For the thick end of £40,000, you have the right to expect a superb towcar. With the E-Class, you get one.
The Merc sprinted from 30-60mph in 11.8 seconds, and was happy to hold 60mph into headwinds or up steep gradients. The hill start was dismissed easily, although the foot-operated parking brake needed a firm shove to hold the outfit.
The E-Class is every bit as capable solo, with surprisingly crisp cornering for such a big car and very little body roll.
With the seats folded flat, the boot is a huge 1950 litres, although with the seats up it couldn’t quite manage our full load of holiday gear.
It might be expensive to buy, but at least fuel bills will be reasonable: expect around 37.2mpg driving solo. What Car? predicts the E-Class will be worth a respectable 45% of its original asking price in three years’ time.