I like to ease into things, so initially took the Mercedes-Benz E400 Estate supermarket shopping with the boys - my 7 year old chose to sit in the boot seat and loved every minute of the trip. Then it was off to afternoon tea with friend and her daughter. We all piled in and had a supremely comfortable trip out to Eltham. Fair to say too, that the first time I drove it was in the wet and I was surprised by how well it 'stuck' to the road. It was like driving in dry conditions. It was a really lovely car to drive - in every way. I wanted to drive all day in it.
This is a family car, so somewhere everyone can have a good time. Perhaps the beach or the zoo? Even with the boys in the boot seats, there is room for a few bags or a picnic basket.
Definitely hot. I normally drive a Volvo XC70 but would love more space and having seven seats would be so handy... but I don't like SUVs and I really can't see myself in a minivan, so the Mercedes and the boot-seats are a perfect solution.
I've never really found Mercedes seats to be comfortable - they are generally a bit too hard for my liking. But the seats in this were perfect. The driving position was great. Roomy without being cavernous. The console layout is also excellent. Elegant, not fussy, and easy to navigate - this is helped in part by same format as my husband's Mercedes ML250, so moving between the cars was no problem.
The boot seats! Hands down. And the clock on the dash is pretty cool, too. But yes, I loved how easy the extra seats were to use. Very straight forward to work out without having seen an instruction manual. I loved the shape of the car, and the driving position. So comfy! It just felt so solid and safe on the road.
My Volvo doesn't have parking sensors so I found the beeps and bloops from the Mercedes a bit distracting - so I generally turned them off. Not a bad thing too - as relying on the reverse camera in the wet can be a challenge - it is impossible to see anything with spray and grime on the lens.
From the boys' point of view, the back seat was quite low. The 12 year old could only just see out the side window - and he's certainly not a short boy. But overall an excellent family car.
Mercedes does offer a fixed price service option, but to be honest I tend to leave these matters to my husband to look after. However I will say that our current Mercedes has been trouble free, and knowing there is 24hr roadside assist (for the duration of the three year warranty) is always great peace of mind.
For me - the price. At a smidge under $140,000 it is a bit expensive. But I know the E400 has lots more power than I would ever use, so I would opt for one of the equally practical but lesser-engined models. The E200 Estate at about $90,000 would suit me better.
Oh it's serious. I've already started to see what trade in price I can get for the Volvo...
It really ticks all my boxes for a great family wagon, and there is nothing else that offers the premium feel with this level of practicality - without looking at an SUV. If Volvo or Skoda made a 7-seat wagon, I'd think about it - but the E-Class Estate is pretty hard to beat.