C-Class Saloon/Coupe/Estate (inc AMG)
Comfort, value, style and performance all feature highly on the C-Class and when you add in the outstanding spec level and sheer luxury too, this is one car to stand out in any crowd.
The goodStyling, handling and on-board technology
The badOptional extras soon add up
Mercedes AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe
Mercedes has given its C-Class line-up an extensive mid-life refresh and the headline grabbing news is they come with extra firepower.
The C-Class Coupe, Cabriolet and Estate models were given the facelift last year with a number of physical styling enhancements along with lots of extra on-board technology. And the engines were also upgraded with the AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe, that we tested, driven by a 3.0-litre V6 biturbo petrol engine that now delivers 390hp (an increase of 23hp), along with 520Nm of torque.
Those outputs translate into impressive performance capabilities with the car powering its way to 62mph from a standing start in just 4.7 seconds and onto a top speed that is electronically limited to 155mph.
Any vehicle delivering such dynamic driving ability needs to look the business and the AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe is guaranteed to draw attention wherever it passes. Is has an athletic, muscular stance with a distinctive AMG radiator grille, four tailpipes, a panoramic electric glass sunroof, an AMG front apron and air intakes, privacy glass and 19-inch alloys.
The interior oozes premium class and is elegantly equipped with soft-touch surfaces, Saddle brown leather upholstery, open-pore grey oak trim and plenty more besides.
Despite the somewhat minimalist appearance, the two-door coupe is packed with all the latest technology, including a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster that can be personalised to taste. There is smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, an easy-to-programme navigation system and full climate control.
The car also features the latest generation AMG flat-bottomed steering wheel with a heavily contoured rim. And there are new Touch Control buttons on the wheel that can be used to control the instrument cluster and multimedia system by swiping the finger vertically or horizontally – it’s easy to use and means you can operate many functions while keeping your hands on the wheel. There is also voice control or a newly-designed touchpad and controller to navigate the vehicle’s many systems.
Our test car, priced at £52,290 (£62,995 with options), featured a Premium Plus Package as a £4,995 option and this added a Burmeister surround sound system, COMAND online system, the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, ambient lighting, multi-beam LED intelligent light system, wireless charging, Keyless go and a panoramic sunroof. A head up display added a further £720 to the price.
When it comes to performance, the AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe is an absolute powerhouse of a car. It instantly, yet smoothly, accelerates through the nine-speed automatic gearbox which has been specifically designed and tuned for very short shifts for rapid-fire bursts of pace and the road holding is ultra grippy meaning the car can be pushed hard into corners.
There are different drive modes called Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual that alter the responses of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. And if you press M for manual (another new feature) you get full control of the gear changes via steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Yet another new setting on the latest model is a Slippery mode which is identified by a snowflake and, when the car is in this setting, it gains extra grip on snow-covered roads. It also comes with Mercedes 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system for added reassurance.
The AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe is beautiful composed in the less aggressive settings, but switch across to Sport+ and it certainly livens up all the reactions. It also increases the volume considerably so people will hear you coming long before you turn the corner.
When it comes to running costs, it very much depends on how the AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe is driven. If thrashed to the hilt in Sport+ you can expect to see far less than the official combined 29.7mpg figure. The carbon emissions figure is set at 217g/km.
As is the Mercedes way, comfort levels within the car are sublime and, like most two-door coupes, there is just about enough space in the car for two adults in the back provided the front seats are not pushed right back. The deep boot is deceptively large with a capacity of 400 litres.
With all the latest additions, it’s clear that this is far more than a simple mid-life makeover for the AMG C43 Coupe, and when you also factor in the wealth of safety features and driver aids, this is a car that is the ideal package for anyone with a little extra cash to spare, who enjoys the thrill of performance driving combined with all life’s little creature comforts.
Mercedes C 250 BlueTEC AMG Line Saloon
Mercedes new C Class certainly ups the ante and raises the stakes in the sports saloon segment – it is simply bursting with cutting edge technology along with dazzling good looks that are guaranteed to stop onlookers in their tracks.
It’s instantly recognisable as a Merc from the second you lay eyes on its sleek, sporty and muscular design. Other eye-catching design cues include 18-inch AMG alloys, a giant panoramic glass roof, twin exhaust pipes, sweeping headlight clusters with full LED lighting, green tinted windows, plus a host of AMG bodystyling.
The interior of the four-door saloon is equally impressive and is testament to the German marque’s premium styling principles with the very finest leathers and materials incorporated to create a stylish, sophisticated and elegant cabin.
