2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain evaluation: The candy spot

It is a trendy long-roof hauler.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain is the automotive equal of a cronut. This cleverly engineered pastry combines the tender flakiness of a croissant with the deep-fried goodness of a doughnut. Within the baked-goods universe, cronuts really are one of the best of each worlds. And similar to this delicious deal with, the E450 All-Terrain brings collectively disparate attributes into one pleasant package deal — mainly, the flexibility and refinement of a station wagon with the improved functionality and more-rugged styling of an SUV. This distinctive mix of traits leads to a pleasant automobile that is arguably greater than the sum of its elements, similar to a cronut.

LikeSurprising versatilitySumptuous interiorSilky-smooth trip

Do not LikeByzantine MBUX infotainment systemOccasionally tough gear changesIrritating touch-control buttons

In fact, the parents in Stuttgart aren’t the one ones going this route. Audi and Volvo have been doing it for years with the A6 Allroad and V90 Cross Nation, respectively, and Subaru’s mass-market Outback cleared the path years prior. These fashions have confirmed this a viable technique, one Mercedes-Benz has solely now adopted right here.

The E450 All-Terrain comes commonplace with 4Matic all-wheel drive and an adjustable air-suspension system. With two driver-selectable off-road modes plus downhill pace management, you must be capable of take this family-hauler to some fairly distant locales. That stated, there’s one huge caveat — or extra precisely, a comparatively small one: this mannequin’s floor clearance is simply 5.7 inches with a most load, so tread fastidiously in the event you do enterprise off the overwhelmed path. This Mercedes appears to be like the half, because of new entrance and rear lamp designs, an up to date grille and model-specific cladding. Sadly, these black plastic appliques, which intensify the wheel openings and decrease physique part make me consider a Pontiac Aztek. Your eyeglass prescription might say in any other case, in fact, and not less than they do not look that dangerous subsequent to this instance’s grey paint.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain: A Goldilocks automobile
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Cladding or not, the All-Terrain is a significantly good-looking automobile, with elegant particulars and easy strains. If you may get previous the station-wagon stigma, it should look nice parked on the finish of any subdivision cul-de-sac or valeted within the entrance row at your favourite fancy restaurant. And behind that fairly face is ample versatility. With its again seats folded, this Benz offers 35 cubic ft of cargo area. On paper, that determine appears fairly small, lower than half of what you get in a Honda CR-V, however in the actual world, this E-Class’ cargo maintain appears rather more spacious, being each broad and lengthy. A bonus is the rear hatch, which opens extensive so even NBA-height drivers do not clock their melons on it.

Settle into the All-Terrain’s passenger compartment and you will be impressed. As per standard for Mercedes-Benz, this inside is exceptionally good, with a flowing, virtually organic-looking dashboard, top-quality parts and liberal quantities of open-pore wooden furnishings. From the switches and air vents to the seat controls and door handles, all the pieces feels top-notch. For an additional $350, my tester’s dashboard and door panels are trimmed within the automaker’s MB-Tex simulated leather-based, which appears to be like and feels just about like the actual factor. My tester can also be fitted with the $1,050 heat and luxury package deal, which provides warmth to the armrests and steering wheel.

The All-Terrain’s third-row seat is a no-adult zone.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Consolation is one in all this automobile’s robust fits, its entrance chairs being extremely adjustable and really supportive. The All-Terrain’s second-row seat within reason spacious for adults, although a barely greater backside cushion and a contact extra legroom could be appreciated. Providing an additional sprint of SUV-like versatility, this Mercedes-Benz additionally comes with an old-school, rear-facing third-row bench seat that folds into the ground when not wanted. It offers a pair additional seats, which may very well be useful in a pinch, however I do not suggest subjecting grownup passengers to this for any size of time.

A distinguished a part of the All-Terrain’s inside is a duet of 12.3-inch screens, the canvas its digital instrument cluster and infotainment system are displayed on. Mounted in a single elongated housing below a single pane of glass, these panels in some way handle to look futuristic and tacked-on on the identical time. As for the MBUX multimedia array, it is beautiful, {smooth} and snappy, however it’s additionally advanced, with pointless performance and approach too many customization choices. Whereas it really works effectively, I want programs that do not have such steep studying curves.

