Go to the top of the C-Class

Mercedes hits the front, writes Paul Pot­tinger

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

ACAR that starts at nearly $60,000 is Aus­tralia’s best­selling, mid-sized im­port. Toy­ota’s lo­cal Camry sells more than 2000 most months, bol­stered by huge sales to fleets and pri­vate buy­ers to whom a car is merely a func­tional de­vice.

But when it comes to im­ported cars and spend­ing our own money, last month it was the Mercedes-Benz C-Class that surged to the head of the pack with 483 sales, ahead of far more af­ford­able mod­els such as the Mazda6 and Subaru’s Lib­erty and Out­back.

In a list com­piled by the Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries, the C-Class con­fort­ably out­dis­tanced its ri­vals in the en­try-level pres­tige stakes such as BMW, Audi and Lexus.

In the year to the end of Novem­ber, the Mazda6, which starts at about half the C-Class’s price, led it by only 76 sales — 6974 to 5898 sales. Lib­erty was third on 5764.

Mercedes-Benz se­nior man­ager of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions David McCarthy says:

‘‘What it shows is that over some­thing like the Mazda6, which is a pretty good bit of kit, is that we have a huge num­ber of user-choosers in the cor­po­rate sec­tor.

‘‘We of­fer fi­nan­cial pack­ages for peo­ple who salary sac­ri­fice.’’

The next C-Class will ap­pear in re­vamped form at next month’s Detroit Mo­tor Show and ar­rive here be­fore April.

McCarthy says sales of the C-Class re­fute the ‘‘per­sis­tent myth that we have high op­tion prices’’. ‘‘We’ve got some pretty sharp op­tion prices. In a lot of cases, we are cheaper.’’

With the one-mil­lionth newve­hi­cle sale this year ex­pected this week, the chances are that it will be some­thing in the next class down to the mostly ex­cel­lent cars listed on this page, such as a Corolla, Mazda3, Hyundai i30 or Holden Cruze.

While the large-car seg­ment is in per­ma­nent de­cline, the mid-sized class is get­ting col­lat­eral dam­age as buy­ers down­size fur­ther to com­pact hatches, small wag­ons and SUVs.

And though that’s good news for the Mazda3, Honda Civic and Ford Fi­esta, it leaves the Mazda6, Ac­cord Euro and Mon­deo in . . . well, the mid­dle of nowhere.

Favourite: the Mercedes C-Class is ben­e­fit­ing from salary pack­ages.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.