And it’s impossible not to be wowed by the abundance and quality of top level technology that greets you.
Features include electrically adjustable heated seats with memory settings, a head-up display, dual zone air con and a Premium Plus Package costing an extra £2,795 which adds ambient lighting, an automatic powered boot open and shut function, a 13-speaker pitch perfect sound system with sat nav and Bluetooth connectivity, a 8.4-inch high resolution colour display screen and lots more besides.
Most of the car’s features can quickly be navigated via a dial or easy-to-use touch pad similar to that on a computer and all other switches and controls are perfectly positioned for driver usability.
So the C 250 looks the business and is packed with class-leading techno treats, but how does it handle when put to the test? The answer is remarkably well.
The 2.2-litre diesel-driven engine delivers ample power, bite and acceleration helping the car sprint to 62mph from a standing start in just 6.6 seconds and onto a top speed of 153mph.
It is fitted with a very smooth and efficient seven-speed automatic transmission with the option of changing gears manually via the steering wheel-mounted paddles. And the driver can also select from five Agility settings – Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual – which alter the car’s handling and dynamics considerably. But one statistic guaranteed to make people sit up and listen is the fuel economy because if driven with a watchful eye on speed and a gentle throttle action the C 250 can achieve a very impressive 65.7mpg according to official figures.
Busy city traffic posed no problems for the car where the occasional rapid burst of speed is often needed and it coped equally well on faster motorways. But it’s out on the more testing country lanes that the Mercedes really comes alive. Tight bends can be attacked with confidence and the road-holding is exceptionally good even in wet driving conditions.
Occupants are seated quite low to the ground so can expect to feel the odd bump or two along the way, but the highly efficient suspension system helps to keep comfort levels generally high.
Passengers benefit from ample room to stretch out and the boot is deceptively roomy too. There is plenty of handy storage options scattered throughout the cabin and the illuminated glovebox is a nice touch.
As one would expect, the car comes kitted out with a comprehensive range of safety features, such as an active bonnet (the car detects an impact and raises the bonnet to protect pedestrians), anti-lock brakes, cruise control, dual-stage airbags and much more.
It also featured an optional Driving Assistance Package costing £1,495 which introduces the likes of blind spot monitoring, Distronic Plus to maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front, lane-keeping assist and an anticipatory safety system that activates if a critical driving situation occurs and tightens the seatbelts, adjusts the passenger’s seat position and closes all windows.
So all in all, the new C Class is a beautiful piece of kit which seems to tick all the boxes. It looks stunning, is packed with technology and boasts exhilarating driving dynamics.
Whether the £45k (with extras) price-tag scares off some buyers remains to be seen, but then again what price do you put on outstanding beauty!
Mercedes C220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport Coupe
Sometimes a car comes along that seems to have it all and the Mercedes C220 CDI certainly fits the bill.
With a beautiful blend of elegant good looks, performance and economy, this car has plenty of all-round appeal.
In fairness, it’s not often that the terms power and economy are used together, but this particular Mercedes is the BlueEFFICIENCY model which basically means it has all the guts and oomph to sprint from 0-62mph in just 8.1 seconds, but can still return a very impressive combined fuel economy figure of 53.3mpg.
Okay, at just over £44k with all the optional bells and whistles, it’s not exactly cheap, but when you study the on-board equipment levels, all-round craftsmanship and performance capabilities, it seems to be worth every penny.
First impressions are vital these days and the C220 looks amazing from all angles thanks to brilliant white paintwork, sleek streamlining, green tinted windows, LED daytime running lights and attention-grabbing 18-inch AMG black alloys.
And once you take your seat behind the sporty multi-function steering wheel, it’s impossible not to be impressed with the sheer style of your surroundings.
Featuring striking Flamenco Red upholstery, the seats can be electrically adjusted to find the perfect driving position and memory settings are available too. The creature comforts are plentiful and feature a brilliant entertainment and communications system with 7-inch colour display, sat nav with 3D maps, a 12-speaker surround sound system, reversing camera, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic two-zone climate control and plenty more besides.
There is ample storage space for luggage and the deceptively large boot is opened via a button on the key fob. Split-folding rear seats mean the boot’s capacity can easily be increased further if necessary.
The car has several gentle reminders of AMG styling both inside and out such as special floor mats, the AMG steering wheel, side skirts and front and rear apron not forgetting those dazzling alloys.
But the C220 is not just a pretty face and if taken on faster open roads, it’s more than happy to show off its performance capabilities.
