Time for a C-change

The new Benz C-Class wagon of­fers an al­ter­na­tive to those who do not want a Toorak trac­tor, writes JAMES STAN­FORD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

THE Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been a big hit, but there’s only so much you can fit in a sedan. If you are car­ry­ing prams, the dog, or a bi­cy­cle, you are prob­a­bly go­ing to need a wagon.

Many Aus­tralians have been buy­ing big­ger crossovers be­cause they wouldn’t be seen dead in a fam­ily wagon, but times are chang­ing and tra­di­tional wag­ons are look­ing sportier ev­ery day.

Euro­pean pres­tige brands are go­ing great guns with their big crossovers, but also of­fer al­ter­na­tives for those who still need to carry stuff but don’t want a Toorak trac­tor.

BMW has a wagon ver­sion of its 3 Se­ries and Audi is about to launch a wagon vari­ant of its new A4.

Mercedes in­tro­duced the C-Class wagon, or as it calls it, Es­tate, in May.

The first ver­sion to ar­rive has a four­cylin­der petrol en­gine and costs $58,890.

A tur­bod­iesel ver­sion with 400Nm will be avail­able next month for $63,100. For those who need to carry a lot and get places quickly, a C63 AMG wagon with a 6.2-litre V8 with 336kW and 600Nm will ar­rive at the same time.

You pay for the per­for­mance though. The wagon costs $141,300. That makes the en­trylevel C-Class Es­tate look like a bar­gain.

Of course, close to $60,000 is a lot of money com­pared with what you pay for a sim­i­larly sized car from Ja­pan or Europe, but this is a pres­tige Ger­man model and you pay for the priv­i­lege.

The en­gine in the C200 Es­tate is a 1.8-litre su­per­charged four-cylin­der.

It’s the same en­gine that pow­ers the C-Class sedan, which was up­dated when the new car was in­tro­duced last year.

Its su­per­charger is set up for more low-range torque rather than rip-snort­ing power, which is re­flected in the fig­ures of 135kW at 5500 revs and 250Nm avail­able from 2800 to 5000 revs.

Fuel con­sump­tion is a strong point and the of­fi­cial com­bined fig­ure comes in at 8.3 litres for 100km, far bet­ter than cross­over wag­ons.

A five-speed au­to­matic that sends power to the rear wheels comes is stan­dard and there is no man­ual.

The C-Class wagon is built off the same base as the sedan, which means a re­worked sus­pen­sion with sev­eral light­weight alu­minium com­po­nents and new agility-con­trol dampers from ZF, which are a form of hy­draulic ac­tive sys­tem that can al­ter the damp­ing force, de­pend­ing on con­di­tions.

The new hauler has 485 litres of bootspace with all the seats up and an im­pres­sive 1465 litres when the rear seats are down.

Pay an ex­tra $1070 on the base model and you get the op­tional Easy Pack tail­gate, raises and closes the tail­gate at the touch of a but­ton.

The C200K can tow up to 1250kg (with a braked trailer). That’s not all that much, but it’s enough for a trip to the tip.

Es­tate of the art: the new Mercedes-Benz C200K Es­tate can tow up to 1250kg with a braked trailer, enough for a trip to the tip.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.