Audi A4 Avant vs BMW 3 Series Touring vs Mercedes C-Class Estate
In estate form, the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class are all practical and stylish load-luggers. But which is best?...
Only the entry-level A4 misses out on sat-nav, and all trims get a 7.0in colour screen that's operated via Audi's user-friendly MMI rotary controller. The optional £1450 Technology Pack upgrades the display to the 8.3in screen found in our test car, and also brings a more advanced sat-nav system with traffic updates, 10GB of music storage and a touchpad controller that lets you write in your destination.
The 3 Series offers sat-nav as standard across the entire model range. Plus, BMW's rotary-controlled iDrive interface is a cut above even the Audi system, offering more intuitive menus. Our test car's M Sport trim provides no more multimedia functions than the basic SE as standard, but you can get a more powerful Professional sat-nav system for £900, and more speakers for another £430.
All C-Class Estate models have a rotary controller and touchpad to operate their 7.0in infotainment screen. Unfortunately, some simple functions are unnecessarily laborious, and the touchpad seems more of a gimmick than a real aid to functionality. Sat-nav comes as standard on Sport trim, although our test car had the £2995 Premium Plus package, which brings more features, including a built-in hard drive.