If, in an alternate universe, I were struggling to decide between buying a Mercedes sedan or a Mercedes SUV, the Mercedes-Benz E 450 4Matic All-Terrain could eradicate the stress. It has the same soothing ride, deft handling, precise steering and powerful performance as the E-Class sedan, plus the all-wheel drive, cargo-carrying and off-highway capabilities of a crossover SUV.
To my mind, the E 450 All-Terrain is appealingly nonconformist in a world awash with SUVs. It stands out, in a good way.
The All-Terrain is technically a wagon, with sedan-like ride height, four side doors, and a rear liftgate. It has seating for up to seven, but two of those seats are like little boosters in the third row. They face backward and fold flat into the cargo area floor. With the third row tucked away, the cargo area is expansive, surpassing many SUVs, and its rear gate lifts up nice and high, helping the innocent taller-than-average to avoid head injury.
All-Terrain’s extended length might give the impression it has the turning radius of a Ferris wheel, but in fact, the turning radius is tight.
The power provider is an inline six-cylinder turbo engine with EQ Boost, Mercedes-Benz’s hybridized powertrain. It includes a 48-volt starter-generator that enlivens low-end torque (zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds) but also boosts fuel efficiency. Specs are 362 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque, 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. A nine-speed automatic transmission completes the package.
Pricing starts at a reasonable $69,450 including a $1,050 destination charge. Prospective buyers looking to keep their outlay in that ballpark will have to stay strong against a long list of tempting options.
Inside the All-Terrain, Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX advanced multimedia system makes quite a presence. Its console-mounted touchpad can be off-putting for those who resent spending downtime practicing, but meanwhile there are alternatives including the 12.3-inch touchscreen, voice commands, and steering wheel push buttons.
MB-Tex upholstery, the excellent Mercedes better-than-leather synthetic alternative, is standard in the All-Terrain.
New features for 2022 on the E 450 4Matic All-Terrain include automatic high-beam headlights as standard equipment, and the addition of Nautical Blue Metallic to the paint color selection.
My test car, with its $13,820 difference between base price and price as driven, is a case in point about the options list. However, it includes everything available.
2022 MERCEDES-BENZ E 450 4MATIC ALL-TERRAIN
Base price, including destination charge: $69,450
Price as driven: $83,270
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.