Sorry for those who love four-wheeled American-made plastic weirdos or unknown Chinese cars but you can’t help feeling good once sat in a Mercedes. The new C Class estate is not too big and quite alluring. Its crisp and modern lines are disarmingly simple compared to competitors who are constantly complicating things and trying too hard when it comes to drawing a line from the front bonnet to the rear window.
Obviously, we could criticize the new C Class for being nothing more than a gentle evolution of the former generation or see it as a carbon copy of other models in the current range. However, let’s admit the new Mercedes C-Class exterior design is a success and it should age well. Unfortunately, the fully digitalized interior, is a different story. Nevertheless, it is perfectly in tune with the times. From now on, a single finger is needed : the large central screen reminds us of a tablet and was obviously inspired by what we discovered in the latest S-Class… not a bad reference!
I like it
If someone had told us that, one day, finding a diesel engine under a car’s bonnet would put a smile on our faces, we wouldn’t have believed it. And yet… The 2.0 4-cylinder 200 hp engine is an absolutely perfect travel companion. Always discreet, it uses fuel sparingly and happily reminds us that there’s nothing better to swallow kilometres in complete serenity. Even more so that Mercedes successfully nailed it : the car’s chassis perfectly blends comfort and safe, engaging roadholding. Our car was an AMG line version (taking about 70% of sales). It is safely planted on its wheels, even if the low profile tyres occasionally send back unpleasant shocks on bad surfaces.
It’s hard to notice in the metal but the 2021 C-Class Estate is 5cm bigger. This means a 30-litre increase of the loadspace : the capacity being now 490 litres. Its regular shape makes it fully usable and it even goes up to 1,510 litres once the rear seat is folded, imbuing it with the biggest rear space in its class. This also means more space for the rear passengers, who can enjoy high quality materials, fit and finish, too.
I don’t like it
Old-school Mercedes fans are understandably confused by the multiple dashboard screens. To be honest, it is easy and quick to master the steering wheel buttons to display the various menus. On the other hand, we regretted the absence of USB-A sockets. It forced us to use an adapter and the 12V socket, was useless as it is located in the back.
Why I buy it
Honestly, we didn’t find any major flaws during the C-Class Estate test drive. On the contrary, we think that there’s nothing better if you want to travel in complete comfort and safety while saving as much fuel as possible. The driving position is perfect, fit and finish is top-notch, on-board technology is state-of-the-art and the engine is torquey and discreet. Sure, driving around in an AMG labelled Mercedes costs an arm and a leg but it’s so rewarding!
Why I don’t buy it
The C Class estate starts at € 55,539 before you tick any extras. The C220d costs serious money but that’s always been a Mercedes given. We know that it’s always buying the very first one that necessitates the biggest outlay. Afterwards, you can enjoy high resale value, even though diesel-powered cars have taken a real beating recently. Comfort might not be on par with what it used to be in last century Mercedes but it features all the right elements to be a highly serious contender in its class and beat the competition. (Translation: Dimitri Urbain)