By on June 6, 2016

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (BR 213), 2016

The three-row Buick Roadmaster and Chevrolet Caprice wagons of yesteryear are gone, but Mercedes-Benz now offers a modern, refined alternative to minivans and crossovers for the few who want it.

The German automaker’s E-Class Estate bows this fall on the far side of the Atlantic (a little later here), in both luxury and sport-minded guise. It’s the wagon you’d drive if you had to drive a wagon.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (BR 213), 2016

Restyled to match the rest of the model’s versatile midsize lineup, the 2017 E-Class Wagon adds a dash of style in a shrunken market segment once known for boxy, faux wood-clad family haulers. It also adds seven-person capacity, thanks to the return of two downsized, rear-facing seats.

Despite the curvaceous roofline, the automaker says its newest wagon has cargo space on par with the previous version. The 40-20-40 split rear bench can now be tilted upright 10 degrees to fit more cargo behind, even with passengers sitting in it.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (BR 213), 2016

All of those seats can be folded flat to carry cargo, or to provide sleeping space for couples on weekend glamping trips.

A host of gas and diesel four-cylinder engines are available for European customers, but SUV-crazed American buyers get only the E400 4Matic. That model sports a 329-horsepower twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6, coupled with all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission.

If getting the kids to Montessori in a hurry is your plan, a Mercedes-AMG E43 version offers a 401-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and a 0–62 mile per hour time of 4.7 seconds. That model, however, isn’t bound for U.S. shores. At least, not yet.

[Images: Daimler AG]

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44 Comments on “2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon: Keeping the Nuclear Family Dream Alive...”


  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    It might just be personal bias, but when I remember the heyday of the North American station wagon, it is the Ford Country Squire that springs to mind.

    Their proprietary 3 way tailgate (endorsed by Ara Parseghian), woody sides, 400 cid engine and rear jump seat. All defining aspects of surbubia in the mid 60’s to early 70’s.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      My mom had a 1968 Country Squire. Hers was equipped with a 390 cubic inch V8, I think the 400s came along later.

      The thing I most remember about that car was that we took it through Lion Country Safari, and one of the male lions sprayed one of its tires. That tire smelled like lion pee until it got replaced.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        FFF: right you are. The Old Man leased 3 for my mother. A ’70 which would have had the 390, a ’72 with I believe the 400 (although it was his personal policy to always purchase the largest displacement engine) and for some reason a ’79 which was entirely forgettable. Prior to ’70 we lusted after one and those who drove one or the even more prestigious Colony Park were the reigning kings of the local suburban shopping plaza parking lot. Until the OPEC ‘fuel crisis/shortage’.

        The Country Squire at its peak weighed in at a princely 4300-lbs.

        From Wikipedia: “Initially, the standard engine was a 302 cubic-inch V8, replaced by a 351 cubic-inch V8 midway through the 1969 model year. As with its LTD counterpart, the 390 and 429 V8 engines were options. In 1971, the 390 V8 was replaced by a 402 cubic-inch V8 (though sold as a 400). In 1972, the 429 was joined by a 224-hp 460 cubic-inch V8. In 1979 it was redesigned (downsized) and the big-block 400 and 460 cubic-inch V8s were not included in the redesign, leaving the Country Squire with the 302 cubic inches (4.95 l) and 351 cubic inches (5.75 l) Windsor V8 engines.”

        The following are the available engines from 1969 to 1978.
        302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
        351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
        390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8
        429 cu in (7.0 L) 385 V8
        400 cu in (6.6 L) Cleveland V8
        460 cu in (7.5 L) 385 V8
        351 cu in (5.8 L) 351M/351 Cleveland V8

  • avatar

    The current generation of Mercedes Benz with the W222 interior design are easily the most beautiful cars rolling on 4 wheels today.

    I’m not sure what the take rate is for the E-wagon since I rarely ever see them, but I’m sure anyone who chooses one will be happy to have a “rare”, practical luxury wagon with such a fabulous interior.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The current C-Class wagon is even better. Makes me ache. E is like the mom, C is the daughter. I would take either though, or the GLC for that matter…..

      A Class aside, Mercedes is on a roll. A class above the competition in every segment that matters (and many that don’t).

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      You’d spot a few in the leafy Westchester, Chicago and Dallas suburbs.

