Mercedes Benz C-Class Estate Review
Motorway cruising returned around 41 mpg and touring 34 mpg which with a fully laden car we considered pretty good.2 February 2009
How It Drove - Performance
There is a choice of six petrol engines – the two four cylinder - C180 (1796 cc /156 hp), C200 (1796 cc / 184 hp ), C230 (2496 cc / 204 hp) or V6 petrol engine - C280 (2996 cc / 231 hp ), C350 (3498 cc / 272 hp ) and the ranging topping V8 AMG C63 (6208 cc / 457 hp). On the diesel front you can choose from two four cylinder engines - C200 CDI (2148 cc / 136 hp ), C220 CDI (2148 cc / 170 hp) or the V6 C320 CDI (2987 cc / 224 hp) so there are quite a few options to suit.
Our test car was fitted with the diesel 220 CDI engine, which produces 170 hp @ 3800 rpm and delivers 400 Nm @ 2000 rpm. This is enough to propel the automatic car from 0-62 mph in 8.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 137 mph.
Although the 220 CDI engine is not new to the C-Class Estate it has been modified for the new car, increasing the power output by 20 hp and dramatically increasing the available peak torque from 340 Nm to 400 Nm @ 2000 rpm, which makes a lot of difference to the car’s flexibility and performance over the outgoing model.
We found the C220 CDI to be relatively well refined, with little audible acknowledgement from the inside that this was a diesel.
Performance was perfectly suited to the ‘sports’ label and it never felt lacking offering a fine balance between economy and speed. Overtaking was a swift affair and the C220 CDI was eager to impress - although we felt that the traction control can intervene a little prematurely.
The larger V6 engine C-Class Estates have the option of Mercedes 7G (seven speed) automatic gearbox, the C220 has to make do with a five speed automatic gearbox, although you can opt for a six speed manual transmission, if you prefer.
The seamless five speed automatic gearbox behaved very well over our mixed Welsh test route, which ranged from Motorways to steep winding country lanes.
Motorway cruising returned around 41 mpg and touring 34 mpg which with a fully laden car we considered pretty good. Mercedes claim a combined fuel consumption figure of 41.5 mpg, which seems feasible and which is an improvement of 5.4 mpg over the previous model. You could expect better figures from the 5-speed manual version of the car which is quoted as 46.3 mpg on the combined circle.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
The Parameter speed-sensitive power steering possibly feels a little too light on occasion but overall the experience is fluid and the C-Class deserves its sporting label. It is surprisingly how level and controlled the C-Class Estate can feel even when pressing on quite hard.
The ventilated front disc brakes are excellent and help make very short work of bringing the car to a halt; in fact the braking system on the Sport models is an enhanced system. What’s more, it will also briefly apply the brakes at regular intervals in wet conditions to wipe the film of water from the brake discs, prompted by the windscreen wipers operating for a certain length of time.
Overall the C-Class Estate handles very well and the ride quality is very good without being too firm.
Mercedes Benz C-Class Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mercedes Benz C-Class Estate 220 CDI|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.5 Seconds|
|Top Speed||137 mph|
|Transmission||5-Speed Automatic Gearbox|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||58.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 Years / Unlimited Mileage|
|Price (when tested on the 02/02/09)||£29,014.67|