Innovative engineering and a compelling conception of space make it the most intelligent wagon that Mercedes-Benz has ever built.
In terms of the space, the all-new model year 2017 E400 Wagon will launch by early 2017 and will continue to be the only German luxury wagon available in its segment. Its cargo volume and, in spite of a much sportier roof line, headroom and elbowroom in the rear are best in class. The E400 Wagon will once again will offer a third row folding bench seat as standard equipment in the USA.
“The new Wagon is as dynamic as the Mercedes-Benz brand and as spacious as our customers expect. Intelligent features such as the cargo position for the rear seat backrest with its 40:20:40 split as standard allow even better use to be made of the generous load-carrying capacity,” says Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. “And what is more, the Wagon obviously has all the innovations of the new E-Class – the most intelligent executive sedan in the world.”
For the market launch in the USA, the new E400 4MATIC Wagon will be available with a six-cylinder Biturbo engine that generates 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. The E400 4MATIC Wagon is equipped as standard with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission.
Intelligent load compartment: large, versatile and easy to access
The E-Class Wagon’s load compartment is one of the biggest in the segment globally. As standard, the rear bench seat has new cargo-related functionality: it is possible to position the backrest at an approximately 10-degree steeper angle, creating an additional space for cargo while continuing to enable full use to be made of five seats.
As with the all-new MY2017 E-Class sedan, the rear seat backrest folds down in a 40:20:40 split as standard, opening up plenty of potential configurations between transport capacity and seats. To release the backrests, there are electric switches located in the load compartment and to the right and left next to the backrests.
Developers paid particular attention to practical dimensions and innovative management of the load space. With a minimum load compartment width between the wheel arches of 43.3 inches, it was possible to retain the preceding model’s already-impressive measurements. The proven combined cargo cover and net is back, offering both security from prying eyes and safety. Thanks to an electric motor, the load compartment cover moves upwards automatically when the tailgate is opened.
The EASY-PACK tailgate provided as part of the standard equipment can be opened and closed very easily at the touch of a button for comfortable loading and unloading. Operation is electromechanical. To prevent the tailgate making contact with the garage roof, for example, it can be halted in any position.
Optional KEYLESS-GO with HANDS-FREE ACCESS makes loading cargo even more convenient: to open the trunk, all that is required is to make a kicking motion with one’s foot underneath the rear bumper and the trunk lid will be opened and closed automatically.
A self-levelling rear air suspension continues to be equipped as standard. This ensures that the Wagon remains level, even when fully loaded with cargo or when towing. With AIR BODY CONTROL, all-round air suspension is available as an option.
Exterior design: dynamic proportions, powerful-looking at the rear
The new E-Class Wagon appears modern, confidently stylish and dynamic, and looks like the E-Class Sedan through to the B-pillar. From the long hood, a silhouette emerges that flows across the long roof with its sporty curve into the powerful rear of the wagon with its steeply tapering rear window.
Short overhangs, a long wheelbase and large wheels make for dynamic proportions. In conjunction with the high beltline, the low, stretched side windows make the vehicle seem longer. Flowing into the greenhouse, the sidewall’s positively exaggerated lines extend powerfully towards the rear. Completing the exterior form, the rear has broad shoulders over the rear wheel arches for a sensual look. A roof spoiler with a third brake light (LED) defines how high the broad, functional tailgate can open. From a visual perspective, horizontal lines at the tail end and the rear window both emphasize width, as do the horizontally aligned, two-piece LED tail lights with integral chrome trim. Complementing the form, LED reflectors underscore the vehicle’s character by creating a design highlight by day and night. On the tailgate, the wide, chrome-plated handle acts as the visual centerpiece.
As on the Sedan, the powerful front will vary depending on the chosen design and equipment line. The Luxury model features the classic Mercedes radiator grille with the star on the hood, and the Sport model can be recognized by the central star on the sports radiator grille. Each variant of radiator grille gives the E-Class a distinctive character, be that elegant or sporty.
Interior design: a synthesis of emotion and intelligence
Inside, too, the Wagon utilizes the Sedan’s award-winning design. The instrument panel can be adorned with two optional wide, high-resolution displays, each with a 12.3-inch screen. Located under a shared glass cover, they merge to form a widescreen cockpit. The driver may configure the fully digital display to show the information and views that are relevant for them. There are three different styles to choose from: “Classic,” “Sport” and “Progressive.” Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel allow the instrument cluster and multimedia system to be controlled at the swipe of a finger and have made their debut in the new E-Class.
Further controls are provided in the form of a touchpad with controller in the center console, which can also recognize handwriting, plus the voice- operated control system. There are also direct-access buttons for controlling the air conditioning and for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driving assistance systems.
