Wagon Ready to Join Mercedes E-Class Lineup

Stylistically, the new E-Class takes its inspiration from the smaller C-Class Wagon, sporting a significantly less angular appearance and more flowing form than its direct predecessor.

Greg Kable

June 6, 2016

4 Min Read
EClass Wagon hits North American market early next year
E-Class Wagon hits North American market early next year.

STUTTGART, Germany – Mercedes-Benz has lifted the veil on its new E-Class Wagon, revealing a typically practical but slightly less accommodating model than its strong-selling predecessor.

Planned for North American delivery in early 2017, the new Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5-Series Touring rival will follow the recently introduced E-Class sedan into showrooms with a starting price not expected to deviate much from the $59,900 of today’s E350 4Matic Wagon.

Stylistically, the new E-Class takes its inspiration from the smaller C-Class Wagon, sporting a significantly less angular appearance and more flowing form than its direct predecessor.

The front-end design is shared with the latest E-Class sedan through to the tailing edge of the front doors. From there the roof has been lengthened and is adorned with aluminum roof rails, while the side windows stretch well back to provide relatively thin D-pillars.

Unlike recent E-Class Wagon models, the tailgate is angled slightly, and there is now greater tapering toward the rear, providing a less-boxy shape than in recent years. Clever detailing, including a full-width chrome strip and horizontal taillamp graphics, help visually enhance the width of the new car from the rear.

As with its sedan sibling, there are two separate grille treatments: Base and Exclusive trim models receive a classic chromed treatment, while the Avantgarde and AMG versions get a more sporting look with Mercedes’ large 3-pointed star in the middle of the grille.

Inside, the cabin nearly is identical to the sedan, with an optional dual screen and infotainment system dominating the dashboard. At 23.7 cu.-ft. (671 L), nominal luggage capacity is 0.9 cu.-ft. (25 L) down from the outgoing E-class Wagon on the European measuring procedure. However, it is 3.7 cu.-ft. (105 L) more than that offered by the Audi A6 Avant and 3.9 cu.-ft. (110 L) more than the BMW 5-Series Touring.

With the standard 40:20:40 rear seat folded away, loading capacity increases to 64.3 cu.-ft. (1,820 L), which is a significant 4.6 cu.-ft. (130 L) less than before. A power release mechanism within cargo area can be used to automatically fold the rear-seat backrests down without the need to climb inside, although the first official pictures reveal that even with the backrests folded down the cargo compartment floor is not completely flat.

Despite the reduction in overall cargo capacity, Mercedes claims the new E-Class Wagon has lost little in terms of practicality. At 43.3 ins. (1,100 mm), the width between the rear suspension domes is sufficient to accommodate a standard European pallet, according to the German car maker.

As before, a powered cargo blind comes as standard. It motors upward when the tailgate is opened to ease access to the cargo area without the need to fully retract the blind each time.

Another standard feature is a so-called Easy Pack power-lift tailgate with one-touch opening. There also is an optional remote opening feature that allows the tailgate to be opened via a kicking motion underneath the center of the rear bumper, similar to the system pioneered on the Ford Escape.

As with the old E-Class Wagon, the new model features rear air suspension as standard. It provides automatic self-leveling, allowing a payload of up to 1,653 lbs. (750 kg) and a towing capacity of up to 4,630 lbs. (2,100 kg) depending on the model.

Just one gasoline engine will be offered in North America: the turbocharged 3.0L V-6 that delivers 329 hp in the all-wheel-drive E400 4Matic.

In Europe, the new Mercedes model also comes with a turbocharged 2.0L gasoline 4-cyl. with 181 hp in the E200 Wagon and a 208-hp version of the same engine in the E250 Wagon.

Mercedes’ new turbocharged 2.0L 4-cyl. opens proceedings on the diesel front for European buyers, providing 148 hp in the E200d Wagon and 191 hp in the expected volume-selling model, the E220d Wagon. Also available is the E350d, which runs the latest evolution of the German automaker’s turbocharged 3.0L V-6 diesel, good for 254 hp.

The most economical models within the launch range are the 200d Wagon and 220d Wagon, both of which are claimed to return 60 mpg (3.9 L/100 km) on the combined European cycle for average CO2 emissions of 138 g/km.

Leading the new lineup during the initial sales period in Europe is the E43 4-Matic. The AMG-branded model employs a 395-hp turbocharged 3.0L V-6, providing a claimed 0-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration in 4.7 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).

Later this year, Mercedes will launch a new high-riding version of the E-Class Wagon boasting more rugged styling, increased ground clearance and AWD as a rival to the likes of the Audi A6 and Volvo V70 XC. To be called the E-Class All Terrain, it aims to appeal to buyers seeking the on-road qualities of the standard E-Class Wagon together with the off-road ability of a modern-day SUV, such as the recently introduced Mercedes GLC CUV.

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