Wheels (Australia)

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IN EUROPE AND the US, the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain is the thinking person’s alternativ­e to an SUV, offering the dynamics and comfort of an all-wheel-drive E-Class wagon with height adjustable suspension that gives up to 156mm of ground clearance at speeds up to 32km/h. No, you wouldn’t want to take it bush, but then you wouldn’t want to take most modern SUVs bush, either. The C-Class All-Terrain offers about the same capability, with better handling and fuel efficiency. Chief engineer Christian Früh is a former member of the German national ski team, and is on record as saying his favourite variant of the new C-Class is the 4Matic wagon because it’s handy in the snow. Was he not tempted to build a C-Class All Terrain? “I’ve been thinking about one for three generation­s,” he admits. “But you have to convince sales people and finance people.” He pauses, then laughs: “This time I was successful. Hopefully you’ll drive it at the end of this year.” You read it here first.

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