Stands Out In A Crowd
The E450 Wagon isn't quite as rare as its E63 counterpart, but it's still far from a common sight on American roads. That's a shame, because this is a classy take on the standard E-Class sedan's clean, conservative lines.
The long roof design gives the car more balanced proportions than the sedan's three-box design. The taillight treatment, reminiscent of the GLC-Class crossover, works better too. In general, this is just a very handsome, understated car.
2020 Mercedes-Benz E450 4Matic Wagon
It's Still An E-Class
Remove all the wagony bits from the equation and what remains is still one of the very best executive sedans on the market. The E-Class is a fantastic car regardless of its body shape, with an excellent tech suite (even if the full MBUX arrangement isn't on board yet), and a quiet, high-quality cabin. The interior is loaded with attractive materials and ample creature comforts, but it's that driving bit that really matters. The E450 is quick, zipping to 60 in 5.1 seconds, while the suspension tuning and sound control do a fine job isolating the cabin from the outside world. We'd happily spend the rest of our days driving any E-Class, but especially the E450.
Huge Cargo Hold
Okay, so yes, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class has more maximum cargo space overall. You'll need to lower the SUV’s rear bench to expand the hold from 33.3 cubic feet to 74.9. But the E450 Wagon has more space with the second row of seats in place, at 35 cubes.
Dropping the rear seats expands the cargo area to 64 cubic feet, which is quite a bit less than the GLE, but we'll take more volume with max passengers than more space but only with a pair of seats.
High Starting Price Relative To GLE
Mercedes only offers the E-Class Wagon in E450 and E63 guises, with starting prices ranging from $66,100 for the former to $111,750 for the latter. By comparison, there's simply a much wider price range for the GLE-Class, which starts at $54,250.
You'll get a fair amount more in the E450, including a twin-turbocharged V6 and standard all-wheel drive rather than a turbocharged four-cylinder and rear-wheel drive, of course, but it's also worth noting that the GLE 450 features the same powertrain and is still about $5,000 cheaper. That brings us to our final point…
A GLE Is Technically Roomier
We've already said that at its maximum, the GLE can haul more stuff. But it'll also be a smidge more comfortable for passengers, too. The high-rider's wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than our E450 tester, and that allows for a big 4.8 inches of additional legroom in the second row.
The E-Class still has a respectable 36.1 inches of leg space, but that sort of a difference is very difficult to ignore, especially if you're regularly toting about gangly teenagers or tall adults on a regular basis. That said, the E-Class does have more headroom overall, but the roughly 1.5-inch differences isn't enough to make up for the disparity in legroom.
Not Enough Powertrain Variety
We aren't asking Mercedes to offer a Euro-spec engine variety (the E-Class Estate in the UK offers eight different engines), but it'd certainly help this car's appeal if it mirrored its sedan sibling's engine line.
The twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and its 362 horsepower are excellent companions, but a 5.1-second sprint to 60 might be more than the average customer needs. We'd love to see how an E350 Wagon would do, featuring the same turbocharged 2.0-liter found in the sedan. It'd certainly help with the high starting price.