Don’t Sleep on the 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain
Station wagons have almost become a thing of the past. Only a few still exist, most from German manufacturers. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain, though doing its best to camouflage itself as an SUV, is one of the last wagons remaining on the market, and you should totally buy one.
Why isn’t it called the 2023 Mercedes E-Class Station Wagon anymore?
Going back to 2020, Car and Driver shared some metrics on wagons from the 2019 model year. It found that of all wagons sold in the United States that year, 91% were Subaru Outbacks.
The Outback is a wagon, but it is as much a wagon as the Crosstrek is a hatchback. The purpose of the article was to show that buyers in the U.S. don’t buy wagons unless they appear rugged and SUV adjacent.
Much is the same with the E450 All-Terrain—formerly known as the E-Class Station Wagon. Americans don’t dig wagons anymore, but sometimes we buy them if they remind us of SUVs.
These wagons tend to sport plastic bumper cladding and slightly raised suspension to look more rugged and off-road capable. Much of this has to do with the Americans’ love of vehicles with capabilities they will almost never need.
The E-Class Wagon was rebranded to appeal to the type of buyer who daily drives a Jeep Wrangler or truck because they might need it one day. In reality, we could probably all comfortably get away with driving compact FWD sedans.
It may look rugged, but it drives like a car
The E450 All-Terrain is available with one engine option. Under the hood you’ll find a 3.0-liter straight 6 assisted by a 48-volt mild hybrid system that’s good for 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Such power can rocket this large family wagon to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, reports Car and Driver.
Besides the speed, one great reason to buy a wagon like the E-Class All-Terrain is fuel economy. The E-Class, like most German sedans, has an SUV equivalent of sorts. In Mercedes’ case, the SUV that occupies similar territory to the E-Class is the GLE.
Despite the immense speed, the All-Terrain manages 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Comparatively, a GLE450 equipped with the same engine only manages 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, reports Car and Driver.
Much of this has to do with the weight advantage a wagon has over an SUV. The GLE450 tips the scales at 5,151 pounds, while the E450 All-Terrain only weighs 4,585 lbs. Unfortunately, the All-Terrain loses some on-road manners when compared to the outgoing E-Class Wagon, but still handles and rides better than the SUV equivalent.
Wagon or not, it’s a great car
Whatever the configuration, Mercedes knows how to build excellent luxury vehicles. Performance aside, the E-Class All-Terrain is made with absolutely stunning materials. From the open grain wood to the high-quality plastics to massaging seats, the E-Class has the most features you’d expect from a $70,000 wagon.
The leather is top-notch, but Car and Driver report the simulated leather to be almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Tech-wise, you get MBUX through a 12.3-inch screen that has CarPlay and Android Auto.
If you desire that little extra bit of class, you can spring for the optional scent diffuser and enjoy the fragrance of your choice. The E-Class All-Terrain even has optional heated armrests—talk about luxury.
Don’t leave it off your list
It is understandable that folks looking for a family vehicle desire a higher seating position, all-wheel drive, and a great safety rating. Though the E450 All-Terrain isn’t particularly high off the ground; it has 4MATIC, a 5-star rating from the NHTSA, and better driving dynamics than the equivalent SUV.
Plus, with the optional rear-facing third row, the All-Terrain can fit seven passengers. It’s not an SUV, but it has the cargo space and passenger space of an SUV and looks very pretty while doing it. It may not be your first choice, but it is certainly worth a look.