This model wants to show in its first impression that it is different from the saloon version, based on the SUV look. It uses the same technique in the design as these: aggressive and dynamic design with a small functional part. In particular, the front end is hollower and more aggressive, with larger false engine cooling intakes and metal details on the bumpers, which are not engine guards. The car is a bit taller than the normal Estate, 15mm taller because of the air suspension and 14mm taller because of the larger tyre radius.
Thanks to the air suspension its ground clearance varies from 121 to 156 mm, between a GLA -134mm- and a GLK -177mm- (both without Off Road suspension).
Another detail that differentiates it from the normal version is that the star of the grille is separated from the metal bars, these being a little thicker. The wheels are exclusive in 19", or 20" in option. At the rear, between the now typical exhausts of the brand, there are three indentations, these forms also run along the side of the vehicle. Finally, the bottom of the bumpers are made of black plastic that also surrounds the wheel arches, shading the color of the vehicle and giving it a more offroad air. These parts can avoid scratches, both in the city and off-road.
The interior design is based on the Avantgarde with Exclusive style options. We highlight that the rear seat is foldable in three parts 40:20:20 and that the back of the seats can become a communication center for our smartphones. The details that differentiate this model are some signs with the All-Terrain graphics.
The E-Class All-Terrain comes with the high-performance 2.0-litre diesel engine used in the rest of the 220 range, which produces almost 100 hp per litre. To achieve this, it uses, among other things, diesel injection at 2,050 bar and the liner coating technique with the Nanoslide® process, first used in the AMG 6.3 engine. This coating technique involves spraying metal on the inside of the cylinders, creating a layer of 0.1 to 0.15 mm. This layer forms micropores that always hold a small amount of oil. In this way, it manages to reduce by 25% the friction inside the cylinders and 3% of the total consumption.
Another feature of this engine is that it locates the gas emission reduction elements right in the engine block. In this way the heating time of these elements is reduced and can stop polluting in less time, because they reach the working temperature earlier. It also has a double circuit for the EGR system, for high and low pressure to reduce gases and optimize consumption. The gearbox used is automatic nine-speed, the manufacturer reports that it is fast and smooth and that the number of gears is to optimize consumption.
The performance for this 2.0 engine is 194 hp at 3800 RPM, the maximum torque remains constant at 400 Nm from 1600 to 2800 RPM. Consumption, according to the NEDC cycle, is up slightly compared to the normal version, from 4.6 l/100 km to 5.2 l/100 km in the All-Terrain and 0-100 km/h acceleration is down slightly, from 7.7 s to 8.0 s.
The suspension, along with the exterior design, is the real original. Mercedes has used its experience in the GLE series for this model. The most remarkable feature of the model is that it can raise its ground clearance by 35 mm thanks to the air suspension. The system has three air chambers on the rear axle and two on the front, the combination of which of them are inflated or not makes the vehicle more comfortable for off-road travel or stiffer for tarmac.
It has five selectable driving modes, in which, in addition to the suspension parameters, the engine, ESP and steering parameters vary. These modes are Comfort, Eco, Sport, All-Terrain and Individual. The first three are self-explanatory, we move on to the last two that are the hallmarks of this model.
- All-Terrain: increases the body height by up to 20 mm up to a speed of 35 km/h and adjusts all other parameters for the all-road function. In addition, an image of the vehicle appears on the display that indicates the steering angle, the position of the air suspension, brake and accelerator as well as a compass and typical off-road inclines.
- In Individual mode, you can select the suspension, steering and powertrain parameters separately.
On the other hand, you can manually select the maximum suspension height in any selected mode.
The characteristics of this model will make it present when choosing a vehicle for those who need a premium vehicle that sporadically leave the road but is on it most of the year, with more than enough space and with an aggressive design, but do not want the height and weight of an SUV.
The competing models are the Audi A6 Allroad and the Volvo V90 Cross Country, and you don't see them much on Spanish roads, but you do see them in more northern European countries. Will this be a new success for Mercedes and will it open a new gap in the all-road segment to the detriment of SUVs? Are we at a point of no return? We will know from next spring.