If you're in the market for a premium family car with the practicality offerred by a big boot, then there are really only three cars to go for: The BMW 3 Series Touring, the Audi A4 Avant and this, the Mercedes C-Class estate.
The Mercedes range has gone through something of a design refresh over recent years, getting a more stylish modern look. It was something drastically needed, especially when compared to the rather sober appearance of previous models. As expected, much of the styling carries over from the saloon, meaning it gets a sleek, rounded grille at the front, these swooping headlamps with aggressive eyebrow daytime running lights, and a much more dramatic stance on the road thanks to these sculpted wings and rounded tailgate.
Inside, the dash is a carbon copy of the saloon. It’s stylish and well laid out, as you’d expect from a Mercedes. All models get a tablet-style colour centre console and display which is easy to use thanks to this comand control dial. The driving position is fully adjustable too (and electric on higher spec models), and all round visibility is good. In the back, theres very little between the Mercedes and its competition when it comes to space. There’s plenty of head and leg room, although middle passengers will have to cope with the rear transmission tunnel.
The boot is the main reason for opting for this version though, and with the rear seats upright it’ll carry 490 litres of load – slightly less than the BMW 3 Series equivalent, but fold those seats down and the space increases to over fifteen hundred litres – slightly more than the BMW. The boot also features a hands-free opening system, meaning you kick your foot under the rear bumper to open it. A neat party trick when you've got your hands full!
There’s a wide range of petrol and diesel engines in both manual and automatic guise. Both the C250 and C220 BBlueTEC variants are powered by a 2.1 litre diesel, which offer plenty of oomph. The 250 offers a sub seven 0-60mph time, and as an all rounder is a much better option. The entry level C200 is a bit lacklustre and has to be worked hard to get anywhere, and it’s the same story for the C200 petrol. If money is no option though, there’s a 4.0-litre V8 S-AMG version, which will do 0-60 in just four seconds and keep going to a top speed of a limited 155mph.
If you find yourself on motorways regularly, then it’s worth ticking the air suspension on the optional extra list. It makes travelling at higher speeds considerably more comfortable, and should you opt for more spirited driving, then the sport mode keeps the body control impressively stable.
With the manual gearbox, the C Class estate has impressively low CO2 emissions, however, the automatic versions are more popular so if you're a company car driver and prefer an auto, then expect to pay more. If emissions are a consideration though, it’s worth considering the 2.1-litre diesel hybrid, which will return around 70.6mph and emissions of under 100g/km of co2.
Watch the video above to find out what a group of professions think of the Mercedes-Benz C Class Estate.