Intelligentsia: Meet your new pace car.
On Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz confirmed that it would bring its E-Class All-Terrain off-road wagon to the States for the first time this fall after it's been on sale in Europe for about four years.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain will follow the similarly named wagon offered overseas and add to the E-Class skid plates, black body cladding, a raised ride height, air suspension, and off-road modes. If all of that sounds familiar, it should: the Audi A6 Allroad and Volvo XC90 Cross Country follow similar playbooks. They're the un-crossover crossovers; a small, but growing, subset of vehicles that cater to luxury buyers tired of big boxes. It's the smart money, according to us.
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain
Opinions aside, the E-Class All-Terrain and updated E-Class sedan feature the latest and greatest Mercedes tech including a revised mild-hybrid inline-6 engine instead of the outgoing twin-turbo V-6, driver-assistance features, infotainment, and a new plug-in powertrain heading to the U.S.—but not in the All-Terrain wagon. Mercedes said the All-Terrain gets MB's revised turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with an integrated starter-generator, similar to what's already used in the E53 AMG sedan, coupe, and convertible.
That powertrain makes 362 horsepower in the 2021 E450 All-Terrain and drives all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes makes 19-inch wheels standard on the wagon, although 20-inchers are optional. Twin, 12.3-inch screens splayed across the front dash handle infotainment duties, while Mercedes' available voice-recognition software handles natural voice commands like "Hey Mercedes, where is the nearest Whole Foods? And can I drive there via two-tracks only?"
If you must take the paved way, the 2021 E450 All-Terrain can be equipped with Mercedes' latest suite of driver-assistance features including active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and lane change assist. Not much is new there, except MB says that its stop-and-go assist features can help the All-Terrain stay centered in its lane with a "high level of availability" at speeds up to 35 mph, which sounds comparable to BMW's system.
Mercedes hasn't yet said how much the 2021 E450 All-Terrain wagon will cost when it goes on sale, but it's likely not going to be cheap. We'll know more closer to the fall, when it's expected to arrive.