Fast estates remain the ultimate family cars, and Mercedes-Benz has tuned into that by promoting its V6 C-Class as an AMG. At £35,000, it’s an attractive used buy. Or should you just play it safe with a new Skoda Octavia vRS?
These kinds of cars are so tempting secondhand. Sure, something like this new Octavia vRS competently combines practicality, a factory warranty and reasonable running costs with a dash of driver engagement, but the used market offers so many tantalising alternatives, making you wonder how much more driver’s car you can hide in that sensible body. Thoughts quickly start to wander to the Audi RS4 Avant, BMW M5 Touring and Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake…
No, no, let’s get back to the real world, because those highly strung engines could swiftly lead to financial ruin. Instead, for this comparison, we’re looking to one of Mercedes’ AMG-lite products, the C43, which was introduced in 2016. You can pick up low-mileage pre-facelift examples for around £35,000. The example we have here has ticked over 60,000 miles and cost its owner just £28,000.
By contrast, you need at least £32,925 for a petrol manual Octavia vRS estate, or £34,605 for an auto. For a diesel auto, like our test car, it’s £33,535.
This story is part of a wider feature that sees new cars go up against used alternatives. You can read the rest here
The C43 may sound more exotic, but it’s not quite the thoroughbred that it purports to be. In a clever marketing move, for the W205 generation, Mercedes rebranded the top-of-the-range C450 as the C43 shortly before it was due to go on sale in the UK. Rather than just being a C-Class with a big engine, it now had the clout of Mercedes’ performance division. Despite a few AMG tweaks, the C43 isn’t really an Affalterbach product.
Pedigree or not, it still has a twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine – something that can’t be said for the Octavia (or any future C-Class, for that matter). The V6 in the C43 isn’t the most tuneful six ever conceived, but the gruff bark and feeling of muscularity suits this warm estate to a T. The exhaust button in the centre console will make it louder and more farty, if that’s your thing.