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24 Sept 2022

LAOIS MOTORING: Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate with mild hybrid technology

LAOIS MOTORING: Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate with mild hybrid technology

The latest C-Class Saloon has been out for a while but we have had to wait until now for the new C-Class estate.  The new C-Class range boasts an excellent line up of petrol and diesel power plants and of course mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology.

The model on test this week is the new C220d  Estate AMG line which benefits from mild hybrid technology.

So has it got street cred?

In AMG body style it looks elegant and has a real presence on the road. 

The sweeping curves and distinctive lines make it a most distinguished looking car. Finished in Graphite Grey metallic with AMG alloys it really looked super.

What's it like inside?

The cabin of the new C-Class  estate AMG is simply beautiful and has a superb air of class and quality that is unrivalled in this class.

I like the way in which they have used the latest technology such as the centrally mounted iPad style infotainment screen which rests sloping on the centre console while the driver gets a 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster which rather nicely can be configured to look like analogue instruments. There is selectable mood lighting, lovely carbon trim and beautiful Sienna Brown /Black Artico (read faux leather) trim.

The build quality is simply excellent and the level of standard equipment in the AMG model on test is luxurious.

Standard kit on the AMG is very good and includes, AMG body styling, a host of safety features, “Hey Mercedes” voice activation which works very well, sports suspension, Interior light package, keyless go, heated front seats, and much more. Features worth special mention include the Collision Prevention Assist, Attention Assist, Reversing Camera, and the innovative fingerprint scanner. The idea here is that you store all your cars personal settings and then once it recognises your fingerprint on the scan section at the bottom of the screen those settings are called up. A second driver can do likewise for their preferred settings.  In practice I found it did not always recognise my fingerprint.

What is under the bonnet?

The C220d is powered by a 4-cylinder turbo diesel. Max power is 200bhp and this is mated in this test car to a  9-speed G-Tronic auto box with paddle shift levers which is superb.

Performance is good indeed reaching 100kph from a standstill in just 7.4 seconds and cruising onto a top speed of 242 kph. In reality this translates to a very useable spread of power with good reserves for safe and swift overtaking. 

On the economy front it is mighty impressive burning just 5.3 litres per 100km, giving the C220d  a range in excess of 1000km between refuels! Road tax is just €200.00. The mild hybrid tech allows the car to coast engine off for short periods and over time you do actually cover very short distances on battery power.

Will I enjoy driving it?

The new C-Class estate AMG feels very solid and well put together and refinement levels are high with wind, road and engine noise all well suppressed. 

The ride is a perfect blend between comfort and agility, even with the slightly firmerAMG sports suspension. The car remains composed on even the most challenging roads.  The handling is more dynamic too making this new C-Class estate AMG a joy to hustle along. Grip is tenacious, the  new C-Class AMG is actually good fun to drive!

So what is the final verdict?

The new C-Class estate does cost quite a bit at a hefty €7,000 more than the saloon. Prices start at €63,965 while the AMG line version tested here costs €70,776.

That said the more I drove the car the more I liked it. You begin to appreciate its hidden engineering virtues, and these become even more apparent with every kilometre behind the wheel.

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