What Else Did The Family "Ruin?"

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Having a family changes you.  But who knew it alters the things around you as well.  Shape shifting those things we thought were cool into things that are taboo.  From the pictures below, it’s pretty easy to see where I’m going with this.  Wagons.  Families blew wagons out of the cool water for decades.  Minivans may never make a comeback.  Where did cute little babies go wrong?

As I thought about this, I wondered what else do families ruin for the rest of us?

• Restaurants
• Airplanes
• Movies
• Quiet walks on the beach
• Freedom – but I kid! No pun intended

But maybe this list and my trajectory is going down the wrong stereotypical path.  A bad experience on a plane has to do with the kid behind you that cries and kicks your seat for four hours straight.  But a car, a physical object taking on and holding these characteristics because a family did them is… well… block headed.  The experience of driving that car isn’t ruined because your neighbor packs temper tantrums into federally mandated child seats under a long roof, is it?   You are your own person aren’t you?

What gripes me even more is that the same women that want nothing more than to get married, settle down and have children, shun the minivan or wagon with a hiel-five if they have to drive one.  Oh, you are such a “cooler” mom in an SUV.  Dude, you are a mom.  If you wanted to hang on to your wild days of bar hopping and sleeping around be a cougar. 

So let me just say how happy I am that the wagon is making the comeback.  Hail to Cadillac for calling the CTS a “Sports Wagon” and not trying to disguise the name in Estate, Touring, Crossover or Big Phat Booty on the Backside.  Hail to MB for bringing out a stick shift in their new E-Class Estate that of course will probably not make it stateside. 

From the Mercedes-Benz press release:  The E-Class Estate is seen as the progenitor of the premium lifestyle estate segment more than 30 years ago. Since the launch of the first Estate in 1977, more than one million customers have discovered their enthusiasm for this most practical way of driving a Mercedes luxury saloon. This success story is set to be continued by the fifth generation of the E-Class Estate – at the same time following up on the successful launch of the Saloon.

  • E 220 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY: 4 in-line, 2143 cc, 125 kW/170 hp, 5.7 –
    5.8 l/100 km, 150 – 153 g CO2/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from 44,803.50 euros

  • E 250 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY: 4 in-line, 2143 cc, 150 kW/204 hp, 5.7 – 5.8 l/100 km, 150 – 153 g CO2/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from 47,719 euros

Full Press Release:
The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate: Intelligent (E)state-of-the-art


Functional: top marks for load capacity and ease of operation

Safe: nine airbags as standard, plus innovative driver assistance systems

Comfortable: adaptive damping and air suspension with automatic
self-levelling at the rear

Powerful: choice of eleven engines with more output and lower consumption

From November 2009, Mercedes-Benz is launching the Estate version as another highly distinctive member of the E-Class family. Like the Saloon and Coupé, the Estate combines its own, elegant design with leadership in safety, comfort, quality and practicality. A number of technical innovations have been incorporated into the new
E-Class which no other car in this class is able to offer – from drowsiness detection to automatic emergency braking when an accident is recognised as imminent, and from Adaptive Highbeam Assist to the active bonnet. Naturally the Estate also features all these innovations. Plus an air suspension with self-levelling at the rear and unique new load compartment management features. This area can also accommodate an optional third row of seats, something unique among the competition.

The E-Class Estate is seen as the progenitor of the premium lifestyle estate segment more than 30 years ago. Since the launch of the first Estate in 1977, more than one million customers have discovered their enthusiasm for this most practical way of driving a Mercedes luxury saloon. This success story is set to be continued by the fifth generation of the E-Class Estate – at the same time following up on the successful launch of the Saloon.

The performance of the Saloon and Coupé in the 2009 AutoBild Design Awards shows how well the striking lines of the E-Class have been received: more than 100,000 readers of the German motoring publication voted the four-door model the most
beautiful car in the world, and gave the two-door model first place in the Coupé/Convertible category.

Design: new Mercedes handwriting combined with E-Class styling features

The new Estate immediately makes an athletic and practical, but also serene and safe impression. Its distinctive design character is based on the new Mercedes style, which had its debut in the S-Class and is now also represented in the C-Class. One of its characteristics is the interplay between concave and taut surfaces, which are delimited by dynamic edges and structured contours.

The side view reveals many new features, leaving no doubt about the identity of the new Estate. The B and C-pillars appear to merge into the background thanks to glossy, black trim panels, making the entire side window area look like a single unit. This leads to an expressive arch leading from the filigree A-pillar to the dramatic roof line and the downward-tapering D-pillar, all resting on the athletic shoulder-line of the
Estate. The intriguing design of the door sill panels, which are visually understated in the centre but feature a prominent light-catching contour towards the wheel arches, accentuates the dramatic overall effect of the side aspect. This is additionally emphasised by the muscular, sweeping line on the rear section in front of the rear wheel.

