Merc’s C-Class Estate wafts into marketplace
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 - www.motoring.co.za
Mercedes will have the compact premium wagon market all to itself with its new big-booted C.