► 2016 Mercedes E-class starts at £35,935
► SE and AMG Line versions offered
► Four- and six-cylinder diesel engines
The new Mercedes-Benz E-class is now on sale, with prices starting at £35,935 and first deliveries pegged for May.
Buyers of the tenth-generation luxury saloon will initially be able to pick from two trim levels, SE and AMG Line, and a four- or six-cylinder diesel engine.
The full price list for the new Mercedes E-class is as follows:
- E220d SE: £35,935
- E220d AMG Line: £38,430
- E350d SE: £44,930
- E350d AMG Line: £47,425
What do I get as standard?
As standard, the E-class SE comes with sat-nav, an 8.4-inch high-resolution display, leather trim, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control and LED head- and tail-lights.
Sensible 17-inch wheels are standard, but if you go for the E350d then you’ll get larger 18s, as well as air suspension and a larger 12.3-inch media display. You can opt for the larger display on the E220d, though, but it'll cost you £1495. Replacing the conventional instrument cluster with a matching digital display in either, however, will only set you back £495.
AMG Line models different bumpers and side skirts, 19-inch wheels on both E200d and E350d versions, drilled front brake discs, sports part-leather seats and an AMG steering wheel.
Still plenty of optional extras, though?
Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty on offer for you to crank up the list price with. There’s a Premium pack, costing £2795, which adds a memory function for the front seats, an interior-brightening panoramic glass roof and keyless start.
Throw £3895 at your dealer and you’ll get the Premium Plus pack, which takes the above and adds a Burmester surround-sound system and Mercedes’ intelligent LED lighting system, which uses 84 LEDs to precisely and brightly illuminate the road ahead without blinding other road users.
You can also opt for an active lane keeping system (£595) that includes blind-spot warning, or a £1695 ‘Driving Assistance Plus Package’. This adds semi-autonomous functions, including an advanced traffic-following adaptive cruise control system, an emergency avoidance assist and a lane-change assistant. Ideal if you want to get from A to B with minimal fuss.
Tell me more about the engine options
There are just two engine options to begin with, and both of them are fitted with Mercedes' 9G-Tronic torque convertor-based automatic gearbox as standard.
Opt for the entry-level E220d and you'll get Mercedes' new OM645 diesel engine. It's a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder single-turbo engine, which produces 192bhp and 295lb ft. That allows the E-class to sprint from 0-62mph in 7.3sec.
Mercedes also claims that the E220d will average 72mpg and emit just 102g/km of CO2. Not shabby, we're sure you'll agree – we just hope it's more refined than the four-cylinder diesels that have preceded it.
The second option in the range, and the one that will unquestionably be best suited for those seeking the smoothest, quietest option, is the 3.0-litre V6 diesel. It puts out a higher 255bhp and 457lb ft, granting the big E a 0-62mph time of 5.8sec.
There's a predictable penalty to efficiency, though, with emissions climbing to 133g/km of CO2 and the average economy falling to 55.4mpg. Still impressive, given the punch on offer, however, and unlikely to trouble a private buyer much.
Is it a good deal compared to its rivals?
Mercedes has priced the new E-class pretty competitively, so provided it stacks up on the road then it should be a choice that's easy enough to justify.
For example, a BMW 5-series 520d SE with an automatic transmission would cost £34,165. That's £1770 less than the Mercedes, but it's also a model that's six years old now.
You could have a more recent Jaguar XF for a similar amount, though, with the 178bhp automatic diesel version costing £34,550 – £1385 less than the Mercedes but lacking some of the impressive technical highlights.
If the front-drive Audi A6 was more to your tastes, you'd have to stomach a premium of £1905 over the Mercedes. Like the BMW, it's also an older model, having been launched back in 2010.
What's next for the new E-class range?
You can expect the E350e, a four-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid, to arrive in late 2016. Mercedes states that it packs 275bhp and 443lb ft, granting it a 0-62mph time of just 6.2sec. Expect low emissions and impressive claimed economy figures, too, but exact specifications have yet to be announced.
There will also be the range-topping Mercedes-AMG E63, which is expected to feature the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 from the C63 and GT. More details on that in due course, but expect it to have around 570bhp.
If a saloon version of the E-class isn't to your taste, however, have no fear. A coupe version is expected in spring 2017, followed by a convertible version later in autumn.
Read CAR magazine's report on the reveal of the new E-class here.