Which used Mercedes C-Class estate should I buy?
The SE and Elegance models are more in the traditional Merc mould, with a three-pointed star on the bonnet and comfort-orientated suspension settings. Sport cars are more contemporary C-Class, with an aggressive air, lowered and stiffer suspension settings and the Mercedes badge set into the radiator grille. Sport cars are more agile but not overly firm, while SE and Elegance models are smoother, but with some body roll.
The entry-level SE trim gets alloys, climate, Bluetooth, electrically adjustable seats and MP3 input, while Elegance ups the ambience with wood trim, chrome and auto wipers. Sat nav wasn't standard on any model, along with leather, so look out for cars with these desirable options.
Petrol engine options range from supercharged 1.8-litres (154bhp or 182bhp), to V6s of 2.5-, 3.0- and 3.5-litres (204bhp, 231bhp and 272bhp respectively). There are three CDI diesels - 134bhp and 168bhp 2.1-litres (badged C200 and C220), or a 221bhp 3.0 (C320). All are up to the job, but the C220 CDI strikes the best balance between performance and affordability, and enjoys better resale values.