Meet the rather handsome new Mercedes E-Class Estate | Top Gear
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Meet the rather handsome new Mercedes E-Class Estate

We like big boots and we cannot lie… it’s the E43 AMG and friends

Published: 06 Jun 2016

Oddly, Mercedes – which makes, at the current count, seven different models of crossover and SUV – has just revealed a car that could potentially render the lot obsolete. This is the new E-Class Estate.

You want space? The E-Class is still the daddy. Flip the rear backrests down and you’ve got 1,820 litres to play with here, which demolishes the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5-Series Touring. You still get 670 litres with the seats in people-carrying mode, and the split-folding bench can now be set bolt-upright to unlock an extra 30 litres.

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Fine, it’s people-moving you want, is it? Like classic Merc wagons of yore, Mercedes has confirmed that from late 2016, you’ll be able to spec your E-Class wagon with a third row of child seats in the boot itself, turning your regular estate car into a seven-seat, SUV-embarrassing school bus. 

A school bus with an interior from Tron, you understand, because the regular E-Class’s fabulous S-Class-like cabin and its fleet of self-driving, anti-crash and mega-tainment gadgets is copy-pasted into the estate. 

From the last E-Estate – a real fave – Mercedes has carried over the 1100mm-at-its-narrowest cargo bay and hidden storage compartments for valuables. Rarely have cubby holes been cooler. 

Obviously the sensible engines are the diesels, with Merc’s benchmark new 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor, capable of a claimed 67.2mpg, and the brawny 457lb ft 3.0-litre V6 present and correct here. All engines are connected to the nine-speed automatic as standard. But while we’ve no V8 AMG monster to salivate over yet (that 600bhp+ E63 replacement is coming soon), AMG has been busy creating a bi-turbo V6 amuse bouche. 

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The E43 AMG – that’s the sinister black car in the gallery – gets a twin-turbo, 3.0-litre petrol V6 that develops 396bhp and gets 4Matic four-wheel drive as standard. 

Listen up, Q-car fans: this regular-looking, AMG-honed E-class will crack 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds – just a tenth shy of Audi’s bi-turbo V8 S6 Avant, which has a whopping 50bhp advantage. Flat out – you guessed it – the E43’s good for 155mph. Mind you, so are most of the other engines – this lot are born bahnstormers, after all.

All E-Class Estates get air suspension on the rear axle to keep the car level when loaded with clutter. Mercedes says it’ll swallow a 745kg payload without complaint, or tow up to 2100kg. It’s a Swiss army knife with heated seats and ambient lighting, this.

So, do you reckon it’s time crossover fans of the world embraced the resurgent estate instead? Because this is as close to an S-Class Estate as Mercedes has got yet…

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