You have to hand it to the Germans – they sure know how to do a wagon. For proof of that you need look no further than the latest Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate.
Embedded with the unmistakable Mercedes-Benz elegance, the all-new C-Class looks terrific as a sedan…no less so as an Estate (wagon).
Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate Overview
Wagon buyers of the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class had to wait a few months for the Estate to surface. But man-o-man was it worth the wait.
This is without doubt some of the best work of the Stuttgart team. The C-Class Estate looks brilliant and drives just as well as the sedan.
For www.carshowroom.com.au Mercedes-Benz had a C 250 Estate ($71,400) waiting. Entry to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class lineup is the C 200 ($63,400) and you can also get the C 250 BlueTEC turbo-diesel ($72,900).
Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate Engine
The C 250 uses the most powerful version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. With 155kW/350Nm on-tap and zero to 100km/h ticking-by in just 6.8 seconds, this Mercedes-Benz wagon is very rapid (and quiet).
Drive is to the rear wheels via Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic transmission.
For combined-cycle fuel consumption you can chalk-up 6.9l/100kms.
You can also select Estate versions of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class in C200 (135kW/300Nm version of the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine) or C250 BlueTEC (150kW/500Nm 2.1-litre turbo-diesel).
Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate The Interior
Regular readers of www.carshowroom.com.au will know we’re in love with the interior of the current Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Just when we thought automotive designers had collectively put their crayons back in the box when it came to interiors, along came ‘Benz with the A-Class model which drew a collective “Wow!” when it first appeared.
The A-Class hatchback spawned the standout contemporary style we now see in the C-Class lineup – the aircraft type round air vents, the freestanding central screen and the dynamic instrument cluster which proves traditional and easy-to-read can also be stylish and ‘hip’.
As usual this is all comes together with the hallmark Mercedes-Benz quality materials, beautiful leather-wrapped steering wheel and the current small stalk gear selector which has freed-up the centre console for a more advanced style of mouse and 65x45mm touchpad for the climate control, audio and navigation. And – again as usual – front row occupants have multiple seat adjustments (controls on the doors as per standard M-Benz practice) for supreme comfort and an ideal driving position.
The second row seat is a little snug for leg-room and definitely gets squeezy with three adults aboard but it split-folds 40:20:40 for cargo versatility. Fold the seat flat and you have a handy 1510-litres of luggage capacity (10-litres more than the outgoing model) or 490-litres (plus five litres) with the rear seat in-place.
Like others, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate comes with this new ‘soccer-kick’ hands-free tailgate opening (you swipe your foot under the rear bumper to activate it) and a switch inside the tailgate can automatically flip-down the rear seat back.
Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate Exterior & Styling
For us there is no other passenger car wagon with is easier on the eye as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. We thought the previous generation was a styling masterclass but the German styling team has stepped-up again with the all-new model.
Naturally the front-end is straight from the C-Class sedan. There’s that unmistakable complex fusion of various curves which come together to present the latest upright version of the hallmark Mercedes-Benz grille with its large central three-pointed star and which flows into those gorgeously raked headlights. And of course the lower extremities are all about various air-intakes and some throwbacks to the DTM racers with a purposeful front splitter.
Side view naturally continues the C-Class theme of a taut muscly look accentuated by powerful character lines (which naturally look even better thanks to the extra length of the Estate bodyshell). The Estate version also boasts a very powerful rear three-quarter thanks to tis loping roofline and standard tailgate spoiler.
A check of the tape-measure reveals the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate shows it is somewhat surprisingly 96mm longer (80mmlonger in the wheelbase) and 40mm wider than its predecessor. In the metal it doesn’t seem any larger.
The rear-view is just as impressive with a curvaceous waistline accentuating width and those marvelously curved and distinctive tail-lights ratcheting-up the ‘suave-scale’. As tested the C 250 Estate rode on 19-inch alloy wheels (18-inchers for the C 200).
Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate On The Road
We’d driven the Mercedes-Benz C 200 Estate at the media launch and were delighted when ‘Benz called and offered us a one week in a C 250. Delighted because a week in a Merc’ C-Class – any C-Class! – is a very good week.
And right off the bat it’s no surprise the extra grunt of the 155kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo (135kW/300Nm for the C 200) – if nothing else - is strong justification for the C 250. Of course Mercedes-Benz being Mercedes-Benz, that urge is delivered with ridiculous smoothness and refinement via that seven-speed automatic transmission.
In the twisty stuff it didn’t take long to remind us we were behind the wheel of the latest C-Class ‘Benz – for sure aided by the extra rubber courtesy of the 19-inch alloys, that unruffled point-in, sure-footed mid-turn balance and easy exit just as apparent in the Estate as we had experienced in the sedan. There is the tell-tale European firmness (just as we like it) but in the current C-Class, Mercedes has the suspension calibration a heap smarter than the previous model which sometimes felt like every one was fitted with the high-performance AMG spring/damper combo.
Naturally on the freeway this car from the land of the autobahn was in its element with supreme levels of refinement and stability even when fully loaded for a family getaway. And in that environment the overload of technology really comes into its own – on their own, blind-spot assistance and adaptive cruise control just have to be two of the best-ever inventions for those who frequent freeways.
Where many families may find the Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate has an edge over the likes of the ML-Class is city maneuverability. This may be a wagon but all-round visibility was excellent and parking was a breeze.
Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate Issues
Just like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, rear seat space isn’t enormous just like any other European vehicle in this segment). But let’s be crystal – by any measure the C 250 Estate is still a family-friendly wagon.
Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate Verdict
Yep, this is the luxo European by which all others must be measured. Just the fact the ‘benz is the newest kid on the block means it is the ‘latest and greatest’…but of course there’s much more to the story than just that.
‘Exceptional is an over-used word. Unless you’re talking about the current crop of Mercedes-Benz vehicles. And the C 250 Estate certainly fits that description in its looks inside and out, its quality, its driving dynamics and its refinement.
And when you shop the ‘Benz against direct German rivals you must conclude it is exceptional value-for-money too. Literally they haven’t missed a thing have they?
Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate The Competition
$70,800 buys you the Audi A4 Avant in ‘Sport Line Quattro’ guise – which is a lot of car. Performance is about the same (155kW/350Nm for the ‘Benz to 165kW/350Nm for the Audi which is four-tenths faster zero to 100km/h). You need a micrometer to separate luggage space (we think the Mercedes might be a bit in front on that score). And for looks we’re slightly leaning to the ‘Benz but some colleagues preferred the Audi. Let’s face it they both max-out the desirability score and it’s a coin toss between these two for ‘best-in-class’.
BMW offers the 3 Series Touring with a choice of two petrol engines – the 320i ($64,500) or the 328i ($73,400). The latter is the more likely rival for the Mercedes-Benz C 250 Estate with 180kW/350Nm from BMW’s turbocharged 2.0-litre powerplant. So the 328i is ahead on grunt but is that enough to justify a $3,000 hike over the ‘Benz or $3,600 over the Audi? We’re thinking not. But don’t get us wrong – we love the 328i Touring and it matches the other two however you measure it (except its styling isn’t as slick as the Mercedes).