Anyone found a good interesting to drive but still comfortable practical daily?

rockits

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8,875
I bought a 2017 E43 AMG Estate towards the end of last year aiming for a comfortable practical daily that was still interesting to drive. I cannot fault how well it drives as a drivers car and MB have achieved a great deal in this regard. Just finding it a little less comfortable than I was hoping.

I just thought with the modern adaptive air suspension setups that two into one would fit better but it seems not so much for my needs. I'm looking for something biased 60-70% comfort ideally. Whereas the E43 flips it the other way so maybe biased 60-70% sporty and 30-40% comfort. The E43 ticks so many boxes and is a great achievement for MB as it is a really good drivers car. It does everything I need so well and has a lovely cabin/interior with all the spec I wanted. Just need something a little bit more comfortable. I must be getting old!

Anyone had the same quandary and found the ideal solution? I just need to do some longer journeys for work occasionally and carry some kit to site but still want something nice and interesting to drive.
 

Scaf

Member
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5,484
I bought a 2017 E43 AMG Estate towards the end of last year aiming for a comfortable practical daily that was still interesting to drive. I cannot fault how well it drives as a drivers car and MB have achieved a great deal in this regard. Just finding it a little less comfortable than I was hoping.

I just thought with the modern adaptive air suspension setups that two into one would fit better but it seems not so much for my needs. I'm looking for something biased 60-70% comfort ideally. Whereas the E43 flips it the other way so maybe biased 60-70% sporty and 30-40% comfort. The E43 ticks so many boxes and is a great achievement for MB as it is a really good drivers car. It does everything I need so well and has a lovely cabin/interior with all the spec I wanted. Just need something a little bit more comfortable. I must be getting old!

Anyone had the same quandary and found the ideal solution? I just need to do some longer journeys for work occasionally and carry some kit to site but still want something nice and interesting to drive.
What you need is a supercharged V8 Jaguar XKL ;)
 

rockits

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8,875
In the traditional vein: Have you tried a Ghibli S? Pretty damned comfortable. Sporty enough. Pretty large boot.

C
Good shout but I need a little more practicality ideally as carry a fair bit more bigger kit, tools, ladders etc. on occasion. So seats down and more load space sometimes. The Cayenne I have works well but it is even worse for comfort as also very sporty focussed. Both handle and drive really well but comfort is not top of the list of priorities for either the Cayenne or E43. I can compromise the sporty element more for better comfort. Still need the practicality though. Been thinking XC90 and Q7 which were on my list originally.

I've had a couple of 211 E55k Estates years back and found they were spot on and more comfort biased. MB seem to have focussed more on the driver and sportiness the last few years as have shifted the bias a bit since the E55k's.
 

CatmanV2

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44,737
Good shout but I need a little more practicality ideally as carry a fair bit more bigger kit, tools, ladders etc. on occasion

I suspect ladders are the only thing you would struggle with. The boot is remarkable IMHO. But no ski hatch or folding seats :(

C
 

Guy

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1,055
I have also had a couple of W211 E55ks but I did not find the next gen E63 5.5 turbo estate any less soothing. I haven't tried the later ones, which may have moved the dial towards sport. Great Q car too. Otherwise a s/c full fat RR Autobiog.
 

rockits

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8,875
I have also had a couple of W211 E55ks but I did not find the next gen E63 5.5 turbo estate any less soothing. I haven't tried the later ones, which may have moved the dial towards sport. Great Q car too. Otherwise a s/c full fat RR Autobiog.

Yes, I think they have dialled it up a bit on the 213. I had a 212 E Class Estate that was fine too.

It did come with the optional 20" alloys and 30/35 series tyres and I have dropped them down to the stock E43 19" alloys with 35/40 series tyres. I thought that might do the trick and it has helped but negligible really. Just seems the chassis is set up as more driver focussed. The Audi S6 Avant I drove before I bought the E43 was better biased to comfort in comfort mode but I didn't like the S-Tronic gearbox.
 
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rockits

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Have you considered an Alpina? Might suit your needs perfectly.

View attachment 110889View attachment 110890
Yes, I did consider going back to an E39 as had a couple of E39 540 M Sport Touring's that were spot on. Also the 2006 XC90 V8 I had for few years was spot on too. Just was trying to get something newer 2017 onwards but maybe I need to go backwards to go forwards!

