2021 Mercedes-Benz E450

MIAMI — If the $141,000 price tag for the AMG E 63 S wagon reviewed on this site back in February was just a bit out of your financial reach, Mercedes-Benz has another wagon (though it doesn’t call it that) that doesn’t go into six figures but is quite stunning in its own right. The 2021 E450 4MATIC All-Terrain model is a real beauty and features all the bells and whistles you expect from the company with a stunning two-tone interior and a new mild hybrid powertrain that provides both power and pretty decent fuel numbers for its class.


The turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine is paired with a 48-volt hybrid system and replaces the previous twin-turbocharged V6, matching the horsepower and torque while delivering a slightly better fuel number of 24 miles-per-gallon combined city-highway to 22 for the 2020 V6.

The EQ Boost system also gives the 2021 E450 All-Terrain up to an extra 21 horsepower. As you may have deduced from the 4MATIC designation, all-wheel drive is standard.

The engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with settings for Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Eco modes and sprints from zero-to-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, according to the website zeroto60times.com. That’s just a little over second off the time for the AMG-tuned E 63 S.

Mercedes has given the E450 All-Terrain some styling tweaks that, it hopes, make it more appealing to SUV devotees. Redesigned headlights and taillights and a new front grille were among notable changes. The front skid plate now has a mirror chrome finish and the radiator grille is more in the style of the company’s SUV fleet.

Still, there is no question about the first impression. The 2021 E450 4MATˆC All-Terrain is very much a station wagon.

There is even a rear-facing back seat (suitable for children) as once was found in station wagons of old. It folds up flat to provide a generous 35 cubic feet of space.

As expected, the E450 All-Terrain comes with a long list of standard features covered by the starting MSRP of $67,600. They include multi-color interior lighting, Bluetooth connectivity, Mercedes “me connect” services (subscription required after a trial period), a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation and 12.3-inch instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power rear liftgate, power sunroof, a a removable cargo cover, roof rails, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated power adjustable front seats with lumbar support, and LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights.

Safety features include Mercedes emergency call service, active brake assist, blind spot assist, and Mercedes Attention Assist system that, among other functions, alerts the driver to signs of fatigue and weariness.

Extras can run the final tab to over $80,000. On my test vehicle they included the cardinal red exterior, AMG Twin 5-spoke wheels with black accents, multi contour front seats with massage, wireless charging, a Premium Package that included a park assist system and surround view camera, a Driver Assist Package that among other features added active lane change and active blind spot assist, and ventilated front seat and heated rear seats.

What I liked about the 2021 Mercedes-Benz 4E50 4MATIC All-Terrain: The exterior is sleek, not like a boxy wagon of old, and the interior is exquisite. With Sport and Sport+ modes to go to, performance is smooth and powerful and surprisingly efficient. The ride is comfortable and quiet as well. Good storage room in the back as long as the rear-facing back seats are not engaged.

What I didn’t like about the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC All-Terrain: The Mercedes MBUX infotainment system offers lots of features, but operating it all, either on the touchscreen or the touch pad on the console, demands a lot of attention. Even the simplest of operations, like changing a radio station, can take your eyes off the road for too long. Buttons on the steering wheel for various functions seemed to be designed for fingers of 5-year-olds they are so small.

Would I buy the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 4MATIC All-Terrain? Yes. I would hope someday designers figure out a better way to make it easier to operate all that technology, but the overall quality and panache of the E450 easily overcome that.

— Paul Borden