Mercedes' new off-road estate
Mercedes-Benz is getting in on the 'soft-roader' estate market by launching the new E-Class All-Terrain at the Paris Motor Show. It's based on the new E-Class Estate and goes on sale in early 2017. The All-Terrain is clearly designed to compete with the Audi A6 allroad quattro and the forthcoming Volvo V90 Cross Country.
You'll not mistake the All-Terrain model for any other Mercedes E-Class, mainly because of the black plastic that covers the lower section of the body work and the wheelarches. More rugged looking bumpers front and rear have also been fitted and there's an increase in the ride height. Indeed, the All-Terrain is 29mm higher than the E-Class Estate, though 14mm of that is due to the fitment of large wheels (19- or 20-inch rims) on high profile tyres. The front end looks quite distinct from the regular E-Class thanks to the unique silver grille and redesigned bumper underneath.
Less has changed on the inside, so the E-Class All-Terrain still has a huge boot, loads of storage and a split-fold rear seat back. Differentiating it up front is aluminium-carbon look trim, stainless steel pedals with rubber studs and All-Terrain branded floor mats.
Revealing that the E-Class All-Terrain is targeted at European markets, it is being launched solely with diesel power, initially at least. Mercedes has confirmed that the range will eventually feature an E 350 d model powered by a V6 diesel, but it will kick off with the E 220 d, powered by the company's new four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbodiesel and fitted with its excellent nine-speed automatic transmission. Key figures are 194hp, 400Nm of torque, 0-100km/h in eight seconds dead and emissions from 137g/km. That latter number may not sound very impressive next to the standard E 220 d Estate's rating, but the All-Terrain comes as standard with 4Matic four-wheel drive. The All-Terrain also features Air Body Control as standard, which is a fully adjustable air spring system. This allows three different ride heights depending on conditions.
The Dynamic Select system allows drivers of the E-Class All-Terrain to choose between five different driving modes, one of which is called All-Terrain. This raises the ride height, alters the thresholds for ESP stability control, active yaw control and traction control, while displaying vehicle information to the driver that could be of use while traversing rougher ground.
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