it joins a superb list of Mercedes-Benz models available to lease from Nationwide Vehicle Contracts..
"The new Estate is as dynamic as the Mercedes-Benz brand and as spacious as our customers expect. Intelligent features such as the cargo position for the rear seat backrest with its 40:20:40 split as standard allow even better use to be made of the generous load-carrying capacity," says Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. "And what is more, the Estate obviously has all the innovations of the new E-Class – the most intelligent executive saloon in the world."
From UK launch, the new estate is available as an E 220 d (143 kW/194 hp) with an entirely newly developed four-cylinder diesel engine and Mercedes' new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission - with an E 350 d (190kW/258 hp) to follow later, as well as the aforementioned Mercedes-AMG E 43 4MATIC Estate with its 295 kW (401 hp) 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine, 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with shortened shift times, AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive and model-specific sports suspension.
0-62mph acceleration ranges from 7.7 seconds in the E 220 d to 4.7 seconds in the E43, with the latter's top speed electronically limited to 250km/h. And there are some surprisingly good emission figures too.
The E-Class Estate's load compartment, ranging from 670 to 1820 litres, is one of the biggest in the segment, and, as standard, the rear bench seat has been redeveloped with a greater (and steeper) angle position function to give an extra 30 litres of space when all seats are being used.
Folding the rear seats down into a 40:20:40 split as standard gives plenty of options, all electronically controlled via switches in the load compartment and to the right and left next to the backrests.
One of the few car models that can accommodate a Europallet, the E-Class Estate also offers, as standard:
Put quite simply, the new E-Class Estate is modern, confidently stylish and dynamic.
Boasting a sporty silhouette courtesy of a long bonnet, long stretch of roof with a sporty curve and powerful rear with steeply tapering rear window, its dynamic proportions are further enhanced via short overhangs, a long wheelbase and large wheels.
Aluminium-silver roof rails are organically integrated as part of the standard equipment, along with a roof spoiler with a third LED brake light.
Depending on the selected design and equipment line, the front of the car can vary, with the base version featuring the classic Mercedes radiator grille with the star on the bonnet, with the Exclusive trim sporting a slightly different design. The AvantGarde and AMG Lines can be identified by the central star on the sports radiator grille, with each trim also carrying a trim-specific radiator grille to give that particular E Class model its own distinctive character, from status to dynamic - but always classy and elegant.
Inside has been redesigned too with the instrument panel adorned with two optional wide, high-resolution and brilliant displays, each with a 12.3"screen diagonal, that merge to form a widescreen cockpit. There are three different style displays to choose from - Classic, Sport and Progressive - all accessible via the touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel.
There is also a touchpad with a controller in the centre console that can not only recognise handwriting but also features the Linguatronic voice control system, and this can help features direct-access buttons for controlling the air conditioning, for example, and for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driving assistance systems.
The look of the inside is what you would expect not only from an E-Class estate, but also from Mercedes - and we are talking Class. High-quality materials such as open-pore woods with flowing lines, leather on the doors, and material on the seats are scattered throughout to enhance the drive and increase ambience; from various shades of brown, including attractive colour combinations such as macchiato beige/espresso brown or macchiato beige/saddle brown to the enhanced ambience lighting featuring 64 colours.
The ergonomic, sculptural form of the seats combines Mercedes-Benz's hallmark suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look, and also feature a Heat Comfort package that includes heated armrests in the doors and on the centre console and the quickly responding seat heating Plus.
Via the touchscreen, the new Mercedes me connect Concierge Service is available, offering not vehicle diagnostics in the event of a break down or an accident, but also personalised support to the driver and passengers such as information on cultural and sporting events and bookings through to sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle, as well as the ability to make a restaurant reservation and get tips about tourist routes,.
Via a few simple steps, the rear bench seat in the E-Class can become a communications centre and a cinema (available from December 2016) courtesy of iPad® Rear Seat Integration Plug & Play, complete with a holder that can be turned and tilted to allow the use of an iPad® 4, Air or Air 2 model. Perfect for workers or for keeping kids entertained (and adults too.)
In the interior, the new E-Class Estate is one of the quietest vehicles in its class, courtesy of a whole raft of measures to help reduce vibrations and noise that includes strengthened struts, sound absorbers, and other aero-acoustic measures - and there will be an Acoustic Comfort package available as an optional extra later this year to make the drive even quieter.
And with all that silence (depending on which infotainment is chosen), also comes safety. As Mercedes boast, "the new E-Class sets new benchmarks in terms of safety, comfort and reducing the driver's workload," and the Estate features:
50 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz estate was a trendsetter. In 2016, the new Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate is no different.