What alternatives should I consider to a used Mercedes C-Class estate?
It’s the strength of the C-Class Estate’s competition that, in some eyes, is its undoing. The mid-size estate class has one of the strongest fields of any class of car and to be in one that features both the super-competent Audi A4 Avant and the class-establishing BMW 3 Series Touring is distinctly bad luck.
The Audi A4 Avant is more practical than the C-Class Estate, with more space inside and a slightly larger boot. It’s more refined, too, with a number of highly efficient and very smooth engines. It’s also better to drive, thanks to its sharper steering and more eager handling. The interior has always impressed us for its relative simplicity yet high-quality feel and its infotainment system, controlled using a rotary-style controller, is clear and intuitive to use.
The BMW 3 Series Touring is, to most degrees, still the class leader in this segment, edging ahead of even the brilliant A4 Avant. Its success is centred on its entertaining rear-wheel-drive handling, the effortlessly upmarket feel and its excellent build quality, as well as its boot space (matching the C-Class and the Avant) and flexible interior. Here is a premium car that will more than satisfy the demands of the high-mileage executive plodding the UK’s byways, the family man in need of decent space and reasonable running costs and the enthusiastic motorist wanting something fun to drive.
Consider also the Volkswagen Golf Estate, which carries with it all the virtues of the hatchback version and adds a huge boot, and the Honda Civic Tourer, which is good to drive and has an even more enormous capacity than the VW.
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