Soccer mom darlings: Mercedes E 220 d All-Terrain versus Volvo V90 Cross Country D4

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Soccer mom dream car recipe: a luxury package with increased ground clearance and four-wheel drive – that can do almost anything and gets through just about anywhere. Such a jack of all trades is the Mercedes E all-terrain. But also the Volvo V90 Cross Country. FIRST COMPARISON TEST from Auto motor und sport. 

What ultimately saves the station wagon from sinking does not really matter. The main thing, this clever body shape persists – even if the continuance must ensure an upgrade, verbally seen with the addition of all-terrain or cross country style upgrades. Technically, additional four-wheel drive with slightly increased ground clearance. Bestowed, because in the first place remain Mercedes E-Class Estate and the Volvo V90, what they are: wonderful luxury station wagons.

That would actually say everything that is important. However, you are rightly expecting a complete comparison test because we have promised you that. So we have to explain, but nothing should be twisted. Rarely is the situation as clear as with these allrounders: If you have the money, then you buy one. There are the space premises; generous in the Volvo, but even more generous in the Mercedes. In the E-Class you sit in the front a little more cuddly, whereas on the back seat, the steep back seat is a bit irritating. In contrast, both manufacturers offer a luxury ambience: open or closed-pore wood, glossy or frosted metal, everything is just a tick away in the configurator.

E-class with higher payload
Then there is the cargo space. Almost 300 liters more volume is offered by the all-terrain E-Class with folded rear seat backs. Heavy weight can also be lifted more easily over the lower edge. And heavy may be significantly heavier: The E-class can carry 656 kilograms, the V90 groans from 481 kg under the load.

Anyone who has seen the Volvo as a dream car, is just as long on his screen to seek and wipe through menus until he has reached the destination of his desire to operate. And he will not care that the whole thing in the Mercedes works easier and faster. Or that the E-Class offers a better telephone environment thanks to the connection for an external antenna as well as wireless charging for the smartphone. This does not trigger a purchase decision, but brings points in a comparison test. As well as the additional safety equipment in the all-terrain: it protects its rear passengers with side airbags, evades obstacles independently or brakes, in case the driver overlooks them when shifting backwards. Oh yes, the Mercedes brakes even more emphatically – which it clearly decides the safety chapter for himself. In other words: Mercedes poaching in the very own Volvo area.

Additional ground clearance
Conversely, this is not so easy. A traditional Mercedes thing is the comfort. And here the all-terrain can not be fooled into the craft. As a slightly elevated T-model – the larger wheels bring 1.4 inches and the chassis 1.5 inches of additional ground clearance – the all-terrain drives only a little differently than the estate E-class, does not give his buyer the typical comfort disadvantages of an SUV. The comfort differences to the Volvo on the highway are still low, so the Mercedes plays his trumps on the highway feeling. Its air suspension smoothes lanes that appeared wrinkled in the Cross Country.

And the all-terrain stays calm. It quickly shakes off the rope, leaving enough air to move up in case he should press. The steering announces conscientiously as soon as the ambition of the driver urges to control. It offers the reassuring feeling of being enveloped by an all-round carefree package and being able to travel long distances stress-free.

In the dark of the curve
The Volvo succeeds in doing the same – as long as you let it take you where you want comfortably. Forced gait subverts his buttoned steering. It does not give any helpful hints as to how the front axle makes possible attempts at migration. And that leaves the feeling when driving fast in the dark of the curve poking around, which is why you prefer to drive moderately fast. Transferring points: Deductions in driving dynamics, handling and steering.

On the other hand, the Volvo is almost capricious. The D4 diesel has almost completely discarded the auto igniter dialect/noise, only reveals its cylinder number when cruising, but not its engine family. It’s a pity that it uses more fuel than the clearly self-igniting 220 d from Mercedes.

Too bad, because you would have granted the sympathetic Volvo at least a consolation victory in the property rating – but it gets him points only at the cost. By the way, not about the lower price; in fact, the Mercedes is cheaper in the list. Instead, the Cross Country in the Pro version scores points with its rich equipment, as well as its lower maintenance costs.

That should make the friends of the Swedish-Chinese premium brand again somewhat conciliatory. For deep grief regarding the second place is no reason anyway. The Cross Country, should be happy – it is a wonderful luxury station wagon and lives on the sunny side of the automotive society.

1. Mercedes E 220 d all-terrain 4MATIC
470 points
In the property rating, the all-terrain decides every chapter for itself, is spacious, safety-conscious, comfortable and easy to drive – but expensive.

2. Volvo V90 Cross Country D4 AWD Pro
439 points
It is easy to like the chic Volvo – although it does not present himself here as a winner. A respectful success achieved the Cross Country in the comparison test only in the cost area.

Technical Data
Mercedes E 220 d All-Terrain 4Matic All-Terrain Volvo V90 Cross Country D4 AWD Pro
Base price (Germany) 58.280 € 62.200 €
Lenght x width x height 4947 x 1861 x 1497 mm 4939 x 1879 x 1543 mm
Trunk volume 640 – 1820 l 560 – 1526 l
Engine 1950 cm³ / 4-Cylinder 1969 cm³ / 4-Cylinder
Power 143 kW / 194 PS at 3800 rpm 140 kW / 190 PS at 4250 rpm
Top speed 231 km/h 210 km/h
0-100 km/h 8,8 s 9,4 s
Consumption 5,2 l/100 km 5,6 l/100 km
Test consumption 7,6 l/100 km 8,0 l/100 km