Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain (2017) Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain (2017) At A Glance
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain is a tougher version of the regular E-Class Estate, designed to compete with similarly ‘lifestyle’ semi-off-road machines like the Audi A6 Avant and the Volvo V90 Cross Country.
That the All-Terrain is actually quite capable off-road is something of a moot point; this is a car for people who want the look and the ability, but don’t want an SUV and probably don’t plan to go off-road a great deal either. Just as lovely as the standard car inside with a bit more visual muscle outside, the E-Class All-Terrain comes in a single model and engine guise with a large price tag to match, but it is a very capable and impressive machine.
The laziest way to introduce the E-Class All Terrain is to call it Mercedes-Benz’s posh answer to the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack. There, we said it.
So what we’re looking at here is an E-Class Estate that’s raised a bit and has a four-wheel drive system of sorts – 4Matic simply directs the torque between front and rear axles depending on grip conditions – ergo giving it limited off-road capability and improved towing ability, although it’s worth noting that in terms of physical mass it can’t tow any greater loads than the standard E-Class wagon.
However, the four-wheel-drive system is a boon, and if you are the kind of person who doesn’t want something as frightfully gauche as a full-sized SUV, the All-Terrain combines the extra sure-footedness of something like that but wrapped in the more acceptable bodyshape of an estate.
So if you want to tow a horsebox across an occasionally muddy and bumpy field, the All-Terrain can do so happily but still cruise comfortably and quietly on the motorway.
There’s nothing on the inside to distinguish the All Terrain as anything other than a very well specced E-Class, though on the outside you’ll notice the model-specific three-piece rear bumper, as well as, perhaps, the thicker sidewalls of the tyres – that’s where a good half of the extra height comes from, as it happens. But the message is clear; this is an E-Class Estate with some kind of fancy hiking boots on.
Unfortunately this approach comes with some downside; 65,495 of them to be precise, which is what you’ll have to shell out in pounds Sterling to get your own example.
Sure, it comes specced to the max as standard, and you get the pokiest diesel engine and four-wheel-drive as standard. There are effectively no options you can get for this car, other than choosing the exterior colour and interior trim schemes. But this is still a whole heap of money.
And that causes a few problems. For a start, the Audi A6 Allroad has a choice of two engines and two trim levels within the Allroad package, and you can get into one for close to £10,000 less than the Mercedes.
The Volvo V90 Cross Country offers a similar take, with a choice of two petrol and one diesel engines and three trim levels - all costing less much less than the Mercedes.
To match the All-Terrain spec for spec you may need to spend a bit more, but the fact that you don’t have any choice means you really need to be sure this is exactly what you want; if you want to slum it (relatively speaking) the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack can tow 100kg more than the All-Terrain but will cost you £25,000 less...