Sometimes when a car shows up on my list to review, a little bit of pretense can wiggle its way into my attitude. It happens sometimes with minivans and it happened with the Mercedes-Benz E 400 Wagon.
Why? Because in my world, wagons occupy a space that is in limbo between sedans and minivans – probably not a good place to be. But, when it comes to wagons, I have been wrong in the past, even surprised by what a modern wagon could really be. So I set out with an open mind.
The Mercedes-Benz E 400 Wagon offers a lot of comfort, a lot of features and a lot of classy interior refinement – precisely what you might expect from a Mercedes. The other side of the coin is the price – precisely what you should expect from Mercedes, but one of the highest starting prices in the class at $63,295. My tester managed to exceed the $89,000 price point, but it was a joy to step into the entire week – and it would be that way for years if purchased.
The first hurdle cleared, I kept an open mind.
Seating up to seven passengers, the E 400 Wagon is long (194.2 in.) and very heavy (4,464 lbs.), which is a huge plus when you consider interior comfort, utility capability.
The cabin style of the E 400 Wagon is modern and timeless, expected levels of class are ever-present in Mercedes vehicles – even their wagons. The quality of craftsmanship, fit & finish, and materials is first-rate.
Technology is a plus for this modern wagon and standard features in the E 400 include a power sunroof, COMAND infotainment system with a 12.3-inch display, voice controls, navigation, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and two USB ports. My tester included upgrades such as a massive panoramic sunroof, wireless device charging, a 13-speaker Burmester surround sound system and satellite radio.
The front seats provide outstanding comfort with tremendous luxury features like heated armrests and superior bolstered construction. Power adjustments deliver perfect driving/riding positions.
The rear seats have enough room for most adult passengers, but they trail some rivals in terms of head- and legroom. I loved the two old-school rear-facing jump seats in the cargo area, it made me recall wagons of my youth – though my experiences were never this comfortable.
The Wagon comes standard with an all-wheel-drive configuration. A base 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 provides 329 horsepower, which is adequate to get up and going, though it will never snap you back in your seat. The wagon offers a respectable 19/25 MPG rating that compares well against the competition.
You don’t buy a Mercedes E 400 Wagon for athletic performance. This is a people mover with classy comfort that beckons a cruiser approach to performance driving characteristics.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has one of the highest safety scores in the class. It earns five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You feel pretty safe when you know you have features such as: driver drowsiness monitoring, crosswind assist, and standard active brake assist. Available driver assistance features include a rearview camera or a 360-degree surround-view camera, evasive steering assist (which automatically steers the car around pedestrians in your path), automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, a head-up display, lane keep assist, lane change assist, and park assist. Overall, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E 400 Wagon has the luxury goods and the performance chops to stand up to any wagon in the class – but you will pay for the comfort and the brand name.
This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication