Meet the new, more versatile cousin of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Called the C-Class Estate, this long-roof version of the upcoming compact sport luxury sedan carries on the long line of C-Class wagons that have graced European roads.
Will the Estate come to America? It's not a yes, but it's not a no.
The C-Class Estate is notable not just for its larger cargo area and rear hatch, but for its slightly stretched wheelbase, which is 3.1 inches longer than its four-door counterpart. The wagon is also wider, by about an inch, and longer, by about 3.7 inches. That extra size translates to a cargo area that boasts 53.3 cubic feet of cargo volume with the rear seats folded, and 17.3 cubic feet with the back seats up. To further accommodate different load sizes, Mercedes also ditched the 60/40 split of the old C-Class Estate's rear seats for a more versatile 40/20/40 split.
Now, the big question on everyone's minds – will the C-Class Estate come to America? Well, we won't be holding our breath. We reached out to Mercedes-Benz USA, just to see if there was a chance of this wagon crossing the pond, and we got kind of what we expected.
"We cannot confirm the C-Class Wagon for the US market at this time," said spokeswoman Terry Wei. "However, like any savvy company we are constantly evaluating market needs and can always bring the car here should there be an opportunity for it." It's not a yes, but it's also not a no.
As for the C-Class Estate's mechanicals, there's a wide and varied range of diesel mills for the Euro-spec offering, which includes a diesel-hybrid called the C300 BlueTEC Hybrid. There are also a quartet of gas engines – three four-cylinder powerplants and a V6 – with power ranging from 156 horsepower to 333 ponies. There's also a gas-powered C350 Hybrid, for those that want fuel savings without opting for diesel power.
Pricing and availability haven't been released for our European customers quite yet. For those that want all the details on the new C-Class Estate, scroll down for the official press release and a short trailer that shows the new wagon in action.
Stuttgart – With the new Estate model Mercedes-Benz will expand the C‑Class family starting in September 2014. The Estate shines with a clear and at the same time emotional-sporty design, innovative technology, variability and a cargo volume enlarged even beyond that of the predecessor model. Its high-class, sophisticated interior makes modern luxury tangible with design highlights. With these qualities the Estate reinforces its reputation as a multifaceted lifestyle vehicle with outstanding properties for everyday use. In addition, with its many new assistance systems it not only offers the highest standards of safety, but thanks to intelligent lightweight construction, exceptional aerodynamics and new economical engines it also sets new efficiency benchmarks in its segment. The Estate model also provides the stage for the world première of the Mercedes connect me services, which, among other things, make it possible to connect to the vehicle from anywhere at any time and retrieve the current fill level of the tank online.
The new C-Class Estate combines a striking, dynamic design and high-class appointments with outstanding variability and a high level of utility. With its versatility it also adapts to a wide variety of requirements. As a stylish, sporty space vehicle it accompanies active, modern people on shopping sprees, on vacation or when playing sports, and is suitable for families in every respect. Consequently, it continues the tradition of the C-Class Estates, which all in their own time combined demands on lifestyle, sportiness and practicality in an estate car, in the fourth generation on a new level.
Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: "The new C-Class Estate is not only extremely practical thanks to its large, variable load compartment. With its state-of-the-art technical features it also strikes out in new directions in its segment with regard to safety, efficiency and comfort. And both men and women drivers enjoy noticeably more driving pleasure".
Variable and practical
The dimensions of new C-Class Estate have grown considerably. With an 80‑millimetre increase in the wheelbase (2840 millimetres) compared with the previous model, the vehicle is 96 millimetres longer (4702 millimetres) and 40 millimetres wider (1810 millimetres). The resulting increase in space primarily benefits the rear-seat passengers who now enjoy 45 millimetres more legroom. There is also more shoulder room, elbow room and headroom than in the previous model.
The moderate growth spurt also involves the load compartment. The sporty rear of the new C-Class Estate provides a maximum load capacity of 1510 litres (according to ISO 3832). It thus surpasses its predecessor by ten litres. The load compartment volume behind the rear seats increased by five litres to 490 litres.
Variability and consequently functionality also increased significantly. The rear seats now have a 40 : 20 : 40 split instead of the 60 : 40 split in the predecessor. This opens up a wide range of possibilities to use the interior as five-seater, four-seater, three-seater or two-seater.
Practical details ensure that the load compartment is even more versatile and easier to use, and as a result it can be conveniently tailored to the individual transport tasks. The rear-seat backrests can be unlocked and folded electrically at the push of a button to create a enlarged level load compartment.
The exceptional loading convenience can optionally be further enhanced with the EASY PACK power liftgate and the likewise optional HANDS-FREE ACCESS system. It allows opening and closing the liftgate without touching it. All it takes is a motion of the foot in the area of the rear bumper.
Dynamic and of high value
The new C-Class sets visual highlights with a modern, dynamic design that at the same time exudes sensuous clarity, arouses emotions and, to top it all off, stages high-tech in perfect fashion. Customers can choose from two fronts – with the sports grille or – reserved solely for the EXCLUSIVE Line – the luxury grille with the Mercedes star on the bonnet.
Unusual for a vehicle with a focus on a high level of utility and functionality is the high-value interior of the Estate, which was adopted from the Saloon. With straightforward sportiness, thrilling flowing lines and high-grade materials on the level of a luxury vehicle, it realises a modern, luxurious and at the same time sporty ambience. In addition to the base model, there are also three distinct design and equipment lines each for the exterior and interior.
The Estate also bears the quality seal of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation for a scientifically tested high level of allergy-friendliness. Mercedes-Benz is the only vehicle manufacturer to earn the ECARF seal.
Touchpad and head-up display
The touchpad in the new C-Class Estate developed by Mercedes-Benz marks an evolutionary step. As on a smartphone, all the head-unit functions can be operated using finger gestures. The 65 x 45 millimetre control surface of the touchpad is built into the handrest on the central control panel and bordered by a high-quality metal support – a design feature with a high-tech feel which exudes luxury at the same time.
A head-up display is also new feature in the C-Class Estate. As in a jet fighter, it projects important information directly into the driver's field of vision, ensuring that there is less distraction from the road ahead. The system informs about vehicle speed, posted speed limits, navigation instructions and DISTRONIC messages.
Less weight, more comfort
Thanks to innovative solutions, the body shell of the new C-Class Estate weighs less, provides the basis for outstanding vehicle handling and best noise and vibration comfort with exceptional rigidity, and offers a high level of crash safety. With an aluminium content of 49 per cent and up to 65 kilograms less gross vehicle weight the Estate is the lightweight-construction leader in its segment.
Efficient and lively engines
The powerful and efficient petrol and diesel engines with ECO start/stop function comply with Euro VI emissions standards and ensure sporty performance and driving pleasure. Compared with the predecessor they in part consume in excess of 20 per cent less fuel.
The diesel models of the new C-Class are powered by the further advanced four-cylinder or the new small four-cylinder engine, which as BlueTEC models are all equipped with SCR technology (selective catalytic reduction). They cover an output range from 85 kW (115 hp) to 150 kW (204 hp).
In addition, Mercedes-Benz offers a diesel engine combined with a hybrid module. The C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID with four-cylinder diesel engine and compact electric motor generates a power output of 150 + 20 kW (204 + 27 hp) and despite its high power output runs on just 3.8 litres of diesel per 100 km/h in NEDC combined mode (equivalent to 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer).
Three BlueDIRECT four-cylinder petrol engines and one BlueDIRECT six‑cylinder petrol engine with power outputs ranging from 115 to 245 kW (156 to 333 hp) will initially be available for the new C-Class. The four-cylinder C 350 HYBRID with plug-in technology and a power output of 155 + 50 kW will follow in due course.
Agile and comfortable driving
Exemplary ride comfort coupled with outstanding dynamic vehicle handling – these are the hallmarks of the newly designed suspension of the new C-Class Estate. Thanks to a new four-link front axle it offers driving pleasure and ride comfort at the same time.
C-Class Estate customers will have a choice of two versions of the standard-specification steel suspension, which also includes a sporty set-up. As an alternative, Mercedes-Benz for the first time offers an air suspension in this segment. The AIRMATIC air suspension manages to bridge the gap between a high level of ride comfort and dynamic-agile handling. AIRMATIC also features all-round self-levelling for optimum ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded.
Choose your own driving experience
In the new C-Class Estate the driver can determine the desired driving programme at the push of a button. Depending on the equipment level, the driver can choose from various preconfigured drive programmes and one the driver can design personally to a large extent. The following characteristics are available: "Comfort", "ECO", "Sport" and "Sport+". The additional "Individual" option enables drivers to configure their vehicle to suit their own preferences.
Like the Saloon, the new C-Class Estate is equipped with an electric parking brake. This brake is released automatically when the driver ends parking mode with the aim of moving off.
As is customary, the new C-Class is also available with 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
Steering with a sporty character
All models of the C-Class family will in future feature the electromechanical Direct-Steer system as standard. It combines road-speed dependent power assistance from the speed-sensitive power steering system, with a steering ratio that varies according to the given steering angle. The power steering assist provided by the rack-and-pinion steering gear is controlled as needed, thereby contributing towards efficiency.
Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive: the intelligent car
It is the declared aim of Mercedes-Benz to make the highest standard of safety available to everyone. For this reason the Estate adopts almost all new assistance systems from the S- and E-Class, which have been enhanced with significant functions. The assistance systems increase both comfort and safety. Mercedes-Benz calls this Intelligent Drive.
The C-Class Estate is fitted as standard with ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness. It offers an adjustable sensitivity level and can provide drivers with information on their level of fatigue and the amount of driving time that has elapsed since the last break.
Also part of the standard equipment is COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. In addition to the adaptive Brake Assist system, which helps to protect against collisions at speeds above 7 km/h, this system now features an additional function: when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 105 km/h (200 km/h in conjunction with DISTRONIC PLUS), thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 50 km/h, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at up to 40 km/h.
