Mercedes C Class Saloon
The Mercedes C Class does not just look the business, it is the business. A range steeped in history, this model salutes the traditional and embraces the modern. When a new C Class hits the market, the whole motoring world sits up and takes notice – here's why you should.
The C Class' muscular frame hints at the aggressive but there's a subtle wink with its teeth-bearing snarl; the sweeping curves and its sleek two-bar grille sandwiched by luscious curved lights make it aesthetically pleasing to the eye, giving it a more sporty aspect in the process.
Stepping into the C Class is like stepping onto a plane and being upgraded to first class. No air stewardesses or drinks trolleys unfortunately but plenty of gadgets and oceans of legroom.
The large cabin's seven-inch central TFT screen, which looks likes a floating iPad, is a joy to behold and the new touch pad control system is a smartphone users dream. No Flappy Birds but sat. nav. maps so bright and bold you could lose yourself in them.
If FHM did a top a 100 Sexiest Car Interior of the Year, the C Class' would be right up there.
Everything dazzles. The power-adjust tilt/telescoping steering wheel boasts 12 buttons, the LED lighting comes in three different shades, the carefully chosen high class materials used to stitch together this beautiful interior.
All this and there's even a head-up display, transparently displaying all that's important right in front of you on the windscreen ensuring you're not even the slightest bit distracted from the road ahead.
The only thing distracting here is the car itself. Just remember, the glances you get at the petrol station. They're for the car, not you.
Drive and Performance
This C Class is the first to be built with the rear-wheel drive architecture MRA, meaning more aluminium and less weight – cutting a hefty 70kg (or for the metrically impaired, an average sized adult) from the body. In fact the C Class has well and truly been laying off the carbs, with a further 30kg in weight reduction making it more agile than ever before.
It may be lighter but there's still plenty of power just waiting to be squeezed out. The 2.1-litre C220 BlueTEC diesel produces 168bhp, the C250 brings 201bhp to the table and the 2.0-litre petrol C200 produces 181bhp.
Every car gets Agility Select, giving you the option to choose between Comfort, Eco, Sport and Sport+ and Individual modes – the latter letting the driver mix and match their preferred settings from the other pre-defined modes.
A seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is fitted standard and is smoother than James Bond singing Barry White. Very smooth. The steering boasts a newly developed electromechanical system ensuring you're always in total control and the newly developed suspension brings even the windiest of roads under its spell.
And for the decibel haters out there noise is kept to a minimum with wind noise levels lower than they've ever been. These engineers obviously like their quiet with all others potential sources of disturbance taken care of as well including the interior blower, the power windows, the seat adjustment functions and many other. Fortunately, they've stayed away from the stereo so you can play “Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Baby” (who doesn't love a bit of Barry) as loud as your ears, and passengers, can take it.
The lighter frame combined with the fact that all models are equipped with the ECO start/stop function means fuel consumption has been cut by up to 20%. The C220 emits 103g/km retruning over 70mpg while the C250 BlueTEC model claims the same Co2 figure but gives up 65mpg, much cleaner than before. The C200 is powered by a 181bhp 2.0-litre engine that returns 53.3mpg and emits 123g/km of CO2.
What it all means is that you won't have to be packing your wallet or phoning your accountant every time you take your car out for a spin.
Practicality and Safety
It may be lighter but the C Class is actually bigger than before. Some 95mm longer and 40mm wider in fact with an 80mm extended wheelbase. There's certainly no chance of knees in chins or heads butting roofs when driving this machine and the same goes for anybody sat in the back.
Nipping out to do the Asda big shop? Boot space has been increased to 480 litres leaving plenty of room for all those carrier bags.
Mercedes is safety personified and it will come as no surprise to learn that the C Class is safer than houses. Attention Assist, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, automatic lights, cruise control, a tyre pressure monitoring system and a reversing camera are all present and correct; just an ejector seat and parachute needed now.