Or split into two cars again which is where I was before but was trying to do two into one.
 

rockits

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I don't do tons of miles so don't need to worry about fuel economy really. Ideal budget would have been £20k-£30k. I could go less or a smidge more but didn't want to if I could help it. That is why the E43 hit the spot as ticked pretty much all my boxes just lacking in the comfort stakes which is quite an important one for me.
 

safrane

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I would steer clear of XC90 (MK2) with air-suspension if you want a sporty drive, it is too heavy and if you get wheels above 21" too crashy. The Twin Engine is very quick off the mark, but it struggles to put it down and keep to a straight line if the road is wet, or cambered.

They are superbly comfortable though and a great long-distance cruiser.

I suspect - like most asks for advice you will get 100 replies all with differing views.
 

rockits

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8,875
I would steer clear of XC90 (MK2) with air-suspension if you want a sporty drive, it is too heavy and if you get wheels above 21" too crashy. The Twin Engine is very quick off the mark, but it struggles to put it down and keep to a straight line if the road is wet, or cambered.

They are superbly comfortable though and a great long-distance cruiser.
I had an XC60 T8 and XC90 T8 on loan for a month a piece and both were very good although the XC90 was preferred. I found the balance very good although just a smidge harsh even on air but with the 22" alloys. I think the 20" alloys would be spot on and take that little edge off.

I am not really looking for much sporty interest really so the bias isn't too much there. Just didn't want something so dull as ditchwater that I might fall totally asleep at the wheel waiting for a gearbox or glacial turbo lag to get the thing moving! A nice slush box and N/A car or something with less lag would be ideal. The MK1 XC90 V8 didn't put the power down so well at full tilt either but had a nice blend to it.

I am a big fan of the 5.0 V8 SC JLR engine and ZF Auto but was trying to aim for something a little more staid and less conspicuous as a RRS or FFRR. Fussy aren't I?! :D
 
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rockits

Member
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8,875
I would steer clear of XC90 (MK2) with air-suspension if you want a sporty drive, it is too heavy and if you get wheels above 21" too crashy. The Twin Engine is very quick off the mark, but it struggles to put it down and keep to a straight line if the road is wet, or cambered.

They are superbly comfortable though and a great long-distance cruiser.

I suspect - like most asks for advice you will get 100 replies all with differing views.
Have you got 22's on your XC90? Or 20's or 21's. How do you find the ride?
 

AlpineAlex

Junior Member
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Try a Lexus LS460. N/A V8 and in sport mode the suspension stiffens and I actually have a bit of a giggle on B-roads because it takes a precise type of driving to navigate around the corners. Almost like how I'd imagine driving a 60s Mustang to be like.

If you'd prefer newer you could look at the Lexus GS F.

I'd also consider an Aston Martin Rapide, insanely practical given the hatchback and the rear seats drop down.
 

rockits

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What you need is a supercharged V8 Jaguar XKL ;)
LOL. It is a shame they never did an XJ 5.0 SC V8 Estate as that would have been ideal. Or a later XF V8 Estate but it seems not. Not even sure they did an XF Estate 3.0 V6 SC Petrol as that would have worked too. They did an F-Pace SC I think but never been a fan of the F-Pace as seemed one of those odd quite big outside but not that big inside cars.
 

mjheathcote

Centenary Club
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Try a Lexus LS460. N/A V8 and in sport mode the suspension stiffens and I actually have a bit of a giggle on B-roads because it takes a precise type of driving to navigate around the corners. Almost like how I'd imagine driving a 60s Mustang to be like.

If you'd prefer newer you could look at the Lexus GS F.

I'd also consider an Aston Martin Rapide, insanely practical given the hatchback and the rear seats drop down.

Rapides look relatively vgvfm.
 

flexwing

Member
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243
I know you will think this is a bit left field, but would you consider a Skoda Superb? I suspect, particularly in estate form, it will meet most of your needs. I had a Sportline (2019) model and it was superb! Very comfortable and definitely more towards the comfort end of the range. There is a 4 wheel drive 280 bhp model which is very well regarded. I had the 170 bhp 2 litre and it was surprisingly nippy and so very refined. I would say Audi A6 level of comfort.