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Eric's Autos: 2022 Mercedes E450

Eric Peters on

The wagon form is, by itself, an unexpected and interesting sight. The Benz stands out from the crowd and accommodates one, too -- in a way that's really interesting.

Open the rear liftgate and then lift up on the handles that you'd expect would be attached to under-floor storage cubbies. How about an extra set of seats? How about rear-facing jump seats?

Sure, the seats are small and aren't for adults -- unless they are small adults. But they fit kids just fine, and that's the whole point. This is a wagon that can carry two adults up front, three teens in back and two preteens in the way back.

The E450 also comes with unpainted/matte-black wheel arch protectors, which are there to help keep stone chips from scuffing the finish -- plus a pair of low-profile roof racks, in case you need more ways to carry things.

Mercedes does a top-shelf job of blending tech with function. The E wagon has the expected LCD flat panel main and secondary clusters. But there is also a simple, functional thumb wheel to adjust the sound level of the superb Burmester audio rig and, similarly, at-a-glance (and touch) controls for every-drive-necessary adjustments, such as the temperature and fan speed.

There is also still a 12-volt power point in addition to all the modern USB-type power points.

The Rest

One thing this wagon doesn't have in common with the Vista Cruisers of the past is a family-friendly price tag.

 

In the Before Time, families could afford a seven-passenger wagon with a V8 engine. They were as common once as soft drinks with real sugar.

Of course, this is a Mercedes.

Still, this Mercedes would be more accessible if it cost a bit less, which it probably could if it were available with the smaller engine that's standard in the E sedan on which it's based -- and perhaps without some of the "everything" the wagon comes standard with, amenities-wise.

The Bottom Line

If you'd like to be driving something that not everyone else is driving -- and have more room for everyone -- here's a wagon that could be what you're looking for.

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Eric's latest book, "Doomed: Good Cars Gone Wrong!" will be available soon. To find out more about Eric and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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