First impressions of the 2014 Mercedes Benz C-Class Estate
While it is known that many families have turned to SUVs and crossovers, it is simply not true that nobody is buying conventional estate cars. Even with sales-capturing Capturs and market-conquering Qashqais, there is still a solid market for a reliable estate car.
The fact that Mercedes was able to sell around 50,000 units of its previous-generation C-Class Estate last year, despite the fact that it was on its last legs, is clear evidence that many people still love the traditional estate car.
This brings us to the new version, which is ready to pick up where its forerunner left off. It is about £1,200 more expensive than the saloon, which we do not consider to be unreasonable, and is more efficient, lighter, and better equipped than the car it replaces.
Since it is based on the new C-Class saloon, which has just started appearing on UK showroom floors, it uses the same steel and aluminium hybrid body construction to reduce its mass by 65kg.
This, combined with a range of more efficient engines - including an electric-diesel hybrid version - means that the new estate is 20% more economical on average than the previous C-Class Estate.
The four-cylinder 2,143cc hybrid turbo-diesel version we tested develops 201bhp. It comes fitted with a 27bhp electric motor.
The Mercedes Benz C300 BlueTEC Hybrid will go on sale in September, with prices starting at around £35,800.