The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a big and heavy car, and we matched it to a caravan weighing just over 1600kg.

But you wouldn’t have known from the way it accelerated, taking just 7.4 seconds to pull from 30-60mph. So you shouldn’t be stuck behind dawdling traffic for long, even with a caravan in tow.

It’s a stable tow car as well as a quick one, with no movement at the motorway limit. When we pushed on to 70mph there was some slight sway, especially when the wind picked up, but otherwise we found the Merc a confidence-inspiring tow car.

Hill starts tend to favour 4x4s, but the rear-wheel-drive E-Class had no trouble with the 1-in-6 slope in the dry.

The only slight disappointment with the Merc’s performance as a tow car was the 11.3m stopping distance from 30mph. It was a stable and controlled stop, but other cars in this weight class came to a halt more quickly.

In everyday driving, the E-Class is refined and quick. With comfort mode selected, the air suspension delivers a fair degree of comfort, too.

Inside, the Mercedes is very well-finished and there’s plenty of space whether you are travelling in the front or the back. And although the boot isn’t as big as the previous E-Class Estate’s, it’s still large enough for all our holiday luggage.

However, the handbook warns against towing at more than 19mph if the run-flat tyres suffer a puncture, which lost some marks with our practicality judges.

The E-Class is stiffly priced, although What Car?‘s research suggests big discounts are available. Your money buys a long list of standard kit, though, and the E-Class has a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.

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