What is 4matic in Mercedes? Prepared for any season or terrain, Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC all-wheel drive system can handle wet, dry or even snowy conditions as well as off-road gradients.
Intelligently distributing power to any of the four wheels to combat slipping or loss of traction, 4MATIC enables enjoyable and safe driving in all conditions.
Various vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG range boast the permanent 4MATIC all-wheel drive system but with some cars only certain engines and models will feature the intelligent system.
What is 4matic in Mercedes?
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.
The dinky A-Class hatchback only gets all-wheel-drive on the racy AMG A35 and A45, while the practical B-Class MPV isn’t offered with the system at all.
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.
How does Mercedes-Benz 4Matic work?
Mercedes applies the 4Matic badge to a variety of models, but exactly how it works depends on the car – some have part time four-wheel drive, others have a full-time system and electric models have their own way of doing things.
The most basic system is the one fitted to all-wheel-drive versions of cars like the A-Class, GLA and GLB. These cars have their engines mounted transversely – they’re essentially front-wheel drive models that can spin up their back wheels when needed. If the front wheels slip, a clutch in the centre of the car locks, spinning up the rear wheels.
Car’s like the E-Class All-Terrain, GLE and GLS have a permanent four-wheel drive. Power is sent to all four wheels all of the time, while the ABS sensors and the onboard computer determine which wheel has the most grip and sends power to it.
Performance models such as the E63 S saloon have an adaption of this system called 4Matic+ which can send 100% of power to the front or the rear. In the E63 S, you can even decouple the front axle to transform the car into a rear-wheel drive drift monster.
The EQC electric SUV works differently again. Instead of having an engine that powers all four wheels, it has a motor on its front and its rear axle that work independently of each other. Because there’s no mechanical drag – as the motors power the drive shafts directly – the EQC’s four-wheel drive can respond quicker to changing conditions than a conventional system.
What are the advantages of Mercedes-Benz 4Matic?
Mercedes 4Matic is worth considering if you often drive on slippery roads. Because all four-wheels are powered, you’ll always have more grip than a two-wheel drive. It makes the car better behaved in normal driving – wheel spins will be a thing of the past – but also makes the car feel more stable on snowy or muddy roads.
Mercedes 4Matic four-wheel drive system will also be a must if you plan to take your shiny new Mercedes SUV off-road. The four-wheel drive helps you keep momentum in a variety of conditions and top-end models like the Mercedes G-Class have a four-wheel-drive system that has different settings to deal with a variety of terrains.
Four-wheel drive is even useful in more mundane tasks such as towing. So, while a GLB 200 d diesel can tow a braked trailer weighing 1800kg a GLB 200 d with 4Matic four-wheel drive can tow up to 2000kg. The 4Matic will also help your GLB build momentum when you’ve got a caravan hitched and will also be a boon if you have to drag your caravan off a slippy, muddy camping site.
Mercedes even fits 4Matic to its performance models – everything from the A35 hot hatch to the Mercedes-AMG E63 S super saloon – four-wheel drive helps cars like these get their sizeable power reserves (the E63 S has a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 producing 612PS) to the road without the tyre-smoking antics you’d get if they were rear-wheel drive.
What are the disadvantages of Mercedes-Benz 4Matic?
The most obvious disadvantage of buying a Mercedes-Benz with four-wheel drive is the added cost.
A Mercedes GLB 200 d costs £36,105 but the same car with 4Matic four-wheel drive will set you back £42,630 – a sizeable £6525 increase. Then factor in that the two-wheel-drive model gets slightly better fuel economy – 49.6 plays 47.9mpg – and the costs do start to mount up. It’s also worth mentioning that the two-wheel drive model is less mechanically complex and will be cheaper to maintain in the long term.
Finally, while four-wheel-drive cars have more grip than a two-wheel-drive car in normal conditions, a two-wheel drive car fitted with winter tyres will have more grip than a four-wheel-drive on summer rubber so, if you have somewhere to store a winter set of wheels and tyres, that could well be the better option for you.
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