Caroline drives the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate.
Launched back in 2014, the current generation of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was noted for its interior elegance and quality. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz treated the C-Class to a mid-life refresh to keep the car competitive. Historic rivals for the C-Class have been the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series. With a new generation of the 3 Series arriving imminently, the Merc’s refresh is timely.
What’s new for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?
There have been a few subtle external design changes for a more sporty appearance including new bumpers and trim elements. The C-Class comes with halogen headlamps incorporating LED daytime running lamps as standard. The diamond radiator grille is standard on AMG Line models also.
Inside the car, Mercedes-Benz has upgraded the upholstery and trim for an even more luxurious feel. A 12.3-inch digital cockpit display and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen are now available as options. Equipment has also been updated to make the latest driving assistance technology available in the C-Class.
Some of the most notable changes are in the engine range. The C200 now features a new 184hp 1.5-litre petrol engine with ‘EQ Boost’. Using a 48-volt onboard network with a belt-driven starter/alternator, the system adds more power and efficiency.
What about the C200d?
Yes you can still choose your C-Class with a diesel engine. The C200d tested here uses a four cylinder, 1.6-litre diesel engine, putting out 160hp in this state of tune. A 2.0-litre diesel from the E-Class badged C220d is also available with 194hp.
The updated Mercedes-Benz C-Class range kicks off in Ireland at €37,710 for the saloon and €39,630 for the estate. It’s available in two trim lines, Avantgarde and AMG Line. I tested the C200d Estate AMG Line Automatic with a list price of €47,697.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class remains a high quality offering inside and out. The C-Class Estate has a smart exterior finish and AMG Line models look particularly good with AMG bodystyling including AMG front apron with sporty air intakes and chrome trim. At the back there is an AMG-diffuser look rear apron with insert in black and AMG side sill panels. 18” wheels come as standard, but the model tested had 19” AMG 5 twin spoke alloy wheels added as an option for €1700.
The interior of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate
Inside the C-Class impresses with its interior elegance. There have been a few material updates and technology features added. The circular air vents, wood veneer, soft touch panelling and leather upholstery all combine for a cabin experience that is one of the best in the business. The test car had the 10.25” screen added as an option, which I think looks better and more premium than the 7” touchscreen that comes as standard. I’m also a big fan of the touch sensitive buttons on the steering wheel that allow you to scroll through menus in a simple and precise fashion.
Other equipment features on the AMG Line model include heated front seats, keyless go, reversing camera, AMG sports pedals in brushed stainless steel, powered tailgate, cruise control and dual zone climate control.
The C-Class Estate is the most practical member of the C-Class family. Though the boot volume is just about 10 litres bigger than the saloon, the Estate has a much more usable boot space with a wide opening. The rear seats can be let down by pulling a switch in the boot. Rear seating is generous enough, with the Estate also giving rear occupants more headroom. A large transmission tunnel makes things a bit more awkward for the middle seat passenger, but it goes with the territory in these rear wheel drive, premium estate cars.
On the road in the C200d Estate
The C200d puts its power to the road via a 9 speed automatic gearbox. The engine has plenty of power for the C-Class Estate and is also an impressively refined unit on the move. Power delivery is smooth and it responds well to throttle, though the Sport mode is best engaged if you demand a sudden surge in power quickly. The engine is reasonably efficient also with my fuel consumption over a week of driving averaging at 6.2l/100km. Motor tax is €270 per year for this model.
The C-Class Estate handles and steers in quite a neutral way. It’s not sporty but the ace card for the C-Class is the way it moves over the tarmac. It’s very smooth and serene, with a great hushed cabin and ride quality that’s always a signature of a premium motor.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate is a stylish and practical estate car. It comes with a hefty price tag but it’s a quality and serene driving experience. The C200d has plenty of power for this car and it’s reasonably efficient to run also.
But what the C-Class really shines for is its interior elegance. This recent round of refinements are subtle but the addition of some digital enhancements are a welcome addition.
The C-Class has enough character of its own to woo premium buyers.
Model tested: Mercedes-Benz C200d Estate Automatic
Price: €47,697 (Range starts at €37,710)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
Power: 160 hp
Torque: 360 Nm
0-100km/h: 8.2 seconds
Top speed: 220 km/h
Economy: 4.3-4.7 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 124g/km
Motor tax: €270 per year