Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain (2017-2020) Review
A car designed specifically for owners who need the flexibility to cope with urban, highway and rural driving.
Strengths & weaknesses
- Lack of engine choice
- High emissions
- Fuel economy
Audi has stolen a march on its premium rivals when it comes to filling a need that some buyers have for a highly practical, go-anywhere estate car. Its A6 Allroad had the field to itself for many years, but there are a couple of new kids on the gravel drive to challenge its dominance.
First, there was the Volvo V90 Cross Country and now Mercedes has joined the fray with its E-Class All-Terrain, a jacked-up and more rugged-looking version of the latest E-Class Estate, launched in 2016.
And rugged-looking it most certainly is, with plastic body cladding on the wheel arches, enhanced bumpers, a black side skirt that features a chrome trip strip. Along with large 20-inch wheels, it looks every inch a toughened-up soft-roader.
The interior is what you’d expect from an E-Class Estate, but with a one of the higher specifications, including leather upholstery, a 12.3-inch widescreen display that flows out of the TFT instrument screen and an overall air of sophisticated comfort.
The technology angle is well covered with the Command infotainment system, which includes smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system is intuitive enough and there’s also voice control to minimise distraction.
There’s plenty of space in the cabin, with enough room for five adults (although four is better) and a 640-litre boot, which can expand to 1,820 litres if the 40:20:40 rear seats are lowered.
There’s only one engine option, a 3.0-litre V6 diesel that works very well with the car, supplying plenty of punch on the road and decent economy, considering the car has a nine-speed auto ’box and all-wheel drive.
If you expect the All-Terrain to be an E-Class Estate, you might be surprised to find that it’s ever-so-slightly different – and in a positive way. It rides slightly higher, but the body control is well contained and it doesn’t feel wallowy. Indeed, it handles in as agile and well balanced a way as the E-Class, with direct and involving steering.
The ride is also very well executed, with the air suspension system offering a comfortable and relaxing sensation for all the car’s occupants. In combination with the fine handling, this creates the impression of a highly accomplished on-road character – which is also carried over to any off-roading required of it. We have tested in on some mild off-tarmac surfaces and found it to be just as competent as it is on the road.
The E-Class All-Terrain has some stiff competition in the A6 Allroad and V90 Cross Country, both of which are very good cars. But the All-Terrain is up there, carrying over the comfortable and luxurious qualities that have made the E-Class Estate so well received. It is more expensive than comparable variants of its rivals, but it comes with a good standard equipment specification.
|Warranty||Three years/unlimited mileage|
|Boot size||640/1,820 litres|
|Tax||£800 in the first year, £140 thereafter|
- September 2016: The E-Class All-Terrain makes its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show 2016
- June 2017: E-Class All-Terrain goes on sale in the UK.
Understanding Mercedes-Benz E Class All-Terrain names
There’s only one available engine with the All-Terrain, a three-litre V6 350d diesel.
There’s also only one transmission option, a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox.
Mercedes-Benz E Class All-Terrain Engines
Power for the E-Class All-Terrain comes from a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel engine that produces 258PS, enabling a 6.2-second 0-62mph time. Fuel economy for a car with permanent four-wheel drive is a reasonable 41.5mpg on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions of 179g/km are more in line with what you’d expect from an SUV.
The engine certainly has plenty of power, pulling the car smartly along, even below 2,000rpm, and offering plenty of urge from a standing start and when overtaking is required. The nine-speed automatic gearbox also works very well with the engine , never making the driver feel that the wrong gear has been engaged. All in all, it’s a highly effective pairing, with the refined engine and decisive transmission making for a relaxing drive.
Mercedes-Benz E Class All-Terrain Trims
There’s just the one variant of the E-Class All-terrain at launch, the Edition.
The specification includes 20-inch alloy wheels, Air Body Control air suspension, front and rear bumpers with simulated underguard in silver chrome, SUV-style radiator grille, Led headlights with Highbeam Assist, full-length glass sunroof, powered tailgate, Dynamic Select with All-Terrain driving mode, electric folding mirrors, dimming rear-view mirror, rear privacy glass, parking package with Active Parking Assist and reversing camera, keyless go system, tow bar with electric socket, DAB radio, Comand Online infotainment system with widescreen 12.3-inch media display, voice control, smartphone integration with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Burmester surround sound system, heated leather front seats with electro-pneumatic four-way lumbar support and seat cushion depth adjustment, and a multifunction steering wheel.
Mercedes-Benz E Class All-Terrain Reliability and warranty
The All-Terrain is too new to have appeared in the 2017 Driver Power survey, and the new E-Class also isn't listed. The C-Class – Mercedes-Benz’s best-seller in the UK – does make a showing, however, appearing 40th in the list of the top 75 most reliable cars, which is pretty much the definition of mid-table mediocrity.
Mercedes-Benz, as a brand, fares no better in the table of most reliable manufacturers, coming 21st out of 27.
The Mercedes-Benz warranty covers three years and unlimited miles, which is in line with BMW, but outdoes Audi’s 60,000-mile limit.
Used Mercedes-Benz E Class All-Terrain
The E-Class All-Terrain has been available since mid-2017, so a few ex-demo used cars are starting to filter on to the market, with useful discounts of around £4,000 - £5,000.
However, BuyaCar has even larger discounts on new cars, with up to £7,600 off cars bought with cash or a reduction of around £9,800 for cars on finance deals, a 16.64% discount.
The Mercedes E-Class is a large saloon car that's comfortable, luxurious and spacious
Still the leading luxury family car, the Mercedes E-Class also offers the latest tech - at a price