Mercedes-Benz has decided that to not let Volvo and Audi have it all to themselves in the raised wagon market sector by launching a model to rival their respective Cross Country and All-Road models. Welcome to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain.

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In keeping with the formula of its rivals the E-Class All-Terrain has all-wheel drive with a practical estate body, featuring a raised and adjustable ride height toughened looking bumpers complemented with skid plate style front and rear valences. Essentially it shouts that it’s ready to have a go at the hard work of off-roading to a certain extent.

One choice of engine will is available at launch. The E220d gets Mercedes’ new 2-litre turbo’ed four-pot diesel motor, you get a reasonable 191bhp with 295lbft of torque to help you along in those muddier parts of the world.

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You also get Mercedes’ excellent 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission, which is present in a majority of the Mercedes range.  This channels the power to a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system with Dynamic Select. The gives the driver no less than five different driving modes, one of these is an All-Terrain mode featured only in this car.

Select the All-Terrain mode and the Air Body Control suspension raises the car up by 20mm, this only works up to speeds of a little over 20mph. The driver can also adjust the suspension by 35mm if they wish to do so, the All-Terrain already sits 29mm higher than the standard E-Class thanks to larger tyres and an additional lift from the air suspensions standard setting.

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Want to take it off road; you have a ground clearance of 121mm to 156mm depending on the mode selection, which should be suitable for light soft-roading at worst. Given that many of these cars will never be taken for proper off-roading this should be more than sufficient to cover most muddy scout fields which are where I suspect this type of car will be used.

On the inside you get the usual Mercedes-Benz high-quality interior with added aluminium-carbon trim and set of stainless steel pedals, all this complements the toughened exterior of the car.

Whilst final UK specs are to be confirmed, Mercedes have revealed that a 6-cylinder motor will be joining the line-up at some point. The first UK cars should arrive in dealerships in early 2017.

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