For added flexibility, you possibly can work together with MBUX in a wide range of methods. There’s the touchscreen itself, a laptop-like management pad on the middle console, you should use voice instructions or the controls on the steering-wheel spokes. For 2021, Mercedes-Benz modified this final merchandise, however not for the higher. Earlier fashions had a smattering of bodily buttons and touch-sensitive nubbins that have been intuitive and responsive. Now, it is switched completely to the touch controls and the outcomes are lower than perfect. Not solely is that this association unintuitive, it is tough to make use of. I can not inform you what number of instances I attempted to regulate the audio quantity solely to inadvertently mute it as a substitute, or how difficult it’s to make use of the tiny plus (+) pad to navigate Apple CarPlay, which, together with Android Auto, is commonplace gear.

From the supplies to the controls, this Mercedes has a significantly good inside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Thankfully, a few of the E450 All-Terrain’s different tech is way friendlier. Options like keyless entry with push-button begin, blind-spot monitoring and crosswind help are all included at no additional cost. My properly optioned tester, nevertheless, is graced with rather more gear. The $1,950 driver-assistance package deal features a bevy of goodies like energetic brake help with a cross-traffic perform, which will help forestall collisions with different autos passing by means of intersections, and adaptive cruise management, which is responsive and attentive. Augmented video for navigation — which overlays navigation prompts over a video feed from the forward-facing digital camera so you recognize precisely the place to show ($350) — and a wi-fi charging pad ($200) are a pair modestly priced extras. Curiously, adaptive excessive beams are included within the $900 exterior lighting package deal, although they need to in all probability be commonplace in a automobile of this caliber.

Given this automotive’s relaxed demeanor, it needs to be no shock the All-Terrain is extra of a comfortable cruiser than a nook carver. Particularly in Consolation mode, its air suspension offers a magic-carpet trip, one which is freed from gritty vibration or harshness, even when tackling extreme bumps and potholes. In fact, comparatively small 19-inch AMG wheels wrapped in Pirelli winter tires with fairly beneficiant sidewalls assist digest a lot of these roadway imperfections. Additional bettering this automobile’s refinement, the instance seen right here options the $1,100 acoustic consolation package deal, which incorporates additional cabin insulation and laminated glass, which makes it remarkably quiet inside.

This automotive’s powertrain is generally {smooth}, too, largely. Motivation is supplied by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that is silkier than buttercream frosting. It delivers a stout 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, however that is not all. Mercedes-Benz’s EQ Enhance mild-hybrid system helps enhance effectivity and efficiency, feathering in an extra 21 hp and 184 lb-ft as required. In operation, it is seamless to the purpose you query if it does something in any respect, one thing I want may very well be stated in regards to the All-Terrain’s gearbox.

The All-Terrain marries one of the best attributes of a station wagon with these of an SUV.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

No, it isn’t that dangerous, however the one Debbie Downer of this automobile’s powertrain is its nine-speed transmission. It could possibly shift imperceptibly when it feels prefer it, however different instances, gear modifications are lumpy, notably when slowing right down to a cease. Refinement apart, not less than this transmission helps ship stable efficiency. Go full-bore and the All-Terrain can hit 60 mph in as little as 5.1 seconds, a legitimately fast time. Keep away from burying the accelerator pedal when taking off from each cease and this ersatz SUV will return good gasoline financial system. Round city, this Benz is rated at 22 miles per gallon, so on freeway drives you possibly can anticipate 28 mpg and mixed it ought to return 24. Throughout my week of testing, I averaged a stable 25.Three mpg.

Due to its good-looking styling, versatile cabin and spectacular refinement, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain is a superb household hauler and, for a lot of drivers, a superb various to an SUV. About the one main deterrent is that this automobile’s worth. An option-free instance might be had for rather less than $69,000, together with $1,050 in vacation spot charges, however the mannequin reviewed right here checks out for $82,760, which is much from low-cost. For those who’re available in the market for a luxurious utility automobile and have a couple of bucks to spend, give this lifted wagon a strive. I guarantee you, it will not disappoint.

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