With 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard, increased ground clearance through AIRMATIC air suspension (also standard) and an off-road driving programme, the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain makes easy work of light terrain, such as dirt roads, on its bigger wheels. Further practical details enhancing the off-road driving experience are the off-road screen and the “transparent bonnet” – part of the 360° camera. The vehicle has an unmistakeable All-Terrain look: Off-road design elements include the unique front grille, special bumpers, high-gloss chrome front and rear underride guard, and the dark grey wheel-arch liners. The new E-Class All-Terrain celebrated its world premiere at the 2023 IAA Mobility in Munich, completing the E-Class family. It will start arriving in dealerships from the first quarter of 2024.
Compared to the conventional E-Class Estate, the All-Terrain model is larger only in terms of height. It is almost the same length and measures a total of 4,950 millimetres. The width is 1,904 millimetres; the height 1,497 millimetres. The standard tyre size is 235/55 R 18 on wheels measuring 8 J x 18. Optional wheels of up to 20 inches are available.
The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain is 28 millimetres wider than the previous model. This makes the journey even more comfortable for back seat passengers, who now have 1,519 millimetres of elbow room. The wheelbase has increased by 22 millimetres to 2,961 millimetres, which creates more kneeroom and legroom in the back.
The sporty rear end conceals a load capacity of 615 to 1,830 litres (plug-in hybrid model: 460-1,675 litres). The seat backs can be folded down with a 40:20:40 split. They are operated with two push buttons on the left and right side of the rear seat backrest. The EASY-PACK tailgate is featured as standard. It opens and closes conveniently at the push of a button using the ignition key, the switch in the driver’s door, or the unlocking handle on the tailgate itself. The retractable luggage cover and dividing net (both standard) have a two-piece design, each with its own roller cassette.
Offroad design elements
The most eye-catching feature of the striking front is the SUV-style, twin-louvre grille in Iridium Silver with a star integrated in the centre and a Mercedes-Benz pattern. The distinctive front bumper, as well as the high-gloss chrome underride-guard-look panelling, also contribute to the robust appearance.
In the side view, the distinctive dark grey wheel-arch covers emphasise the All-Terrain character. The same applies to the sills, which have a high-gloss chrome strip.
At the rear, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain also boasts a model-specific bumper rounded off with a simulated underride guard in high-gloss chrome. A further detail is a robust load sill guard in a stainless-steel look.
Rounding off the special features in the interior are AMG stainless steel sports pedals and floor mats with All-Terrain logo.
Air suspension as standard throughout
The new E-Class All-Terrain is equipped as standard with AIRMATIC air suspension all round. This system combines air suspension bellows with adaptive ADS+ dampers for maximum responsiveness. Characteristics of the dampers are automatically varied at each individual wheel in both the compression and rebound stages. Sophisticated sensor technology and algorithms adapt the shock absorbers to the road surface so that the impact from hitting a bump with one tyre, for example, is not transferred to the entire axle and interior.
With all-round level control, AIRMATIC maintains constant ground clearance irrespective of the vehicle load while adapting to conditions as needed. To reduce air resistance and improve fuel efficiency, when operating in the COMFORT driving programme the vehicle is automatically lowered by 15 millimetres when the speed reaches 120 km/h.
Three All-Terrain models for the market launch
Right from the market launch, all-terrain enthusiasts have three drive concepts to choose from: a diesel, petrol and plug-in hybrid version. The combustion models are powered by four- and six-cylinder engines from the Mercedes-Benz family of modular engines (FAME). In this way, the motorisation programme contributes substantially to the flexibility of the international production network, while helping to meet the growing demand for electrification.
With intelligent boost technology and an integrated starter-generator (ISG) complementing the turbocharger, both the diesel and petrol variants are mild hybrids. A new battery has raised the power of the electric motor from 15 to 17 kW and the boost torque to 205 Nm.
Electric output of 95 kW (129 hp) and an all-electric range of up to 100 kilometres (WLTP) will enable drivers of the plug-in hybrid model to complete journeys without using the combustion engine – even in off-road mode on unsurfaced roads. The high power density of the hybrid drive unit comes courtesy of a permanently excited internal-rotor synchronous motor. The 440 Nm peak torque of the electric motor is ready to go right from the start, resulting in high agility when moving off, along with dynamic driving performance. The full electric power is available up to 140 km/h, after which the speed is gently limited. A high-tech feature is the intelligent, electromechanical brake booster. This ensures that the braking system combines electrical recovery with the hydraulic brake for maximum efficiency.
MBUX Superscreen as an interior design highlight
The instrument panel defines the digital experience in the interior. If the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain is equipped with the optional front passenger screen, the large glass surface of the MBUX Superscreen extends to the central display. Visually detached from this, in the driver’s field of vision, is the instrument cluster display. The models without a front passenger display have a large trim element extending to the centre. The central display appears to float above the concave surface of this element.
