Mercedes-Benz E-class All-Terrain - Mercedes challenges Audi's Allroad

Rugged new model gives buyers an option between the E-class estate and the larger GLE

Mercedes-Benz has finally seen fit to launch a rival for Audi’s Allroad and Volvo’s Cross-Country models, in the form of the new E-class All-Terrain.

True to formula, the E-class All-Terrain mixes all-wheel drive underpinnings with a practical estate body, a raised (and adjustable) ride height, and distinctive styling features that hint at a readiness for the challenges of light off-road driving.

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A single power unit will be available from launch. The E220d uses Mercedes’ new 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, in this application developing 191bhp at 3800rpm and 295lb ft of torque between 1600-2800rpm.

That’s sent through a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission - used throughout the Mercedes range - to a 4Matic all-wheel drive system with Dynamic Select. The latter features five different driving modes, one of which is an All-Terrain mode specific to the car and similar to that used in the GLE.

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Selecting it has the effect of raising the Air Body Control suspension by 20mm up to speeds of just over 20mph. The traction control and ESP settings are also adjusted accordingly. The driver can control the suspension independently in a 35mm range, and the All-Terrain itself already sits 29mm higher than a regular E-class estate, thanks to 14mm of extra diameter in the tyres and 15mm from the air suspension’s standard level setting.

That realises a ground clearance of 121mm to 156mm depending on the mode selected. The higher-riding body is further enhanced with plastic body cladding, a skid-plate style appearance to the front and rear bumpers, and a choice of unique alloy wheel designs.

Inside, the All-Terrain is denoted by “aluminium-carbon look trim”, and a set of stainless steel-finished pedals. Final UK specification is yet to be confirmed, but Mercedes has revealed that a six-cylinder engine will be joining the lineup at a later date. The first UK cars will arrive in spring 2017.

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