The newest version of the E-Class estate is in the making and has evolved into off-road style that looks like it will bring Mercedes class and refinement to a car that can travel over rough terrain and handle challenging conditions.
The type of car that the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain will be classed as has grown in popularity somewhat over the past year as other manufacturers look to bridge gaps in the market. Others such as Audi, Skoda and Volvo have well-established portions of this sector already so it will be interesting to see if the Mercedes can tip the scales.
As the huge boom in SUVs continues these types of capable off-road estates look like an appealing alternative and are probably much better suited to handle challenging conditions than a 2-wheel drive SUV, for example, and they can have similar price tags after options depending on manufacturer.
This E Class estate comes with a choice of two diesel engines which expands its range considerably from the normal E Class Saloon and Estate and is aimed particularly at the Audi A6 AllRoad and the awaited Volvo V90 Cross Country estate due out early next year.
At the moment not all of the full specifications of this model have been released but we can give you a good description of what this car will provide. One of the engines we know will be a choice on the car is the 350d turbo diesel engine from the existing E Class, which gives you a meaty 254bhp and 457lb/ft. of torque which will provide ample kick when you need to pull a car out of the mud.
Along with the engine power you'll get Mercedes' 4Matic All-wheel drive system coupled lovingly with their Dynamic Select traction control function which allows you to choose between 5 modes, just like the existing system on the normal E Class estate, although we predict that they'll bump the mode selections up a few strength notches to account for the new car's capabilities.
Also based on the regular E Class estate with the 350d diesel engine is its fuel consumption, which is estimated to be about 47mpg with 165g/km of CO2 emissions in the combined cycle, but its different body shape, wider tyres and more demanding use may produce different results, we'll just have to wait and see.
Using the nine-speed Automatic gearbox coupled with the 350d engine makes for extremely smooth driving, with the gearbox making no fuss over juggling ratios without the driver needing to take control via the shift paddles on the steering wheel.
As well as that the ESP stability control, ASR traction control and yaw control all have adjusted settings to match the more adventurous All-Terrains capability allowing it to wade, scramble and trundle where other cars cannot. This is helped further by the elevated ride height of 29mm by the larger 19" alloy wheels and the raised suspension.
It can get a total 156mm of ground clearance helped by air suspension and variable dampers up to speeds of 19mph which can be extremely useful for hill ascents, rutty roads and other tricky conditions, but after 19mph it will lower itself automatically.
Inside the All-Terrain is as stunningly presented as a normal E Class estate with luxurious leathers everywhere you look alongside a lot of tech, which might be a bit much for regular All-Terrain owners with the twin screen layout and a long list of driver aids.
Hopefully it won't take much getting used to as the lane keep assist, head up display and some expected autonomous driving capabilities will surely make things a lot easier for the driver as well as keeping the car going in the right direction.
Other new elements for the All-Terrain will be its buffed up outer bodystyle boasting flared wheel arches, silver-chrome front & rear bumpers and unique 2-louvre SUV-style front grille giving it a tougher looking appearance while still maintaining those classic Mercedes feminine lines.
That's all we know so far apart from an expected price tag of around £49,000 which could be lowered with the addition of their perfectly suited 220d turbo diesel engine hoped to join the 350d after first release of the car.
If you're looking for a capable off-road estate but can't wait for the release of the All-Terrain, take a look at the range of hardy estate lease deals
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