The Mercedes All-Terrain: A station wagon that thinks it's an SUV

21 September 2016 - 14:56 By AFP Relaxnews

Audi has the Allroad, Volvo has the Cross Country and now Mercedes is jumping on the bandwagon with the E-Class All Terrain; a car that mixes station wagon practicality with greater off-road capability.

New Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain
New Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain
Image: ©Daimler AG

"No E-Class has ever been as versatile as the All‑Terrain," said Ola Källenius, Mercedes Benz Cars head of marketing of the car that will be making its official debut at the Paris Motor Show. "The new model combines a striking look in SUV style with the intelligent space concept of the estate."

It will stand out from other E-Class models thanks to pronounced front and rear bumpers, a protective trim around the wheel arches and the choice of 19- or 20-inch wheels wrapped in fatter tires.

But don't think that plumping for an All-Terrain will mean that you'll get a car that really is Range Rover capable when it comes to really heading off the beaten track.

The new model does offer up to 156mm of ground clearance and permanent all-wheel drive plus some genuinely clever suspension technology. The car uses Mercedes' Air Body Control system so that the ride is as smooth as possible and yaw -- that rocking of the body from side to side when going over bumpy surfaces or cornering hard -- is kept to a minimum.

Inside the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain ©Daimler AG

The system can also raise or lower the ride height and work in conjunction with stability, skid and traction control systems. To simplify the whole process there's a dedicated all-terrain setting that alters the steering, gearing and throttle response as well as ride height. Information about steering angle, the angle of the car's body and data about the gradient of a slope or the steepness of the incline appear on the dashboard display.

So instead think of it as a car for all seasons and on-road conditions. The perfect vehicle for getting to a ski resort or to the stables or for getting the family home safely when the rain is torrential. And because it starts out life as a standard E-Class estate car it has a host of cutting-edge active driver safety systems, one of the best infotainment systems fitted to any car currently on sale and, of course executive levels of comfort.

As Källenius explains: The All‑Terrain is a flexible all‑rounder -- for unpaved roads, family and leisure time."

The All-Terrain will be offered with a 2-liter 194hp diesel engine at launch and a six-cylinder diesel will follow soon after.