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The diesel engine is BS6 compliant

Performance – The Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain is powered by the same 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine that puts out an identical 194 HP and 400 Nm, honestly, we expected a bigger engine in this Estate. However, where it differs from the sedan is the fact that it complies with upcoming BS6 emission norms even on BS4 fuel, yes, this is the first Mercedes car powered by the 220d oil burner to meet the upcoming BS6 norms in India.

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Performance from the 2.0-litre diesel isn’t very exciting

The All-Terrain feels the best on part throttle, gaining pace strongly in silence

As expected from a car with the three-pointed star, the motor is very refined and silent and doesn’t make much noise even when you push it near its 5000 RPM redline. Power delivery is linear, turbo lag is well contained and the mid-range feels strong. The 9-speed gearbox is smooth with shifts but isn’t the quickest and one can manually take control of cogs using the steering mounted paddles. There is a stop-start system as well and this powerplant is frugal enough to return upwards of 12 km/l in spite of the 1900 kgs weight, yes, the E-Class has gained weight due to the 4-wheel drive system and that blunts performance on full throttle. There are 5 driving modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, Individual and All Terrain which alter the engine, gearbox, steering and suspension.

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The All-Terrain can traverse through mud thanks to 4MATIC

Driving Dynamics – This E-Class in All-Terrain mode increases the ride height by 35 mm and makes the 4MATIC system ready for action. You can also raise the ride height with the touch of a button but it automatically lowers once you cross 35 km/hr. The ground clearance isn’t much and with that long wheelbase, it’s not a car you would happily go off-road in. However, it feels surefooted on mud and muck, provided you know what you are doing as the ESP is just too intrusive and when you turn it off, it still doesn’t shut completely.

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This estate offers a confident driving experience

The All-Terrain handles better than the regular E-Class, it’s more capable too thanks to 4MATIC

The air suspension on the All-Terrain is on the stiffer side and doesn’t feel as soft as the regular E-Class, it just feels right with much better body control and composure over high speeds. Aiding grip at all times is the 4MATIC system, even on wet roads, there is no loss of traction and the E-Class maintains its line well through corners, albeit with some body roll. However, the steering is just fab, more so in Sports mode as it weighs up brilliantly, offering great amount of feel and feedback. The brakes, as expected, offer surefooted stopping power.