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C-Class goes A-grade

...and Mercedes-Benz has more to come with an Estate diesel arriving in September with the C63 AMG Estate. For the moment buyers will have a single engine choice, the proven supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder wearing the C200 Kompressor badge.

Price premium for the Estate is $1800 above the equivalent sedan model, making it $58,890.

From September the 2.1-litre C220 CDI turbodiesel four-cylinder Estate will carry a $63,100 sticker, while the AMG version will land at $141,300 with the same 336kW and 600Nm 6.2-litre V8 from the sedan.

The V6 C280 Estate — already on sale in European markets — could be added next year.

Mercedes sold 706 C-Class sedans in April, 300 more than Audi's A4 and almost double the number 3 Series sedans moved by BMW.

The C200 Kompressor develops 135kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm at 2800-5000rpm — nothing that is going to make it an excitment machine but the drive experience is nothing if not refined and will continue to win fans.

A five-speed automatic is standard fare for the Estate all the way to the C63, which gets the star seven-speed auto.

Estates, or station wagons, are not big sellers in the Australian market but Mercedes believes there is incremental growth available with 300 sales predicted this year and 500 a year after all the engine choices come on line.

There are a range of options unique to the Estate, including self-levelling rear suspension ($2000), dark tinted privacy glass ($1010), automatic opening and closing tailgate ($1010), and a load-securing kit ($700).

Load capacity in the Estate has been increased, at least in volumetric measures, with between 485 and 1500 litres depending on the rear seat position.

That is an improvement of 146 litres over the previous model yet the load is still only rated to carry 100kg.