A golden retriever, a Walkman for every young Master of the Universe, a swing set on the back lawn, and a station wagon parked next to Dad’s car in the garage used to be necessities in every American middle-class home.
In the modern digital age, the three-row Vehicle is the preferred family holdall, and only the dog is still a necessary bourgeois accessory. A small group of wealthy nonconformists still enjoy their Allroads, Sport Turismo, and Cross Countries despite the station wagon market having shriveled to a niche inside a niche.
Mercedes anticipates a higher take rate for the second-generation E-class All-Terrain despite all odds. When we drove the 2024 E450 4Matic, we fell in love with its looks and prowess.
Don’t allow the All-plastic-covered Terrain’s wheel arches, beefier bumpers, and custom grille to deceive you, even while it should be able to handle rough gravel and heavy snow and feels at home on a range of difficult surfaces:
For real mud wrestling and rock climbing, this luxury wagon lacks serious ground clearance, the steep approach and departure angles, and the fording depth necessary. Yet, this particular E-class is more than simply a lovely façade.
An optional “transparent hood” is part of the 360-degree surround-view camera system.
The All-Terrain is constructed on complex tech integrations of dubious value, similar to the E-Class car. Now, you can use your Apple Watch as a key, visualize your music along active ambient lighting strips, and, if necessary, use TikTok directly from the infotainment screen in your car.
Your go-anywhere wagon will also come with a selfie camera and the possibility for the driver to use Zoom on the car’s interfaces if you choose the full-width Super screen.
As part of a single Driving Assistance Package, optional ADAS systems include a lane maintenance assist, active steering help, and distance assist.
All of those factors contribute to Mercedes’ current emphasis on technological leadership, however, only roughly half of them are involved in their effort to dominate the automotive industry with unnecessary technology.
On the optional full-width Superscreen, aspiring off-roaders receive a new widget with custom graphics and comprehensive information.
A position-specific compass, temperature and elevation readouts, a tire-pressure gauge, a temperature gauge, inclination and tilt-angle meters, a suspension-travel pictogram, and a ride-height adjustment button are among the available information. There is also a hill-descent control that may be adjusted for any speed up to 11 mph.
The All-Terrain can securely transport you to the front door of a remote ski resort in the middle of a snowstorm, tow up to 4600 pounds of snowmobiles or trail bikes, and carry 65 cubic feet of fine claret in its luggage compartment. Nevertheless, it is still too expensive for the Rubicon Trail. Even the multi-beam LED headlights feature an off-road setting that corrects for abrupt drops and rises while enlarging and enhancing the close-range lighting at low speed.
The traditional E-class air suspension, which is backed by adjustable dampers and two anti-roll bars, remains unchanged. But, like all E450 variants, the All-Terrain receives the more powerful Sport brakes, which have larger 14.6-inch front and 14.2-inch rear rotors.
The only engine offered in the United States is a 3.0-liter inline-six turbocharged that now produces 375 horsepower (up from 362) and 369 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid-assist system may inject up to 23 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque to enhance both drive-away smoothness and kick-down performance, even if it doesn’t raise the engine’s maximum output.
According to its manufacturer, this allows the bulky five-seater to sprint from zero to 60 mph in an athletic 4.6 seconds. Although EPA fuel economy ratings are not yet available, we observed a perfectly respectable 22 mpg during a full-day drive across the tourist-heavy Dolomite Alps.
Repeat leadfoot action is not a problem, with the exception of when hammering the throttle for good on the autobahn because the combustion engine and deceleration events are constantly replenishing the hybrid battery. Due to packing restrictions, unlike the new E-class sedan, the wagon cannot be ordered with rear-wheel steering, and the All-Terrain is also not available as a plug-in hybrid.
Although there are other dynamic options available in a customized driving program, the car performs best overall in Sport, which is admirably engaging and well-balanced as long as you can put up with the loud, artificially increased exhaust tone. The electronic torque increase that summons the inline-full six’s immediate might while the combustion engine is still gathering its faculties has made it more valuable than ever.