Top 10 best estate cars 2024

6. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate


Does the E-Class get any more convincing than in estate form? We think not, because if the role of a big Mercedes is to convey the whole family in enviable comfort, the estate is where you should spend your money. 

With the seats in place, there’s a healthy 615 litres, while dropping the 40/20/40-split folding rear bench liberates a cavernous, and flat-floored, 1830 litres of capacity (although as with others here, the plug-in hybrid’s version is smaller, at 460-1675 litres, due to the need to house a large battery).

The load area is also well shaped and there’s a low load lip and a powered tailgate, all of which make it easier to carry awkward items.

For the latest E-Class – codenamed W214, or S214 for the estate – there are a few changes. The first is that Mercedes has gone all-in on screens and tech. Higher trims get what Mercedes calls the ‘Superscreen’, which fuses a large central screen and a smaller screen for the passenger in a large expanse of black.

It mostly works quite well, and you don’t have to have it. Interior materials generally feel high quality too. Most new E-Classes in the UK come on sport suspension. We’ve yet to drive the estate in the UK, but we expect the ride to be okay rather than pillowy.

The plug-in hybrid E300e is likely to be the comfiest, as it comes on softer suspension. All estates have rear air suspension, but that’s more for self-levelling than comfort.

From launch in the UK, there are only three powertrains on offer, all using a 2.0-litre four-cylinder: there’s an E200 mild-hybrid petrol, an E200d mild-hybrid diesel and an E300e plug-in hybrid.

There are six-cylinder and four-wheel-drive versions in Germany, but it’s unclear if any of those will make it to the UK. For now, we’ve only tried the E220d, which proved very refined and very frugal.

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