Review: Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014)

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Rating:

Neatly styled estate. Very comfortable and refined. Impressive CDI diesels are economical. Good sized useable boot space.

Parameter steering overlight in town. Expensive options. Not the best estate for driver enjoyment. Still has an old-school foot operated parking brake.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014): At A Glance

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.

Mercedes Benz C-Class Estate 2008 Road Test

Mercedes Benz C-Class C220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY 2011 Road Test

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What does a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014) cost?

List Price from £29,045
Buy new from £21,971
Contract hire from £287.84 per month

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4596–4606 mm
Width 1728–2008 mm
Height 1459 mm
Wheelbase 2760 mm

Full specifications

The rear seat folding arrangement is exactly what you need in an estate car. Not quite as good as Mazda's Karakuri buttons. But flop down the wider of the two backrests and it takes the whole luggage blind and dog guard with it, no fiddling, and leaves a decent size luggage deck 1,632mm long by 1,398mm wide.

You still get the old American style parking brake, on autos, at least, and if there was some way of holding the car without it (and without blinding the driver behind) I couldn't find it. No big deal, though. It's a proper drum brake and holds well against ‘Drive', so all you have to do is pull the release when the lights turn green and you can go.

Child seats that fit a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014) like to drive?

It's extremely comfortable. The latest Command satnav is intuitive and clear, though you do get Miss Whiplash giving the instructions rather than Honda's delightful dreamgirl.

At town speeds the speed sensitive parameter steering is so light and lacking in feel I did the unforgivable and kerbed an alloy on one of Belgravia's unforgiving kerbs. Then as soon as you get moving, it's fine. It's just that the car is so heavily loaded with technology you don't so much drive it as conduct it.

For a long time Mercedes have fitted the best cruise control and speed limiter of any cars on earth. It's completely simple. Adjusts your speed in 1mph or 5mph increments, so two movements gets you 10mph. Push it and you can limit your speed through a contraflow to whatever you want just as long as the Polish HGV on your tailgate will let you.

I'm not sure I like the front grille much. As Teutonic as a Tiger tank. But the profile and rear three quarters of the car are good. And the overall look is as solid as the car feels.

And that's what you want from a small Mercedes. You want it to feel like a condensed big one. The previous W203 C Class didn't do it. But this one does.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
C180 BlueEfficiency 42–48 mpg 8.7–9.2 s 139–176 g/km
C180 BlueEfficiency Automatic 43–48 mpg 8.7–9.1 s 139–163 g/km
C180 CGI BlueEfficiency 40 mpg 9.2 s 164 g/km
C180 CGI BlueEfficiency Automatic 38 mpg 9.2 s 172 g/km
C180 Kompressor BlueEfficiency 43 mpg 9.8 s 156–162 g/km
C200 CDI BlueEfficiency 54–59 mpg 9.6 s 127–141 g/km
C200 CDI BlueEfficiency Automatic 49–55 mpg 9.5–10.1 s 134–153 g/km
C200 Kompressor 39 mpg 8.8 s 173–178 g/km
C220 CDI 48 mpg 8.5 s 156–161 g/km
C220 CDI BlueEfficiency 60–66 mpg 8.5 s 114–135 g/km
C220 CDI BlueEfficiency Automatic 49–58 mpg 8.1–8.8 s 130–154 g/km
C230 30 mpg 8.6 s 221–226 g/km
C250 BlueEfficiency 42 mpg 7.4 s 159–162 g/km
C250 CDI BlueEfficiency 46–55 mpg 7.2–7.8 s 132–160 g/km
C250 CDI BlueEfficiency Automatic 54 mpg 7.4 s 135–138 g/km
C350 28 mpg 6.5 s 235 g/km
C350 BlueEfficiency 39 mpg 6.0 s 170 g/km
C350 CDI BlueEfficiency 42–47 mpg 6.3–6.5 s 159–180 g/km
C63 AMG 23 mpg 4.6 s 285 g/km
C63 AMG Edition 507 23 mpg 4.3 s 285 g/km
C63 AMG S 23 mpg 4.6 s 285 g/km

Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

86%

Real MPG

17–66 mpg

MPGs submitted

606

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Can you recommend a car that fits my long list of requirements?

I'm looking for a used car, SUV or Estate. I'd like it to have the following: torque converter auto gearbox, spare wheel or spacesaver, decent performance i.e. 0-60mph in under 10 seconds, a decent size boot with a minimum of 500 litres and cruise control. Economy isn't that important to me if I get everything else. I'd prefer petrol but would consider diesels. I have a budget of around £12,000. I know its a tall order but can you help identify something suitable, please?
A BMW 3 Series Touring or Mercedes-Benz C-Class would meet most of your requirements apart from having room for a spare wheel. How about a Honda Civic Tourer? It's a smaller car but has a huge 624-litre boot and was sold with a reliable torque-converter transmission. There's room for a space-saver spare wheel, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2008 – 2014)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Economical and Compact premium.

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What do owners think?

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