2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 Wagon review: Elegance, understatement and practicality MERCEDES' HANDS


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ON SALE: Now

BASE PRICE: $63,225

AS TESTED PRICE: $83,055

DRIVETRAIN: 3.0-liter DOHC turbocharged V6, AWD nine-speed automatic

OUTPUT: 329 hp @ 5,250 rpm; 354 lb-ft @ 1,200 rpm

CURB WEIGHT: 4,299 lb

FUEL ECONOMY: 19/25/21 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)

OPTIONS: See below

PROS: All the space of an SUV in a driver's car

CONS: Gets expensive with options

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I love this car. Yes, it’s expensive, but I don’t care what it costs. To me, it’s that good. As I wrote on our site, this is the passenger-car benchmark, as far as I’m concerned. Historically, the E-Class Wagon’s blend of elegance, understatement and practicality has placed it among Benz’s highest-earning-demographic cars in the lineup, joining the S-Class coupe (!) as MBUSA’s demo leader.

As I said, I love it. The 3.0-liter turbo V6 powers the E400 wagon with authority. It’s strong. It also works terrifically with the nine-speed for some real oomph when needed -- the trans is smooth when you're not really legging it and changes gears quickly the harder you push, especially in sport and sport plus modes.

The steering is accurate with good feel, but it might not matter: The E-Class Wagon has Benz’s Drive Pilot optional. Just set the speed and off the wagon goes with no input. Around Detroit, I found the car stayed in its own lane on straight roads and sliced smoothly through corners, adjusting speed as needed depending on what was happening in front of me.

The chassis is rock solid. Mercedes put in floor and body-shell bracing and increased the sound insulation in the floor and sides; sound absorbers were also installed under the rear seats and in the wheel arches. It also added seals on the windows, door handles and door hinges. It all makes this among the quietest cars I recall, good for longer hauls.

The interior is straight-up E-Sedan, so fit and finish is among the best in all of automobiledom with rich woods and excellent styling.

Benz just dropped the E63 S wagon, a 603-hp monster arriving this fall. Lordy. For now, this creamy-smooth car does nicely. Is it my favorite passenger car? Probably.

--Wes Raynal, editor

Gallery: Check out the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 Wagon's interior

OTHER VOICES:

Look, we love wagons here. We know it’s a cliché -- just read our recent Audi Allroad coverage. We spent almost as much time apologizing for our wagon love as we did reviewing the damn thing.

This right here, though? This is a case study in why we like wagons in the first place.

Wagons take good cars and make them better. The E-Class sedan is nice. It’s jam-packed with fancy futu