Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
All Mercedes C-Class Estate engines feature electric assistance for extra shove at low engine speeds, but you still have to work the entry-level 201bhp C200 petrol quite hard to get it from 0-62mph in 7.5sec.
For a bit more low-end urgency, you’re better off with the diesel C220d. Its 197bhp is slightly down on the C200, but because of its extra pull at low revs, it manages to get from 0-62mph in 7.4sec. The BMW 3-Series Touring in 320d form is a swifter diesel choice, although the 262bhp C300d C-Class Estate will be quicker still.
With the suspension set to Comfort, it deals with the worst effects of bumps and potholes better than the BMW 3 Series and Tesla Model 3, although there's a slightly floaty sensation over undulating roads.
To avoid that (as the 3 Series so adeptly does), you’ll need to put the car in Sport mode. That tightens body control appreciably without the C-Class losing its ability to round off harsher humps and holes. Sport+ is just a bit too firm for pockmarked B-roads and is best left for super-smooth surfaces.
The C-Class Estate's handling treads a fine line between the Audi A4 Avant and the BMW 3 Series Touring. The steering is accurate and easier to gauge than the A4's overly light system, but doesn’t give you as much confidence as a 3 Series does. You won’t find a great deal of body lean, but while the agility matches the A4, a 3 Series is more fun.