High-quality materials define the interior style. They include natural grain wood, and wood in a yachting look with flowing lines as a contemporary interpretation of inlaid wood. The use of authentic materials is continued in the optionally leather-covered doors and the beltline. Another Mercedes hallmark is the high-quality look and feel created by meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Just as carefully composed is the material and color concept with various shades of brown, including attractive color combinations such as macchiato beige/espresso brown or macchiato beige/saddle brown. The design and equipment lines include enhanced ambient lighting featuring 64 colors, offering plenty of opportunities for personalized adjustment.
When it comes to the seats, their ergonomic, sculptural form combines Mercedes-Benz’s hallmark suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look, featuring a unique design for each line. Other new features in this segment are Warmth and Comfort package, which includes heated steering wheel, heated armrests in the doors and on the center console, and the quickly responding heated front seats Plus.
Relieved of much noise and vibration: one of the quietest wagons
In the interior, the new E-Class Wagon is one of the quietest vehicles in its class – even though an wagon is at a disadvantage by design compared to a sedan due to the large resonating body. Quiet running and low vibration make a significant contribution to the level of energizing comfort, particularly on long journeys.
A whole raft of measures help to reduce vibrations and noise. As on a cabriolet, struts strengthen the main floor and front end of the body shell. For that reason, the vehicle body is very rigid and transmits less noise.
Special insulation on the bodywork (including on the bulkhead, sidewalls and main floor), as well as sound absorbers under the rear seats and on the wheel arches, keep noise out of the vehicle interior. The kinematic design of the chassis, axles and steering system reduces disturbances that can be caused by road surfaces, the wheels being out-of-balance or when braking. Engine and transmission mounts have also been optimized in terms of noise levels.
Various aeroacoustic measures have been taken. These include sealed door handles, seals on the door joints and optimizing details associated with the geometry of the sealing sections for the side windows. Improvements have also been made to the formed parts for the inside sealing rails so that these are connected to the window run channel without any gaps by positive locking. As on the E-Class Sedan, the exterior mirrors and A-pillar have been optimized in terms of aeroacoustics. The roof structure and the tilt/sliding sunroof module have been aeroacoustically improved to benefit noise comfort in these areas too. In the case of the panoramic sliding sunroof, multiple wind-deflection measures (wind deflector, covers and seals with the appropriate geometry) ensure the same high level of noise comfort as in the preceding model, despite the larger aperture.
The Acoustic & Comfort package is available for US customers on both the sedan and wagon models. A special acoustic film in the windscreen and side windows ensures low levels of background noise in the vehicle interior. The Acoustic Comfort package contains further sound- insulating measures such as additional insulation in the rear footwell and on the center tunnel. To provide excellent heat insulation in the interior, the windscreen, side windows and rear windows are made of laminated safety glass with another layer of film that absorbs infrared. Surfaces in the interior like the armrests, steering wheel and seats get less hot from solar radiation as a result.
Intelligent Drive: all the E-Class innovations are on-board
As the most intelligent executive sedan, the E-Class sets new benchmarks in terms of safety, comfort and reducing the driver’s workload. These innovations are, of course, also available on the wagon. Active Brake Assist is fitted as standard. It is able to warn the driver of impending collisions, provide optimum support with emergency braking and, if necessary, also autonomously apply the brakes. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing the danger zone ahead of the vehicle.
Other highlights include DRIVE PILOT: this system represents Mercedes- Benz’s next step along the road to autonomous driving. Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is not only able to automatically keep the car the correct distance behind vehicles in front on all types of road, it can also follow them at a speed of up to 130 mph.
50 years ago: the first official Mercedes-Benz wagon
In August 1966, the Mercedes-Benz Universal made its debut within the official Mercedes-Benz sales program. This station wagon was built by IMA, a partner in Belgium, on the basis of the 200 D and 230 S fintail models. Innovations included split rear seat backrest, self-levelling rear suspension and an optional third row of seats: only 2754 of them were built in the years up to 1969. Due to low sales, the development of a successor based on the Stroke 8 model was abandoned.
New name, new model, new success
In April 1978, the Wagon 123 model entered full series production and a long success story began – well over a million wagon models have been built to date. In Germany, the Wagon is known as the “T-Modell” and although the “T” suggests tourism and transport, it also stands for trendsetter. For Mercedes-Benz, the Wagon model is an integral part of the luxury segment and has a loyal fan base, particularly in Germany. There has been a “T- Model” in every successive generation of the E-Class (S 124, S 210, S 211, S 212). Competitors have also followed in its wake, some of them considerably later.