The load space in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is simply huge. With five seats upright, there are 695 litres to fill – easily enough to cope with our typical load of holiday luggage. Lower the seats and you get a massive 1950 litres.
As a load carrier, the E-Class comfortably beats the BMW 5 Series Touring, but it’s not quite the BMW’s match as a towcar. In the lane-change test, the back of the car was dragged off line by the caravan on high-speed runs, and it needed some steering correction at 60mph in windy conditions.
The footbrake needed a firm push to be sure it would hold car and caravan on the 1-in-6 slope. Otherwise the Mercedes-Benz breezed through the hill-start test.
The E-Class is pricey, but strong resale values make it a sound buy. Even the auto version promises 53.3mpg on the combined cycle, which should ease running costs.