Here’s something I recently discovered when I was in Europe last month: Mercedes-Benz sells an "off-road" version of the E-Class over there. No, it’s not the E400 All-Terrain 4×4 Squared, which looks like a lifted version of the standard E-Class wagon. Instead, there’s a model of the E-Class wagon called the All-Terrain, which is lifted up a little bit and has a bit more SUV styling than a typical E-Class.
In other words, this is basically the Subaru Outback of the Mercedes E-Class wagon. And given that, I’m not sure why it isn’t sold in North America.
Here’s what I mean: more and more, brands are ditching traditional station wagons in favor of "lifted" off-roady wagons. The Subaru Legacy wagon is gone, but we still have the Outback. The Volvo V90 is special-order only, but the off-roady "Cross Country" model is available for dealers to order. The Audi A4 Avant is gone, but we get the SUVish Allroad instead.
Which, of course, brings up the question: why doesn’t Mercedes-Benz do this? The E-Class wagon is a somewhat popular vehicle, especially with a high-earning demographic that Mercedes is interested in keeping. It seems only obvious that Mercedes should, therefore, expand the model range to create the "SUV-like" wagon that other brands have had more success with than traditional "normal" wagon models. Shouldn’t this be the next step?
My thinking is that yes, this should be where Mercedes-Benz goes — and I’m surprised they haven’t already. I strongly suspect the E-Class All-Terrain will make its way to North America for the next generation, though I hope it doesn’t replace the traditional E-Class wagon or remove the wonderful E63 wagon from the North American lineup. Find a Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale