What is it like on the inside?
Since we’ve already covered that the boot can substitute for the Royal Albert Hall when it undergoes a refurb and the back seats could act as the dressing rooms, we’ll crack on up front. The current E-Class is dominated inside by its twin-screen set-up, which was inherited from the last-gen S-Class.
The new S-Class meanwhile, has a much more Tesla-esque portrait display front and centre, so it’s clear this horizontal multiplex is consigned to Mercedes' history books. Pity really – though it takes some getting used to, it’s a really impressive interface.
The latest MBUX operating system includes voice control (activated by a cheery “Hey Mercedes” prompt) and allows touchscreen operation of the central display. That’s handy with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now most likely dominating how you interact with your car – though the touchpad (now sans clickwheel) and steering wheel controls remain as alternative means of command.
On AMG-line models the steering wheel comes over all 22nd Century with a coating of touch-sensitive spokes. Hmm. Not sure that one was straight out of the common sense drawer, really. Happily, tactile metal buttons remain for working the climate control, while a head-up display is optional, and very good.
Now there’s no CLS Shooting Brake (more’s the pity), the E-Class is the flagship wagon in the Mercedes line-up. Sadly, it appears Mercedes has quietly dropped the E-Class All Terrain, which rivalled the Audi A6 Allroad and Volvo V90 Cross Country with its mildly taller, ‘you don’t really need an SUV after all’ attitude. Shame.