Models Covered

5dr Estate (3.0 diesel [E350d])


With the E-Class All-Terrain, sold between 2017 and 2019, Mercedes aimed to offer a compelling option in the market segment for large, luxurious executive estates with 4WD capability and SUV-style looks.

The History

Here's a Mercedes E-Class Estate you might want to get muddy. Yes really. With this E-Class All-Terrain, launched in 2017, the company finally entered the market segment for executive estates with 4WD capability and SUV-style looks. Here, in principle at least, was a more sensible option that gave its customers most of same kind of capability and versatility but with subtler packaging.

Mercedes usually isn't slow to enter new market niches, but there are exceptions to that rule. For example, the brand couldn't offer you any sort of mid-sized SUV until their GLC model was launched in the Spring of 2016. This E-Class All-Terrain finally filled that niche, offering its Audi Allroad rival more direct competition with more of the prestige and badge credibility that likely wealthy buyers in this narrow market segment wanted.

You have to wonder though, why it took Mercedes so long to make it, this model launched here late in 2017, 18 years after the original version of the A6 allroad. Virtually all of the elements needed to create it were already available from various parts of the standard E-Class Estate line-up - primarily of course, the 4MATIC permanent 4WD system. To be specific, only 5% of the parts used to create this All-Terrain variant were different from those of a standard all-wheel drive E-Class estate.

But of course that doesn’t tell the whole story. The 4MATIC system on an ordinary ‘W213’-series E-Class was designed merely for extra tarmac traction. Here, mated to more capable tyres and higher ride height settings on the standard AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension, it could offer this car proper capability on the kind of rocky forest track to your weekend country cottage that would either defeat or damage an ordinary executive estate. Plus this All-Terrain model is a prodigious tower and it’ll feel a really clever choice in a snowy snap. In short, this is, as one writer observed, the automotive equivalent of a GoreTex jacket over a business suit. It sold only until 2019 and wasn’t replaced when Mercedes facelifted the ‘W213’-series E-Class range in 2020.

What You Get

The aesthetic changes made to create this rough road-orientated E-Class variant are mercifully subtle. And appropriate. The changes that have been made are most evident at the front, where the twin-finned front grille has broader vented central spokes more like those you’ll see on the brand’s GLA and GLC crossover models. From the side, the differences over any standard well-equipped E-Class Estate model are limited to the black plastic trimming used around the wheel arches and a lower side skirt highlighted by a chromed strip.

Inside, the cabin is pretty much as it would be in any other well-specified E-Class Estate, features unique to this variant restricted to floor mats with ‘All-Terrain’ lettering and the rather bright ‘light carbon grain’ aluminium trim that’s used across the dash and into the doors. Some original buyers preferred the alternative ‘black open-pore ash wood’ or ‘metal weave’ finishes as an alternative. Standard for All-Terrain buyers is the ‘COMMAND Online’ centre dash infotainment system with its classy 12.3-inch monitor. Also included is a virtual instrument binnacle display of the same size, creating one huge ‘floating’-style screen that flows right across the dash and is framed by subtle ambient lighting.

What To Look For

Few E-Class All-Terrain models will actually have been used off road – if any. This model is more likely to have been bought as a tow car, but check underneath just in case. Most E-Class All-Terrain owners in our survey were satisfied, but inevitably, there were some who’d experienced problems. It’s the usual things here; interior trim and electrical issues were the most commonly afflicted things that came up. Check for uneven panel gaps and paint flaws. Inspect the electrics and the air conditioning functionality. As usual, insist on a fully stamped-up service history.

On The Road

As soon as Mercedes launched its ‘AIR BODY CONTROL’ air suspension system in this tenth generation ‘W213’-series E-Class range in 2016, a model variant like this ‘All-Terrain’ derivative became possible. Air suspension is, after all, the key thing that differentiates a full-sized estate with SUV capability from a mid-sized model of this kind like, say, Volkswagen’s Passat Alltrack. When driving normally, it allows this car to ride 29mm higher than an ordinary E-Class Estate – though 14mm of that increment is accounted for by the larger, more serious set of tyres that come fitted to this version. Select the extra ‘All-Terrain’ setting that here was added to the usual ‘DYNAMIC SELECT’ driving modes system and at speeds of under 19mph, the air suspension will rise by a further 20mm. That’s enough for 156mm of total ride height, sufficient to allow this E-Class to cruise across rocky tracks that would seriously damage the underside of any ordinary large executive estate car.

This model gets pretty much the same ‘4MATIC’ permanent system that was optional on ordinary E-Class Estate models from this period, the package here set up just as it was on the fire-breathing Mercedes-AMG variants to send 31% of drive to the front axle and 69% to the rear. Potential buyers will be pleased to hear that this car can tow brilliantly too and make very good use of its standard electrically-retractable tow hitch. Most owners will appreciate the prodigious 620NM of torque on offer from the 3.0-litre 258bhp V6 diesel engine, the only one on offer to E-Class ‘All-Terrain’. It returns 41.5mpg on the combined cycle and 179g/km of CO2 (both NEDC figures).


In summary, what we’ve got here is a convincing premium product for the great outdoors, if you’re looking for a luxury large estate from the 2017-2020 period. As we often observe, there are always advantages in turning up late for any party and here, Mercedes maximised these to deliver an all-weather estate of this kind with a touch of extra luxury and sophistication. Real world challenges: there’s a lot to be said for them.