“Wagons do not sell in the United States.”
This is what many automakers repeatedly claim whenever we ask if a particular vehicle’s wagon variant will arrive in the U.S. or not. This statement is especially true for luxury wagons, from premium brands, with hefty price tags. However, motoring journalists like me who are also wagon lovers by default, have to thank manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz. Despite the market trends, they decided to sell a wagon in the U.S., thus keeping our wagon fantasy alive this side of the Atlantic.
So, when I was watching the live unveiling of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon earlier this week, I was absolutely speechless. I mean, just look at it!
Compared to the previous E-Class wagon, the 2017 model is slightly smaller with a less boxy cargo bay, resulting in less cargo volume than before. With the second-row seats folded, the cargo volume measures in at 22.6 cubic feet or 0.9 cubic feet less than its W212 predecessor. However, the new E-Class wagon still boasts more cargo carrying capacity than its main rivals, the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5 Series Touring.
For those concerned about the width of the cargo bay, the minimum width of the cargo floor between the wheel arches is 43.3 inches.
In Europe, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon can be fitted with a range of petrol and diesel engines, from an economical 2.0 L turbo-diesel four-cylinder, to a tire-shredding 4.0 L twin-turbo V8. Regardless of the engine choice, all 2017 E-Class models will be fitted with a new, nine-speed automatic transmission, sending power to either the rear or all four wheels. The monstrous E63 AMG wagon, with the twin-turbo 4.0 L V8, will be mated to an AMG exclusive, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Power is sent to all four wheels via an AMG tuned 4MATIC system.
In the U.S., the new E-Class wagon will only be available in one flavor at launch, the E400 4MATIC. This model is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0 L petrol V6 engine with 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft. torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC system as standard. The more powerful Mercedes-AMG E43 4MATIC wagon, with a 369 horsepower, 3.0 L twin-turbo V6 will not be sold in the U.S. However, Mercedes-Benz USA did mention the next generation E63 AMG wagon is in development and is scheduled to arrive in the U.S.
Michael Kelz, Chief Engineer of the E-Class, also mentioned that an E300 4MATIC wagon will join the U.S. lineup at a later date. The E300 will be powered by a 2.0 L turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.
Comfort and Convenience
Like all luxury wagons, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC wagon comes standard with a power liftgate, which can be stopped in any position – useful in spaces with low ceilings. There is an optional keyless access with “hands-free” system, which opens the liftgate by waving a foot under the rear bumper.
As in the previous wagon, self-leveling air suspension in the rear is standard.
In order to reduce external noises from entering the cockpit, Mercedes-Benz claims they worked hard to that end. In addition to the usual sound-absorbing materials in the roof and floor, the E-Class wagon is fitted with acoustic shields under the rear seats and behind the wheel wells, along with “aero-acoustically optimized” door seals and handles. The E-Class also features an optional Acoustic and Comfort package, which adds a special acoustic film to the windshield and side glass, as well as additional insulation inside the transmission tunnel.
When it arrives in the U.S., the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC wagon will be available in two trims: Luxury with a chrome mesh grille and a hood ornament and Sport, with a large three-pointed star in the grille and no hood ornament. Like the sedan, expect the wagon to be fitted with the latest technologies, including features that enable the vehicle to drive semi-autonomously.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC wagon will arrive in the U.S. during the first quarter of next year. Pricing has not been announced yet, but expect it to be slightly higher than the starting price of its sedan counterpart. For us wagon fans – and we’re out there – the price is easily justifiable.
*Rahul Raman is the Founder of CARS 360 Mke, an automotive news outlet. He is a regular contributor to Automoblog and the author of our First Look series.
Additional 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC Wagon Images
Source & Photos: Mercedes-Benz