The E-Class That Can Go Anywhere.... Well, Almost.
Mercedes dropped the details on the E-Class All Terrain ahead of it’s official debut at the Paris Auto Showby Robert Moore, on
Here in the U.S., we don’t really find station wagons all that exciting, so our automakers typically stray away from the body style. Luckily, wagons, or Estates as they call them, are about as popular in Europe as SUVs are here in the U.S., so automakers like Mercedes and Audi just so happen to have a few Estates in their U.S. lineups as well. With the tenth-gen Mercedes E-Class breaking cover at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, the E-Class Wagon was announced about six months later. We knew an All-Terrain version of the Wagon was also coming, but we had no idea when. Well, now we know that it will make its debut in Paris next to the standard E-Class Wagon and, even better yet, Mercedes has already dropped all the juicy details.
While this All-Terrain model is every bit the E-Class it is derived from, there are enough unique features to make it stand out while exposing the car’s true ruggedness. To start off, you’ll notice it has a completely different grille compared to standard E-Class Wagon. Furthermore, the lower fascia is completely different, featuring a rugged-looking insert that covers most of the air dam and smaller corner air intakes that look to house small LED fog lights.
On the sides, you’ll find ruggedized body cladding where the side skirts would be as well as cladding around the wheel arches. In the rear, the cladding from the wheel arches transitions into the cladding that covers the rear fascia. The insert around the tailpipes has been painted silver like the insert on the front fascia and also has a ruggedized appearance. The All-Terrain is available with three different sets of wheels that measure 19- or 20-inches in size. The sidewalls of the tires are larger on this model to help provide more ground clearance, while the suspension system also contributes to a slightly higher ride height.
Inside, the All-Terrain gets some model-specific features too, including aluminum-carbon looking trim, stainless steel stop and go pedals, and floor mats that are embroidered with the All-Terrain wording. The interior is based on the AVANTGARDE interior with features from the EXCLUSIVE and DESIGNO interiors will also be optionally available sometime after the car’s official launch. As with the E-Class Estate, the All-Terrain gets the 40:20:40 folding rear seat and a decent handful of driver comfort and safety features.
Greasy bits include the Air Body Control System, which comes standard on the All-Terrain, and allows the suspension to adjust from the standard ride height to as much as 1.377 inches higher, depending on the driver’s personal preference or the driving program selected. In all, the All-Terrain sits 1.14 inches higher than the standard Estate and has a ground clearance that ranges from 4.76 inches to 6.14 inches.
At launch, the E-Class All-Terrain will be available as an E 222d 4MATIC, which means it comes standard with all-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, diesel drinker. Power output is rated at 194 horsepower and 295 pound-feet. That’s enough to push the All-Terrain to 62 mph in about eight seconds on the way to a top speed of 144 mph. Shortly after launch, Mercedes will launch a six-cylinder diesel model. Both models will use Mercedes’ common 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission for shifting duties.
Keep reading for the rest of the story.
Why it Matters
You’ve really got to give Mercedes credit for doing so much to differentiate the All-Terrain from the standard E-Class Estate. It could have easily raised the suspension a few inches, threw on some meatier tires, and called it a day. Instead, the Germans took the time to add lots of model-specific features that you can’t get on the Estate. And, while I would never take something like a Mercedes E-Class off road, The All-Terrain at least has the equipment and ruggedized features to protect it should you go down a less traveled path. Pricing for the All-Terrain is unknown at this time, but should become available in early 2017.