I get why people like SUVs. I don’t necessarily agree with them but I understand the appeal. However let’s not forget about the good old fashioned wagon. They look sleeker, drive better, and are more economical. In every measure wagons better SUVs.

Mercedes-Benz certainly thinks so, despite them having more than half a dozen SUV and crossover models. The new E-Class wagon has space to spare. If 670 litres with all seats in place isn’t enough for you, the E-Class can lug up to 1820 litres with the rear seats folded flat. That’s enough for many dogs.

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As you’d expect, the interior is largely carried over from the E-Class sedan. That means an S-Class inspired central display screen rather than the controversial “floating” style screen found in other Mercedes models. It’s a real class act inside with 64 different ambient lighting options, essentially making this a nightclub on wheels.

It can fit as many people as a nightclub too as it has an option third row of seats. Mercedes emphasises the two rearmost seats are for children only but that’s enough to make this a viable contender for best school run bus. If you want a 7-seater Benz your only choices are this or the monstrous GLS.

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Engine-wise buyers will get a choice of sensible petrol and diesel engines. There’ll undoubtedly be a hybrid option or two in the future as well. But what we’re interested in are the AMG models. The E63 replacement is yet to be revealed however whispers suggest that’ll have upwards of 600hp/441kW from a bi-turbo V8.

Until that arrives the E43 AMG will be the E-Class with the most poke. Powered by a 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6, the E43 is good for 396hp/291kW and 620NM of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through Merc’s 4MATIC four-wheel drive system. In performance terms that’s 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h. De-badge it and laugh as you outrun sports cars and SUVs alike.

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The new E-Class is expected to land on New Zealand shores by the end of the year. What are your thoughts on the new E-Class wagon? Would you have one over a SUV?

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