In terms of the space on offer, the E-Class Estate continues to be one of the favourites in its segment. Intelligent features such as the cargo position for the rear seat backrest with its 40:20:40 split (both as standard) allow even better use to be made of the generous load-carrying capacity. The rear seats in the new Estate provide comfort on long journeys as well as generous spaciousness. Family-friendly features include the optional folding bench seat in the load compartment and the standard-fit i-Size child-seat mountings on the outer seats in the second row.
With a capacity of 640 to 1820 litres, the E-Class Estate's load compartment is one of the largest in the segment and, in spite of the far more sporty roof lines, its rear headroom and elbow room once again raise the benchmark in this category.
As standard, the rear bench seat has new cargo-related functionality: it is now possible to position the backrest at an approximately 10-degree steeper angle. This creates an additional 30 litres of cargo volume – making a total of 670 litres – while still allowing full use to be made of the five seats. The cargo position is possible thanks to a bar which extends and allows the backrest to be locked in a steeper position.
In addition, the rear seat backrest folds down in a 40:20:40 split as standard, opening up plenty of potential configurations between transport capacity and seats. To release the backrests, there are electric switches located in the load compartment and to the right and left next to the backrests. Operated by springs, the rear backrests then drop onto the seat surface automatically.
A through-loading feature is created by folding forward the entire 20-percent centre section of the backrest. A ski and snowboard bag is available as an optional extra, allowing up to four pairs of skis or two snowboards to be transported and kept clean in the interior. Straps are used to lash down the bag in the load compartment. There are additional outside and inside pockets for personal accessories and small items. Rollers make it easier to transport the ski and snowboard bag when it's outside the car.
The developers paid particular attention to practical dimensions and innovative management of the load space. With a minimum load compartment width between the wheel arches of 1100 millimetres, it was possible to retain the preceding model's excellent measurements. Another loading scenario the packaging specialists at Mercedes-Benz scrutinised as early as the development phase was the "longest board". When the front passenger seat is folded down, a board measuring 3180 x 300 x 30 mm can be transported on the front passenger side.
Cargo capacity measurements are first taken digitally using CAD data, then later 'for real' as soon as the first vehicles have been built. And not just taking into account the VDA cuboid specified in the relevant standard with edges measuring 200 x 100 x 50 mm. The Mercedes-Benz shopping cart contains around 100 items – from matchbox to tablet PC to golf bag – which are used depending on the vehicle, segment and application (load compartment or stowage compartment). Two examples in the new E-Class Estate: the load compartment holds up to 19 crates of 1.0 litre PET bottles or a washing machine – with a full complement of five people on board and with a retractable cover.
In this case, the boot sill height is 584 millimetres – a low, easily reachable level. As the load compartment is flat, the cargo can be pushed through easily without any steps. The compact rear axle with air suspension as standard likewise helps to ensure good use of space. Plus the air suspension allows an exceptionally high payload capacity of up to 745 kg.
Practical comfort solution: EASY-PACK tailgate as standard
The tried-and-tested combined cargo cover and net is back, offering both security from prying eyes and safety. Thanks to the electric drive, the load compartment cover moves upwards automatically when the tailgate is opened.
The EASY-PACK tailgate provided as part of the standard equipment can be opened and closed easily at the touch of a button for convenient loading and unloading. Operation is electromechanical. To prevent the tailgate making contact with the garage roof, for example, it can be halted in any position and its opening angle limited.
Optional KEYLESS-GO with HANDS-FREE ACCESS makes loading even easier: all it takes to open and close the boot lid fully automatically is a kicking motion with a foot underneath the rear bumper. There's no need to have your hands free or to place any items of luggage on the ground. This ease of operation is now also possible in combination with the trailer coupling (optional extra).
The EASY-PACK load-securing kit (optional extra) allows versatile and safe use of the load compartment. This clever solution for managing the load space includes rails in the vehicle floor, fasteners, a telescopic rod and luggage holders.
Practical down to the last detail: an array of functional stowage compartments
The E-Class Estate is also in pole position when it comes to the size and practicality of its stowage compartments. Its stowage capacity is even higher than that of its predecessor. By way of example, the stowage compartments in the front doors are now 50 percent larger thanks to the use of the Frontbass system. The overall stowage capacity is around 28 litres for versions with manual transmission (+ 1.7 l compared with the previous model series) or around 29 litres if an automatic transmission is specified (+ 0.6 l).
The following stowage facilities are new compared with the preceding model series:
- Centre console with larger stowage compartment for keys or mobile phone, for example
- Front and rear drinks holders in the door panels for bottles holding up to 1.5 litres (front) or 1 litre (rear)
- Spectacles compartment in the overhead control panel (in conjunction with the design and equipment lines)
- Stowage facility for iPod or MP3 player in the stowage compartment under the armrest
- Open stowage compartment in the rear at the back of the centre console (in conjunction with manual transmission: optional ashtray insert)
Plus the following practical stowage facilities, compartments and solutions are available in the load compartment:
- Additional stowage space beneath the load compartment floor
- Net on the left-hand side, behind which small items can be stowed
- Stowage compartment with cover on the right-hand load compartment panel
- Tensioning strap on the right for securing small items
- Bag hooks in the beltline panels on the left and right
- 12V socket
- Four load-securing rings on the load compartment floor
- Towing hook and hazard warning triangle in the boot sill beneath the load compartment floor
- Coat hooks left and right on the tailgate panel
Over and above these features, the Stowage package (optional extra) includes a wealth of useful features for keeping the interior neat and tidy such as double cup holders in the centre console, map pockets on the backs of the front seats, a collapsible crate in the load compartment and a reversible mat.
