We were mightily impressed by the E-Class Estate last year.
In 2018 we’ve tested the All Terrain, a four-wheel-drive version of the Mercedes-Benz, with a raised ride height to give some off-road ability.
Even if you never plan to venture further beyond Tarmac than a farm campsite, there are good reasons to choose the All Terrain as a tow car.
The diesel engine is refined and very, very strong, pulling a caravan weighted to 85% of its kerbweight from 30-60mph in just 8.0 seconds. The big Mercedes stops as well as it goes, with a 30-0mph stopping distance of 10.4 metres.
In the lane-change test, the All Terrain was pulled around by the caravan a little on the third and fastest run, but it stayed under control and completed the manoeuvre.
At high speeds the car is generally very stable, but the Al-Ko ATC sensors did detect some movement when slowing down.
With so much pulling power, four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, the hill-start test was never likely to cause the E-Class problems, and so it proved.
In everyday driving the All Terrain is easy going, comfortable and refined. There’s a sport mode to sharpen the throttle, add weight to the steering and firm up the suspension, and it works well without compromising comfort too much.
The All Terrain is a spacious car with lots of luggage space, but the low noseweight hurts the car’s practicality score. And there’s also no getting away from the very high price.