The all-terrain wagon wars are heating up, which is tremendous news. Mercedes is throwing its hat in the ring against the likes of the Subaru Outback, Volvo V90 Cross Country and the woeful Audi Allroad.
This newest contender is called the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain. Essentially, it’s an E-Class wagon with 4Matci all-wheel drive, a lifted suspension and some subtle body armor. Under the hood is a mighty 2.0-liter turbo-diesel, with a six-cylinder turbo-diesel option coming later. A nine-speed automatic adds further to the wagon’s efficiency, helping make up for the fatter tires and extra curb weight.
While nobody should mistake this thing for a G-Wagon, it will be able to take on some mildly rutted dirt trails on the way to tee time at the country club. Even though it looks like underbody protection has been added, the All-Terrain wears none.
Now for the sad news: the United States isn’t getting the E-Class All-Terrain. At least not yet, but we may. Considering wagon sales are anything but strong here, don’t hold your breath. With Subaru rolling hard in the market and Volvo making huge leaps forward, there isn’t much room for competition. Americans want SUVs, even if they’re tiny little things.
If you’re looking for a real off-road champion, there are quite a few good options for what you would shell out on an E-Class wagon, like a Jeep, 4Runner or LR4.