Family-friendly: third bench seat, i-Size mountings, child seats
From late 2016, the Estate will again be available with a third, folding bench seat for children (standard in the USA). In combination with suitable child seats, the folding bench seat in the load compartment is approved for two children of height approx. 115 cm and aged up to six years. A folding mechanism makes it easy to fold up the bench seat. When not in use, the seat backrest and seat cushion can be stowed beneath the load compartment floor. The folding bench seat, which also includes two three-point seat belts and two head restraints, is always finished in an ARTICO colour matching the other interior appointments.
Kids can enjoy first-class comfort and a high level of safety in the second row, too: the standard-fit i-Size child seat mountings on the outer seats, an enhanced version of the ISOFIX system, allow quick and secure mounting of i-Size and ISOFIX child seats. At the same time it was possible to achieve a curved, smooth transition between seat cushion and backrest. To give children the best possible level of protection in an accident, the child seat locks into two anchor points located between the seat cushion and seat backrest in the i-Size system, creating a rigid connection with the vehicle to prevent movement of the seat due to belt slack or incorrectly positioned seat belts. Top Tether fastening points provide additional protection by anchoring the child seat behind the rear head restraints, which reduces the risk of the child seat tilting forwards in the event of an accident.
Mercedes-Benz is extending its range of high-quality and safe restraint systems for little ones with the addition of the new KIDFIX XP child seat. The new model has been developed in cooperation with child seat manufacturer BRITAX RÖMER and is assigned to group II/III, making it suitable for children aged between around four and twelve and in the weight range from 15 to 36 kg. For larger children, the backrest of the Mercedes-Benz child seat can be removed in accordance with Euro NCAP requirements. With its exclusive Limited Black cover, the new model blends in seamlessly with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class interior.
From the fourth quarter of 2016, an integral child seat designed for use in taxis will also be available in combination with the basic version of the seats in fabric.
Ideal for long journeys: the front seats and their comfort features
The front seats create an ergonomic, sculptural impression with their form, uniting Mercedes-Benz's typical suitability for long journeys with a sporty look. The seat height and backrest angle are electrically adjustable as standard. The seats feature different designs, depending on the line:
- Even the basic fabric version emphasises the luxurious ambience of the new E-Class.
- The sporty bias and adapted contours of the seats for the AVANTGARDE Line, the centre sections of which feature horizontal stitching, put the accent on sportiness with good lateral support and back-ventilation (optional).
- The newly developed seat for the AMG Line impresses with a backrest with sporty side bolsters and a wide shoulder section for added lateral support.
- The EXCLUSIVE Line comes with vertically stitched centre sections, colour-matched to the overall seat sculpture in fabric/leather combination or nappa leather.
A designo seat with a diamond pattern in the centre section is also available. It features a perforation like that of the S-Class seat and the enhanced lateral stability of the sports seat.
Furthermore, the following additional options, among others, are available for the seats:
- Seat Comfort package with electro-pneumatic 4-way lumbar support, manual seat cushion depth adjustment by around 60 mm for individual adjustment of the thigh support as well as electric seat angle adjustment. The Seat Comfort package meets the criteria of the German association Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V. (Campaign for Healthier Backs).
- Fully power adjustable seat with Memory package with novel electric seat cushion depth adjustment offering an adjustment range of 60 mm as a one-piece cushion without gap. The package also includes 4-way lumbar support and power adjustable head restraints. The controls for seat adjustment, heating and seat ventilation are integrated in the door panel.
- Climatised seats for driver/front passenger with reversing seat ventilation for the front seats; electrically heated seats are also part of the seat ventilation package.
- Active Multicontour Seat package for the front seats. This includes the following functions: Energizing Massage, dynamic seat, multicontour backrest and – new – the Active Workout cushion (see below for details). The scope of functions also includes fast seat heating Plus and a 6-way comfort head restraint that allows the occupant to adjust the side bolsters in order to provide the head with comfortable lateral support.
The functions of the Active Multicontour Seat package in detail:
- Multicontour backrest: allows infinitely variable adjustment of the side bolsters for individual adaptation of the contour of the backrest.
- Dynamic seat: offers additional lateral support when cornering by inflating the side bolsters of the backrest on the outside of the bend.
- Massage functions: these functions have been enhanced for maximum comfort.
The massage functions include:
- Active Workout backrest and Active Workout cushion: these two new functions call on the driver/front passenger to actively participate by pressing back, thereby helping to strengthen the supporting muscles.
- Hot Relaxing Massage for shoulders: treats the occupant to an intensive massage with additional heat, similar to a massage with the application of hot stones. Individual air chambers massage the parts of the shoulder and back in different sequence and intensity.
- Activating Massage and Mobilizing Massage: these functions activate/stimulate tired areas of the back.
- Wave massage: makes a wave-like transition through the backrest into the cushion and, in various intensities and speeds, offers a completely new massage experience for the back and buttocks.
Further innovations in comparison with the previous model are the heatable armrests for the driver's door and the centre console in the Heat Comfort package (optional extra).