The C-Class estate looks good both inside and out and is comfortable and generally quiet on the move – shame the diesels are noisy
The Mercedes C-Class Estate is worth considering if you’re looking for an upmarket family car that looks good, drives well and has a big boot. It’s the more practical brother to the C-Class saloon and C-Class cabriolet, which are reviewed separately.
Inside, you’ll find a plus cabin. Its minimalist design, slick metal switches and – on top-spec AMG Line cars – ash wood trim all look lovely. Real leather seats are an £800 option, but the standard-fit man-made Artico items feel plush enough to fool all but the most keen-eyed cowhide enthusiasts.
Less convincing is the rather cheap-looking infotainment display fitted to SE models. Its small seven-inch screen and huge plastic frame certainly looks more Sony Walkman than Apple iPad and it’s less intuitive to use than systems offered by Audi and BMW. You’ll want to spend £2,995 to upgrade to the Premium Pack with its bigger, more colourful screen and Comand Online infotainment system. That’s a lot of cash!
Headroom in the front is decent and there’s plenty of seat adjustment as standard. All models feature electric lumbar support, too, so long journeys shouldn’t give you backache. Space in the rear is less generous, however – both the BMW 3 Series Touring and Audi A4 Avant are better for carrying rear passengers.
The C-Class estate’s 490-litre boot is only very slightly smaller than those in the BMW 3 Series Touring and Audi A4 Avant but it grows to a roomy 1,510 litres when you fold the rear seats down in a 40:20:40 split. It’s big enough to carry a bike without removing its wheels and the floor flat enough to make loading heavy boxes easy.
If outclassing the rest of the car-boot-sale crowd is your thing, then the C-Class Estate is the car for you
The C-Class Estate’s just as comfortable to drive as the saloon model. Avoid sporty AMG-Line cars with their rather firm suspension and the C-Class will deal with rutted British roads with ease. The optional £895 air suspension – available on all but SE and SE Executive models – makes it feel even more comfortable and luxurious.
Also the C-Class Estate is quiet at motorway speeds and comes with bundles of advanced safety kit that can accelerate, brake and even steer for you. It offers a better compromise between sporty handling and comfort than a BMW 3 Series Touring but it’s not quite as relaxing to drive as an Audi A4 Avant.
You can get the C-Class Estate with two petrol, two diesel and two hybrid engines. The smooth C200 petrol – which manages around 40mpg – is best for pottering around town but the C220d diesel will be cheaper to run if you spend more time on the motorway – it’ll return around 50mpg.
Whichever engine you pick, you’re best off avoiding the clunky standard six-speed manual gearbox and going for the silky smooth nine-speed auto. It’s available as a £1,600 option on C220d models and above and makes driving the C-Class Estate even more stress-free.
You needn’t worry about safety either. Bundles of high-tech sensors and software, designed to automatically avoid collisions, help make the C-Class Estate one of the safest cars around. Mercedes’ efforts are backed-up by a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating awarded to the C-Class saloon in 2014.
And, just like the saloon, the C-Class Estate should be near the top of your list if you want a comfortable and stylish car, even though it isn’t as fun to drive as a BMW 3 Series Touring or quite as practical as an Audi A4 Avant.
For more information on the Mercedes C-Class estate, read the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, to see what offers are available on the Mercedes C-Class Estate, visit our deals page.