Jan 22 2010 Maurice Glover
Class-leading E-Class estate
BIG is even bigger as the latest Mercedes-Benz estate car goes on sale.
But though load space has been stretched to a whopping 1,950 litres to become the biggest in its class, the new E-Class costs less than before and boasts better fuel economy.
Prices starting from £30,395 reflect a four per cent reduction compared with the previous model range and fuel economy as high as 49.6mpg means the 220 CDI covers almost 10 miles more to the gallon than its predecessor.
New innovations are designed to make life easy - even from across a busy car park. An electronic tailgate can be activated at the press of a key fob button, opening the tailgate and automatically raising the load compartment cover making up to 695 litres available with the rear seats in place.
And the rear seats can be folded down using just one finger thanks to a quick-fold system that opens up the cavernous load area.
'The car's class-leading dimensions means a customer could easily load an office desk, a large gas barbecue, a fridge freezer, a 50' plasma television or a 5ft sideboard in without any need to dismantle the rear seats,' said a spokesman.
'Because the car is able to carry large items of significant weight, rear self levelling air suspension is fitted as standard to ensure that ride and handling are not compromised.'
The model comes with a choice of three diesel and four petrol engines and a fourth power unit claimed to be the world's cleanest diesel engine will be available from June.
SE, Avantgarde and Sport trim grades all feature enhanced standard equipment with 16-inch alloy wheels, low rolling resistance tyres, parking guidance and Parktronic included on the SE and Avantgarde adds leather upholstery, black ash wood trim, ambient lighting, bi-xenon headlamps with adaptive high beam assist, lowered suspension, LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Sport versions boast AMG body styling, sports tuned suspension, sports seats, a three-spoke steering wheel, brushed aluminium trim and have 18-inch alloys.