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Spy shot: Room enough for all that workman’s clutter

Mercedes-Benz has as much of a reputation for big, posh estates as Volvo, and it will unveil its latest wagon this autumn when it unveils the new C-Class estate.

Caught here in final shakedown tests, the new C adds a capacious loadbay to the slick, junior S-Class looks of the saloon that went on sale recently.

Word is, the estate’s boot will extend the loadbay from the four-door’s 475 litres to a more substantial 500, or nearer 1,500 with the seats folded. Perfect for swallowing family clobber or workmen’s clutter, then.

Expect a plethora of gadgets to ease load lugging, with clever storage solutions like automatic tailgate operation on high-spec models and airline-spec lashing systems to hold luggage in place.

Under the bonnet is a familiar range of engines, kicking off with a supercharged 1.8 petrol.

Mercedes expects diesels to be most popular, as befits a heavier working vehicle. Continental buyers will get the choice of four-wheel drive versions, but the right-hand drive UK will get rear-drive only.

We’ll see the C-Class estate at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show and sales will start in the first quarter of 2008. Expect prices to start at £24,000, pitching it at the most premium end of the compact executive estate market.

Design: C-Class saloon with upright rear end for spacious boot area

Wagon touches: Expect clever lashing systems, electric tailgate option

Dealer details: On sale spring 2008, priced from £24,000

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