Station wagons just don't get the kind of love in the United States as they do in other parts of the world. For one reason or another, Americans opt for SUVs, crossovers, and sedans before going with a wagon. Nevertheless, we recently sampled one of the best wagons currently available stateside in the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC and it left us wondering why more Americans aren't making the jump. 

For starters, a silky-smooth 3.5-liter V6 engine, rated at 302 horsepower and 273 lb-ft, makes getting up to highway speeds a breeze. The EPA has certified the E350 4Matic wagon at 19 city/26 highway/21 mpg combined. There are two different settings - Eco and Sport - that calibrate things like throttle input and gear changes to accommodate your particular driving style. For the majority of the time, we kept the E350 in its default Eco mode, which enables the start/stopped function, and it worked so seamlessly that we forgot it was on sometimes. Engage Sport mode though and you'll have no problems merging with traffic on the highway. Normally, the E350 comes standard with 17-inch wheels but our tester swapped in 18-inch AMG wheels ($500). 

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Handsome styling, plenty of equipment

From head-on, the 2014 E350 looks sharp thanks to redesigned daytime running lights. Our tester came ready to go with the optional Lighting Package which includes adaptive high beam assist and full LED headlights with active curve and corner illumination ($1,500). Other optional features included on this example are a 3-spoke steering wheel ($260), a power panorama sunroof ($1,090). Premium Package 1 (which brings COMAND with navigation, a Harmon/Kardon sound system, and Sirius XM radio, all for $3,370), Parking Assist ($1,290), and Driver Assistance Package (steering assist, active blind spot, and active lane assist, all for $2,800) are also included. Suggested retail on a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC wagon rings out at $58,600 but as dressed, our tester came in at $71,305.  

Inside, a brown satin ash wood trim spans the length of the dashboard giving off a more refined feel in the cabin. Standard features like a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, and a power tilting steering wheel also come with every E350 wagon. The one place the staff dinged the E350 wagon was the MB-Tex upholstery that covered the seats because it simply felt out of place. Seating for seven, a split-folding second row of seats, and a power liftgate make you quickly forget about the material that covers the seats though. Mercedes should also be commended on the job it did to keep the E350's ride subdued and tranquil. You can be rolling along at highway speeds -even passing slower traffic- and you'd have to strain your ears to hear any road noise. 

With seating for seven, enough cargo space to carry home a week's worth of groceries, and still room left over for the kid's hockey bag, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4MATIC is a fine choice to help kick-start America's love for wagons.

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