Automotive

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain shows wagons still have a pulse

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain s...
The Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain is a tougher, high-riding version of the Estate
The Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain is a tougher, high-riding version of the Estate
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In its everyday setting, the car sits 29 mm higher than a regular E-Class Estate
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In its everyday setting, the car sits 29 mm higher than a regular E-Class Estate
The E-Class All-Terrain sets itself apart with extra body cladding 
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The E-Class All-Terrain sets itself apart with extra body cladding 
The body cladding and ride height make the All-Terrain look a bit tougher than before 
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The body cladding and ride height make the All-Terrain look a bit tougher than before 
The E-Class All-Terrain will be diesel-only 
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The E-Class All-Terrain will be diesel-only 
The All-Terrain joins the Volvo V90 Cross Country in the luxury soft-road estate market 
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The All-Terrain joins the Volvo V90 Cross Country in the luxury soft-road estate market 
The car's exterior is largely unchanged, although the chrome and plastic cladding give it more of a Subaru Outback vibe
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The car's exterior is largely unchanged, although the chrome and plastic cladding give it more of a Subaru Outback vibe
The E-Class All-Terrain gets on the move 
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The E-Class All-Terrain gets on the move 
Mercedes has dipped into its SUV parts bin to toughen the E-Class up
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Mercedes has dipped into its SUV parts bin to toughen the E-Class up
The cabin is the same high-tech showpiece as you'd find in the E-Class 
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The cabin is the same high-tech showpiece as you'd find in the E-Class 
Mercedes is launching the car at the Paris Motor Show 
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Mercedes is launching the car at the Paris Motor Show 
The twin-strake grille is straight from the Mercedes SUV parts bin
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The twin-strake grille is straight from the Mercedes SUV parts bin
Unique dash trim is one of the only differences between the All-Terrain and the Estate
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Unique dash trim is one of the only differences between the All-Terrain and the Estate
The skid plate is new to the E-Class 
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The skid plate is new to the E-Class 
All-Terrain mode is new to the E-Class Estate
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All-Terrain mode is new to the E-Class Estate
The car's All-Terrain mode in action
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The car's All-Terrain mode in action
Because off-roading needn't mean losing the luxury
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Because off-roading needn't mean losing the luxury
The E-Class cabin is still a high-tech showpiece 
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The E-Class cabin is still a high-tech showpiece 
The All-Terrain will hit showrooms next years
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The All-Terrain will hit showrooms next years
Air suspension is standard equipment 
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Air suspension is standard equipment 
The E-Class All-Terrain comes with 19 or 20-inch wheels 
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The E-Class All-Terrain comes with 19 or 20-inch wheels 
Top speed is 232 km/h with a 2.0-liter diesel fitted
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Top speed is 232 km/h with a 2.0-liter diesel fitted
The E-Class All-Terrain gets on the move
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The E-Class All-Terrain gets on the move
Plastic cladding and bigger tires make the All-Terrain look tougher than the regular Estate
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Plastic cladding and bigger tires make the All-Terrain look tougher than the regular Estate
A punchier diesel engine will be offered later in the car's life
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A punchier diesel engine will be offered later in the car's life
The grille hides a relatively small diesel engine 
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The grille hides a relatively small diesel engine 
Just make sure you wipe your feet before you step inside 
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Just make sure you wipe your feet before you step inside 
The rear bumper is part plastic, part chrome 
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The rear bumper is part plastic, part chrome 
The E-Class All-Terrain can be considered an SUV-lite
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The E-Class All-Terrain can be considered an SUV-lite
The E-Class All-Terrain is better in grassy fields and gravel roads than the standard car
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The E-Class All-Terrain is better in grassy fields and gravel roads than the standard car
One of a few interior hints at the All-Terrain's off-road potential
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One of a few interior hints at the All-Terrain's off-road potential
The car should ride nicely around town thanks to its air suspension
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The car should ride nicely around town thanks to its air suspension
The Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain is a tougher, high-riding version of the Estate
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The Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain is a tougher, high-riding version of the Estate
The E-Class Estate has been jacked up for better gravel and grass handling 
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The E-Class Estate has been jacked up for better gravel and grass handling 
Mercedes has fitted some gumboots to its E-Class Estate
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Mercedes has fitted some gumboots to its E-Class Estate
View gallery - 34 images

The world has gone SUV crazy in recent times, but there's still hope for devout wagon lovers. Volvo has the gorgeous V90 and more rugged Cross Country, and Mercedes has turned the new E-Class into the delightfully practical Estate. That practicality has now been paired with a raised ride height and the motoring equivalent of gumboots to create the new E-Class All-Terrain.

Compared to the regular E-Class Estate, there are a few noticeable tweaks making the All-Terrain a bit more gravel, mud, and grass friendly. Gone is the sporty front splitter, and in its place is a plastic and chrome bumper to match the side skirts and rear cladding. The car sits on unique 19 or 20-inch wheels, and the twin-strake grille is nicked straight from the Mercedes SUV parts bin.

There's more to the All-Terrain transformation than plastic cladding. Thanks to bigger tires and the standard air suspension tune, it sits 29 mm (1.14 in) higher than the standard Estate, although flicking through the different drive modes can add another 35 mm (1.4 in) to the ride height. Ground clearance ranges from 121 to 156 mm (4.8 to 6.1 in), with unique stability and traction control tunes to match each setting.

The car should ride nicely around town thanks to its air suspension
The car should ride nicely around town thanks to its air suspension

Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, with 143 kW (194 hp) of power and a useful 400 Nm of torque, on tap from just 1600 rpm. Although you couldn't call it fast, the 232 km/h (144 mph) top speed and 8 second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) is likely to be enough for most. A more powerful six-cylinder will be offered down the track.

Both engines will be hooked up to the same 9-speed gearbox, which helps to keep CO2 emissions down to just 137 g/km on the combined cycle.

Inside, there's not much difference between the All-Terrain and regular E-Class Estate. The driver sits behind the same high-tech dual-screen dashboard, perched on the same sumptuous leather pews. There is a unique off-road display in the instrument panel, and a special set of trim finishes for the dashboard, but they're the only real changes to what was already a beautiful cabin.

Pricing will be announced early next year, and the car will hit showrooms at the start of Q2 2017. Expect to pay a small premium over the regular E-Class Estate, which should put it around the £40,000 (US$52,000) mark.

We'll be sure to check it out when it launches at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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