      Agreed though – great looking car. Benz wagons have presence regardless of their age…..

    • 0 avatar
      PentastarPride

      I have to disagree…the pre-facelift W212 E Class and the W204 C-Class were (and are) beautiful cars, as is the X164 GL-Class and the W221 S-Class. It was sharp and simple, just they way I like it. That is hard to pull off successfully.

      Now, the entire lineup looks cheap and lost the ability to stand out and look sharp, something Mercedes was known for. Put a Hyundai or Kia badge on any of the models and no one is none the wiser. The interior quality has went south in my opinion as well, particularly with the C-Class and the CLA. It’s too ugly and complicated compared to its predecessor.

      This E-Class wagon looks like an uninspired Chinese imitation. Even still, it’s a lot more easier on the eyes than any gaping-maw Lexus. It’s just not representative of what a true Mercedes should be, so it falls under the uninspiring category.

      With few exceptions, I think pretty much everything on the market is ugly and/or uninspiring. It will be quite interesting for myself to choose whatever is on the market in 10-15 years when I expect to retire my 200. I guess I’ll just drive the wheels off of that thing. When they fall off, I’ll put them back on.

  • avatar
    pb35

    Count me as one of the “few who want it.”

  • avatar
    Shinoda is my middle name

    Nobody wants one until they’re in one. No one who ever owns one, wants anything else.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I’ve owned a couple Mercedes wagons. Lovely cars, but sooo stodgy. If you like to drive, the one to have is the BMW 3-series wagon. Though sadly, we don’t get the comparable 5-series wagon here, just the 3-series. Seems to be a bit of a gentleman’s agreement between Stuttgart and Munich – Stuttgart gets the medium market to itself, Munich keeps the small market to itself.

    I really am not a fan of the current droopy-butt Mercedes design language, but it looks a whole lot better on the wagons than it does on the sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The E-Class wagon is for stodgy rich white people. They buy it -because- it’s upright and stodgy.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        “E-Class wagon: for when you are too rich and too white for the GLS or GLE.”

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, there’s that, and if you get the AMG version, you can be upright and stodgy and never lose a race. That’s stodginess I can get behind.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        In the grand scheme of things, I round to rich and white. Though really more “comfortably well off” and light brown. :-) Still a tad too stodgy for me, though I will say that my w124 ’88 300TE was probably the most all-around competent car I have ever owned.

        I have a deep appreciation for Mercedes-Benz, but prefer how BMWs drive. They have a certain something-something in the way they go about their business that the equivalent Mercedes always seems to lack. Sense of fun, maybe? The Benz will get you there at whatever pace you choose, while the BMW will goad you into going a little faster, and a little faster, and a little faster…

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          Very happy with the ’13 E350 BlueTec sedan I bought my wife after our lease was up. Very comfortable long distance cruiser and we’ve been averaging right around 35 mpg. I test drove the 5 Series, nice car, but went for the Benz.

  • avatar
    slap

    It’s a very nice car. Too bad that they are around $60K-$70K. It will be interesting to compare against the Volvo V90.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I would drive this.

    I’ve been looking – off and on – for the ever rare BMW wagon with a manual, but only see ’em in the E46s which are getting a long in the tooth for daily family use.

    (ask me about the horror of tracking down a vacuum leak in my MY04 325i)

  • avatar
    never_follow

    Lovely looking wagon, BUT: Those wheels are a good 2 inches too big, and ruin the entire look. I’m pretty sure the 0.1%ers that buy Benz wagons new will agree, far too flashy.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Three cars which say ye olde money and mixed securities in the bank:

    -Well-kept Grand Wagoneer
    -E-Class Wagon
    -Land Cruiser

    These are welcome any place at any time.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You can add Classic and P38 Range Rover to that list as well.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Classic/County, yes. P38, no. I know you love them and have one, but nope.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          P38s definitely work in New England for the quietly loaded. I am by far the poorest person I know with one.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            When I see that model (usually the clean ones have dubs on them), usually my first thought is, “Bet that guy doesn’t have insurance, better steer clear.”

