The Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2024 all-terrain vehicle is an exceptional and charming car
Once upon a time, no middle-class American family was complete without a goldfish
Retriever, a Walkman for every novice Master of the Universe, a swing set that sparkles
The back lawn, and the station wagon in the garage next to Dad’s car. In today’s digital world, only the dog remains the must-have accessory of the bourgeoisie, and the family car of choice is the three-row SUV. Although the station wagon segment has shrunk to a certain niche within the segment, a small group of affluent non-conformists still love Allroads, Sport Turismos and Cross Country cars. However, against all odds, Mercedes expects increased take-up of the second generation E-Class All-Terrain. We drove the 2024 E450 4Matic and were impressed with its style and capability.
Although the All-Terrain feels at home on a variety of tough surfaces and should be able to handle loose gravel and deep snow, don’t let the plastic-wrapped wheel arches, larger bumpers, and custom grille fool you: This luxury wagon lacks clearance. Serious ground clearance, steep approach and departure angles, and the depth of traverse required for serious mud wrestling and rock climbing. However, this special E-Class isn’t just a pretty car. There are underbody skid plates front and rear, and the air suspension can be lowered by 0.6 inch (it automatically lowers above 75 mph) and raised by 0.8 inch (when fully raised, speed is limited to 9 mph).
Off-roaders get a new instrument with custom graphics and detailed information displayed on the optional full-width Superscreen. Available information includes a compass with location details, temperature and altitude readings, tire pressure and temperature gauge, inclinometer and tilt angle gauges, suspension travel diagram, and ride height adjustment button. There’s more, including hill descent control that can be set to any speed up to 11 mph. An optional 360-degree surround-view camera system includes a so-called “transparent hood”. This combined display uses an underbody camera that turns overlapping rocks and criss-crossing streams into a live video experience inside the dashboard.
That said, the All-Terrain is pretty pricey for the Rubicon Trail, but when riding a little higher than a sedan, it will get you safely to the doorstep of a remote ski lodge in the middle of a snowstorm, towing up to 4,600 pounds. of snowmobiles or bicycles, and holds 65 cubic feet of claret primer in its luggage compartment. Even the multi-beam LED headlights have an off-road mode that compensates for sharp dips and rises while broadening and intensifying near-field illumination at low speeds. There’s no change to the E-Class’s familiar air suspension supported by adaptive dampers and a pair of anti-roll bars, but like all E450 models, the All-Terrain gets stronger sport brakes with a larger 14.6-inch front diameter and 14.2-inch diameter front. Inch rear rotors.
The only engine available in the U.S. is the turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder, which now develops 375 horsepower (up from 362) along with 369 pound-feet of torque. Although it doesn’t increase the engine’s peak output, the hybrid assist system can inject up to 23 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque to improve ride smoothness and kicking performance. As a result, the five-seat car can accelerate in 4.6 seconds from zero to 60 mph, according to its maker. EPA fuel economy estimates aren’t yet available, but on a full-day trip through the tourist-studded Dolomites, we saw a perfectly acceptable 22 mpg. Because the combustion engine and deceleration events are constantly recharging the hybrid battery, repeating the car’s nose motion is only a problem when you’re pressing the throttle forever on the highway. Unlike the new E-Class sedan, the car is not available with rear-wheel steering (due to packaging restrictions), and the All-Terrain also cannot be had as a plug-in hybrid.
Although one can select different dynamic settings in a personal drive program, the car generally handles best in Sport trim, which is well balanced and engaging as long as you can live with the artificially boosted exhaust note. The six-cylinder engine is a gem, now more than ever thanks to electric torque boost that summons its full instant power when the combustion engine is still gathering its juice.
We hopped from one popular mountain pass to another, and while all the terrain felt big and heavy on the old crescendos, the nearly go-anywhere Benz remained resilient and stable pulling out all the stops when the road opened up. Comfortable, compliant and controlled, this car deserves four stars out of five for its solid cornering grip and well-balanced ride – we had no problem maintaining an energetic flow through turns at speed or slow. Although the steering is neither very precise nor very sharp, it puts you in charge with poise and confidence. The brakes require a little effort, and the pedal feels a little numb, but the system delivers the goods with agility and power, time and time again.
All-Terrain elements give the new E-Class wagon an air of go-anywhere capability that speaks to a much younger cadre of today’s wagon buyers. But at heart, this is a true station wagon, not a crossover, and therein lies the core of its appeal.
2024 Mercedes-Benz E450 4Matic All-Terrain
Vehicle type: Front engine, 4 wheel drive, 5 passengers, 4 doors
price (grandfather east)
Turbocharged and intercooled, DOHC, 24-valve, 6-valve, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 183 in32999 cm3
Power: 375 hp at 6100 rpm
Torque: 369 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm
9 speed automatic
Wheelbase: 116.6 inches
Height: 195.0 inches
Width: 75.0 inches
Height: 58.9 inches
Load size behind F/R: 65/22 feet3
Curb weight (grandfather Estimate: 4,700 lbs
performance (grandfather east)
60 mph: 4.3 seconds
100 mph: 11.4 seconds
1/4 mile: 13.0 seconds
Top speed: 130 mph
EPA fuel economy (grandfather east)
Combined/city/highway: 25/23/28 mpg
Although I was born the only son of an ornithologist and a postal employee, it was clear from the beginning that bird watching and stamp collecting were not my interests. If I had known that God wanted me to grow to 6’8″, I would have also ruled out anything to do with cars, which are responsible for herniated discs, torn ligaments, and the stupid hunched position behind the wheel. While working as a keeper at the Aberdeen Zoo, and smuggling cigarettes The cheap flight from Yugoslavia to Germany, and an awkward interlude with a group of amateur dramas, also failed to provide satisfaction, and driving a car and writing about cars became a much better option. That is still the case now. Many years later, I am approaching my 70th birthday. I love Every aspect of my job except for flying long distances on crappy airlines, I hope it shows.