In off-road mode, the driver display and central display of the new E-Class All-Terrain switch to an off-road screen with easy-to-read data, control options and key functions. In conjunction with the 360° camera, a “transparent bonnet” supports the driver in off-road mode. The central display shows a virtual view beneath the front of the vehicle. This enables drivers to spot obstacles such as large stones or deep potholes earlier and take action to avoid them.
The light strip of the Active Ambient Lighting runs across the front area of the instrument panel. It forms a long arc, extending from the windscreen past the A-pillars to the doors to create a generous sense of space. A control cluster that appears to float in the upper area of the door panels matches the glass surfaces of the screens.
The central console is executed as a homogeneous unit, continuing in a straight line from the lower area of the instrument panel. At the front, a stowage compartment with a cover and cup holders is integrated into the three-dimensional trim element. A softly padded arm rest is located in the rear area of the central console.
A concave trim element forms a seamless transition from the central door panel into the armrest. The front section is executed as a high-tech metal element. It serves as a grab and closing handle and houses the power window controls. Another highlight is the floating control cluster with the door opener and controls for the seat functions.
The contours of the seats and back rests flow elegantly from the inside to the outside and, with their layered design, appear to float above the seat body. Vertical folds, widening towards the top, trace the outside contours.
Impressive and immersive entertainment experience
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain makes music, games and streaming content a multi-sensory experience. Thanks to digital innovations in the interior, the E-Class All-Terrain is now more intelligent, achieving a new dimension of personalisation and interaction. Meanwhile, the electronic architecture is defined more by software and less by hardware.
The computing functions of previously separate domains are handled in a single processor. Screens and the MBUX infotainment system now share a new and powerful central onboard computer. This type of networking boosts the performance and speed of data streams.
The entertainment package MBUX Entertainment Plus will be available for the new E-Class All-Terrain. It includes Mercedes me connect services and a data package from a third-party provider. Depending on the market, the communication module runs on 5G wireless technology. This standard supports much faster data transfer rates than LTE/UMTS.
The digital vehicle key is now available for the iPhone and Apple Watch
The E-Class All-Terrain can be unlocked and started with the digital key. The driver simply needs a compatible device paired with the vehicle via Mercedes me connect. Key sharing is also possible. Owners can send a digital invitation to friends and family to use the E-Class All-Terrain. The main user of the Mercedes me account can also assign different rights to permit the invited users only to enter the vehicle or also to drive it. The vehicle can recognise up to 16 persons as shared users of the digital vehicle key. In markets where Mercedes me connect services are available, the E-Class All-Terrain can be pre-equipped for the digital key as part of the KEYLESS-GO comfort package.
Music you can see: sound visualisation
With the new Active Ambient Lighting with Sound Visualisation, occupants in the new E-Class All-Terrain can experience music with three senses: music and the sound from movies or apps can be heard (with Dolby Atmos technology if desired), felt (with sound-resonating transducers in the optional Burmester 4D surround sound system) and now also “seen”. It is visualised on the light strip of the Active Ambient Lighting (optional extra). This applies across the E-Class All-Terrain line-up for the first time. Fast beats can produce rapidly shifting light patterns, for example, while smooth sounds can create gentle lighting transitions.
The entertainment experience for the front passenger is impressive. On the optional passenger-side screen, the front passenger can watch dynamic content, such as live TV or streaming services, even if the driver glances across. This is because the display is switchable. The further developed, camera-based privacy filter automatically dims the passenger display to reduce the risk of driver distraction.
New third-party apps and selfie/video camera
The software experts at Mercedes-Benz have developed a new compatibility layer that allows the installation of third-party apps. At the market launch of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain, the following apps are available on the central display: the entertainment platform TikTok, Angry Birds game, Webex collaboration app, Zoom office app, Vivaldi browser and Pocket Casts podcast app. In addition, the ZYNC entertainment portal offers video streaming, on-demand content, interactive experiences, local video programmes, sports, news, games and much more on the central and passenger display (optional), via one user interface.
Another new feature is a selfie and video camera (part of the optional MBUX Superscreen) on top of the dashboard. When the vehicle is stationary, the driver can use video conferencing tools, such as Webex, or take selfies and videos.
Greater operating convenience is also available with MBUX. With the “Just Talk” function, intelligent voice control can be activated without saying “Hey Mercedes”. When the function is activated, a red microphone symbol appears in the display. This indicates that the vehicle is ready and waiting for commands.
