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Monday, September 27, 2021

Mercedes-Benz C-Class All-Terrain and Estate ruled out for Australia

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Mercedes-Benz has revealed a higher-riding All-Terrain version of its redesigned C-Class, but neither it nor the regular wagon are coming here.

“Though the C-Class All Terrain is an exciting addition to our global portfolio, this new variant will not be part of the Mercedes-Benz product range in Australia, nor will the C-Class Estate from the introduction of the W 206 generation,” said a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz.

“In the Australian market, demand for our growing family of Mercedes-Benz SUV models continues to increase, while demand for Estate models is steadily decreasing.”

That’ll leave Mercedes-Benz with no wagons in Australia, with the CLA Shooting Brake, and E-Class Estate and All-Terrain not offered here.

The new W206 series is the first to include an All-Terrain model, joining the E-Class All-Terrain introduced with the current generation.

It’ll make its debut at the 2021 Munich motor show and reach European showrooms before the end of the year.

Featuring standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the C-Class All-Terrain has 40mm of additional ground clearance plus two additional off-road drive modes.

The Offroad mode is designed for dirt roads, gravel and sand, while Offroad+ with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) is for more challenging terrain.

The four-link front suspension has slightly larger steering knuckles, though Mercedes-Benz hasn’t detailed many other changes under the skin.

The 4MATIC all-wheel drive sends up to 45 per cent of engine power to the front axle and up to 55 per cent to the rear axle.

The All-Terrain is available with a choice of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines, both featuring 48V mild-hybrid technology.

It features a more rugged exterior, with a unique grille and bumpers, plus wheel arch linings finished in matte dark grey and simulated underride guards front and rear.

Unique 17-, 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels are available.

It comes standard with LED headlights, while Mercedes-Benz’s Digital Light is optional. This includes a special off-road light, activated when you switch to an off-road driving mode, that casts a wide beam at speeds of up to 50km/h.

The All-Terrain’s Digital Light also features the clever functions seen on other Mercedes models equipped with the feature, such as the projection of guidelines on the road when in a roadwork zone and a spotlight on vulnerable pedestrians.

It can tow up to 1800kg and is available with a partially electric trailer hitch, ESP trailer stabilisation and a trailer manoeuvring assistant.

The All-Terrain is based on the Avantgarde exterior, which means trim pieces like the window surrounds and roof rails are finished in polished aluminium. A Night Package is available, however, which features high-gloss black trim.

It measures 4mm longer than the C-Class Estate at 4755mm, while width has increased by 21mm to 1494mm due to 1841mm due to the unique wheel arches.

Like the Estate, there’s 490L of luggage space, expanding to 1510L when you drop the 40:20:40 split-fold rear seat.

Moving to the front of the cabin, there’s a choice of black, macchiato beige/black, and sienna brown/black interior colourways.

There’s a choice of 10.25-inch or 12.3-inch instrument clusters, while an Offroad screen displays information like incline, decline, steering angle, geo-coordinates and a compass.

As in the rest of the C-Class line, interior room has grown. Elbow width is up by 22mm for front-seat occupants and 15mm for those in the rear, while rear headroom and knee room are up by 11mm and 35mm, respectively.

By ruling out the All-Terrain for Australia, Mercedes-Benz is ceding the (admittedly niche) segment to the likes of the Audi A4 allroad and Volvo V60 Cross Country.

As for mid-sized premium wagons with no off-road pretensions, there’s only the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and the upcoming Genesis G70 Shooting Brake.

MORE: Everything Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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