New assistance systems with enhanced functions are optionally available, combining data from various sensor technologies as part of the Intelligent Drive concept to enhance comfort and safety:
DISTRONIC PLUS – relieves the burden on the driver in keeping a safe following distance
DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot relieves the burden on the driver in keeping a safe following distance, even in stop & go traffic. Steering Assist is new and helps the driver with lateral control of the vehicle, even in gentle bends, and offers a tailback vehicle following function.
BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist boosts driver braking depending on the situation, if necessary up to full brake application and, for the first time, can also react to crossing traffic and pedestrians.
Active Lane Keeping Assist warns of unintentional lane departures by means of pulsed vibrations of the steering wheel and in the presence of solid lane markings corrects the vehicle's track with one-sided brake application. It now also intervenes with one-sided brake applications in the presence of broken lane markings if the adjacent lane is occupied by, for example, oncoming traffic, fast overtaking or overtaken vehicles.
The multitude of optionally available assistance systems also include, among others Active Parking Assist, which enables automated parking with active steering and brake intervention in both parallel and end-on parking spaces
Traffic Sign Assist with wrong-way warning function, which warns of speed limits and also alerts the driver to no-overtaking zones and no‑entry signs
Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, which allows the high-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently by masking out other vehicles in the light cone of the high-beam headlamps
Airbags for safety
In addition to 3-point safety belts with pyrotechnical belt tensioning and belt-force limitation for driver, front passenger and those in the outer rear seats, numerous airbags serve to protect the vehicle's occupants in an accident. These include:
combined thorax/pelvis sidebags for driver and front passenger
an optimised windowbag
sidebags for the outer rear seats (optional)
a kneebag for the driver
The front-passenger's seat can furthermore be equipped with an automatic child seat recognition system. This automatic front-passenger's airbag deactivation, introduced first by Mercedes-Benz, uses a pressure sensor in the seat cushion to detect whether an infant or child seat was placed on the front-passenger's seat and automatically deactivates the front-passenger's airbag. Contrary to other systems that require the airbag to be deactivated with a key, this system prevents incorrect operation. As no special transponder is required, the system works with all rear-facing child restraint systems.
Climate control: signals from space
The further advanced climate control system provides improved control quality, performance, efficiency and air quality. The new Estate is the only vehicle in the segment to offer tunnel detection via satellite navigation. It uses the map data from the navigation system and the GPS location data to close the air recirculation flap automatically when the vehicle enters a tunnel, subsequently re-opening it when the vehicle emerges from the tunnel.
Another highlight contributing to a feel-good atmosphere is the AIR BALANCE package with active fragrancing, air ionisation and more efficient filtration than is available on the standard model.
Vibrant infotainment experience
Like the Saloon, the new Estate offers a completely new multimedia generation with intuitive operation, featuring elaborate animations and visual effects which present all the functions in a clear and highly attractive manner. The Estate is furthermore also equipped with the Frontbass system. This avant-garde acoustic systems uses the space within the cross-member and side member in the body structure as a resonance chamber for the subwoofers. The result is a listening experience almost on a par with that enjoyed in a concert hall. A Burmester® surround sound system is optionally available.
The navigation system presents its contents in interactive mode. Its features include an animated compass, a "Drive Show" with information for passengers similar to the on-screen presentations on board airliners and Google Maps displayed on the head unit. COMAND Online is now also able to provide more accurate real-time information about the situation on the roads when it receives its traffic data via the internet by means of the "Live Traffic Information" service.
Internet and diverse data sources
A Bluetooth-compatible mobile phone with data option is all it takes to make even the Audio 20 system internet-capable. This enables the internet to be surfed without restrictions when the vehicle is stationary.
In conjunction with COMAND Online, Mercedes-Benz Apps such as Weather, GoogleTM Local Search with StreetView and Panoramio, destination/route download and Facebook can be used while on the move. Audio and video playback is possible from various sources. For example, via Bluetooth®, from an Apple iPod® or iPhone®, from an SD card, USB stick or CD/DVD (with Audio 20 CD or higher and with COMAND Online).
COMAND Online with hotspot functionality
COMAND Online not only offers a larger display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and a special bonded glass cover such as is familiar from consumer devices like the iPhone® or iPad. It also enables digital TV/radio reception, for example, and offers fast hard-disc navigation, automatic tailback avoidance via up-to-date and accurate "Live Traffic Information", an integrated WLAN hotspot functionality and the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system.
Telephony via Bluetooth® as standard
The standard Audio 20 USB system as well as Audio 20 CD and COMAND Online all offer basic telephony as standard, which links up a mobile phone to the vehicle via a standardised Bluetooth® interface.
Vehicle online with Mercedes connect me
Mercedes-Benz will introduce a new package of services in Europe under the name "Mercedes connect me" with the new C-Class Estate. The "Mercedes connect me" services can be used via a KOM module with its own SIM card integrated into the vehicle. The available services include accident, maintenance and breakdown management, for example. Likewise, customers can connect to their vehicle from anywhere and at any time via "Mercedes connect me" and, among other things, retrieve the fill level of the tank or start, stop or programme the auxiliary heating system.