Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 - 2014)
Last updated 14 March 2016
18" wheels with 225/40 tyres on the front and 255/35 on the rear reported as particularly prone to pothole damage on an S204 C250 estate.
Ironically, my first drive of a W204 was on the Honda Accord launch the week before ‘my' C320 CDI arrived. Honda had hired examples of the competition and the Mercedes representative was a base spec C200 CDI Classic SE manual.
I actually liked that car. It felt completely honest and that it would do 1,000,000 miles. It wasn't fast, but the gear ratios were well matched to the engine, it handled well and it was comfortable enough for the driver to last 1,000,000 miles as well.
The £42,000 C320 CDI Sport estate was a different kind of animal. In basic form it costs £35,000, but this one had £7,000 of extras. The usual stuff: leather at £1,295, satnav at £1,995, park assist at £605, metallic paint at £620. However it did include (for £610) a very clever towbar that completely tucked away under the rear valence where it could do no harm when not in use.
For the £17,500 extra it cost over the C200 CDI Classic saloon, this C320 CDI Sport estate was a genuine luxury sports estate. Instead of a pedestrian 10.2 seconds to 60, it gets there in 6.8. it gobbles a bit more expensive diesel (33.7mpg in my case) but manages to steer relatively clear of Alistair Darling's clutches with a CO2 output of 199g/km. That means £210 tax this year and £260 next year. Not too painful.
Reliability of a tractor, comfort of a sofaOn 1 April 2016
Solid but uninspiringOn 12 January 2015
Refined & economical, with adequate performanceOn 14 April 2014