The estate version of Mercedes' latest E-Class has now gone on the market in the UK. The new car offers up to 1950 litres of space and has self-levelling rear suspension as standard. It is also notable for reviving a feature that has now all but disappeared from mainstream estate cars – a third row of rear-facing seats.

Prices start at £29,785 on the road for the petrol-engined E200 CGI, and the premium for each estate model over the equivalent E-Class saloon is £1,750. The new car is actually 4 per cent cheaper than its predecessor, an aggressive move on Mercedes' part, given that the company has also improved equipment levels; other importers such as Ford have been forced to push through significant price rises in the UK over the last year or so in an attempt to compensate for the impact of the strong Euro. In all, there are three diesel and four petrol engine options, and almost all benefit from Mercedes' BlueEFFICIENCY CO2 and fuel consumption reduction measures. The top-of the-range model is the very fast E63 AMG version at £73,855.

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