Alleluia!! Praise the automaker that dares build a station wagon in 2018!! Unlike the general trend, I’m in absolute love with the cars I grew up in. Said trend dictates that one should never want the dreary old cars our parents drove but I’m a sucker for wagons. In the last decade, I’ve owned four and between my immediate family and I, there are six of them (parents still own and operate two of them!)
Why the station wagon? Because it’s a far more civil and elegant way to get around than in this Century’s craze, the utility vehicle. As most kids who grew up in the 70s and 80s, they’ve shunned the otherwise noble wagon in favour of the aforementioned utes. This explains why there are so few long-roofs available today. To the manufacturers, all of them European at the moment, I say a heartfelt thank you.
Mercedes’ threatened to pull the plug on the body-style but never fully committed to doing so. The E-Class’ been a staple of the genre for nearly fifty years and while we were privy to the C-Class wagon, it came and went. And now, it’s back BABY! This car has slotted itself as my second favorite Benz of all-time, behind only the SLS but ahead of the last E 63 AMG estate I reviewed a few years ago. How’s that?
Tell you what, I’ll make this part easy on you: I love the Griswold’s Family Truckster. As wagons go, it may be the ugliest fictional or non-fictional car of its kind. Why do I love it? Because wood. Lots and lots of wood. Also, the quad taillights and double-quad headlights.
As you can possibly tell at this point, I cannot fault any member of this shrunken category. The C-Class is a handsome car to begin with and extending the roofline improved the profile and accentuates the rather wide rear end. This is how real wagons look. Period.
Up front, the AMG-style fascia and grille, common as they may be, are sharp. AMG is always the way to go. One exception this rule is the wheels. While the 18” AMG alloys fit the car beautifully, I’d spend a few extra bucks and get the slick multi-spoke 19s”.
Onboard, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz is sparse yet very chic. Clutter-free is the best way to describe the dashboard. The latter is a two-tier layout which seems massive at first but is far less obstructive than initially thought. Fit and finish are excellent and extra points go to the optional ash wood inlays.
The compact C-Class is a generally spacious affair. The winner is the owner/operator who gets access to the voluminous trunk. With the 2nd row in place, the boot offers 490 litres of usable volume. The cut-out pockets on each side of the opening allow for golf bags and other such imperative cargo to fit with ease.
The rear bench is wide and accommodating. With my son’s baby set in place, it could be possible to squeeze two average adults in the remaining spots. Up front, passenger and driver are treated to plenty of wiggle room and excellent seats. The driving position is very good however the base of the “A” pillars are large and create a considerable blind spot with the adjoining mirrors.
There are numerous areas to unload pockets and day bags, from the bin below the trunk’s floor to the center console and generous door bins.
As this is a Mercedes-Benz, you will be pampered by a quiet cabin even at highway speeds.
There are a few factors to consider when evaluating this car’s pricing. Its base sticker price may be of $46,000 but there’s much technology included both where powertrain and gadgets are included.
As tested, my C300 4MATIC tipped the price scale at $56,000. The Executive and Executive+ packages (power hatch, navigation, etc.) along with the optional paint (wrong color BTW…), standalone heated steering wheel (a $250 optional worth its weight in gold – it cannot however be mixed with the available flat-bottomed wheel) are all responsible for this tally.
Fact of the matter is that a well-healed 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagon is impossible to spec out under $50k. I played around with the builder and my ideal iteration hovered in the $63k zone. To gain access to extra connectivity features, a price must be paid.
In this category, there are options in the 3-serie BMW and the Audi Allroad. One way or another, I envy you if you’re busy shopping amongst these beauties. If I had to choose, I wouldn’t go for the BMW. That’s about as much help as I can be. Sorry…
As I reach this point in my review, it’s become clearer still that the 2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC wagon is as damn close to being perfect as any car can be. The only powertrain on offer is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and Merc’s entertaining 4MATIC AWD system.
The mill produces 241 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a juicy dose of 273 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,300 to 4,000 rpm. On paper, this car will reach 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds but from the driver’s seat, it feels far quicker than that. On top of that, averaging under 10L/100 km of fuel is more than feasible.
The instant torque propels the C300 from a standstill with tremendous gusto. Comfort, the default drive mode, handles the daily drudgery with ease. The driving experience sincerely gets interesting in Sport and Sport+. The 9A is brilliant at its task, never once skipping a beat. Throttle response in these final modes can be neck-snapping. Yes, this is a compact wagon. I can only imagine the amount of indignation a Camaro or Mustang owner would feel after losing a drag race with a C 43 AMG 4MATIC, wagon if there was such a thing…
The chassis’ and suspension’s tuning are just about perfect. The car’s ride is cosseting, never floaty, and never let me down when I needed let loose a little. The big brakes are fantastic with sublime pedal feel and response.
If ever there was a reason to not opt for a crossover, the C-Class wagon is one. If you’re in the market for a utilitarian vehicle and are browsing Mercedes’ infinite inventory of models, take a 2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 wagon for a spin. Please. Keep the dream alive! And I promise you won’t regret it.