When forming the rear end, the Mercedes designers took care to give expression to the great practicality of the new model. They did this by emphasising horizontal lines, for example the band formed by the tail lights and the chromed tailgate handle. The new LED tail lights are of two-part design, and create a visual continuation of the side wall into the tailgate itself. Both by day and night, their distinctive design is a recognition factor for the new Estate. The D-pillar, which tapers downwards from the roof to the beltline, contributes to the particularly large tailgate. The E-Class Estate is the largest estate car in the premium segment, and it makes no secret of the fact.

Functional: top marks for load capacity and ease of operation

One particularly special feature of the load compartment management system is the option of opening the standard-fit EASY-PACKtailgate automatically by using the ignition key or pressing the handle if the car needs to be loaded from behind. The
innovative “quickfold” system enables the rear 1/3:2/3-split seat backrests to be folded down by a cable pull from the load compartment. Neither the head restraints nor the rear-seat cushions need to be adjusted or folded down beforehand in order to be able to do this and create a level loading surface. As another useful feature, either the left or right backrest sections, or both together, can be folded down. This enables the rear seat unit to be used also by passengers even when long and bulky items are being carried. The backrest sections can also be unlocked and folded down from the side, inside on the C-pillar.

It is now also much easier to use the combined luggage compartment cover and
retaining net, which is fitted as standard. This has been attached at beltline level for the first time, making it far simpler to install and remove in various positions, both from within the luggage compartment itself as well as from the interior. At the same time, it no longer interferes with the folding forward of the rear seat backrests. When transporting large loads, the combined luggage compartment cover and retaining net can also be secured to the folded backrests, enabling the retaining net and cover to continue to be used.

With a load capacity of up to 1950 litres, the new E-Class Estate (length/width/height: 4895/1854/1512 millimetres) sets the standard in its class. Apart from the load compartment capacity itself, other dimensions of great practical importance, such as the rear aperture, rear sill height or maximum load length, demonstrate the expertise of Mercedes-Benz in estate car engineering.

It is not only in the load compartment that the generous dimensions of the preceding model have been improved even further in many respects. Two examples in the interior illustrate this: the elbow width in the rear has been increased by 51 millimetres to 1505 millimetres. Rear headroom with the large tilting/sliding sunroof installed has also improved by 46 millimetres to 1010 millimetres, and is almost as generous as in versions with no sunroof (1012 mm).

An exemplary load management system is specified as standard. For example, the automatically opening tailgate with automatic raising of the load compartment cover. When the tailgate is opened, the load compartment cover is automatically raised to allow unobstructed loading and unloading. Also fitted as standard is the EASY-PACKfolding load compartment floor, which considerably increases the usable height of the load compartment. It can be folded up and secured in various positions. Standard equipment also includes the load securing net, which is combined with the load compartment cover and secured discreetly at beltline level. The optional folding bench seat for the load compartment – designed to accommodate two additional passengers up to 50 kg in weight and 140 cm in height – is also unique in this vehicle segment.

Safety: nine airbags as standard, plus innovative driver assistance systems

Mercedes-Benz has consolidated its leadership in safety even further with the new
E-Class. Around one dozen new or improved driver assistance systems help to prevent accidents or at least reduce the severity of the impact. These include the standard ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system, the optional DISTRONIC PLUSproximity control and the PRE-SAFE®Brake, which is able to initiate partial and full emergency braking autonomously. For the first time, PRE-SAFE®is also able to use only the information received from the short-range sensors in the front bumper to tension the front seat belts at the last moment before an accident recognised as unavoidable, thereby reducing the loads on the driver and front passenger during the crash. In addition, in specifications including all-electric seats (optional extra), the front passenger seat is also adjusted into an optimum position.

With nine airbags fitted as standard, four seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters plus NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints, the new E-Class offers an even more extensive package of safety equipment than its predecessor. The airbags, which can deploy in a matter of milliseconds in the event of an accident, include two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag for the driver, two sidebags in the front-seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A-pillar to the C-pillar during a side impact. Pelvisbags for the front occupants are also included for the first time. These reduce the loads acting on the pelvic area in particular during a lateral collision.

Sidebags are also available for the rear seat passengers on request. As a further safety innovation, Mercedes-Benz also offers optional, self-adaptive belt force limiters for the rear. These can adjust to the size and weight of the passengers, and also
become available for the Saloon with the introduction of the Estate.

Suspension: automatic self-levelling at the rear as standard

Outstanding comfort on long journeys in the Estate is ensured by the newly developed DIRECT CONTROL suspension, which features the adaptive damping system as standard. The likewise standard self-levelling rear suspension ensures that the Estate always remains at the same level, even when fully loaded. The suspension setup of the Estate has also been adapted to suit the modified body geometry, with slightly stiffer shock absorber settings and torsion bar stabilisers. Without any penalty in
road roar and tyre vibration characteristics, this makes the Estate just as agile as the Saloon.

In the interests of favourable axle kinematics, superior vibrational comfort and
improved safety, the lower link of the the three-link front suspension with McPherson struts consists of two separate elements which act as torque and cross struts. In addition to precise wheel location, this design has the particular advantage of compensating vibrations caused by tyre imbalances or fluctuating brake forces
better than rigid wishbones.

