This is the new Mercedes C-Class Estate, which the company hopes will continue the success story started by the saloon version.
The C-Class Estate gets the same high-quality cabin as its saloon stablemate, and many of the body panels and the chassis are also shared. Indeed, the Estate is identical to the saloon up to the back of the front doors – and even most of the rear doors are common.
This means the weight-saving techniques adopted on the saloon have been transferred to the Estate, which is around 65kg lighter than the model it replaces.
What’s it like?
Look at the Estate from the front, and you’ll struggle to notice any difference between it and the saloon. These cars are all about the rear end, where the C-Class Estate has a more swoopy roofline than the old car’s. Mercedes says it’s a full 30mm lower at its farthest edge.
The Estate’s designers say they’ve tried to give it a sportier stance, with more distinctive ‘shoulders’ around the rear wheels, and split rear lights that are intended to make the car look wider. It’s an effective technique.
The car seen here has the more sporty AMG Line bodywork, including a reprofiled rear bumper, but even in standard SE trim the car looks purposeful from behind.
What about the boot?
The boot is similar to the old car’s, at 490 litres with the seats in place and 1510 with them folded. That puts it on a par with the BMW 3 Series Touring’s boot and just ahead of the Audi A4 Avant’s.
The seats are split 40/20/40, and they can be operated using switches inside the boot. The side panels also have deeper storage areas, with netting and a pair of tethering hooks.
What’s it like inside?
The front of the cabin is no different from the C-Class saloon’s, but that’s no bad thing since that car has set new standards in its class for interior quality. You get the same mixture of dark, grained wood and metal finishes, and even basic SE models get climate and cruise controls, a reversing camera, DAB radio and rain-sensing wipers as standard.
All models will be fitted with at least a seven-inch screen that’s controlled using a dial, along with a touchpad between the seats. The car shown here has the upgraded 8.4in widescreen display, which comes with the Comand infotainment system.
Taller rear passengers may grumble about headroom in the C-Class saloon, but it’s less of an issue in the Estate. Even with the optional twin sunroof of our car, six-footers will find it easy to get comfortable in the back.
What are the engines?
The engine line-up will mirror the saloon’s, with the bulk of the Estate models powered by four-cylinder diesels. At launch, the C220 CDI should be the cleanest, with CO2 emissions of 108g/km, but UK buyers will eventually be offered the diesel-hybrid C300, which will emit less than 100g/km.
Most engines will have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with seven-speed autos costing around £1500 more.
What will it cost?
The C-Class Estate will go on sale at the end of September. Prices have yet to be confirmed by Mercedes, but we’d expect a £1200 premium over the equivalent saloon.
That means the entry-level C200 petrol should start from around £28,000, while the cheapest diesel model, the C220 CDI SE, should cost around £30,500.