New premium wagon is expected to be bigger and wider than outgoing car, offering more space for both loads and passengers; all-wheel drive is likely to be an option, too

The new Mercedes-Benz C-class estate has entered the final stages of testing ahead of its launch later this year. The second variant of the 2014 C-class is expected to be revealed in full this summer.

This late-stage prototype was spotted almost fully undisguised, testing in Southern Europe. Although the remaining camouflage on this model hides some design details, we can see the C-class estate will feature conventional styling for the segment. The model has also eschewed the swooping silhouette of the larger CLS Shooting Brake, but is almost identical to the new C-class from its B-pillars forward.

The estate is likely to offer even more space than the outgoing car, with insiders suggesting more than 500 litres of room aided by a longer wheelbase than the old model. The new C-class saloon has a 90mm longer wheelbase than before, a move aimed at increasing space in the passenger compartment.

While Mercedes has yet to reveal any technical information about the new C-class estate, its engine lineup is expected to reflect those offered in the saloon range.

That means a base four-cylinder petrol unit in both 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre guises, as well as a lightly revised four-cylinder common-rail diesel unit in both 2.0 and 2.2-litre forms. Both engines will be Euro 6 emissions compliant. A small percentage of UK sales of both models will be taken by a range of Mercedes' six-cylinder engines.

Most models of the estate are likely to be rear-wheel drive, although it's expected that Mercedes will enable customers to upgrade to its 4Matic all-wheel drive system for a cost.

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The Mercedes C-Class marks a return to the company's old-school values of all-round quality and maturity

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