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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2014
      Body type
      Estate
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
An example of style and substance

Best bits

  • Attractive interior and exterior design
  • Broad range of engines
  • Well-specified and up-to-date technology

Not so great

  • One of the more expensive options
  • Space is average for the class
  • Spec-sensitive driving experience

Read by

Mercedes C-Class Estate side exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes C-Class Estate front exterior

On the inside

Mercedes C-Class Estate side

Driving

Mercedes C-Class Estate rear

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes C-Class Estate front exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The C-Class Estate certainly holds a good deal of appeal, with an enticing cabin and a strong engine range. It’s usefully practical and good to drive, but it lags a little behind key rivals in several areas and isn’t particularly cheap either. You can have more for less money if you buy elsewhere."

Mercedes C-Class Estate side exterior

Mercedes-Benz has been one of the central pillars of the premium segment for decades. That three-pointed star on the nose has an appeal that sucks people in for a lifetime, and the Mercedes C-Class has always been one of its most popular models since the first generation arrived in 1993. Like its rivals from Germany and beyond, a big part of the C-Class' success is down to the saloon spin-off models - coupe, convertible and estate.


First introduced in 2014 and then substantially revised in 2018, the C-Class Estate aims to offer practicality and space, a luxurious cabin and a mix of good comfort and an enjoyable driving experience. As with the majority of Mercedes-Benz models there is also an emphasis on technology and safety too.


The C-Class Estate is probably as distinctive a design as there has ever been; where previous versions were period conservative, the current version is quite striking in its appearance, with a prominent grille (and star), strong creases along the body and a swooping roofline. Even so, this is the most practical C-Class bodystyle there is; the smaller CLA Shooting Brake is a more style-led offering.


On the inside the C-Class Estate is a five-seater just like its saloon sibling, although as with many cars in the compact class the centre seat on the back row is best suited to children rather than adults. The boot offers a reasonable amount of space although it is somewhat less than the key rivals can muster. The interior is almost as bold as the exterior, with contrasting colours and a mix of materials, as well as a design that mixes classic and modern touches to good effect. It feels quite special in there, although the actually quality of the materials doesn’t quite match up to their appearance.


The driving experience in the C-Class Estate is particularly spec-sensitive, as there are a number of engine options but also three different suspension setups, so more than in most cars it’s important to consider what works best for you. The petrol and diesel engine options are broadly competent, offering useful performance and respectable economy, while the diesel electric hybrid C300de is expensive but very powerful and can run on electricity alone for short distances. 


The rest of the driving experience is competent but not outstanding; many models can struggle on poor road surfaces, as the steering is quick but lacking much in the way of feel, so it is far from the ideal choice for keen drivers either. It offers a good level of refinement however, and the high level of technology as standard, and as available as an option is a boon for passengers.


In summary, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate is desirable and competent in many areas, but other than the broad engine range there is nothing of note that puts it ahead of the competition. There are estates with more space for passengers and luggage, better refinement or a more engaging driving experience - the only reason you could justify choosing it over a rival is that you have to have a Mercedes-Benz.


Is the C-Class Estate right for you?

Small premium estates are frequently the car of choice for people who need to carry loads, and frequently people but don’t want to tarnish their driveways with something as uncouth as an SUV. 


The C-Class is certainly capable of performing family duties with relative ease, with enough space in the rear seats to accommodate children and a big enough boot for all the paraphernalia that comes with them. It could also serve as a business workhorse, although it would seem a shame to spoil the interior materials with building materials.


Those on a budget or with higher insurance premiums might be better looking elsewhere for value and space; the C-Class comes with a premium price tag and as such attracts relatively high insurance groupings, so may be too expensive to run. Keen drivers should also consider looking elsewhere, with the BMW 3 Series Touring probably the driver’s choice in this segment.


What’s the best C-Class Estate model/engine to choose?

The standard specification on the C-Class Estate is actually quite generous, with the basic SE model getting things like alloy wheels, sat-nav, artificial leather seats (called Artico in Mercedes-Benz speak) cruise control, a rear camera, DAB and climate control, and makes a good choice. 


Moving up to Sport trim adds bigger alloy wheels, chrome exterior and aluminium interior trim, heated front sports seats, and 15mm lowered suspension - we would suggest adding the Airmatic package, which adds air suspension for £895 and improves the ride quality significantly.


Of the engine options, the 2.0-litre diesel comes in two power outputs - 160PS and 194PS. Both offer impressive performance and economy, and are a sensible choice. The petrol engines are also good performers, with the C200 model offering 184PS with a mild hybrid system to boost performance. The C300de is expensive, but offers a very strong performance and exceptional economy.


What other cars are similar to the C-Class Estate?

The C-Class Estate has always had strong competition from its main German rivals. The BMW 3 Series Touring is frequently mentioned in the same breath as the Mercedes, and offers a similarly broad engine, trim and specification range. It’s also considered to be the driver’s choice in this segment, although it is still capable of being comfortable and refined in the right specification.


The Audi A4 Avant is the other key German competitor, and is probably one of the best all-rounders in the compact premium estate segment. It has a wide range of engines and drivetrains, and offers a high level of quality and refinement too. Volvo’s V60 is another contender with a focus on quality and space.


Learn more

Mercedes C-Class Estate front exterior

On the inside

Mercedes C-Class Estate side

Driving

Mercedes C-Class Estate rear

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes C-Class Estate front exterior

Prices, versions and specification

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