Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (2014) Review

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

5/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Building on the strengths of the saloon, the C-Class Estate is a stylish load carrier and doesn’t result in a compromised driving experience either.

+Fantastic depth of quality, lovely cabin ambience and improved interior space, very refined, quiet and composed – even the four-cylinder diesels.

-No 4Matic four-wheel drive models for the UK, expensive options required to get the best from it, only a minor luggage space improvement, unintuitive infotainment interface.

New prices start from £30,240
Insurance Groups are between 24–48
On average it achieves 65% of the official MPG figure

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate is one of the three big premium compact wagon contenders, alongside the BMW 3 Series Touring and Audi’s A4 Avant, with cars like Volvo’s V60 and Volkswagen’s Golf Estate also trying to muscle in on this territory. It’s fiercely competitive as rivals aim to offer a mix of luxury and comfort alongside the more obvious estate-car qualities of space and practicality.

 

Despite the proliferation of SUV-based niche cars designed to appeal to young buyers with a ‘lifestyle’, Mercedes-Benz has no good reason to veer away from tradition with the C-Class Estate. It’s still a very popular bodystyle, and to do without one in this premium segment would be commercially ruinous, even for rivals like BMW who are filling their range with SUVs like they’re about to be outlawed…

First introduced in 2014 and then substantially revised in 2018, the C-Class Estate aims to offer practicality and space, a luxurious cabin and a mix of good comfort and an enjoyable driving experience. As with the majority of Mercedes-Benz models there is also an emphasis on technology and safety too.

The result is a beautiful blend of traditional indulgence, iPad-generation modernity and space. And it really is that simple. Mercedes-Benz has made a two-box car, filled it with leather, fitted a tablet PC to the dash, and garnished the whole thing with brushed steel, gloss black and wood veneer. It’s a John Lewis living room display on wheels.

If that sounds disparaging, that’s not the intention – the overarching ambience of this car is that of a ‘proper’ Mercedes-Benz estate. For various reasons the last couple of C-Class models didn’t really nail that ambience, but it’s very clear, very quickly, that this C-Class takes much of its inspiration from the S-Class, which is high praise indeed.

This new C-Class Estate is defined by its refinement, its cabin flair, the depth of quality of the surfaces, and the apparent thought that’s gone into the design.

Mercedes-Benz hasn’t tried to make it a BMW either, so while it’s perfectly good at the more dynamic stuff (rear-wheel drive, weighty steering and a brilliantly unobtrusive seven-speed automatic gearbox), it’s actually a lot better when its gently going about its business – when it’s ‘wafting along’, to coin a cliché that Mercedes-Benz owners the world over used to use.

It’s not perfect, of course – there’s quite a bit of road and tyre noise at motorway speeds, and the extra 10 litres of maximum boot space is probably not as much as you might expect given the increase in dimensions.

It also costs considerably more than its key rivals, but you might see this as something to boast about rather than to avoid altogether. But really, these are footnotes in a story that’s largely excellent. Is it better than the 3 Series Touring?

That depends what you want, but the important thing is, it no longer sails so close to its German nemesis. Instead, it treads its own path, gently. Like a Mercedes-Benz should.

Ask Honest John

My car has done very few miles since the last service. Does it actually need serviced again?
"My 2018 Mercedes C-Class Estate is due for an MOT and service. Since the last service, it's only done 330 miles (total miles: 6207). Mercedes want £583. Do I even need to get it serviced?"
Strictly speaking, yes. Oil degrades over time and, if Mercedes-Benz says your car needs servicing every year, it's not entirely a money-making exercise. Skipping a service might harm its value at resale time, too. That said, it's unlikely that two years between servicing will cause any real damage with the mileage you cover. If it was my car, I'd compromise by paying for an independent garage to carry out a minor service.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I want one last great diesel estate car. What would you recommend as a simple option?
"I drive 25,000 business miles per year and do not think battery-electric would be suitable for my next vehicle. I recently saw an advert for the advanced technology on an Audi diesel and it frightened me the number of systems all capable of requiring a £1000 repair bills at some point in their life and all superfluous to a steady motorway cruising. What mechanically-simple, comfortable, diesel estate car would you recommend as the last best in breed diesel?"
All diesels are becoming increasingly complicated in order to meet stringent emission regulations. You're not going to find a simple modern diesel but, for your mileage, I wouldn't be too concerned. Problems occur when people use diesels for regular short journeys and the diesel particulate filter (DPF) becomes blocked. For 25k miles a year (presumably mainly on the motorway), a modern diesel will suit your needs well and should be very dependable. A Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate or BMW 3 Series Touring would be a lovely choice for 25k miles a year. Also consider a Volvo V90 as a comfortable, slightly left-field choice.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I need to buy a car during lockdown, what do you recommmend?
"My car was written off prior to the lockdown. I need to buy a replacement and so would really welcome your advice, especially as I'll not be able to test drive cars so will need to buy online and arrange for it to be delivered. I do approximately 8000 miles a year, mostly journeys in city traffic and occasional long journeys with my wife and young child. I'm looking at a used petrol or hybrid vehicle that is reliable, safe, comfortable and has generous boot space. Automatic or manual. I'm looking at spending about £8000 but would be willing to go up to £15,000 or higher as might be necessary. My very limited research suggests that an old Toyota Avensis Estate, Volvo V70 or Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate could be suitable. However, something newer or even an SUV might be a better buy. Your recommendation would be enormously welcomed. "
I would recommend the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid. It is comfortable, easy to use and will return 60+mpg on the road: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/hyundai/ioniq-2016/ A budget of £15,000 will get you a 2018 model that will still have a considerable chunk of its five-year unlimited mileage manufacturer warranty left on its books: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/cars-for-sale/search/Hyundai/Ioniq/?l=0&p2=15000&s=PriceDesc
Answered by Dan Powell
What should I replace my old Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate with?
"My Mercedes-Benz E270 CDI Estate is still going strong with 275,000 miles on the clock since 2003. When the time comes to replace it I will need less load space and also expect a reduction in annual mileage. However, I still prefer an estate and would like to maintain the spaciousness and comfort for me as driver. My wife finds it a big old barge to drive so need to find something that she feels okay with. I am not wedded to a particular marque or bothered about buying new. Any suggestions would be appreciated. "
It sounds like your E-Class has provided excellent service. How about something still premium but a little smaller, like a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or BMW 3 Series Touring? If you're not fussed about the badge, we'd recommend a Skoda Superb.
Answered by Andrew Brady

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