EAST LONDON, Eastern Cape - The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate will extend the brand's portfolio of "exclusive lifestyle vehicles" from October 2014. But you can order now...The automaker says: "The estate shares with its highly successful sedan sisters a clear yet emotional and sporty design along with innovative engineering."Technical features include "efficient new engines and high-quality and refined cabins giving a tangible feeling of modern luxury". On top of that is an estate-car body that naturally comes with a large cargo volume with the potential for a variety of seating configurations.TWO PETROL, ONE DIESEL OPTIONThe C-Class estate will be available in three derivatives - C180 and C200 petrol or C250 BlueTEC diesel.IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 C-Class EstateVIDEO: 2014 C-Class EstateThe new Estate is a lot larger than its predecessor: 80mm increase in the wheelbase (2.84m), 96mm longer (4.70m) and 40mm wider (1.81m). All this means more rear legroom - extended by 45mm. The estate has a maximum load volume of 1510 litres (10 more than the previous model) and the volume behind the rear seats has increased by five litres to 490.An aluminium content of 49% has cut the car's weight by 65kg.ENGINESThe petrol C180with its four-cylinder engine offers 115kW/250Nm with emissions of 132g/km and the petrol C200 135kW/300Nm. Each drives through a six-speed manual gearbox.The C250 BlueTEC diesel, mated to a 7G-Troni+ transmissions, is capable of 150kW/500Nm with emissions of 124g/km.The Estate can be specified with a standard or sporty standard suspension or, for the first time on the C-Class Estate, with - with air suspension, Airmatic, which is said to "bridge the gap between a high level of ride comfort and dynamic, agile handling".CUSTOMISED INSIDE AND OUTCustomers can choose from two fronts - Avantgarde (sports grille) or Exclusive Line (luxury grille with the Mercedes-Benz star on the bonnet).The exterior and interior can be specified in Standard, Exclusive, Avantgarde or AMG Line. The Avantagarde exterior can be combined with the Exclusive interior and the AMG Line exterior with the Avantgarde interior.There's new touchpad which, like a smartphone, operates controls via finger gestures. The 65x45mm control surface is built into the handrest on the central control panel.It's also equipped with a head-up display that projects vehicle speed, posted speed limits, navigation instructions and Distronic messages on to the windscreen ahead of the driver.The rear seats, says Merc, now have a 40:20:40 split instead of the usual 60:40 which means a wide range of seating possibilities as a five-seater, four-seater, three-seater or two-seater.The Estate also debuts Mercedes’ Connect Me service, which makes it possible for owners to connect to the vehicle from anywhere at any time, perhaps to check the fuel level or turn on the aircon.A Bluetooth-compatible phone (with data option) can access the estate's Audio 20 system or optional Comand Online internet-capable system.SAFETYIn terms of safety, it's equipped with collision prevention assist plus and attention assist, which can help to avoid or mitigate collisions by applying brakes autonomously if necessary.The latest assistance systems from the S-Class and E-Class are also available as options - Distroni+ with steering assist, stop/go pilot, BAS plus (brake assist system) with cross-traffic assist, pre-safe brake with pedestrian detection, pre-safe plus, active blind spot assist, active lane keeping assist, traffic sign assist and active parking assist with parktronic.Merc suggests: "Orders can be placed for the C-Class Estate with immediate effect at all Mercedes-Benz dealersthroughout Southern Africa."PRICES:Mercedes-Benz C180 Estate - R447 600Mercedes-Benz C200 Estate - R468 300Mercedes-Benz C250 BlueTEC Estate - R558 400The C-Class Estate is sold with the automaker's PremiumDrive six-year or 100 000km maintenance plan.