An increasing number of Mercedes models are now offered with 4Matic – the brand’s name for four-wheel drive. Read on to discover what 4Matic is, how it works, what models can be fitted with it and whether it’s worth it.
What does 4Matic mean?
Mercedes 4Matic is a four-wheel-drive system that sends the engine’s power to all four wheels rather than just the front or rear two. This gives it increased grip and traction, improving handling, acceleration and stability. The system automatically adjusts itself for a variety of surfaces and driving conditions without the driver having any input.
How does 4Matic work?
Mercedes 4Matic is essentially just a posh word for all-wheel-drive, however it’s a bit more advanced than other systems on the market. 4Matic can automatically detect slip at any given wheel and send power to the opposite side to get you out of tricky situations.
This not only increases grip on slippery surfaces, but also makes the car feel more secure in the corners. This can be especially beneficial in rainy or snowy conditions.
What cars come with 4Matic?
4Matic all-wheel-drive comes as standard on all of Mercedes large SUVs including the GLC, GLE, EQB and EQC. The smaller GLA and GLB are available with 4Matic on the more powerful versions, as well as the high-performance AMG variants. It’ll cost around £2,000-£3,000 to upgrade to 4Matic on these models, but you’re also paying for more power and more equipment.
It’s a similar story for the EQE and EQS electric cars. These only offer all-wheel-drive on the AMG 53 variants, meaning you’ll pay around £30,000 more in the EQE, and a whopping £40,000 more in the EQS when compared to the highest spec standard models. You do get blistering performance for this price though, as well as a more sporty driving experience.
As for the C-Class saloon, you’ll have to step up to the AMG C43 if you want 4Matic, a model which fetches a £12,000 premium over the top-of-the-range standard C-Class. The E-Class is available with all-wheel-drive on the higher-powered models, and you’ll pay around £2,000 for the privilege.
Is it worth buying a Mercedes with 4Matic?
This totally depends on where you use you car and in what conditions. If you live in the city away from extremes of weather, 4Matic may cost more than the extra benefits it brings. However if you’re planning on buying a large SUV from Mercedes, you’ll get 4Matic as standard anyway, and all AMG models come with it as well.
If you live somewhere a little more rural that’s prone to getting heavier rain and more than the occasional dusting of snow, 4Matic could make the difference between getting stuck and getting home in one piece. If you can put up with the extra price and the small increase in fuel consumption, 4Matic can bring crucial peace of mind in tricky conditions.
Mercedes 4Matic FAQs
How do I know if my Mercedes has 4Matic?
The easiest way to tell if your Mercedes has 4Matic is to look out for a 4Matic or 4Matic+ badge on the front wings of your car. If you’re in any doubt, your local dealer is the best port of call.
Is 4Matic always on?
You can’t turn off Mercedes 4Matic, so yes it’s always on. In AMG models such as the A45 and the new C63 with 4Matic+, you can send more power to the rear wheels in sport mode for a more exciting driving experience, but that’s as close as you’ll get.
Is 4Matic good in the snow?
Having 4Matic in the snow is certainly better than not having it, and you’ll notice a difference in the amount of grip you have. The system can detect slip in the wheels and send power to the corner with the most grip, potentially helping you out of tricky situations. That said, it still won’t be as good as a hardcore off-roader like the Land Rover Defender.
What is 4Matic+?
4Matic+ is offered on Mercedes high-performance AMG models and is tuned for performance rather than off-road capability. The system can send the majority of power to the rear wheels in Drift Mode so you can smoke up the tyres on a track, and it’s better at distributing the power to offer maximum grip at high speeds.
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