Can Mercedes’ 2017 E-Class Topple Its BMW 5-Series & Audi A6 Rivals?

Even though Europe’s mid-size premium saloon segment isn’t as wide open as it used to be, the all-new E-Class’ main concern was always going to revolve around its two rivals from BMW and Audi.

To make things completely fair, Carwow’s Mat Watson could have squeezed the Jaguar XF and the brand new Volvo S90 in there as well, but if all you want to know is how the new Merc compares to its other German rivals, this was certainly a review worth doing.

As he usually tends to do, Watson analyzed each of the three models in a practical manner, looking not just at aesthetics and performance, but also comfort, practicality, fuel economy and UK pricing – where the E-Class was always going to be more expensive seen as how it’s only available with an automatic transmission.

The Merc also wins out when it comes to technology, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise to anyone given that it’s the newest entry here. As a matter of fact, looking at the Audi A6’s user interface and its screen resolution compared to what Mercedes got going on in the new E-Class, really shows how far ahead the Merc has come is in this department. On the other hand, Mr Watson found that the 5-Series menus were the easiest to explore.

The E-Class was also the “least uncomfortable” when it came to carrying three passengers in the back, and the best at fitting a baby seat.

There are plenty of solid tips about all three cars in the clip so give it a try and see which car eventually came out on top.


  • Grumpy

    When it comes to luxury, MB is the clear winner nearly always.

    • pcurve

      Iono, last gen E-Class was pretty crappy car inside. Cheap silver plastics everywhere, whereas BMW 5 actually used real metal. Even the current gen S-Class does remarkable job of fooling you. BMW and Audi use more substantial feeling materials.. (at least based on my poking and prodding sitting in side all 3)

      • Jds65

        really? i think you were confused of which car you were siting in.Most people will agree Benz does the best interior.BMW interior is out of the question, they use plastic in the current 7 series.BMW dash is plastic up to date.Audi does better interior then BMW imo.Benz interior quality can only be topped by an elite brand like Rolls Royce or Bentley.I agree on the last gen E-class being little cheap.

        • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

          honestly i saw hard plastics in S class more than 7-Series
          sorry Audi is based on FWD so it’s not in the same league as Benz & BMW at least for me

      • supermanuel

        I have a 2014 E Class and it is real metal inside.

    • Akira

      That’s just because the E-class is all new while the others are aging. I drove the new A4 and this is already reaching the A6 refinement; so who knows what the new A6 will do. Wait for the new models and we’ll see.

    • diego

      The Eclass is a new car, BMW and Audi are old models.

    • dumblikeyou2

      Uhuh, until it pretty much loses due to it and all other MB’s tremendous value loss.

      • Grumpy

        That’s true for any of the 3 German cars.

  • Kash

    I’ll wait for them to redo this test with the next 5 and A6. I didn’t notice how much lower the E’s dash sits. At least it looks a lot lower than the other two. I know a lot of it has to do with the new digital dash, but I’m still just amazed at it, it’s rather awkward looking to me honestly.

    • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

      the next A6 will be also FWD based
      so no big NO
      RWD vs RWD
      FWD vs FWD

      • Kash

        What are you talking about? I know the next A6 will be FWD, it’s an Audi.

        • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

          that’t exactly what i was saying
          why comparing FWD to RWD
          if you want to compare the FWD A6 compare it with another FWD
          leave the RWD compete with each other

          • Kash

            Because it’s the 3 Germans, the benchmark of luxury brands, the 3 kings, the ones everyone else is trying to compete with. People don’t care about whether their German car is FWD or RWD, all they wanna know is how nice it is, how expensive it costs, and what badge does it have up front?

            These 3 cars get cross shopped by everyone who’s in the market for one of them, and the brands themselves only see each other as competition. That’s why everyone else will compare them to one another regardless of which wheels drive their car. It’s more symbolic than anything else. Notice how little they focus on drivetype in this video.

          • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов
          • Kash

            That was only coming from BMW’s Australian Managing director (Mr. Seemann), no one from Mercedes was quoted in that article. He was also strictly talking about his market, not globally: “When you look at the statistics, we have here two competitors in Australia…” Australia is one market, globally the 3 brands much closer in terms of sales.

            It also doesn’t matter how each brand sees themselves and who they believe to be a competitor, but rather how their customers see them and who those same customers will compare them to, and their customers see them as equals to be cross shopped with one another. That’s why independent reviewers always pit them against each other and always will.

            Edit: the author of the article even calls Mr. Seemann crazy for disregarding Audi as a competitor.

          • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

            got your point

  • dumblikeyou2

    I think the better title for this article might be: “Can the new Mercedes E-Class Be Mistaken for a Lowly C-class?”

    • xxx

      I would say: “why mercedes launched its new model line in S, M and L size?”

  • Patrick

    the new 7 series has a smother ride than the s class, if you read all the reviews, some have indicated the slightly stiff ride the mb has(i test drove both ,but ended up buying the new q7), so when the new five and a6 come out we shall see(the q7 has neither tire noise nor wind noise)

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