Caroline reviews the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Mercedes-Benz has been enjoying something of a renaissance and boost in popularity in Ireland in the past couple of years. Buoyed by some excellent new product like the E-Class and an aggressive market strategy that has seen a reduction in price and more equipment, Mercedes-Benz is bringing a tough challenge to competitors.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the brand’s evergreen mid-size executive saloon but it’s looking better than ever. I recently took the C200d model for a test drive. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has an extensive engine line-up of petrol, diesel and even hybrid in the form of the C350e.
Under the bonnet of the C200d there is a 1.6-litre diesel with 136hp. The 8-speed automatic ‘Avantgarde’ model I was driving has a list price of €42,715, but there was no sense of ordinariness about this car. Mercedes-Benz Ireland offers the option of adding a sporty ‘AMG’ Line look to an already well-equipped Avantgarde model for about €1,100. My test car also had 19” AMG multispoke alloy wheels adding a further €1,279.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a top interior
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a neat saloon profile and is a very cohesive member of the Mercedes family in terms of design. Inside, there is one of the best interiors in this premium segment against the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Jaguar XE and even the Audi A4. The ‘silk beige’ interior with black detail is very classy and the material quality is good everywhere.
Avantgarde models are well equipped including leather upholstery, 17” alloys, leather multifunction steering wheel, heated front seats, keyless go and LED headlamps. Space is good for the size of car with two large footwells for rear passengers. Like other rear wheel drive rivals, the middle passenger will have to tackle a large transmission tunnel. Still the cabin of the C-Class is a lovely place to spend time in. The boot is a competitive 480 litres and the boot lid lifts electronically from the key or a switch in the cabin.
The infotainment system includes navigation but if I’m to be picky, the graphics are a little old-fashioned. But you get used to scrolling through menus from the rotary controller on the centre console after some time.
The C200d on the road
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class range kicks off at €35,225, with diesels available from €37,570. My C200d with a 1.6-litre diesel engine and 136hp doesn’t sound like a match for a large saloon like the C-Class on paper, but it has plenty of power on the road while returning good economy. There is some diesel engine noise at idle but it fades into the background once cruising.
There is also the opportunity to switch between driving modes like Comfort, Sport and Sport +. The Sport mode adds more urgency to the throttle response, so the C200d does not ever feel at a loss for power.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a fine car to drive with sharp steering, agile handling and good refinement. The large 19” wheels did make for a harder ride over mixed road surfaces so stick with the standard wheel size for more comfort.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has evolved into a formidable competitor in its segment, with one of the best premium contemporary interiors and sharp driving dynamics. Mercedes-Benz Ireland’s pricing and specification makes it difficult to ignore in its segment so there’s never been a better time to check out the C-Class.
Model tested: Mercedes-Benz C200d Automatic
Price: €42,715 (Range from €35,225)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
0-100km/h: 10.2 seconds
Top speed: 216km/h
CO2 emissions: 119g/km
Motor tax: €200 per year