The Mercedes E-Class is a great option for families that need plenty of space. Andrew Frankel takes it on the school run
Mercedes-Benz E220 CDI SE Estate
This model from £34,315
If you want a traditional estate rather than an SUV or MPV and space is your prime requirement, then it is to Mercedes’ mighty E-class you should turn. You might think it’s similarly sized to rival offerings from BMW, Audi and Jaguar, but it’s not. Seats down, it offers almost 2,000 litres of space – none of its direct rivals can better 1,700 litres. So if you’re packing sports kit and large items on the weekends, no other estate does it better than this.
Being a Mercedes, it also comes with limousine-levels of ride comfort and, thanks to standard self-levelling rear suspension, its handling remains unaffected however much luggage you put in the boot. It also comes with the option of two occasional third row seats for children up to 140cm and/or 50kg in weight – meaning even if you don’t have a large family yourself, you can join lift shares with other families. It’s no fireball to drive, but parents will find its space, safety and impressive fuel consumption more than makes up for its lack of pace.
- Engine: 2143cc, 170bhp
- Top speed: 137mph
- 0-60mph acceleration: 8.8sec
- Claimed economy: 55.4mpg
- Insurance Group: 34 (1=low, 50=high)