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Are you sure you are not mistaking the next generation L322 for the P38? I have NEVER seen a blinged out P38, but the next generation seem to be mostly driven today by people who would buy Escalades if they could afford them…

            The P38 pretty much looks just like a Classic with the edges smoothed off a bit at 110% scale. And square headlights.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            x.x

            YES I know what a P38 is, good grief. It’s the little one which looked like a LaForza.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Here in Central Florida the L322 and RR Sport are supreme BHPH, ‘Rent-A-Wheel’ fodder on par with Dodge Magnums and old Escalades. The Disco/LR3-4 and Freelander/LR2 seem to live out happier existences after the first owner.

            Everyone I notice with an older Range Rover (P38 or earlier) or a Grand Wagoneer are aged eccentric types that look like Larry David. They might have a ton of cash, not sure.

            Back when I did personal finance work across the Gulf states, the most common “low-key” vehicles among people with a high-net worth were the Lexus ES and the full-size SUVs from Chevy or Ford. The Porsche 911 was sort of popular too, but that is a flashier option.

            I’ll also say that the great majority of the very old people (85+) I dealt with drove Lincoln, Mercury, Buick, or Cadillac sedans whether they were multi-millionaires or about to declare bankruptcy.

          • 0 avatar
            06V66speed

            ajla, Spot on with your assessment.

            RR’s still seem to be favorites for basketball players and porn stars. Don’t forget the color-matched 24’s to boot. Yuck.

            As far as Dodge Magnums go, I just flat out don’t see them unless I’m riding through crime-ridden residential areas of the City of St. Louis. And if they’re not rimmed up, they’re well, well worn. Holy Hell, Magnum’s don’t age well. Not at all.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This new one seems to be a cousin to the Verano at the back, by the way. I like this less than the new S-Coupe and C-Coupe rear ends, which I fancy.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Screw the “nuclear family dream.” Give me an AMG E63 wagon and I’ll be living the THERMONUCLEAR family dream.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    My wife drives a BMW E39 5-series wagon. When required this has most of an SUV’s cargo utility, but without the Dutch barn aerodynamics and consequent fuel consumption penalty. Years ago when she’d just bought it I took it to pick up a pair of still in the box Recaros for my M3, which slid nicely into the way back. It’s also pretty decent looking, another thing an SUV doesn’t offer.

    It’s getting a bit long in the tooth now, and unfortunately there’s nothing comparable to replace it with. I suppose this E-class wagon would be a candidate, except that the last time I drove an E-class it handled like Buicks used to: one finger steering and sloppy handling.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    AMG?

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    I drive a 9-3 wagon, it has been surprisingly reliable so with 60000 miles I have no plans to replace it soon.

    Tell you a dirty secret though, I like being half pregnant. We had a x1 and now a x3, and I love the x1 ride height. Droves like a car but clears snow and parking Bay stops.

    Shamefull but true.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    It looks nice but those wheels are too big. Those wheels makes it look cartoonish.

  • avatar
    NickS

    I. LOVE. SWs.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    My wife, as usual, represents the American consumer when it comes to taste in cars. Her reaction? “That’s a boring car for old people.” But she likes the GLE.

    There was a time when the E-Class wagon was THE car to have if you were a wealthy fortysomething mom. Now the women who drove E-class wagons during that time are sixtysomething grandmothers, and their daughters want CUVx. The closest equivalent of an old E-Class wagon today, socially speaking, is the Acura MDX.

  • avatar
    Waaghals

    I recently saw the “normal” E-class in the flesh.
    It looks too much like the C-class but with a less good looking headlight assembly.

    The station wagon at least looks somewhat distinct from the rear.

    It is supposedly a great car, but I’d probably spring for the C-class, and spend the difference on equipment or a bigger engine.

    That is, if I could afford either.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    I’m not a huge fan of MB in general; however, it is undeniable… the E-Class wagon is a very attractive car.

    Hell, the older ones still look right and proper in front of a sprawling estate.

  • avatar
    svan

    I travelled back in time to this years-old post to say a few things.

    1. These are starting to turn up in numbers around me, and every time I see a new Mercedes wagon I feel a little melty inside.

    2. I say this as the former owner of an E500 wagon which I loved everything about except the gas bills.

    3. Someday these too will be $10,000 crap wagons that disappear off Kijiji the same week they go up. And I will have one again.

    Confirmed though, the last person I saw driving an E wagon was a 40-something woman. Total MILF. Stodgy old-person car my ass. 329 hp ought to be enough for anybody ;)

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