Added day-to-day convenience: MBUX routines
Mercedes-Benz is working on using artificial intelligence (AI) so that the car learns which comfort systems are used most often. When the same circumstances happen again, AI will automate these functions. The result is personalised automation. Mercedes-Benz uses the term “routine” for this innovation, the development of which is already well advanced.
At the launch of the E-Class All-Terrain, customers will be able to use templates for standard routines. They can also create new MBUX routines by combining functions and conditions. For example: “Switch on the seat heating and set the ambient lighting to warm orange if the interior temperature is below twelve degrees Celsius.”
For enhanced well-being: ENERGIZING COMFORT and THERMOTRONIC with Digital Vent Control (both optional)
Soothing sounds, energising massage, activating light – Mercedes-Benz offers a comprehensive wellness programme with the variously configured ENERGIZING COMFORT programmes and the individual recommendations of ENERGIZING COACH. The new E-Class generation marks the debut of two new features: The ENERGIZING COMFORT motion-sickness prevention programme can help affected passengers to alleviate their symptoms. A bio-feedback function is planned for ENERGIZING COACH in the medium term. This can reduce stress with breathing exercises.
With THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control (optional extra), Digital Vent Control enhances occupant comfort. It automatically adjusts the front air vents to the desired ventilation settings. This can be done for each vehicle seat using the user profile, for example. The nozzles can also be adjusted as usual by hand.
Many driver assistance systems, including advanced systems
Driver assistance systems provided as standard with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain include, among others, DISTRONIC active distance assist, ATTENTION ASSIST, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Package with reversing camera and Speed Limit Assist. The status and activity of the systems are shown in a full-screen view in the assistance section of the driver’s display.
Further options are also available in the Driving Assistance Plus Package. Components include the Active Steering Assistant, which helps drivers to remain centred in the lane. The E-Class All-Terrain now features the extended restart function for stop-and-go traffic in the city and on country roads, and not only on the motorway as before. Another innovation: If Active Steering Assistant is no longer available because of unclear lane markings, the steering wheel vibrates to alert the driver.
Restraint systems aligned with sophisticated bodyshell concept
The safety concept of the E-Class All-Terrain is based on a body with a highly rigid passenger cell and crash structures with specific deformation patterns. The restraint systems, e.g. seatbelts and airbags, are designed with these in mind. In an accident they provide optimal protection for the occupants based on the situation.
Along with driver and passenger airbags, the driver-side knee bag is also standard equipment. In a serious frontal collision, it can protect the driver’s legs from contact with the steering column or instrument panel. The standard window bags can reduce the risk of head injuries. In the event of a serious side-on collision, the window airbag on the side of the impact extends from the A- to the C-pillar, like a curtain over the front and rear side windows. If a rollover is detected, the window airbags can be activated on both sides. In addition to the head-protection system, side airbags can also cover the thorax area in the event of a severe side impact – including on the outer rear seats (optional).
Vehicles are also equipped with a centre airbag in some markets. Pyrotechnically triggered belt tensioners and force limiters are standard on all outside seats. The same applies to seatbelt height adjustment.
Numerous Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain components are partly manufactured using resource-conserving materials (recycled products and renewable raw materials). Upholstery made of undyed alpaca wool blended with a recycled material is used for the basic seat. In the foam of the seats, certified recycled raw materials are used for the first time according to the “mass balance approach”. Their properties do not differ from those of raw materials produced from crude oil. This reduces the use of fossil-based resources while continuing to meet stringent quality standards.
Net carbon-neutral production at the Sindelfingen plant
Since 2022, the production of vehicles and batteries at all of the Mercedes-Benz Group’s own plants worldwide has been net carbon neutral. Power purchased externally is 100 percent from renewable sources and therefore carbon-free. In addition, the company aims to increase the generation of renewable energy at its locations. By the end of 2024, further investments will be made in photovoltaic systems on the entire Sindelfingen site, which is also focusing on a steady reduction in water consumption and waste.
E-Class Estate: a success story with a long pedigree
Mercedes-Benz has produced more than 16 million cars in the upper medium-size category since 1946. In August 1966, the Mercedes-Benz Universal, an estate car built by Belgian partner IMA, made its debut in the sales programme. Based on the 200 D to 230 S “fintail” models, it was the first official Mercedes-Benz estate car.
The estate version of the 123 series entered production in April 1978, marking the start of a long success story that has produced well over one million estate cars. The “T” in the German word for estate car, “T-Modell”, originally suggested “Touring” or “Transport”, but has since also come to mean “Trendsetter”. The Estate model, with its loyal fan base, especially in Germany, is firmly established as a perennial favourite – and not only in the full-size class. Every E-Class generation that followed has its own Estate (S 124, S 210, S 211, S 212, S 213) – and since 2017 as an All-Terrain model, too.