Class: Premium Midsize Car
Miles driven: 432
Fuel used: 16.6 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 26.0 mpg
Driving mix: 30% city, 70% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 21/28/24 (mpg city/highway/combined)
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
|Big & Tall Comfort
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Fuel type: Premium gas
Base price: $68,400 (not including $1050 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: MANUFAKTUR Cardinal Red Metallic paint ($1750), black leather ($1620), 19-inch AMG 5-spoke wheels ($700), panorama roof ($1000), inductive wireless charging with NFC pairing ($200), Driver Assistance Package ($1950), Acoustic Comfort Package ($1100), Premium Package Lite ($2300)
Price as tested: $80,070
The great: Smooth, strong powertrain supplied better-than-expected fuel economy; classy interior ambiance; station-wagon cargo versatility
The good: Cutting-edge infotainment system; lots of high-tech available features; respectable ride quality from raised-height suspension
The not so good: Some controls can be finicky–especially capacitive-touch steering-wheel buttons; on-road cornering prowess is diminished by off-road-focused suspension
It turns out that Americans love station wagons. That’s why they buy so many crossovers and SUVs, which are station wagons’ brothers by another mother.
Curiously, that same public isn’t as crazy for wagons that own up to being what they really are. (There are station wagon zealots, just not so many of them.) It’s an unfortunate state of affairs for the manufacturers that still make such vehicles, some of whom have taken to applying a veneer of SUV “toughness” to their station wagons in hopes of turning a few heads. That’s what Mercedes-Benz did when it refreshed the E-Class premium-midsize product line for 2021. Give the wagon an extra 1.2 inches of ride height, some black cladding for the wheel openings and rocker panels, a goes-anywhere-sounding name, and presto!: the E450 4MATIC All-Terrain.
The 2022 E450 All-Terrain, an example of which Consumer Guide tested, goes essentially unchanged, save for the inclusion of automatic high-beam headlights as standard equipment and the addition of Nautical Blue Metallic as an extra-cost paint option. It mixes a high level of luxury with a heightened degree of practicality for at least $69,450 (with delivery), though CG’s tester reached $80,070 with the accretion of three packages and five individual options.
Select the All-Terrain and you’ll get the same powerteam, 4MATIC all-wheel drive, and MBUX widescreen infotainment system available to the E450 4-door sedan, hardtop coupe, and convertible. What the wagon alone delivers is room for up to seven passengers (thanks to a rear-facing folding third seat that holds two) and 35 cubic feet of cargo space that loads at bumper height behind the second-row seats or 64 cubic feet with the 40/20/40 seats folded flat. Inside, the All-Terrain feels pleasingly roomy. Legroom front and rear essentially matches that of the 4-door sedan but the wagon boasts better headroom—0.2 inch more in the front row and 0.6 inch additional over the second row.
The All-Terrain has the same 115.7-inch wheelbase as the sedan and it is just as wide. Overall length of the wagon is 0.5 inch greater, but tread widths are 1.4 inches wider. For the sake of appearances, the wagon’s lower fascia and grille shape differ slightly from other E-Class models and the grille cavity is filled with a model-specific “biplane” element.
E450s are powered by the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine with “EQ Boost” 48-volt mild hybridization technology that bowed in the ’21 models. It makes 362 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm but can call on the integrated electric motor system for as much as 21 extra ponies and 184 more lb-ft in brief spurts. (EQ Boost also initiates acceleration in stop/go situations, permits coasting for fuel savings, and returns energy during deceleration.) There is abundant, smooth power from this powerplant and in our time with the car, which included a lot of open-road driving, it proved to be a rapid highway cruiser with responsive kickdown from the 9-speed automatic transmission. The EPA projects that the All-Terrain should get 21 mpg in city driving, 28 mpg on the highway, and 24 combined. CG’s experience, including considerable time spent on rural Wisconsin highways, bore this out.
Ride quality is excellent, especially in highway travel. Shifting from “Comfort” mode to one of the “Sport” settings makes it little firmer with a little more—but not too much—heft in the steering. The All-Terrain comes with adjustable Air Body Control air suspension at all four wheels.
Two 12.3-inch screens that flow one into the other colorfully project driving controls and MBUX infotainment functions. Steering-wheel touch controls summon driver-information displays but the complex infotainment complement works through a console-mounted touchpad that can make some tasks, like tuning and saving radio presets, a bigger job than it ought to be. First- and second-row seats are comfortable (and heated in front), and the test car’s natural-grain grey ash wood trim ramped up the cabin elegance. There are plenty of cabin-storage options.
Standard-equipment items include navigation, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, multicolor ambient lighting, a power liftgate, cargo cover, roof rails, 19-inch alloy wheels, and LED exterior lighting. However, the wireless charging, Burmester surround-sound audio system, satellite radio, and Parktronic parking assist that were standard on the 2021 E450 coupe that we tested cost extra here. Other add-ons were leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof (in place of the smaller standard sunroof), and a host of safety-attuned driving aids that came in the Driver Assistance Package option.
In its heyday as the official pace car of suburbia, the car-based station wagon had a middlebrow reputation. Curiously, its modern survivors are mostly upmarket jobs but even they’re feeling the SUV heat.
2022 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain
(Click below for enlarged images)