2015 Mercedes-Benz C-class Estate: Tastes Like Forbidden Produce

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-class Estate: Tastes Like Forbidden Produce

Just how powerless are automotive journalists? Well, we’re not that weak, save for one subject: Wagons. The market penetration of station wagons in the U.S. is microscopic, even though we love them, especially, as the cliché goes, with a diesel engine and a manual transmission. Perhaps painted brown. But even when offered with gasoline engines and everyman-compatible slushboxes, wagon sales are, well, abysmal. Thus, no one should be surprised to learn that Mercedes-Benz’s all-new Estate version of the 2015 C-class is not destined for our shores.

The C-class wagon will, however, do battle in Europe, where this vehicle format is still very much above water. So good thing it’s a beauty. With a sloping roofline, sculpted rear fenders, and horizontal taillights, it is sufficiently differentiated from the C-class sedan to have a character all its own. We wouldn’t call the C a “shooting brake”—as Benz calls its own five-door CLS wagon—but its lines are harmonious and classic, and in our opinion, they work especially well with the traditional grille topped with the three-pointed star. Benz also offers the “SL grille,” with the star built in, which has become the standard face for the C-class.

As you’d expect, the wagon not only looks good, but also is really spacious. With the rear seats folded down, the Estate can swallow a whopping 53.3 cubic feet of stuff. Because this is a Benz, the rear chairs can be unlatched electrically, and are now split 40:20:40 instead of 40:60 for more configurability. A steel suspension is standard, and there is an optional air suspension, just like on the sedan.

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Mercedes-Benz also offers the usual array of convenience and assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, pre-crash assistance, an excellent touch-pad for its COMAND infotainment system, a head-up display, and LED headlights. There is a high-end stereo system supplied by Burmester (eat that, Bang & Olufsen), and the interior can be perfumed courtesy of Mercedes’ signature “air balance” system. In Europe, the C-class Estate can be specified with a number of engines, from a pedestrian 113-hp diesel four-cylinder to the 328-hp twin-turbocharged gasoline V-6. A plug-in hybrid will also be available, as is Mercedes-Benz’s 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system.

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What’s not to like? Mostly, the fact it’s not available in the U.S. If you must have a station wagon, your choices are limited; Audi shills the A4-based Audi Allroad (complete with juvenile “crossover” treatment), and there is Benz’s wonderful E-class wagon. Cadillac is yanking the CTS wagon without plans for a replacement, and we think BMW is actively trying to box out its 3-series Sports Wagon with its bevy of similarly sized but crossover-y things like the X1, X3, and 3-series Gran Turismo.

If you must have the C-class Estate, we suggest you pester Mercedes; our editorial opinion typically counts for a lot among carmakers, just not when it comes to expensive hatchbacks. Speaking of, should we—we mean, you—start clamoring for the inevitable C63 AMG version of this new Estate now, or later?2015 Mercedes-Benz C-class Estate: Tastes Like Forbidden Produce

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