In the interests of greater comfort and agility, the multi-link independent suspension so successful for more than 25 years was re-engineered for use in the new E-Class. Modifications included the front cross-bar of the axle housing, which is now supported by the vehicle body over a wider area. This reduces the forces transmitted into the passenger compartment, a comfort feature that is particularly noticeable when crossing transverse joints in the road surface.

Engines: considerable reduction in fuel consumption and emissions

The fuel consumption and emissions of the new Estate have been considerably reduced by new engines and numerous detailed improvements (aerodynamics, weight, energy management, reduced resistances). One good example is the
E 250 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY with an output of 150 kW and 500 Nm of torque, whose fuel consumption is only 5.7 litres per 100 km with 150 g of CO2 per km.

The range of engines available on the launch of the new Estate comprises five units developing from 125 kW/170 hp to 285 kW/388 hp. Though with a lower displacement, the new and improved engines generate more output than their predecessors while impressing with fuel consumption figures that were previously only found in the compact class. This was made possible by numerous innovations, for example the petrol model E 350 CGIBlueEFFICIENCY with spray-guided combustion. The four-cylinder CDIengines partly owe their exceptional status to newly developed piezo-electric injectors and two-stage turbocharging. All the engines meet the EU5 emission standard.

All the engines available on launch, the accompanying transmissions installed as standard and the basic prices at a glance (all prices include 19% VAT):



E 220 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY: 4 in-line, 2143 cc, 125 kW/170 hp, 5.7 –
5.8 l/100 km, 150 – 153 g CO2/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from 44,803.50 euros

E 250 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY: 4 in-line, 2143 cc, 150 kW/204 hp, 5.7 – 5.8 l/100 km, 150 – 153 g CO2/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from
47,719 euros

E 350 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 2987 cc, 170 kW/231 hp, 7.0 – 7.3 l/100 km, 185 – 192 g CO2/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from 54,204.50 euros



E 350 CGIBlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 3498 cc, 215 kW/292 hp, 8.6 – 8.9 l/100 km, 200 – 208 g CO2/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from 55,156.50 euros

E 500: V8, 5461 cc, 285 kW/388 hp, 11.1 – 11.2 l/100 km, 258 – 260 g CO2/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from 70,150.50 euros

The following engines will be available from the first quarter of 2010:



E 200 CDIBlueEFFICIENCY: 4 in-line, 2143 cc, 100 kW/136 hp,
5.8 – 6.0 l/100 km, 152 – 156 g CO2/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from 41,947.50 euros

E 350 CDI4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 2987 cc, 170 kW/231 hp,
7.6 – 7.7 l/100 km, 200 – 203 g CO2/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from 56,941.50 euros



E 200 CGIBlueEFFICIENCY: 4 in-line, 1796 cc, 135 kW/183 hp, 7.7* l/100 km, 179* g CO2/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from 42,721 euros

E 250 CGIBlueEFFICIENCY: 4 in-line, 1796 cc, 150 kW/204 hp, 8.0 l/100 km, 185 g CO2/km, 5-speed automatic transmission, from 47,719 euros

E 350 4MATIC: V6, 3498 cc, 200 kW/272 hp, 10.2 – 10.3 l/100 km, 238 – 241 g CO2/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from 56,941.50 euros

E 63 AMG: V8, 6208 cc, 386 kW/525 hp, 12.8 l/100 km, 299 g CO2, 7-speed MCT sports transmission, from 108,409 euros

*Preliminary figures.

4 Responses

  1. Alex

    If you don’t need the room there is really no point to a wagon. Extra weight that off balances the car coupled with poorer performance, why would you do that?

  2. EMPM, Esq.

    When I worked at my other job a little over a year ago I used to see a dark gray E63 Wagon driving on the freeway every couple of days. 0-60 in the mid to high 4 second range with the ability to carry a large chest of drawers in back. Just bad ass.

    And the point is… sometimes you need the room. If you have a family, and if as in my case a family means 2 large dogs, a sports wagon is a viable option over an SUV. All of the handling charactersitics of a car, the utility of an SUV without the extra heft.

  3. Bill Blue

    If you want to see what can go wrong with a wagon, type shooting brake into google. Try different car makes, like Ferrari, Porsche or Aston Martin. Some of these one offs are the ugliest things I’ve ever seen.

  4. Stolen Trophy

    Back in 2000, I purchased a BMW 3-series wagon, and it was one of my favorite cars of all time. And that includes the BMW M5 (E34) that I had at the same time.

    That little black wagon had a 5-speed manual, the sport package, and leather interior. Nothing else. No heavy sunroof or other weighty options.

    I didn’t have kids and could have bought a 3-series sedan or coupe, but that wagon was unique looking and had all the same dynamic attributes of the smaller 3s. The handling was superb and the Double-VANOS 2.5-liter was a hero.

    Did it weight a little bit more? Yep. About 100 pounds. But when you’re not chasing the almighty one or two tenths in the 0-60 run, it brought utility, comfort, and unique looks to bear. Trust me, I got more “cool car” and thumbs up from people than I would’ve in the sedan or coupe. My M5 was fast, but my 3-series wagon fulfilled my need for something most car guys actually like…one that gets noticed.

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