2012 Mercedes E-Class
As is the case with many Mercedes, the E-Class Estate is no ordinary vehicle. Hugely flexible, this is a 7-seater that is equally at home ferrying passengers and cargo - and in some style. The most unusual thing at the Mercedes E-Class Estate is the seat configuration. As normal in the front and the middle rows, which form a 2-3 setup, the third row emerges from the floor of the boot and faces to the rear. It may seem a little strange, but it certainly works.
Mercedes has therefore turned the idea of a 7-seater on its head. Instead of formulating a third row of seating that can fold into the floor, the German automaker has engineered a vehicle in which the third row of seating merges out of the boot. That says a lot about this vehicle, as the default position is definitely for cargo space with the option of adding a third row of seats, rather than the other way around.
Rear Seats for Children
This arrangement makes perfect sense, as large families are more likely to be using the cargo space foremost rather than always driving around with seven people onboard. Although the rear seating is only suitable for children up to 140cm tall or 50kg in weight, how often would a family be ferrying around seven fully grown adults?
There are plenty more permutations with the E-Class too. The second row of seating can be split and folded into the floor in its entirety or in part, meaning cargo is easily accommodated. This huge amount of capacity reaches nearly 2,000 litres when all the seats are folded into the floor.
In terms of engines, the new E-Class is all about fuel efficiency, courtesy of Mercedes’ evolving range of petrol and diesel Blue EFFICIENCY engines. The four-cylinder diesels come in a 136 break-horsepower version, 170hp and 204hp, the latter of which generates the least amount of CO2 at 129g per kilometre. The Diesel engine averages 54.3mpg (43.5 to 64.2) and the Petrol engine averages 37.7mpg (28.2 to 46.3).
From then it only gets more powerful within the E-Class. A V6 diesel produces some 265hp, while the petrol engines offer a similar level of performance with a 184hp and 204hp available in 4-cylinder and a 306hp V6 version.
The top-of-the-range engine is the BlueDirect V8, which thumps out a massive 408hp and even 525hp, producing less in the way of emissions than preceding versions of the engine. Therefore, there is even an optional AMG performance upgrade available that brings the E-Class up to a huge 557hp. Torque is never going to be a problem with this vehicle.
Inside the Mercedes E-Class, it is as you would expect. Leather and chrome finish are ubiquitous against a backdrop of black on the dials and central console. Colour options include black, grey and brown leather, along with tan variations. The pick of the add-ons is a two-part panoramic sunroof that makes the most of the huge length of this vehicle. For those looking for an estate with the option of 7 seats, the Mercedes E-Class is hard to beat, but, as you would expect, it doesn’t come cheap.