BY MARK KEAST

It makes you wonder, living an urban lifestyle, shopping for a new luxury vehicle – what are the advantages of a wagon over an SUV?

Many of us seek out the extra storage that a luxury SUV brings, especially those more compact, like the Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X3, or the Audi Q5. After all, one needs to measure the increased practicality that comes with additional space for day-to-day living with luxury sleek.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse T-Modell Exclusive,
Exterieur: mojavesilber,
Interieur: Leder magma/espresso //
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate Exclusive,
exterior: mojave silver,
interior: leather magma/espresso

We spent some time with the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S205 C-Class Wagon (which shares some similarities with the W205 Sedan variant), and came away impressed. The added storage space, when measured against the car’s sporty, athletic, design, means the luxury car enthusiast gets to enjoy the best of both worlds.

The smoothness of the ride – whether navigating Toronto’s winter time downtown potholes, or getting on the Gardiner to head to Etobicoke to run some home errands – is attributed to a 2.0 litre, turbo 4 engine, with 9-speed automatic transmission (241 HP, 273 lb/ft of torque, 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz). For me, it was more than enough power to get around the Greater Toronto Area.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse T-Modell Exclusive,
Exterieur: mojavesilber,
Interieur: Leder magma/espresso //
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate Exclusive,
exterior: mojave silver,
interior: leather magma/espresso

But what struck us was the sleekness of the exterior. Frankly, when we think of wagons, we are old enough to remember the old, panelled boxy Ford models of our youth. One look at the S205 C-Class put us into another era altogether – particularly the sloping roof, the horizontal LED tail lights.

The Premium Plus Package is well worth the extra $2,300, adding the 360-degree camera (a must for underground parking), ambient interior lighting, active parking assist – but you need to have the Premium Package already in place ($5,000) to access that.

Again, the exterior sleekness really caught my eye. The car I drove was equipped with the optional Sport Package – large, three-piece AMG chrome wing front spoiler, 18-inch AMG 5-spoke wheels, AMG flared side panels, AMG rear apron with diffuser.

The COMAND infotainment system and 7-inch display was easy to operate, founded by a rotary dial and touchpad. The interior ride – whisper quiet – was marked by top-notch material and trim pieces – again, not your father’s station wagon. Particularly sleek was the one-piece centre console design.

Plenty of room for storage in the back – 1,510 litres with the seats stowed (we moved an antique rocking chair, with no issues).

There are different demographics for the wagons versus the SUV – the wagon appeals more to well-educated, middle class males with high household incomes, blending together sport and practical. The SUV tends to have a higher share of female owners with mid to high household incomes – liking the all-wheel drive and higher seating height, and crash test ratings.

In the end, less storage space than the Mercedes-Benz GLC crossover series, but great value for your money.

Mercedes-Benz C-Klasse T-Modell Exclusive,
Exterieur: mojavesilber,
Interieur: Leder magma/espresso //
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate Exclusive,
exterior: mojave silver,
interior: leather magma/espresso

PRICE TESTED

BASE: $46,000

SELENITE GREY: $890

PREMIUM PACKAGE: $5,000

  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • COMAND Online Navigation with MB Apps
  • LED High Performance Lighting System
  • KEYLESS-GO
  • EASY-PACK Power Tailgate

PREMIUM PLUS PACKAGE: $2,300

  • Integrated garage door opener
  • Active Parking Assist 
(Formerly PARKTRONIC w/Active Parking Assist)
  • 360 Camera
  • Ambient Lighting
  • EASY-PACK Power Trunk Closer (Sedan only)
  • Roller sunblinds in rear doors (Manual, Wagon only)
  • Foot Activated Trunk Release
  • Illuminated Door Sill Panels

SPORT PACKAGE: $1,700

  • Sport Suspension
  • 18” AMG 5-Spoke Wheels (782)
  • AMG Styling
  • Sport Brake System (Larger front brake discs, perforated with Mercedes-Benz inscribed 4-piston front calipers)

HEATED STEERING WHEEL: $250

SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO: $475

DARK ASH WOOD TRIM: $250

TOTAL: $56,865

 

JUST THE FACTS

ALL-WHEEL DRIVE

2.0 LITRE, FOUR CYLINDER TURBO

241 HP, 273 LB.-FT OF TORQUE

9-SPEED AUTOMATIC

FOUR-WHEEL DISC BRAKES WITH ABS