- Luxury wagons are few and far between.
- Audi would like you to think the A6 Allroad is the only direct competitor.
- The Volvo V90 Cross Country would beg to differ.
These days it's hard enough to find a station wagon, let alone a wagon based on a luxury sedan. And if you want that luxury wagon to have a modicum of off-road capability, why don't you just go and buy an SUV already? Well, Mercedes-Benz would like to direct your attention to the 2021 E-Class All-Terrain. In lieu of the standard E-Class wagon (don't worry, you can still order the demonic AMG E 63 S) the All-Terrain adds some rugged-looking body cladding, a slightly higher ride height, a few off-road driving aids and an air suspension that allows a bit more ground clearance. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a 362-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine.
And what if you don't like the All-Terrain? There are two other similarly sized options in the same price range.
Since Audi's A6 sedan is a natural competitor to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, it's only natural to compare the wagon variants too. The Allroad is similar to the All-Terrain as it adds a bit of extra ground clearance and some styled-in ruggedness without offering any true off-road capability. Power comes from a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine putting out 335 hp. All-wheel drive is standard.
If there's another company that builds wagons as well as Mercedes-Benz, it's Volvo. For decades the company has been cranking out low-key but desirable variants of its sedans. The V90 Cross Country is on another level. With sheet metal that combines the best of Scandinavian design and tastefully added off-road accoutrements, the Cross Country looks as good in the city as it does heading down a muddy country road. The interior brings even more style, as well as supremely comfortable seats. The 8.3 inches of ground clearance will get you off-the beaten path with more confidence than the Benz and the Audi, even if its four-cylinder engine can only muster up 316 hp.
Wagons are cool and off-road wagons are even cooler. And if you thought a little extra off-road capability was limited to SUVs or the more utilitarian Subaru Outback, now you know you've got these three wagons to choose from. We wish more manufacturers would bring back the wagon, but for the time being, we're pretty satisfied with this trio.