What is it?
For country dwellers, off-road excursions can be part of the daily routine. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain is designed for exactly that purpose, with a 29mm higher ride height that's partly down to the Air Body Control air suspension (15mm) and also with 20in wheels fitted as standard (14mm).
To complete the package, there’s also some external plastic cladding to protect the body from scratches and scrapes, as well as the 4Matic permanent four-wheel-drive system with 31/69 front-rear torque split. This is the only E-Class estate available with the combination of the 350d 3.0-litre engine and 4Matic all-wheel drive.
The E-Class All-Terrain was launched in other markets last year but the UK is now seeing this venerable V6 diesel combined with the 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox, and it comes in pretty much one standard specification. That includes the equivalent of the AMG Line Premium Plus package that includes a panoramic glass sunroof and the Comand system, with a 12.3in infotainment screen. The All-Terrain is a five-seater only (there's no option of seven seats), albeit with an ample loading bay. It also comes with an electric folding towbar as standard and has a towing capacity of 2100kg - enough to tow another car on a braked trailer. In addition, 20in wheels are standard, although they are equipped with summer, not all-season, tyres.
At £58,880, it’s not a budget option; the car we tested ran to £60,575 with the optional driving assistance package. But Mercedes says it’s aimed at customers for whom price is not the major consideration and who may already own a high-end SUV.