Merc’s C-Class Es­tate wafts into mar­ket­place

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS - IOL MO­TOR­ING STAFF

The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan has got­ten off to a fly­ing start on South Africa’s sales charts and now its pres­ence is set to be bol­stered by the launch of a stylish new wagon ver­sion.

As el­e­gant as it is, the new Es­tate is un­likely to be­come a common sight on our roads, how­ever, as tra­di­tional es­tate cars have not fea­tured on the top of our wish lists for quite some time. In fact, BMW can’t even make a case for sell­ing a 3 Se­ries wagon any­more, nor will Audi sell an A4-based Avant un­less it’s an S4, RS 4 or All­road ver­sion.

This means that Merc’s new CClass Es­tate has the com­pact pre­mium wagon turf all to it­self, at­tempt­ing to lure buy­ers into the seg­ment with its sleek looks, prac­ti­cal­ity and ease-of-use.

Com­pared to the one be­fore it, the new Es­tate treats rear pas­sen­gers to an ad­di­tional 45mm of legroom and can fit 10 more litres of lug­gage. With the rear seats in place the boot will swal­low 490 litres (strangely only five litres more than the sedan) but fold the rear seats (split 40:20:40) and you could have as much as 1510 litres at your dis­posal.

It’s also re­ally easy to load. The elec­tric un­lock­ing of the rear-seat back­rests at the push of a but­ton pro­vides a flat, larger load com­part- ment where nec­es­sary us­ing the Sin­gle­fold func­tion for the rear-seat back­rest.

The load­ing con­ve­nience can be fur­ther en­hanced with an op­tional hands-free ac­cess sys­tem, which re­quires a wave of your foot near the rear bumper to open and close the elec­tri­cally-pow­ered tail­gate.

For the ul­ti­mate in wafty on­road com­fort, you can or­der the Es­tate with air sus­pen­sion, but even the stan­dard steel sus­pen­sion has you in good hands with its new four-link front axle de­sign and fivelink set-up at the rear.

Your er­gonomic cen­tre­piece in the C-Class Es­tate is a new touch­pad that al­lows you to op­er­ate key fea­tures us­ing fin­ger ges­tures, as you would on a smart­phone.

Lo­cal mod­els will be of­fered with a choice of three en­gines. Opt for the C180 base model and you get a 1.6-litre tur­bopetrol with 115kW and 250Nm on tap. For a lit­tle ex­tra, you can drive away in a C200, pow­ered by a 135kW/300Nm 2-litre tur­bopetrol. A R90 000 leap away is the C250 BlueTec Es­tate, giv­ing you a 2.1-litre tur­bod­iesel rated at 150kW and 500Nm.

PRICES C180 Es­tate - R447 600 C200 Es­tate - R468 300 C250 BlueTec Es­tate - R558 400 -­tor­

Mercedes will have the com­pact pre­mium wagon mar­ket all to it­self with its new big-booted C.

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