New Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain adopts tough stance at 2016 Paris show

The Mercedes E-Class range grows with the new All-Terrain variant to tackle the Audi A6 Allroad and Volvo V90 Cross Country

The new Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain has made its way to the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and will rival the recently-announced Volvo V90 Cross Country when it goes on sale in spring 2017.

Like the Volvo, the E-Class All-Terrain is designed to offer the practicality, styling and efficiency of a large family estate, while adding some extra off-road ability thanks to four-wheel drive, a higher ride height and more rugged exterior trim.

Best estate cars to buy now

The higher stance (by 29mm, compared to an E-Class Estate) is achieved through fitting larger 19 or 20-inch wheels with bigger sidewalls that add 14mm of lift and increasing the normal driving level of the air-suspension by 15mm. The All-Terrain also gets a new SUV-style grille, which incorporates a different front bumper design to emphasise the tougher looks. The tougher theme extends along the side of the car too, with black plastic wheel arches and a new side skirt.

At the back the All-Terrain gets a three-part bumper with body coloured, chromed and black plastic sections. Inside, the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain features a new package of materials including aluminium and stainless steel for the pedals. The floor mats get All—terrain lettering.

To help improve its off-road ability, a system called Dynamic Select is available as standard. There are five driving modes, including a specific one for this All-Terrain model. Derived from a version of the software in the Mercedes GLE SUV, it alters the car’s engine and suspension settings to improve comfort and performance.

The suspension raises by 20mm in the All-Terrain mode, but only up to a speed of 21mph. Active yaw control and skid control are adjusted to help with off-roading, too. A special off-road digital display shows some useful info inside the car, such as the steering input and angle of incline. You can even raise the suspension manually up to 35mm higher than normal.

Kit levels are the same as an equivalent E-Class, which means sat-nav, LED headlights, an electrically powered tailgate, a reversing camera, ambient interior lights, heated seats, DAB radio and those large 19-inch alloys are fitted as standard.

The only model available initially will be the E 220d 4MATIC, which has a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 194bhp and 400Nm of torque. CO2 emissions of 137g/km are quite a bit higher than the 109g/km in the standard E-Class Estate with the same engine, and economy of 55.4mpg doesn’t touch that car’s 67.3mpg figure, either.

The four-wheel drive system means it’s heavier, but the extra traction means it’s only three-tenths slower from 0-62mph than the Estate, taking 8 seconds. Top speed is 144mph, 2mph down on the standard E-Class Estate.

An E 350d version will follow, which will have more power and torque, but there are no details just yet. Both models will use the same nine-speed automatic gearbox as the rest of the E-Class range, though.

What do you think of the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain? Is there still a space for off-road estates in today’s SUV-crammed market? Tell us in the comments...

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