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Does increased boot space add extra appeal to Merc's tech-heavy newcomer?
17in alloy wheels, LED headlights with adaptive high beam assist, 11.9in infotainment touchscreen, 12.3in driver display, 'Hey Mercedes' voice assistant, heated front seats, wireless phone charging, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist, reversing camera.
Petrol mild hybrid:
Diesel mild hybrid:
200hp 2.0, 265hp 2.0
Sport, AMG Line, AMG Line Premium, AMG Line Premium Plus
Ever since the C-Class was sent into battle as Mercedes-Benz's upper-medium saloon contender in the early 1990s, there has also been an estate counterpart aimed at those who need to add a dash more practicality into the mix. It follows, therefore, that, having sampled the new C-Class saloon last month, the estate should also be presented for our assessment.
When reviewing an estate, the obvious place to start is at the back, and here we find an immediate gain with a boot measuring 490 litres - 30 litres more than with the previous-generation estate, as well as 35 more than with the new saloon. Despite this improvement, the C-Class does still slightly trail its German premium rivals the Audi A4 Avant (495 litres) and BMW 3 Series Touring (500 litres) - however, fold the Merc's rear seats and it manages to turn the tables with a maximum 1,510 litres of space, beating the Audi and matching the BMW. The C-Class's boot also impresses with a low loading lip and flat floor, allowing easy access.
As with the saloon we drove last month, our left-hand drive estate was in a European spec, however, we were told this test car most closely resembled the entry-level Sport model in the UK line-up. Despite this, it doesn't miss out on the new C-Class's headline feature, the 11.9in portrait touchscreen running Mercedes's latest-generation MBUX infotainment system. Augmented by a 12.3in driver display, it's an impressive feat of technology and forms the heart of an interior that in the usual modern Mercedes way is stylish, if a little on the bling side.
The C-Class estate comes with a choice of one petrol mild hybrid and two diesel mild hybrid engines at launch, with plug-in hybrid options to follow. We tested the petrol and found it powerful enough, but did miss the satisfying grunt of the bigger diesel unit we previously tried with the saloon. Perhaps surprisingly, the petrol also sounded noisier when worked hard, while the diesel also has the (more predictable) advantage when it comes to fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
On a more positive note of comparison, ride quality with the estate was without the slightly harsh edge we found in the saloon, for reasons it's difficult really to pinpoint given the unusual specs of our test cars, though the petrol engine does save some weight compared with the diesel.
Since our review of the saloon was published last month, Mercedes has revealed full UK specs for the new C-Class, which means we can now get a better idea of how it stacks up on costs compared with its rivals. Unsurprisingly, in comparable specs there's little to choose between them on economy and emissions, with the A4's sitting one BIK band lower not likely to make too much difference to drivers' thinking. The C-Class does also compare well with the Audi on residual values, however it in turn loses out to the BMW, which should be the cheapest to run overall. Although, it should also be said that the equivalent 3 Series is also the least powerful of the three. However, the C-Class does also look slightly more expensive than the other two in terms of up-front cost.
Mercedes-Benz C 200 Estate Sport
Residual value: 35.3%
Service, maintenance and repair: £2,792
Cost per mile: 61.68p
Fuel consumption: 42.2mpg
CO2 (BIK %): 151g/km (34%)
BIK 20/40% a month: £226/£451
Luggage capacity: 490 litres
Engine size/power: 1,496cc/204hp
Eye-catching interior tech
Petrol mild hybrid engine not as impressive as diesel