- 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system provides good driving capability on and off the tarmac.
- Substantial luggage capacity thanks to the sportswagon rear cargo area.
- Packed full of safety and driver assistance features.
Those familiar with an E-Class Mercedes-Benz will still find themselves at home in the E 220 d All-Terrain, which is designed to go places not normally associated with this model line. While the All-Terrain shares many surface traits of an E-Class, the major visual indicator that it has something more to offer is the obvious yet elegant sportswagon styling at the rear.
It’s underneath, however, where the major differences are displayed. The usual E-Class driving mode selections are present but here they’re joined by an All-Terrain mode, where the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and suspension are adjusted to optimise grip off the tarmac. The display is changed to show driver inputs, such as steering or pedal input, along with vehicle telemetry indicating level, bearing, angle of slope and inclination. Ride height is automatically raised by 20 millimetres when travelling below 35km/h, and on request the Air Body Control suspension will raise the ride height by a further 15 millimetres. Snow chains can’t be fitted to the standard 20-inch alloy wheels, although 19-inch alloys compatible with chains can be optioned at no cost.
Powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine in the E 220 d saloon, the All-Terrain produces a maximum power of 143kW and 400Nm of torque.
In Sports mode, steering was both responsive and direct, making the All-Terrain extremely capable on twisting roads, especially given its size. But Sports mode is not ideal on unsealed roads, feeling squirrelly at time. However in All-Terrain mode it felt sure-footed and determined to tackle the roads ahead. The Air Body Control suspension enabled the cabin to nearly float over coarse surfaces while navigating corners with ease.
Naturally, the impressive suite of E-Class semi-autonomous driver assistance systems continues in the All-Terrain, with adaptive cruise control maintaining safe distance from vehicles ahead and making it capable of bringing the vehicle to a complete stop on busy freeways. Under the right conditions and with suitable road markings, the vehicle is capable of steering itself around bends or changing lanes when the indicator is activated. These are just some of the systems through which, via a vast range of sensors, cameras and radars, the driver can be fully aware of their surroundings at all times.
The All-Terrain boasts a substantial cargo area and the 40/20/40-split rear seats can be dropped via a switch, allowing a total capacity of up to 1820 litres. The seats are a little heavier than most to bring back to an upright position. Within the cargo area is a 12-volt power supply, four anchor points in a square pattern on the floor, but unfortunately no spare wheel due to Mercedes fitting run-flat tyres, freeing up the compartment under the floor for further storage.
A week of commuting in the city and Melbourne’s suburbs, mostly in the Comfort driving mode, returned a very low 6.6L/100km. With a 66-litre fuel tank size, a range of more than 1000km between fills is achievable.