The Mercedes C-Class Estate is a premium estate car that adds a layer of luxury to its load-lugging practicality. The car’s closest competitors are its fellow Germans, the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Audi A4 Avant. Both the BMW and the Audi are available with four-wheel drive, while the Mercedes is rear-wheel drive only, but at the moment only the C-Class is available with hybrid power.
Another string to the C-Class’s bow is a very generous equipment list that includes an impressive selection of driver aids, safety features and practical touches to help make the most of the big boot. Fuel economy and emissions impress, too, and the C350e petrol-electric hybrid offers huge tax savings for company car drivers thanks to its ultra-low CO2 output. Those driving high mileages will also appreciate the car’s stylish and well-finished interior.
Most models are pretty swift, too, and handle tidily, although the Direct Steer system that comes as standard doesn’t provide a great deal of driver feedback. On top of that, the engines - particularly the 2.1-litre diesels - aren’t very refined, especially compared to the Audi A4 Avant’s, and the air suspension that improves the Mercedes’ ride quality is a cost option on all but the C350e. However, there are still many good reasons to buy a C-Class Estate.