What's the used Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate like?
If you want the load-lugging capabilities of a mid-size estate car with the premium feel of the very best of executive cars, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate should definitely be on your shortlist. Add to that, the three-pointed star still carries a lot of cachet. The only problem for the C-Class Estate has always been the stiff competition it faces in this class, namely in the form of the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring. However, its comfort and relaxed driving experience, not to mention its air of dependability, have been enough to win plenty of admirers on both the new and used car markets.
For this 2014 version, Mercedes has upped the ante further, with a new platform underneath that enhances passenger space and boot space, which is now up to 1510 litres with the rear seats folded and has a wide, flat load bay area. Driving characteristics have also improved and there's a totally new design for both its interior and exterior, with a noticeable improvement in quality.
Not surprisingly, it’s the diesel-engined cars that are in most demand. The C200 d has enough poke for most and claimed economy of up to 65.7mpg. The C220 d feels a little livelier and comes close to matching the smaller engine in economy and CO2 emissions, too, so is the most popular unit in the range. The thirstier C250 d, while admirably brisk, is harder to recommend. Petrol cars kick off with the C200, which is a refined and adequate performer, and top off with the C43 and C63 AMG models, two twin-turbo V6 variants that put sheer pace and track-car agility above any considerations of comfort and economy.
Economy is best served by the diesel-electric hybrid version, the C350 e, a strong performer with a claimed economy of a truly impressive 134.5mpg. However, as with all similar hybrid cars, such figures should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt.
On the road, the C-Class Estate’s dynamic behaviour and ride comfort are a step up from the older variants, even if it’s not quite as sharp to drive as its two major rivals. Where it disappoints is in refinement, with too much road noise – and, most noticeably in the diesel variants, too much engine noise – making its way back into the interior. However, the C-Class Estate is a solid and dependable buy, with plenty of trim levels, a well-equipped interior and lots of class-leading safety and security kit. Add to that its strong residual values and it’s clear this model is definitely a Merc worth considering.