What is Mercedes 4Matic four-wheel drive?

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.

Check out the Mercedes range and head over to carwow’s car deals page for the latest discounts. Use our PCP calculator to get an idea of how much your new model could cost per month or our car chooser tool for help narrowing your search.

What is Mercedes 4Matic

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.

The initial design of the 4Matic was introduced in 1987 on the W124-generation E-Class. When it detected wheel slip, it automatically engaged four-wheel drive, locking the centre and rear differentials to provide additional traction. There have been a few generations of 4Matic over the years with various improvements as technology has become more advanced. The latest version can now be fitted to more compact models rather than just bigger SUVs.

What cars come with 4Matic?

Whereas 4Matic was previously only available on a limited number of models, it’s now offered across most of the German manufacturer’s extensive range. Models including the A-Class hatchback, the new E-Class Estate and the bulky GLS SUV all feature the option of 4Matic.

Some British Mercedes models are unavailable with 4Matic because the firm has opted to not extensively re-engineer a platform to accommodate the system with the steering wheel on the other side.

Often, smaller Mercedes cars only get 4Matic as standard on top-of-the-range models such as the A250 AMG Line. Larger models tend to get it as an option across the range while the biggest SUVs generally get it as standard.

An A250 hatchback with an automatic gearbox and two-wheel drive costs £30,805 while adding 4Matic to the mix lifts the price to £32,345 – an increase of £1,540 which is fairly representative of the increase in price 4Matic brings.

While it comes at quite a premium for most of the Mercedes range, larger cars including the GLS, GLE and GLC feature it as standard on all models. Cars that have 4Matic as an option include the A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, E-Class, GLA and GLC.

Is Mercedes 4Matic worth it?

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. Four-wheel drive puts a dent in fuel economy and increases the purchase price meaning higher monthly repayments.

If, however, 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.

Save money on your next car

Check out the Mercedes range and head over to carwow’s car deals page for the latest discounts. Use our PCP calculator to get an idea of how much your new model could cost per month or our car chooser tool for help narrowing your search.

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