Wagons may be an endangered species in the United States, but the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon is here to stay. Updated inside and out for the latest model year, it continues to offer a compelling combination of stately luxury, all-weather capability and capacious practicality while also providing better gas mileage and handling than most of the SUVs and crossovers that many buyers favor over wagons.
Along with the wagon discussed herein, the E-Class is available in sedan, coupe and convertible bodystyles. Hybrid E400 and high-performance E63 AMG derivatives are also offered.
While it continues to feature traditional, space-maximizing proportions, the E-Class wagon has been freshened with a number of stylistic revisions that give it a more-eye catching appearance than before. In place of the quad headlights that have adorned every E-Class since the W210, the facelifted model sports simplified single-piece units with a more streamlined look. The vintage-inspired but busy "pontoon" rear fenders have also been axed in the name of simplicity.
Two different front-end treatments are available - the old-school Luxury model wears an elegant three-slat grille with a small Mercedes emblem protruding from the hood, while the Sport variant receives a more aggressive two-slat unit with an oversized badge. Sport models also use an AMG-designed body kit and sit on a stiffened and lowered suspension.
The E-Class wagon's biggest asset is its expansive interior space, which makes the vehicle perfect for carrying passengers in comfort or hauling sizable amounts of cargo. Its five-seat configuration can easily expand to seven seats by unfolding a standard third-row rear-facing seat from the luggage compartment floor, while a 60-40 fold-down second-row seat allows for a cavernous and flexible 57.4 cubic-foot cargo area. Mercedes states that the wagon can carry a grandfather clock and still accommodate three occupants, or it can manage a load of lumber along with four people aboard.
The cabin's design is as refined as ever, with generous amounts of wood and chrome trim creating a decadent environment. Notable new touches include a three-spoke steering wheel, a classy, Art Deco-inspired clock and a reworked center stack with more intuitive controls. Mercedes' COMAND infotainment system remains; controlled either by voice commands, a central knob or steering wheel-mounted buttons, it integrates the wagon's audio, navigation and Bluetooth-based connectivity functions into a single unit - a seven-inch display screen mounted on the dashboard.