The Mercedes C-Class Estate is practical and stylish in equal measure, but alternatives are more fun to drive and have more intuitive infotainment systems
The new Mercedes C-Class Estate is a practical family car that’s comfortable and relaxing to drive. It comes with lots of high-tech features as standard, too, and you can also get it as a conventional saloon, a stylish coupe and a drop-top cabriolet if you don’t need the estate’s big boot.
It also now gets a slick-looking infotainment system as standard with a 10.25-inch screen that replaces the old car’s 8.4-inch display. If this still doesn’t sound big enough, you can also get a 12.3-inch screen instead of conventional analogue dials that help the C-Class Estate look almost as futuristic inside as the high-tech Audi A4 Avant.
It isn’t just the Mercedes’ equipment that impresses: its cabin also comes with plenty of solid-feeling and posh-looking materials. You can choose from glossy black plastics, brushed aluminium and unpolished wood across the range, but (rather disappointingly) real-leather seats costs extra on all models.
Despite this, the man-made alternative you get as standard feels pretty convincing, and the seats come with loads of adjustment to help you find your perfect driving position. There’s lots of space to stretch out in the front, too, but the back seats are a bit more cramped than in an A4 Avant and 3 Series Touring.
The Mercedes isn’t the fastest, or the most spacious upmarket estate car around, but it gets a fabulous interior that feels a cut above what you’ll find in most alternatives
Thankfully, the C-Class is more comfortable than these cars on the move – even without its fancy optional air suspension. You won’t hear much unpleasant wind and tyre noise, either, which helps make long motorway journeys as relaxing as possible.
Speaking of motorways, you’ll want to pick a C220d model if you regularly do lots of long drives. It’s impressively quiet, more than quick enough to keep up with fast-lane traffic and won’t cost much to run, either.
If inner-city driving is more your thing, there’s also a C200 petrol that uses a built-in electric motor to boost performance and fuel economy. If you fancy something a bit faster, you can choose from C300 and AMG-tuned C43 versions that’ll sprint from 0-62mph in as little as 4.7 seconds.
Regardless of which engine you choose, all C-Class Estates come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and bundles of safety features designed to help prevent low-speed collisions – including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
All this helps to make the C-Class Estate an excellent choice of mid-size estate – especially if you prioritise comfort and a classy cabin over sporty handling.