Back in July, the Mercedes E-Class took the Best Executive Car title at the Auto Express New Car Awards – thanks to its blend of performance, equipment and superior refinement. But now the firm’s E-Class Estate has hit the UK, you can add practicality to that list, too.

An executive estate needs to have a big boot, and Mercedes’ largest wagon duly delivers here, with 640 litres of space. This is 80 litres more than a Volvo V90 and 75 more than an Audi A6 Avant, while the Merc’s massive 1,820-litre load bay with the rear seats folded flat is nearly 300 litres up on the Volvo and 140 litres larger than the Audi. A standard power tailgate also boosts practicality.

Executive Car of the Year 2016

Clearly the E-Class Estate has what it takes to be a contender as an upmarket load-lugger, then, and this is reflected both inside the Merc’s cabin and in the way it drives.

Our AMG Line spec test car isn’t cheap at £40,430, but it comes laden with advanced equipment. Merc’s clever COMAND Online navigation system is standard, featuring an 8.4-inch tablet-style display. However, on our test car this was replaced by a larger 12.3-inch screen as part of the £1,495 Media Interface upgrade to go with the £495 12.3-inch screen that shows the digital dials.