THE new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate looks to be more bad news for Audi and BMW.
With the sedan from Stuttgart already being praised by Wheels as a car that makes the A4 and 3 Series four-doors appear inadequate, the new Estate is a wagon to give the Avant and Touring an inferiority complex.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate isn’t quite the car that the W205 sedan is. Mercedes engineers admit the wagon lacks the four-door’s stiffness, but quickly add that it is better than the previous generation W204 sedan.
The Estate’s shape is also inherently less aerodynamic. But the new model’s class-leading 0.27 co-efficient of drag more than offsets the increase in frontal area from the C-Class’s growth. The new Estate is slightly more slippery than its predecessor when total drag is compared.
Mercedes also set out to make a cleverer, more flexible wagon inside.
The new Estate features a three-piece 40/20/40 split-fold rear seat instead of the old car’s two-piece 60/40 arrangement.
Luggage capacity increases very slightly; by 10 litres overall to 1510L, and by five litres to 490L under the cover behind the rear seats.
As for the rest of the Estate, it’s pure C-Class class.
The interior is a lovely blend of beauty and user-friendliness, with an instrument panel that is breathtakingly gorgeous, especially in high-grade cars with leather trim.
Though the car is crammed with technology, the human-machine interface is easy and mostly intuitive.
Refinement, especially the very low levels of wind noise, is hugely impressive, comfort is great, handling exceptional, and the drivetrains work well.
C-Class wagon will reach Australia in October, two months after the sedan launches.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has announced Estate prices will be only $2500 more than equivalent sedans.
The Estate launch drivetrain line-up duplicates the sedan’s, except there will be no hybrid offered.
The $63,400 C200 and $71,400 C250 both have turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol-burning fours, with maximums of 135kW/300Nm and 155kW/350Nm respectively.
The $64,900 C200 BlueTec Estate has a 1.6-litre turbo diesel producing 100kW/300Nm and topping the price list is the $72,900 C250 BlueTec Estate with 2.1-litre turbo diesel delivering 150kW/500Nm.
All engines are teamed with Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic.
As with the sedan, the C-Class wagon’s body is almost 50 percent aluminium and about 100kg lighter than the outgoing model.
The Estate’s fuel consumption is up to 20 percent lower.
On every front, the new C-Class Estate makes advances. It’s a car sure to win customers for Mercedes, and very likely to defeat its existing competitors in comparisons to come.
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