Fall in Michigan: when the leaves change, the summer season humidity evaporates and the budget-minded amongst us lastly go . Winter charges, less expensive than in the summertime. Michigan has a bunch of pro-level programs scattered all through the state, however fortunately, you don’t should be a professional to play on them — in any other case our annual assembly of Duffers Nameless with all my pals from highschool can be loads more durable to plan. Final yr, I drove the boys as much as Traverse Metropolis in a swanky Volvo XC90 Inscription; this yr, I took our semi-long-term Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic wagon — simply as swanky, however method, method greener.
The E400, for the unfamiliar, comes with a 329-hp, 354-lb-ft twin-turbo three.Zero-liter V6 and a nine-speed automated. The “4Matic” tacked on the identify means all-wheel drive. I figured it might have loads of room for 3 units of golf equipment and equipment, and it did. Nevertheless, a set of grownup golf equipment received’t match, width-wise, behind the second row. I really feel like that’s a slight oversight. I don’t understand how typically 4 enterprise folks drive collectively for a foursome, but it surely doesn’t appear that far out of the realm of chance. Because it occurred, we folded one facet of the second row down, laid the golf equipment longitudinally on that facet and packed up the remainder. I did get a greater view out of the rear window than I did final yr within the Volvo, which was shocking.
Gallery: 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 wagon inside
So far as in-car comforts, the wagon is on par (see what I did there) with the XC90. Each have massaging, heated and cooled seats — a blessing after three 18s. Or earlier than. Or anytime, truly. The primary display screen is managed with the middle jog dial, which is nice and unhealthy. A number of instances I went to jab at it, forgetting it wasn’t contact managed, and needed to recalibrate. It’s telling that after I jumped within the Kia Optima a couple of days later, I used to be relieved to have the ability to simply contact the operate I needed.
The wagon chews up freeway miles with the perfect automobiles on the planet. On the market in northern Mid-Michigan, I set the cruise at a barely extra-legal pace, placed on the Distance Pilot auto-drive mode and settled in. We reduce about 30 minutes from the arrival time as we rolled onto the course close to Cadillac.
The roads had been clean, so I didn’t discover a lot of the air suspension. I did click on it to sport mode a couple of instances, and 329 hp is lots for this E-Wagon. The nine-speed is unobtrusive, which is the perfect factor you may say about considered one of these. I by no means converted to paddles; in sport and sport-plus, it revs lots excessive. Passing is straightforward, with out having to get a run-up on the automotive in entrance.
We’re actually into the wagon physique model right here at AW, and it at the very least looks as if a lot of the fanatic world is in settlement. My pals, not a lot — they might have relatively seen one other SUV. I couldn’t consider it, even on this beautiful shade of Piedmont inexperienced metallic.
I’ll take this automotive anyplace, anytime, with or with out pals. Hopefully subsequent time we’ll get an opportunity to make use of that jumpseat.