"It's a practical choice," will likely be the first words past your lips when you try to convince your partner that this is a sensible option. 

Fortunately, a modicum of truth to that statement might help you coerce them into hearing you out. This is a refined-looking Mercedes-Benz estate, after all, one with seating for five and a capacious boot.

"Consider it serving two purposes," will be uttered next, as you try to dodge the fact that this Mercedes-Benz C-Class does in fact have a 4.3-litre V8 under the bonnet. One that produces 306bhp and 302lb ft, granting the plush Merc a 0-60mph time of under seven seconds.

Manage to make that idea fly and you'll be able to enjoy the duality that makes high-performance estates like the C43 AMG so desirable. Here's a car you can chuck the kids and their associated paraphernalia in, and drive as comfortably and as easily as any other luxury estate.

Yet, when the opportunity arises, you can bury the accelerator in the carpet and listen to one of the finer things in life - that is, a naturally aspirated V8 racing towards the redline. You'll also be able to relish the sharper responses and additional cachet that is served up by AMG-fettled models, resulting in a car that's just outright more enjoyable to own and drive.

Admittedly there's no manual option, which might blunt the C43's appeal a little, but the automatic transmission does match the Mercedes' muscular V8 well. You won't have to break the bank to get a good C43 AMG either, with prices drifting around the £4000 mark.

Most mid-1990s Mercedes have fallen into disrepair, however. The company's accountants were holding the reins at the time, rather than the engineers, so the quality of many of its products from that era is often questionable. That's not to say that they weren't good cars, just that they became prone to failures that you wouldn't otherwise expect of the brand's formerly robust offerings.

For example, this W202 generation of C-Class featured wiring covered with a poorly specified biodegradable insulation which would prematurely disintegrate in normal use, causing myriad shorts and countless headaches for owners as they tried to trace intermittent electrical faults. Corrosion was a problem, too, with rusty panels being a common sight.

Depreciation also took its unkind toll, as with any other luxury car. Because they became so cheap, owners began taking less care of them. Consequently finding one that's got some semblance of service history, and one that hasn't simply been run into the ground, is no mean feat.