Cars like the Audi A6 Allroad, Volvo V90 Cross Country and the new Mercedes E-Class All Terrain are something of a niche choice. These are cars for people who don't want an SUV, but want all the benefits that an SUV affords - such as chunky styling, masses of space inside and the ability to go anywhere.
What is it?
The E-Class All Terrain is based on the Mercedes E-Class Estate - a car we've praised for its high-speed comfort and engine refinement. While the All Terrain looks similar to the regular estate, it does have an obvious increase in ride height (the car's maximum ground clearance is now 156mm), new front and rear bumpers and chunky wheel arches - all designed to give it the look of a fully fledged SUV.
What engines can I choose from?
Initially, just one engine will be available - the entry-level E 220 d diesel with 191bhp - but the more powerful V6 E 350 d will join the range soon after. We already recommend the E 220 d engine in both the E-Class saloon and estate, and we don't expect that to change for the All Terrain. In this form, the E-Class All Terrain emits 137g/km of CO2 and returns a claimed 55.3mpg, and it can reach 62mph from a standing start in 8.0sec. It will come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
As you'd expect, the E-Class All Terrain gets four-wheel drive as standard, and drivers can choose between five different driving modes, which alter the car's engine, gearbox and steering settings for the best performance. The All-Terrain features an off-road driving mode for better progress (and comfort) away from the tarmac, which raises the ride height by 20mm for greater ground clearance.
What equipment does it come with?
It's no surprise that the interior of the All Terrain looks virtually identical to that of the regular E-Class, aside from a few pieces of extra trim with All Terrain lettering. That's no bad thing, though, because we've praised the latest E-Class's interior for its comfort, technology and space. With one of the biggest boots available, you should have no trouble getting all the family, their luggage and the kitchen sink into the All Terrain.
Drivers can view the car's steering angle, position, terrain angle and a compass through a special view on the car's infotainment system, but aside from that the rest of the car's features are unchanged from the estate. All cars come in AMG Line trim, which gives you plenty of luxuries. We'd recommend adding Mercedes' all-digital dashboard, which places navigation and infotainment information right in front of the driver, whichever version of the E-Class you go for.
How much does it cost?
Mercedes hasn't revealed official pricing for the E-Class All Terrain yet, but we do know it's expected to cost around £5000 more than similarly equipped versions of the E-Class Estate. Given that the E-Class Estate in AMG Line specification starts from £40,430 today, we'd expect prices for the E-Class All Terrain to start from at least £45,000.
At that price, the All Terrain will be slightly cheaper than the £46,505 Audi A6 Allroad, but is likely to cost slightly more than the Volvo V90 Cross Country, which goes on sale early next year.
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