A league of its own: Mercedes Benz says the new E-Class Estate is the largest car in the premium segment

The new Mercedes Benz E-Class Estate wagon joins the saloon and coupe models on the forecourts next month.

Now in its fifth generation the E-Class has sold over one million models sine 1977 and the new Estate, according to MB, is the largest car in the premium segment, with a load space that can be expanded from 695 litres up to 1950 litres.

It comes with a key-activated tailgate that opens automatically. Another feature is a quick-fold mechanism that lowers the split rear seat backs to create a level loading surface simply by means of a cable pull. It also has a folding load compartment floor which can be raised up and secured in various positions to increase usable height.

The new estate comes equipped with the much-publicised drowsiness detection system, automatic emergency braking, adaptive high beam assist and nine airbags. Air suspension with self-levelling at the rear is an additional feature.

In addition to its larger load area, interior dimensions have been increased to allow for more rear elbow and head room.

There is a wide range of engines but the most popular will be the E200CDI and E220CDI diesel versions, each of which comes with BlueEfficency low emissions technology and low road tax.

Prices will be announced nearer the launch date.