Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain Review logo

Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2016
      Body type
      Estate
      Fuel type
      Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“E-Class Estate with wellies on”

Best bits

  • Versatile performance in all conditions
  • Powerful and refined diesel engine
  • Very high standard specification

Not so great

  • Unquestionably expensive
  • Ride quality hurt by standard 20-inch wheels
  • No engine options

Read by

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain front interior

On the inside

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain side exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain bootspace

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The E-Class All-Terrain in isolation is an impressive vehicle. It’s attractive inside and out, is highly versatile both in terms of the space available and its capabilities in a variety of conditions. It has a powerful engine and transmission combination and is exceptionally well-specified. But most of this is true for the E-Class, which is also cheaper and can be had with a far broader range of engines, so for most people the regular model makes more sense."

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain frontright exterior

The Mercedes E-Class Estate seems to have been around forever in one form or another. In fact the first E-Class equivalent in estate form arrived in 1978, which just proves that the idea was a good one. Even so, the intervening four decades has seen a number of fashions come and go, in particular the rise of the SUV. Mercedes-Benz has plenty of those too, but to appease those who want a car that’s somewhere between the two, they created this - the E-Class All-Terrain.


It’s fair to say though that this isn’t a new idea either. Back in the early 2000s, Audi had the idea of putting its A6 Avant on air suspension and toughening up its looks to create the Allroad. Normally German manufacturers are quick to jump on the ideas of their rivals, but it took until 2017 - and for Volvo to do something similar with its V90 Estate - for Mercedes-Benz to take the plunge and produce their own spin on an off-roading estate.


It shouldn’t take you very long to spot how the All-Terrain is visually different from the E-Class Estate. For starters it has a higher ride height than the standard car, has unique front and rear bumpers as well as a front grille that is slatted for a tougher look, and there is grey moulded plastic around the wheelarches and the sills. It’s a partial success if you like this sort of thing, but it would be a brave soul who thought it more handsome than the regular saloon.


It’s also important to note that Mercedes-Benz claims there is just a five per cent difference in parts compared to the regular E-Class Estate, so what you’re getting here isn’t particularly far removed from the original. However, what it can do, and how it performs on-road, is more different than that five per cent figure might suggest.


Unlike the regular E-Class, the All-Terrain is available in a single model with very few options. It shares its powertrain with the E400d, so that means you get the most powerful diesel option, a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 putting out a mighty 340PS and 700Nm of torque. 


Just like the regular E-Class with this engine option it comes with 4MATIC four-wheel-drive as standard, giving the additional traction that buyers are looking for, but the air suspension also provides the ability to alter the ride height by 20mm at speeds below 20mph. While that isn’t going to trouble a proper off-roader, it does mean the All-Terrain can venture to places that the regular E-Class - even the four-wheel-drive versions.


The E-Class All-Terrain offers a little extra versatility over the regular estate and for some buyers the ability to raise the suspension and head off-road will be a useful addition. However, it also adds some compromises, not least that it is very expensive. If your needs are so specific that the standard E-Class Estate or a Mercedes SUV doesn’t meet them then the All-Terrain makes sense, but that is probably a very small group of buyers.

Is the E-Class All-Terrain right for you?

The E-Class All-Terrain sits in a narrow window between the conventional E-Class Estate and an SUV, and not even halfway between the two either. Arguably it is car that is designed to offer a certain style primarily and extra off-road ability as a secondary function. If you need a car that can go off-road it generally makes sense to have one that is more capable than you will ever need - just in case - and on that front the All-Terrain cannot match many proper 4x4s.


However, if you live in the countryside, or simply like the idea of looking like you do, the All-Terrain offers the right look and a reasonable dose of capability to what is already an excellent car. It is a car you could own, never wash and convince people you’re a part of the country set even if you never get within 200 yards of a horse. The vast majority of buyers will be better served by a regular E-Class Estate though.

What’s the best E-Class All-Terrain model/engine to choose?

Mercedes certainly takes some of the decision-making stress away from you here - the All-Terrain is essentially a trim level of its own, so there are no choices to be made - not even from the options list. 


The All-Terrain is also only available with a single-engine option - the 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit found in the E400d and it’s associated four-wheel-drive system. That means it has strong performance and the ability to tow comfortably, but it also makes it an expensive car - a version with one of the smaller diesel engines would likely be popular, but for the moment at least Mercedes is sticking to the single-model approach.


The flip side of this is that the All-Terrain is loaded with equipment - it’s the only E-Class Estate that comes with a tow bar as standard, and the only option on the price list is a monthly subscription to a service plan.

What other cars are similar to the E-Class All-Terrain?

The number of estate-SUV crossbreeds is relatively small, but they do exist. The car that kicked off the whole idea in the first place is the Audi A6 Allroad, that takes an Audi A6 Avant and builds upwards, adding a similar degree of body-toughening paraphernalia and air suspension to give a degree of off-road ability. Volvo also has its own take on this, with the Volvo V90 turning into the Cross Country following similar lines - there’s even a case for Volvo being the initiator of the idea with the Volvo V70 Cross Country back in the 1990s.

Learn more

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain front interior

On the inside

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain frontright exterior

Driving

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain side exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain bootspace

Prices, versions and specification