Mercedes' new variant of the C-Class is based on the Avantgarde trim of the Estate model and builds on its equipment and options list.
The C-Class All Terrain comes with 4Matic all-wheel drive as standard, bigger wheels (19-inch as standard instead of 17-inch), and a raised ride height to help it navigate on unpaved roads. Its suspension gets an extra 40 mm (1.57 inches) of travel, while the steering knuckles have been enlarged. The rear axle comes with a multi-link suspension, while the front suspension has a four-link configuration.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the car is better suited for poor road surfaces, but do not expect it to be an off-roading legend. Unlike its big brother, the E-Class All-Terrain, this model comes with conventional springs and stocks, not an air suspension, so its ground clearance will be its first limitation for any off-road adventures.
It is easy to spot a Mercedes-Benz C-Class All-Terrain, as it comes with a different front grille, a modified front bumper with an integrated plastic skid plate, black wheel arch ornaments, and an unpainted black plastic rear bumper. The wheel arch plastic ornaments add 21 mm (0.8 inches) to the C-Class's width and are joined by a set of grained plastic side skirt trim elements.
Customers can opt for all black plastic elements on the car to be finished in gloss black if they get the Night Package, but that would mean missing the point of those ornaments. In theory, these elements are there to face gravel and small stones and should be easily replaced without the need for a visit to the paint shop.
Onboard, occupants will observe a sports steering wheel covered in black leather, an ambient lighting system, and electrically adjustable front seats. Upholstery choices are limited to leather and there is a choice between black, macchiato beige, and brown and black. You can check out the photo gallery to see the one chosen by Mercedes-Benz as the most appropriate for the press shots.
On the technology front, the C-Class All-Terrain comes with an 11.9-inch multimedia screen in portrait format, along with a 12.-3-inch digital gauge cluster. The latter is also available in a 10.25-inch version, but just get the bigger once if you find yourself configuring the C-Class All-Terrain. There is even an Off Road menu for the latter, which shows steering angle, incline angle, and geographical coordinates.
Mercedes-Benz has already thought about the practical side of things and offers several options to help its customers tow trailers. There is a part-electric tow bar, a trailer stabilization system, and a trailer maneuvering assistant. The latter works with the 360-degree camera and can be observed on the infotainment screen.
The goal of the trailer maneuvering assistant is to help even inexperienced drivers park a vehicle while towing a trailer. It takes control of the steering while parking, and it is controlled through the infotainment unit. The car can correct the trailer without the driver's assistance, which is not an easy feat.
Meanwhile, the trailer stabilization system is activated at speeds above 40 mph (65 km/h) and is meant to stop the trailer from fishtailing, which is another thing that can go wrong when towing. The C-Class All-Terrain can to up to 1,800 kg (3,968 lbs.), which may not be a record in its class, but it is enough for most customers’ needs.
Engine-wise, the C-Class All-Terrain is available with two engine options. The gasoline-powered one comes with the M254 four-cylinder engine, with 254 hp on tap. It comes with an integrated starter-generator, which can provide a power boost of up to 15 kW (20 hp) for brief moments. Mercedes-Benz has integrated all its innovations from its modular engine family into this unit, which means the car can "glide" with the engine turned off to save fuel.
But there is more, as the cylinder walls are coated with a technology that allows for less friction, honed through a patented method, and the after-treatment system is positioned directly at the engine. The intercooler comes with a conjoined flow, which mates to the twin-scroll turbo for better throttle response.
Meanwhile, the diesel-sipping model also has a four-cylinder unit called OM 654 M, which comes with an integrated starter-generator unit. The 264 hp motor features a 48-Volt electrical system, which allows for "gliding" to save fuel, along with energy recuperation when the car is slowing down. The air conditioning system employs an electrical refrigerant compressor, which means that the engine can be turned off more often even when the a/c is operational. And yes, the 20-hp boost from the ISG is standard with the diesel engine.
Both engine options come standard with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Mercedes has yet to specify when the new C-Class will be available for order, but we should learn more about it as fall approaches. If your market does not get the Estate version of the C-Class, do not expect to get the All-Terrain model either. For example, the UK will not get this version of the C-Class.