Which used Mercedes C-Class estate should I buy?
If you’re in the market for a petrol-engined car, your options are really limited to the C200, a 181bhp inline four-cylinder engine whose low-speed poke next to its diesel stablemates feels a little weak and whose refinement is not strong enough to make it recommendable over the diesels. The twin-turbo V6 C43 and C63 AMG cars are high-performance and hard-riding examples calculated to appeal to those after supercar-baiting speed and handling. They cost a large sum to buy and will cost even more to run and maintain.
The 1.6-litre engine in the C200 d gives the car considerable virtues: it’s frugal, relatively refined and reasonably smooth, but it’s short of the power needed to push the C-Class around adequately. The 2.1-litre C220 d is a much better bet, being almost as efficient and cheap to run but with some added shove. It’s the version we’d choose. The C250 d has plenty of go but sacrifices economy. The C350 e is a petrol-electric hybrid affair that has a claimed economy of 134.5mpg and CO2 emissions of just 52g/km. Some versions cost more than £40,000, however, and those registered after April 2017 will attract a higher rate of road tax.