The 2.2-litre diesel driven engine delivers plenty of power, and the acceleration through the seven-speed automatic transmission is very rapid, smooth and responsive. There is the option of paddle shifts mounted on the steering wheel to change gears manually if so desired.
The performance is truly flawless as the bumps and dips of our UK roads are easily absorbed along the way.
There is an ECO start/stop system which can be a tad annoying if edging out of a turning, but it can easily be switched off and then back on again when required. However, it is features such as this and the ECON driving mode which help this particular model achieve such impressive fuel efficiency figures.
Mercedes has packed a whole array of top notch safety specifications into the vehicle, including anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic stability programme, numerous airbags, a lane departure warning system and attention assist which monitors driver fatigue.
All in all, this Mercedes is an excellent all-rounder which is perfectly capable of performing to very high expectations, but thanks to built-in economy features it won’t need too many visits to the fuel pumps.
Mercedes-Benz C180 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY Estate Sport
It’s a fact, the Mercedes C-Class does not come cheap and it’s also true that the back seat passengers are not blessed with a whole lot of legroom, but those issues aside this vehicle really is a class act.
Rolling in at just under £32.5k, you would expect it to be kitted out to the nines… and it is.
Everywhere you turn there are quality creature comforts and an abundance of high tech wizardry to help make every journey a pleasant one and when you add in the outstanding drive capabilities it’s clear to see why this vehicle is so popular.
The model supplied for my test drive – the estate sport – offered an abundance of storage space and this was enhanced even further by the space-saver spare wheel and plenty of smaller compartments throughout the cabin including a lockable glovebox with cooling function.
But, and it’s a very big but, unlike many other estates, the Mercedes handled like a sports car delivering blistering pace and road-holding capabilities rarely experienced in such a lengthy vehicle.
From the second you take your seat behind the wheel you cannot fail to be impressed by the plethora of quality features at your fingertips.
There is an excellent audio system which offers MP3 and iPod connectivity and eight speakers, rain sensing wipers, tinted windows all round, an automatic dimming rearview mirror and driver’s exterior door mirror, automatic climate control with dust filter and a rather snazzily designed dashboard with a neat instrument cluster with chrome ringed dials.
The heated sports seats are body-hugging and offer plenty of support although with the vehicle’s superb suspension system you barely feel a bump… even on today’s potholed roads.
The drive itself is quiet, smooth and very responsive with the 1.8-litre engine delivering plenty of power and acceleration. Admittedly, the size of the vehicle can make parking in busy city centres a bit of a problem, but the driver is assisted with parking sensors and the generally good all-round visibility. The five-speed automatic transmission functioned perfectly with gear changes kicking in just when they were needed unlike some vehicles where you are lurching to and fro with the untimely gear switches.
Mercedes has packed plenty of safety features into the car with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability programme with acceleration skid control and numerous airbags being just a few of the specifications.
All in all the C-Class Estate is the perfect vehicle for someone who has a bit of cash to splash, appreciates great quality and also likes to keep a watchful eye on the economy too as the BlueEfficiency model boasts combined fuel figures of 38.2mpg.
Mercedes-Benz C220 CDi Sport 4dr
Oozing quality and classic good looks this model is guaranteed to turn heads in a crowd.
There are leather seats, rain-sensing wipers, climate control, cruise control and even heated windscreen washer nozzles and tinted windows which give just a brief hint at the type of quality we are dealing with here.
In fact, the C-Class has every creature comfort a driver – and the passengers – could wish for.
The drive is amazing and with comfort levels other manufacturers can only dream of, no journey is too long.
The 2.2-litre engine delivers plenty of power both in and around town and on the more open road and the unobscured all-round visibility is very good. The addition of parking sensors means manoeuvring into tight spaces couldn’t be easier.
Buyers have the option of a panoramic roof (£1,280 extra) which delivers an abundance of natural light and can be opened and closed at the touch of a button. It even has an obstruction sensor to prevent any problems or accidents occurring.
The security system on the C Class is excellent too in order to keep away any unwanted attention.
For starters, there is an alarm system with immobiliser and interior protection, along with an automatic door-locking function.
The safety specification on the C-Class is also very comprehensive and includes anti-lock brakes with brake assist, agility control, which improves the drive by adapting the shock absorbers to suit the driving conditions, electronic stability program with acceleration skid control, plus numerous airbags and plenty of other features.
It’s true, the C-Class is not cheap to buy, and also true, it’s not going to be cheap to run, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for and in this case, it’s excellent value for money.